Ashnabis session 2

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Ashnabis session logs
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The group learn about a ruined temple in the swamp. After making various inquiries in town, they set out, accompanied by Voice priest Erku, to investigate it. They find that it contains the remains of single person, Lesmidus Sashnir, and shows signs of being recently visited. Some of the group experience disturbing visions while in the temple and while resting nearby overnight, and they receive what seems like an ominous sign when they return to their boat.


Session date: Jan. 13, 2019
Fair Cycle date: Fikho, I.E. 765


<AshnabisNarrator> Around a week has past since you returned from your first mission together. Daifan has had a chance to recover from their injuries and you brought back the corpse of Ilben Zhuldofi to be laid to rest, and reported on your findings to Utus. A job well done, even if mysteries remain, and you move on to other things.
<AshnabisNarrator> This morning, just past dawn, the rain is falling softly, but there was a heavy storm last night and you can see the thatchers out already working on repairs on some of the less well-kept outbuildings and longhouses. The beginning of the year is wet, so you have learned - good for the fos crop, bad for roofs.
<AshnabisNarrator> Some of the Aummesh children are running around collecting worms and slugs on the streets - for bait, you hope, though upon reflection, you aren't quite sure what is in the local meat pastries.
<AshnabisNarrator> At the docks, the hustle of workers unloading a ship full of spirits that has made its way down the river to port sings out with a range of accents and voices.
<AshnabisNarrator> An older local woman sings a low folk-tune outside the land registry, a lament of some sort - you can make out most of the words but the deeper meaning escapes you. Something about the tides grinding away at the rocks. She nods at you as you pass, a small cup at hand.
<AshnabisNarrator> Late yesterday Utus announced to all of you that you were to be here bright and early, for another client, although as usual he was terse with the details. You suppose that you'll find out soon enough.

Utus introduces Erku and tells them about their assignment

<AshnabisNarrator> You head into Utus' office, where soft magical light glows in a metal torch, in addition to the dim light from the window. A large map of the territory and areas to the south is laid out on the table in front of you. Utus is standing there, along with a young man you don't recognize.
* Utus looks his usual dapper self, with a simple but elegant grey and crimson striped robe and a black sash at his slender waist.
<Utus> Good morning. Thank you all for coming at this early hour.
<Utus> Before we bring in the client, I must let you know that I have asked the temple to provide us a representative of the Voice to accompany you on this mission, because it has some relevance to that sect. Please allow me to introduce to you Erku Njisnori.
* Utus pronounces the lineage name with some difficulty, and it is similarly foreign-sounding to you.
* Erku is a thin young man with an Enskrai look about him. He has black hair to his shoulders and a rather wispy attempt at a beard, and is dressed in the black robes of the Voice of the Dead.
* Jimba nods in greeting.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Welcome.
* Erku nods
<Junan> Hello
* Daifan will sit quietly in their corner for now :p
<Junan> (do I recognize the origins of the last name?)
<Utus> (you think it's an Enskrai name, the language of the herders of Umnaka to the south)
<Utus> The petitioner today is one Rovosa Umbizhuzo, who wishes us to investigate a territory where she hopes to stake a claim, but where there is some possibility of an ancient temple being situated there already.
* Jimba frowns at that.
<Jimba> (What happens if there is one?)
<Utus> (you don't really know - this situation hasn't arisen yet)
* Veznara looks up with renewed interest
<Veznara> Indeed.
<Utus> But I will let her explain more, and then we can deal with any questions.
* Utus rings a small chime and the guard outside opens the door to let in the client.
* Rovosa is a plain-looking young woman with wavy black hair tied harshly back from her face. She has freckled skin and a distinct gap between her front teeth. She wears a pale blue and grey checked dashi and a brown upper body wrap.
<Utus> Come in, sit down.
* Rovosa enters and takes the last available seat, next to Erku.
<Utus> All right, why don't you tell us in your own words about your petition.
* Erku moves over slightly, making sure not to accidentally touch her :p
<Rovosa> Sure, all right.
<Rovosa> I've been looking for fos for a while now, mostly looking in some of the rough lands south of the Sebor Inlet. I don't know if you've been out that way but the land is shifting and very boggy - maps are almost no good out there. I was going to give up when I found the perfect spot.
* Rovosa points to an area just south of the inlet on the map.
* Daifan is more interested automatically in this person now :3
<Rovosa> Right about here.
<Daifan> (and - do I know her or have I heard of her?)
* Daifan will edge over and peek at the map
<Rovosa> (no, you don't think so)
<Daifan> (okay)
<Rovosa> I approached by water - there's a decent landing there - and headed inland. Couldn't be more than about a mile or so in, and I found it. Soggy, soaked through and through, no place to live but I found a few wild fos bulbs there already, and it looks like there might be more.
<Veznara> (What number is the inlet on the small map?)
<Rovosa> Took a sample, of course.
<Rovosa> (it's G on this map here:
<Rovosa> But there is a bit of a problem. There is a building there. Well, a ruin. Some kind of temple, I thought, running perpendicular to the waterfront. Really old, or it looked that way to me, but not on any of my maps. Weird sort of feeling too, you know, like I was intruding on something.
<Rovosa> Now I'm not a coward, but I'm also not stupid, so I figured the best thing to do was to come back here, get things resolved, and then I can make my claim official.
<Jimba> Well, I mean, technically...
<Veznara> Could you describe the building in more detail?
<Veznara> For example, were there any symbols on it?
<Rovosa> Well, I never went too close.
* Llillilli tries not to look bored
<Rovosa> It looked like a temple, though. I've seen enough of those. A big long stone building with a wide open door at the north end. Partially sunken in the water.
* Daifan looks at Jimba, wondering what he was going to say
<Rovosa> No roof though.
<Utus> Once Rovosa placed her report, I of course tried to confirm what she has reported. There is no building of any sort, much less a temple, listed at that location in any of our records. But it is also an area that has not had much attention at all since we arrived.
<Veznara> (Can I make a History check to determine whether I've heard of religious activity in this area, or what else the building might be?)
<Jimba> When do we head out?
<Utus> (sure, you can make a K:history roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+12
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 17 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 29 ].
<Utus> (you don't know of anything specifically. There certainly have been temples of the Corps in this area going back centuries. As for what else the building might be, you'd really need to see it to know, but if it's oriented north-south, rather than east-west, it's definitely a Voice temple not a Hand temple.)
<Utus> I have been in communication with the high priest Tegos at the temple of the Voice, who confirms that this is not a place known to them. At his request, I have asked Voice Erku to join you as a special attendant and observer, in the event that there is a temple there and not some sort of other structure.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> If it is indeed a temple, it is most likely dedicated to the Voice.
<Erku> Yes, that's why I'm going.
* Erku says as if maybe you're a little bit slow.
<Utus> In answer to your question, Jimba, I would like you to leave fairly soon.
<Junan> so what happens if it is an old temple?
<Utus> I do think that, given the unusual circumstance reported to us by Rovosa, you might be well served to ask around to those who you may know who might know this territory well, and might have information on this place.
<Junan> I mean to the claim?
<Utus> Well ... that would be a matter to be adjudicated.
<Junan> right
<Utus> The petitioner here would certainly have an interest in the decision and I would not want to prematurely give her cause for hope, or pessimism.
<Daifan> ...What do we need to do to confirm if it is a temple?
<Utus> Well, having two priests in your group, I trust that you can resolve that issue. It is not a common problem to arise.
* Daifan nods
<Utus> It may be a temple of the locals, I simply cannot say. It may be that our maps are less accurate than we might hope, as has sometimes been the case.
<Veznara> Well, we must do our best to improve them, then!
* Veznara says, smiling.
<Rovosa> I just want to do the right thing here and get it resolved. I don't want my claim on some weird old temple.
<Junan> especially if its haunted
* Utus shoots Junan a glance.
<Utus> Do you have any more questions for Rovosa before I send her on her way?
<Veznara> Is there anything in particular that we should know about the terrain, and the area's wildlife?
<Jimba> This isn't for her, but are there other claims nearby?
<Utus> Not immediately nearby, no. That area is quite treacherous and well away from the area patrolled by the Territory.
<Utus> The nearest is several miles away - probably not relevant to the present discussion.
<Jimba> Anybody else living out there?
<Utus> I really couldn't say. Natives, probably, they're all over the place, though not in great numbers.
<Rovosa> I didn't see anyone in particular. Every once in a while out there you see a hunter or fisher or something.
<Veznara> And the terrain?
<Junan> swampy boggy, as she said
<Veznara> Any particular landmarks we should look out for?
<Rovosa> Very treacherous. Sinkholes, very boggy.
<Rovosa> Nothing really. It's just all trees and standing pools of water and ferns.
* Jimba looks at Veznara.
<Jimba> A half-sunken temple?
<Llillilli> Fun
<Utus> All right then.
<Jimba> Pretty standard.
* Junan takes a good look at the map to orient himself
<Utus> Thank you Rovosa for coming in and bringing this to our attention.
<Utus> We'll have our answer for you... when we have it.
<Jimba> We'll get it sorted out.
* Jimba smiles reassuringly.
<Rovosa> Thank you all.
* Rovosa departs.
* Jimba likewise goes over the maps and charts for navigational purposes.
<Llillilli> I'll get my pole
<Utus> All right, like I was saying, I do want to know if any people around here might know more. But don't just go asking around randomly. People you know and trust only. We don't want to cause alarm among the natives.
* Daifan wonders who that would be
<Jimba> Right. That might take a little time. Is that all right?
<Veznara> Of course, Commissioner.
<Utus> Yes, that's fine. Rovosa doesn't seem to be in a great rush. Don't delay, but there's no need to rush off today.
<Veznara> Should we perhaps take the rest of the day, and set out tomorrow?
<Jimba> That works.
<Utus> Sounds good. If there are no more questions for me, then you're dismissed.
* Erku sighs
* Jimba nods.
<Erku> Fine, I'll meet you back here tomorrow, or whenever you're ready.
<Jimba> Just meet us at the docks.
* Erku nods and departs
<Veznara> I'd like to have a good look at our existing maps, of course...
<Junan> well im thirsty
<Llillilli> I'm leaving.
<Jimba> Likewise.
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, you can spend the day talking to any of your contacts who you think might be helpful, so you can have a look and see if there's anyone.
* Llillilli leaves
<Jimba> See you all tomorrow.
<Erku> (or we can make suggestions based on what we think would be useful ;)
* Daifan can think of people who might know things, but... discrete? maybe.

Llillilli confesses her background to Daifan

* Llillilli waits outside the registry to not ambush Daifan
* Daifan trails out, gathering all their stuff, trying to think about who they coul consult who might know anything
<Llillilli> Daifan
<Daifan> hmm?
<Llillilli> It's good to see you well.
* Daifan looks up, surprised
<Daifan> Oh, hello :)
<Llillilli> You asked me something on th eboat. I didn't know what it meant.
<Llillilli> I do now
<Daifan> oh...
* Daifan remember you said that you would, vaguley
<Llillilli> The answer is yes, and no.
<Daifan> ...oh?
<Daifan> What do you mean?
* Llillilli looks around to make sure no one is listening
<Daifan> did you want to talk somewhere else?
<Llillilli> I am like you, or I would be, but for one lie
* Daifan just looks confused
<Daifan> What do you mean?
<Llillilli> My mother died and my aunt lied about it.
* Daifan blinks
<Llillilli> My uncle told me. He is a hateful person sometimes.
<Daifan> That... huh.
<Daifan> I'm sorry. That is very...unusual.
<Llillilli> So I'm told.
<Daifan> The Hand would not let that happen
<Llillilli> They were not in attendance
<Daifan> Ahh...
* Daifan tries to make sense of this
<Daifan> Was this when your family was coming from Choradan?
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Daifan> Ahh...
* Daifan shakes their head
<Daifan> That answers some questions.... but raises many more @_@
<Daifan> YOur whole family knows?
<Llillilli> my aunt and uncle and Katennzhi. Yes.
<Daifan> ....what about your father?
<Llillilli> He is gone
<Daifan> Ahh...
<Daifan> What about Jimba?
<Llillilli> He is my twin.
<Daifan> Oh. So is he.... the same, then?
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Daifan> ...why are you telling *me* this?
<Llillilli> BEcause you asked me.
* Llillilli tilts her head slightly
<Llillilli> And because I like you
<Daifan> Oh. Okay. Um... thank you.
<Llillilli> See you at the docks!
<Daifan> I won't tell anyone
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> okay o_O
<Daifan> Wait!
* Llillilli stops
<Daifan> did you find out, then... what it meant?
<Llillilli> After my uncle told me... I wanted to find out.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I mean... about the word.
<Llillilli> Oh. I asked my friend.
<Daifan> ...Is your friend Corpseborn?
<Llillilli> They're hithkindred.
<Llillilli> They were... they left Daligash.
<Daifan> Ahhh...
<Daifan> Okay.
<Daifan> they live in town?
<Llillilli> No.
<Daifan> Okay.
<Daifan> Thank you.
<Llillilli> Have a good day :)
<Daifan> as well, I will see you tomorrow
<Daifan> @_@

Llillilli visits Shulilae and Helithae

<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, you can wander over to see Shulilae at their home.
* Shulilae is a short-statured hith with dark red skin and a brighter patch of red on their belly. They wear a shell belt with various tools attached to it.
* Helithae is a tall, slender hith with a mottled pattern of blue and green that looks like it would provide excellent underwater camouflage. They have a pattern of raised silvery scars on their right arm, perhaps from some old injury.
<Llillilli> [h] hello?
<Helithae> Hello, little one! How are you?
<Shulilae> Good morning, what brings you to our hearth today?
<Llillilli> A job... I have questions about the rough lands south of the sebor inlet.
<Llillilli> There is no one who knows the land better than you, Shulilae.
<Shulilae> Ah... those lands have shifted much. They used to be inhabited by the humans but then it became more wet, so they could not remain there.
<Llillilli> I hear they are still shifting.
<Shulilae> Indeed. The swamp takes back what was placed there.
<Llillilli> A human woman wants to farm that root there but she found some half sunken building she thinks is a temple...
* Shulilae looks pensive for a moment
* Llillilli takes out her own map and unrolls it. "Somewhere around... here"
<Shulilae> A stone building, was it?
<Llillilli> Yes, a low stone building.
<Llillilli> You've seen it?
* Helithae busies themself with some sort of recipe while you're talking to their partner.
<Shulilae> Yes, I have seen such a thing in my travels. It is partly in ruins. Near it is a grove of persimmon trees, no doubt planted there by the humans who once lived in the area.
<Llillilli> Hmm, that will be a very useful landmark, thank you.
<Llillilli> Did you notice anything, I don't know, weird about it?
<Llillilli> Some of the others are afraid it's haunted.
<Shulilae> Humans are afraid of what is past, of what was once there and now is gone. But fearing the past is more foolish than fearing the future. The past cannot do you nearly so much harm as what may yet come.
<Shulilae> If you are able, you could bring back a cutting of the trees - they were cultivated once, and may be a lost variety.
<Llillilli> That is truth.
<Llillilli> Certainly!
<Llillilli> I would be glad to.
* Llillilli smiles.
<Shulilae> Many thanks.
<Llillilli> Are there any particular dangers in the area besides the usual things?
<Llillilli> (is it persimmon season? >.>)
<Shulilae> Only that the land is shifting, so be cautious in your steps.
* Llillilli nods. Good advice always.
<Shulilae> Safe travels, little one. We will be interested to hear of what you learn there.
<Llillilli> Thank you. I am eager to share it. :)
<Helithae> Be careful out there. But also have fun!

Veznara inquires with Yena about the temple

* Veznara goes to the temple once her review of existing maps is complete.
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Veznara, you can head over to the high temple of the Hand in Kaskind.
* Veznara approaches Yena
<AshnabisNarrator> Dezmali says hello but is busy with ... church stuff, you understand. But as you are wandering around the sacristy you spot Yena across the way.
* Yena is a dark-skinned, comely woman in her mid-thirties with long wavy black hair worn in a thick braid down to her waist. She wears the simple white robes of a priestess of the Hand, but ornaments her ensemble with a striking violet cloak and pearl earrings dangling from her ears.
<Yena> Good morning, Veznara :)
<Veznara> Good morning, Yena! How are you today?
<Yena> Oh, busy as usual. But not too busy to take time to talk to a friend :)
* Yena smiles, showing her dimples.
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> I'm glad. There's something I specifically wanted to ask you about, actually...
<Yena> Oh, really?
<Veznara> It's Registry business, so I must ask for your discretion...
<Yena> Well... certainly, what can I help with?
<Veznara> My team has been asked to investigate a claim to the south of the Sebor Inlet. Somebody found an old sunken building there that may be a temple.
* Yena looks intrigued
<Yena> A temple of the Corps?
<Veznara> The Voice has no record of such a place, though the building is reportedly oriented North-South.
<Yena> Hm, so it would be a Voice temple, if that is the case. And it's just out in the swamp there, not in a village or anything like that?
<Veznara> Apparently so. If there was a village there, it must have been reclaimed by the swamp.
<Yena> I suppose if it was mainly made of wood and thatch, the temple might be all that survives, if it's very old.
<Veznara> Yes. I don't know of any such temple myself, even though I did study mission history before coming to Kaskind. I was wondering whether you might have heard anything about such a place.
* Yena ponders for a moment
* Veznara waits patiently
<Yena> Well, the Sashnir lineage have a temple of the Voice somewhere out in the wilderness, where they maintain their ancestors, but as far as I know they still use it. So I don't think it could be that, it sounds like this is abandoned?
<Veznara> Yes. Apparently it's half-sunken into the mire.
<Veznara> Perpendicular to the waterfront.
<Yena> Oh... well, I hope that it was not simply abandoned with ancestors left inside it, that would be awful.
<Yena> But hopefully that isn't the case.
<Veznara> That is my fear. The person who found it mentioned a sense of foreboding.
<Yena> oh dear... well, be careful if that's the case. The ancestors would not be pleased to have been left alone for so long, if that was what happened.
<Veznara> No, indeed. But that makes it all the more important to see that it is recovered and resanctified, if that is the case.
* Yena nods
<Yena> Do you have a Voice to take with you? They would be best placed to determine how to proceed, if there are ancestors there.
<Veznara> Oh, yes. We have been assigned the aid of Voice Erku Njisnori.
<Veznara> Do you know him?
<Yena> Oh, isn't he quite young? He's not been here long, so I don't know him very well, but he seemed rather ... well, I don't like to speak ill of people. Unless they deserve it.
<Yena> I don't think he likes it here very much, let's say.
<Yena> Perhaps rather peevish.
<Veznara> Yes, he seemed a bit... short-tempered. Impatient.
<Yena> Sometimes it takes people a while to settle in here. Especially if perhaps they didn't come of their own volition. Or it turned out to not be what they were hoping for.
* Yena says with a slight shrug.
<Veznara> Was he sent here as a punishment, do you think?
<Yena> Oh, I don't really know if it would be a punishment, so much as... well. He's Enskrai, is he not? His people are not followers of the Corps, so it's possible that he felt the need to leave for his own safety, if they didn't like his ... choice of path.
<Yena> But I don't really know, that's just gossip.
<Veznara> Ah. Well, it's good to keep it in mind when dealing with him.
<Veznara> I only hope he finds as many good friends here as I have.
<Yena> One can certainly hope so :)
<Veznara> Thank you, Yena.
<Yena> Of course, any time. Be well, and let me know what you find, I'm curious now :)
<Veznara> Very well!
<Veznara> Oh - do you suppose Risis might have any information about this?
<Yena> Oh, I doubt it.

Veznara asks Askudi if the Hulti ever build temples of stone

* Askudi is going over some documents in the temple library
* Veznara goes off in search of Hand Askudi Rumuti.
* Veznara approaches Askudi and greets her
<Veznara> Good morning, Askudi.
<Askudi> Ah, Veznara, good to see you. How are you doing?
<Veznara> Well, thank you! And yourself?
<Askudi> I'm doing quite well.
<Veznara> Good. I was wondering if you could help me with something at the Registry. An explorer has found an old ruin to the south of the Sebor Inlet. It appears to be a temple, but neither we nor the Voice seem to have any record of such a structure.
* Askudi listens attentively
<Veznara> I was wondering... is it possible the Hulti would build such a temple of stone? It seems unlikely to me, but I thought I should investigate that possibility.
<Veznara> I rely on your discretion, of course.
<Askudi> Oh, no, they never build stone temples. Far too permanent. They need to be able to pick up and move at a moment's notice.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> No, I thought not. I'm glad to have you confirm it, though.
<Askudi> Certainly. Although if you see any other signs of their activity, of course I would be interested to learn about it.
<Veznara> Of course. It seems it must be a Voice temple that was forgotten... I cannot think of any other possibility.
<Askudi> It sounds likely. There are certainly old abandoned settlements out in the swamps, it could have been part of one of those.
<Veznara> There seems to be no record of it, though. Were there as many abandoned settlements as that?
<Askudi> Well, people have been here a very long time, and they didn't keep much in the way of records, as it didn't matter as much to them. They might just move a few miles to higher ground if their village was getting too marshy.
<Veznara> Well, I suppose we shall find out soon enough.
<Veznara> The Voice has assigned a priest to help us in the investigations - Voice Erku Njisnori.
* Askudi nods
<Askudi> I'm afraid I don't know him, but I presume that their assistance means they are taking the matter seriously.
<Askudi> If it is a temple, it would surely fall under their auspices.
<Veznara> Yes, exactly.
<Veznara> And from what you have told me, it seems it must indeed be a temple.
<Askudi> I'm not sure what else it could be. But who knows, I suppose - there can be strange things in the swamps.
* Veznara shudders
<Veznara> Yes, I'm afraid there are.
<Veznara> Well, thank you for your advice! As I say, this is Registry business, so I rely on your discretion, as I'm sure I can.
<Askudi> Of course. Good luck with your search.
<Veznara> Thank you, Askudi.

Jimba and Junan go to the bar to talk to Hishkobal

<AshnabisNarrator> All right, Jimba, you want to go find Hishkobal, wherever he might be hiding out? And Junan can accompany you on the long arduous trip to the bar.
<Jimba> *nod*
<Junan> I mean I was heaing there anyway
<Jimba> You and Hishkobal are going to get along great.
<Junan> I get along with everyone
* Junan smiles
<AshnabisNarrator> It's not too hard to track down Hishkobal. The bars of Timiil, and sometimes Kaskind, are where he holds court, with various parties coming to him to resolve their disputes. Once a mighty sailor, since the accident he doesn't go out to sea anymore.
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> Fair enough.
* Hishkobal is a tall, thin wiry man just past his prime, with a reddish nose from years of drink, but otherwise rather pallid. His hair is dark brown and plaited in a complex pattern, parted in the middle. He wears a plain dashi tied high as is the custom among sailors, and a long brass chain hangs around his neck.
* Hishkobal is having a friendly conversation with a woman sitting next to him, but waves over when he spies you across the room.
<Hishkobal> Jimba!
<Jimba> Good tides, Hishkobal.
<Jimba> You look well.
<Hishkobal> In and out, just like always, if you know what I mean. Up and down.
* Hishkobal laughs a deep belly laugh.
* Jimba rolls his eyes and smiles.
<Jimba> This is my friend Junan, from the claims office.
<Junan> Nice to meet you
<Hishkobal> Junan. Pleasure's mine. Hishkobal Wartibar.
* Hishkobal extends his rough callused hand warmly.
<Jimba> You have a moment? We didn't want to interrupt.
* Junan will gladly shake hands
<Hishkobal> No, no, just meeting the local ladies, you know how it goes.
<Hishkobal> Is this a business matter then?
<Jimba> Miss.
* Jimba nods to Hishkobal's companion.
<Jimba> More or less.
<Jimba> I was hoping you might know something about a local landmark.
<Hishkobal> Oh, what's that then?
<Jimba> A prominent building or feature used for navigation.
<Jimba> ;)
* Hishkobal laughs
* Junan rolls his eyes
<Jimba> Do you know anything about an old temple south of the Sebor Inlet?
<Hishkobal> *South* of the inlet? Like, in the deep swamp?
* Jimba will have brought a map and get it out to show him.
<Jimba> Around here, somewhere.
<Hishkobal> Huh.
* Hishkobal peruses it.
<Jimba> Yeah, pretty deep it sounded like.
<Hishkobal> Well, you know, I can't read too well, but I can sure look at your map and see.
* Hishkobal looks at it every which way.
* Jimba raises an eyebrow.
<Hishkobal> I've never heard of such a thing. Could be so, though. My people have been here a long long time before you came and mucked the place up.
<Jimba> You know, I never get tired of hearing that.
* Hishkobal laughs.
<Hishkobal> Well let me buy you a drink, colonizer.
<Jimba> Do you know of anyone who might know about this sort of thing?
* Hishkobal considers.
<Jimba> Put your money away, old man. I came for help, I buy the drinks.
<Hishkobal> I won't dispute that then.
<Junan> im just glad someone mentioned drinks
<Junan> drinks
* Jimba will try to flag someone down for something to drink.
<Hishkobal> Well, after I just disparaged you Ombesh, I'm ashamed to say it, but have you asked Umba? I mean, she's half native, all her living kin are native, and she swears in Aummesh better than any sailor alive.
<Hishkobal> She's spent more time in the swamps than any living person.
<Jimba> Oh, I should have thought of her.
<Junan> where does she hang her hat?
<Jimba> Yeah, that's a good idea. You're bound to have one or two from time to time, eh?
<Hishkobal> Oh, well, you go out the door here ... four, no five houses down?
<Hishkobal> I know she's in town, saw her here yesterday.
<Jimba> I know where she lives, Junan.
<Jimba> I can go see if she's there, and you can either join me or enjoy the drinks I just ordered. Your call, really.
<Hishkobal> Worth a try, anyway.
<Hishkobal> Why not just take your drinks over there, and bring one for her while you're at it?
<Hishkobal> Just bring the mugs back when you're done, they won't mind.
<Junan> I mean, I've never done that before
* Hishkobal waves over to the innkeeper as if to say 'These are with me, it's all good.'
<Jimba> Two good ideas in one day. It's a miracle. :)
<Jimba> I promise, we'll be right back. I'm sure there's more drinking to do.
<Hishkobal> You're too civilized, Junan. Not to disparage that, after all I just met you. Here in Timiil we follow the old ways.
* Hishkobal makes sure you all have full mugs of ale, plus one for Umba, before you head over.
<Junan> nice guy
* Junan says once we are on our way
<Jimba> He's good people.
<Jimba> Good for relations between the colonials and the locals.

Jimba and Junan pay a visit to Umba and her great-grandson

<AshnabisNarrator> You can head down the road to Umba's little house, where you are led to understand she's lived for over fifty of her nearly 100 years. She is, as you are led to understand, the first Ombesh person to move to this area, and one of the people responsible for finding fos here for the first time.
* Jimba will knock/call out politely.
<Jimba> (Whichever is protocol)
* Umba is an extremely elderly woman, her face a complex map of wrinkles. Her long white hair is done in a braid coiled on top of her head. Despite her age, her hazel eyes are still bright.
* Umba wears a faded blue dress that has been mended many times, belted at the waist with a mustard yellow sash where she carries a knife and various other useful tools.
* Bayapre is her grandson, or great-grandson, who lives with her as a token gesture of familial support (even though she doesn't really need the help, or insists she doesn't)
* Bayapre is a short but strapping young man, quite muscular and broad-shouldered, with short, wavy black hair. He has a nose that looks like it's been broken before and a missing tooth or two, suggesting a person who doesn't shy away from fights, but also a ready smile and warm brown eyes.
<Umba> Why look who it is! Little Jimba. And you've brought a friend ... ooh, that's nice.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Looking lovely and strong as always, Umba.
<Umba> Oh you're such a tease.
<Jimba> I hope we're not bothering you, dropping in.
<Umba> If I were twenty, no, ten years younger ...
<Jimba> You're too much woman for me, Umba, you know that.
<Umba> Ah, well, never mind the age difference. I'm available.
<Bayapre> Hey - you caught her in a good mood, she's just finished lecturing me about finding a wife, so she's feeling punchy :)
* Jimba grins again.
<Junan> we brought ale too
<Umba> He's twenty-six. Twenty-six!
<Jimba> Well, my inadequacies aside, we did come to ply you with drink.
* Junan holds up the mug
<Jimba> As my friend here said.
<Umba> Oh and you've ... aren't you a dear. So now who's your friend?
<Jimba> Here, Bayapre, you can take mine.
<Junan> Junan
<Jimba> Umba, this is Junan.
<Bayapre> Ah, thanks :)
* Bayapre accepts the offer
<Jimba> He works with me in the claims office.
<Jimba> We were hoping to bend your ear about some local geography, in addition to the regular enjoyment of your company.
<Umba> Very good, very good, that's a good place to build a career.
<Jimba> It's coming along.
<Umba> Well come on in then. Bayapre, get the chairs out.
<Bayapre> Yes ma'am.
* Jimba will help with chairs and such, pulling one out for Umba.
* Bayapre will get the chairs for you to have a seat.
* Umba takes a sip of ale.
<Umba> Ohh, that's nice. You're so thoughtful.
<Jimba> I try.
<Umba> I'm lucky you caught me today. Tomorrow I'd be upriver.
<Jimba> Oh? Where're you headed?
<Umba> To the big plantations eastwards. There's a group of Omban ... well, I'm sure they're fine people but they feel they need a guide to get them here safely. Which might be so.
<Umba> They have a lot of money and if I'm with them of course they won't have any trouble, you understand.
<Jimba> I would imagine not.
<Umba> But anyway, I imagine you're not here just to share a beer with the finest guide in the Territory.
<Jimba> Well, I had other motives, but I'm not *not
* here to share a beer with the finest guide in the Territory.
<Umba> Oh, are you here to get that cousin of yours betrothed? Or your sister perhaps? I'm not picky, and Bayapre can't afford to be.
* Jimba laughs.
<Bayapre> Hmph.
<Jimba> Both of them would kill me, in different ways.
* Junan laughs as well
<Jimba> You're safe for now, Bayapre.
<Umba> As long as it was after the wedding, we'd deal with that later.
<Bayapre> Well, what would you do without me, great-grandmother? You wouldn't have anyone to order around ;)
<Jimba> I share a boat with these people, Umba. You're going to get me murdered.
<Umba> You know, your cousin has already given me several great-great-grandchildren to replace you.
* Jimba chuckles.
<Bayapre> You'd have to train them up from scratch, they're only kids :p
* Umba laughs.
<Umba> Very well, very well.
<Umba> So what is it then?
<Jimba> You wouldn't happen to know anything about an old temple south of the Sebor Inlet, would you?
<Jimba> [describes the area]
* Umba ponders for a moment.
<Jimba> I've got a map, but I figured that's a last resort for you.
<Umba> Yes, I've been there.
<Jimba> To the temple?
<Umba> I know the place a little.
<Umba> Yes.
<Umba> No cause to go there much, it's been a long long time.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Do you know anything about it?
<Umba> Probably ... forty years or more since I've been there.
<Umba> As far as I know it's totally abandoned. Half-sunk in the muck. Older than I am by far.
<Umba> I don't know it's a temple. Might be so. But it's a great stone building in the middle of the swamp.
<Jimba> Any sort of symbols or writing on it?
<Jimba> Anything that might identify it?
<Umba> None that I can recall. I will say that when I was there, I was a little preoccupied. There are several mageshi that live in that area, and I was trying to get away from one.
<Junan> mageshi?
<Jimba> (Do I know what that is?)
<AshnabisNarrator> Neither of you knows what that is.
<Umba> They're ... about the size of an ox, perhaps, with antlers and hooves, and a horrible stench. Their breath will knock you right over.
<Junan> lets not run into those
<Jimba> We'll have to keep an eye out.
<Umba> And a nose or two.
<Jimba> That too.
<Umba> Anyway, far as I know, no one lives out there now, nor for as long as I've been here.
<Jimba> Hmm.
<Umba> Too hard to get to, really. But I suppose someone must think there's fos out there.
<Jimba> There was, at least a little.
<Jimba> We have a client who wants to grow it out there.
<Umba> Well ... good luck to them then.
<Jimba> We'll have to warn her about the mageshi.
<Umba> Do you want me to ask around about this place?
<Junan> well that was 40 years ago. They might be still around or not
<Jimba> Well, we're leaving tomorrow, so I don't know that there's time.
<Jimba> But I appreciate the thought.
* Umba nods.
<Umba> Well, you boys take care of yourself out there.
<Jimba> You as well, Umba. Kaskind can't afford to lose you. :)
<Jimba> Now, how's your family doing, aside from long-suffering Bayapre here?
<Jimba> (I'm good there)
<Umba> (ok)
<Jimba> (Jimba will just visit with here for a while)
* Junan will be amused by the family chat
<AshnabisNarrator> You can chat and drink with Umba and Bayapre for a while, she fills you in on the genealogical complexity that is her extended family, and then, after finishing your beer, remembering to take the mugs back to the tavern, before heading back from Timiil to Kaskind.

Daifan speaks to Sulidein about that area of the swamps

* Sulidein is doing a bit of work near the docks, getting supplies together for presumably whatever job his folks are doing.
* Sulidein is a slender young man in his mid-twenties, with short black hair. He wears a dashi woven with a pattern of brown and green stripes, and has a hat slung about his neck to put on in case of rain.
<Daifan> Hey Moss
<Sulidein> Oh, hi Smiles - how are you doing?
<Daifan> I'm okay
<Daifan> We got a new job, but we're not actually going out until tomorrow
<Daifan> you?
<Sulidein> We're checking on some claims upriver - just routine stuff, hopefully, but you never know.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> we've got sort of a weird one
<Sulidein> Oh yes?
<Daifan> a claim out in the uh... Sebor inlet
* @Sulidein nods, listening
<Daifan> The person found fos, but also a building that might be a temple, so we have to go find out
<Sulidein> Where, in the swampy area in the south?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> it's sinking into the swamp, sounds like
<Daifan> Do you know it?
<Sulidein> I don't know that building, but I know there used to be some villages out that way. Abandoned a long time ago - generations past.
* Daifan nods
<Sulidein> Fishing villages along the shore mostly - then the land got too swampy.
<Daifan> they probably moved all their ancestors when they moved the villages though....right?
<Sulidein> Oh, I would think so - I don't think it was a sudden thing. They had time to pack up and move.
<Sulidein> So they'd have taken anything important to them, which I imagine would include grandma and grandpa.
<Daifan> heh
<Daifan> Well I guess that'll be someone else's problem, figuring out what to do. We just hve to go check it out.
<Sulidein> Well, hope it goes smoothly and you don't run into any bogwiggles this time.
<Daifan> thanks, me too @_@
<Daifan> And I'll be careful how I wipe my ass ;p
<Sulidein> Good idea. You can't be too careful, and it'd be a shame if you got blisters :)
<Daifan> a tragedy for the world, yes
* Sulidein chuckles
<Sulidein> I should probably get back to loading this stuff - anything else I can help with?
<Daifan> Nah - good luck with your trip though!
<Sulidein> Thanks, same to you.
* Daifan will make him a sign of Fortune :3
* @Sulidein returns it with a smile
* Daifan will go find some way to spend the rest fo their day :)

The group gathers the following day to set out on the trip

<AshnabisNarrator> OK, you gather early the next morning to head out on your trip.
<AshnabisNarrator> After packing up the boat and making sure everyone gets on board securely, you get on your way.
* Erku eyes the hippo and dogs on your boat warily
<Erku> you have a lot of ... wildlife here.
<AshnabisNarrator> You head out by sea southwest out of Kaskind Harbor and then turn the bend upriver at Timiil until you come into the Sebor itself, which is fairly choppy.
<Jimba> Bashi and Mogri are hardly wild.
<Jimba> And Washteppo is literally a big baby.
<Llillilli> Yes wait until we're actually in the wilds.
<Erku> Ah... they're like my Wojowi, then.
<Jimba> Wojowi?
* Junan plays a tune
* Jimba will have informed people about the possibility of mageshis.
<Erku> My steed. He's magnificent. But ... it isn't really safe to bring him into the swamps.
* Erku says with a sigh
<Jimba> Lot of places around here bad for horses, I would think.
* Erku nods
<Veznara> No, unfortunately there are many dangers here.
<Veznara> Have you been here long, Voice Erku?
<Jimba> Hence Washteppo.
* Jimba nods towards her.
<Erku> About a year, or a bit more.
<Veznara> I'm still adjusting, myself.
<Erku> It's so... humid here. Everything is damp all the time.
<Llillilli> WHy did you come?
<Erku> Because I needed to get away for a while. Just... for family reasons >.>
* Daifan chills out, listening to the conversation and Junan's playing, and watching mostly the waves, not having been on the ocean much
* Veznara nods
* Daifan glances at that but well. I'm in no position to judge other poeple :p
<Llillilli> What family reasons?
<Erku> It's personal.
* Erku says with a frown.
<Llillilli> Oh.
<Jimba> Well, family reasons don't mean you can't be here for fun and profit, too.
<Veznara> It must be quite a change. I imagine the town has grown considerably even in the time you've been here, though.
<Junan> aint that the truth
<Erku> I'm here to serve the Corps. Profit doesn't enter into it.
<Jimba> Sorry, hope I didn't offend.
<Jimba> Noble calling and all that.
<Erku> Well we're not like the Hand, you know.
* Llillilli snorts and moves off.
* Erku says with a glance at Veznara
<Veznara> How do you mean?
* Veznara says neutrally
<Erku> you know, huge fos plantations, renting out bubun for labour...
<Veznara> A necessary service, I should think.
* Erku makes a noncommittal shrug.
<Junan> and speaking of necessary services, did anyone have any luck finding out about our destination?
<Veznara> And not one we profit from personally.
<Veznara> Nothing in particular, I'm afraid.
<Daifan> Just that there's a lot of old villages there, abandoned to the swamp
<Veznara> Yes.
<Daifan> Any temples should be empty
* Daifan shrugs
<Llillilli> We should look for a grove of persimmons.
<Llillilli> The temple will be nearby.
<Veznara> I am concerned about Rovosa's feelings of foreboding.
<Veznara> It may be nothing, but...
<Jimba> Well, that's what we have Erku along for, right? If there's anything spooky?
<Erku> I am trusted to examine the ruins and ensure that any ancestors or other religious artifacts are treated respectfully.
<Junan> Jimba tracked down someone who had been there, years ago... all she really mentioned was the mageshi
<Veznara> Between the two of us, I expect we can handle anything we find appropriately.
<Jimba> She did say she entered the temple, hiding from one of the beasts.
<Veznara> What did she see?
<Daifan> ...beasts? -_-
<Junan> didnt mention anything she rememebers specifically
<Junan> so we'll have to see for ourselves
<Jimba> She said she was preoccupied, but I imagine she'd have mentioned if there was a haunting or anything.
<Veznara> That's somewhat reassuring. Somewhat.
<Junan> yeah the mageshi... size of an ox with antlers and hooves, and a horrible stench
<Veznara> Ugh.
<Veznara> Carnivorous, no doubt.
<Jimba> Think I've woken up to that before.

Jimba and Llillilli speak briefly about Erku

* Jimba will motion Llillilli to join him at the rudder.
<Jimba> Everything all right?
<Llillilli> Sure.
* Jimba will nod towards Erku.
<Llillilli> I don't like him.
<Jimba> Why not?
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Llillilli> He didn't want to touch that woman at the office. He is here because he did something bad.
<Jimba> You're usually a better judge of these things, even if you don't like most people.
<Llillilli> But he still thinks he's better than the people who live here.
<Jimba> Lots of Ombesh think that.
<Jimba> They're dicks, but not criminals.
<Llillilli> True. I don't like many of them,
<Llillilli> .
<Jimba> You think he's here on the run?
<Jimba> 'Family reasons' and all that?
<Llillilli> I don't know.
<Llillilli> Maybe not criminal. But he did something.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I'll keep an eye out, then.
<Jimba> I trust your gut more than mine, tempered with a little good will.
* Llillilli grunts at 'good will'
<Jimba> Daifan seems a little more comfortable.
<Llillilli> Yes she looks well.
<Jimba> Folks in general are getting along, it seems.
<Llillilli> I guess.
<Jimba> Try to play nice.
<Jimba> Just talk to Kat or Daifan if the others are bothering you.
<Jimba> Or go pet Washteppo. It's calming, and she enjoys it.

They arrive at their destination, the ruined temple

<AshnabisNarrator> The Sebor is a broad tidal estuary that is joined to the sea by a tiny inlet right by the town of Timiil. The tides are not very large here, but certainly enough to cause havoc for the uninitiated sailor.
<AshnabisNarrator> Fortunately Jimba is able to get you safely through without any real trouble. It is the better part of a day's travel across the Sebor in your craft, perhaps thirty miles all told.
<AshnabisNarrator> To the east lies the mighty Kaskos River itself, heading out towards the inlands of Ashnabis and ultimately, across the mountains to Ombesh lands. But your destination is the south shore of the Sebor where Rovosa has reported her find.
<AshnabisNarrator> Great trees - cypress and juniper - dot the waterscape at various places along your journey, emerging from the slightly salty water as if to defy logic itself. You know well to stay away from these areas lest you become tangled in roots or weeds.
* Veznara does her best to map the area
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 21 ].
<Veznara> (Meh, not bad.)
<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, most of this is pretty well-known while you're in the Sebor, but you do make some useful notes on obstacles and dangers that weren't on your map.
<AshnabisNarrator> At last, in the late afternoon, you come to the south shore, and skim along for a while looking for signs of the landing Rovosa must have used. At last you see it, or you think you do - an area of higher ground where you can get to shore with relative ease.
<AshnabisNarrator> You can pull the boat up and tie it off pretty readily, Jimba.
<AshnabisNarrator> You all get out and get your bearings.
* @Erku looks around, holding his robe up a bit so it doesn't get wet/muddy
* Llillilli has her armour and pfethes.
* Daifan is wearing their armor
<Jimba> Everybody be sure to keep an eye out. Also a nose, I guess.
* Jimba armors up.
* Daifan looks around warily
<Jimba> Llillilli, you want to take the lead or rear?
* Llillilli shrugs.
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, are you taking the dogs and Washteppo into the swamp? And as for Katenzhi, shall we presume she stays with the boat?
<Llillilli> Back's fine
* Veznara in her armor and buckler, looks around warily
<Jimba> (Just the dogs, most likely. Washteppo is trained, ostensibly, but she's still a bebbe)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, so maybe she can stay with K here?
* Daifan will have tied their pants and dress up as recommended by Llillilli
<Jimba> (Sure)
<AshnabisNarrator> Looking around, you can see signs of what you presume must have been Rovosa's camp - just off the shore, there is a firepit now several days old at least.
<Jimba> Good a place to start as any.
* Daifan will hang back with Llillilli also :x
<AshnabisNarrator> You travel inland to the south, following Rovosa's guidelines as best you can. The swamp here is treacherous - one moment you are on solid ground, the next your walking sticks fall several inches into the muck. Pools of semi-stagnant water lap here and there against what seems to be your most obvious path.
<AshnabisNarrator> Wild birds dot the landscape - grackles and quail mostly, but one swan stares at you from afar as if to dare you to come closer. As for animal life, aside from the eternal presence of flies and ticks, you don't see much other than the occasional small turtle.
<AshnabisNarrator> No sign of the dreaded mageshi though.
<AshnabisNarrator> After more than an hour of rough travelling, as the sun is beginning to set, you pass through a grove of willow trees and then into a clearing.
* Jimba will try to take down small things in our path for dinner, as the opportunity arises.
<AshnabisNarrator> Before you are a set of stone walls, ranging in height from waist-high to over twice your height, perhaps thirty paces long and half as wide, oriented in a north-south direction. The limestone is covered in mosses but is otherwise relatively intact in most places.
<AshnabisNarrator> The building has no roof, although you can see where it once must have had a broad wooden roof. Similarly, the front gateway appears to have once been wood but it is now long rotted away. You note that above the lintel there is a small recessed panel. In many of your buildings today this would hold a saglikom to ward away evil.
<AshnabisNarrator> At the south end, the waters of the swamp are high, and the walls in that area have sunk or in places even begun to crumble away.
* Llillilli is looking for those persimmons
<AshnabisNarrator> A hundred feet or so to the west of the building sits a grove of gnarled persimmon trees, in full bloom in the spring rain. Their white and yellow flowers hang down as bells, swaying in the soft breeze.
<AshnabisNarrator> They do not appear to have been tended, but their appearance here is quite surprising in this location in the swamp.
<Llillilli> (NICE)
<Daifan> pretty...
* Veznara will try to sense any haunts as soon as it is appropriate...
* Daifan says of the trees
<Erku> Let me go in first.
* Erku says, looking at the building
<Veznara> Be careful!
<AshnabisNarrator> (make a Perception roll Veznara)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 9 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 16 ].
<Erku> Uh, *obviously*.
<Erku> I can handle it.
<Jimba> Sure you can.
<AshnabisNarrator> You do not detect any haunts. However, you can sense that this place remains hallowed, despite the many years.
<Veznara> I do not detect anything amiss so far, but this is indeed a sacred place.
* Veznara says, ignoring Erku's rudeness
* Erku steps inside.
<Erku> It's still hallowed.
<Veznara> Yes.
<Veznara> (Does this mean the Voice will want to reclaim it?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (possibly?)
<Daifan> welll.... that wasn't so hard then.
<Llillilli> well if this is all in hand I've got something I need to do.
* Daifan says, looking at the building
<AshnabisNarrator> Are others following Erku in?
<Llillilli> (no i'm sort of hoping he gets eaten)
* Jimba is going to go look at persimmons as well.
<Veznara> Let us complete our investigation here first.
* Veznara moves to follow Erku
* Junan will go in, curious
<Jimba> Not sure there's much the rest of us could help with here.
<Veznara> I'd rather not split up, not yet. If you don't mind.
<Erku> Normally if people abandoned the site, they should have unhallowed the temple when they left...
* Llillilli grunts in annoyance.
<Daifan> Hmm.
<Veznara> Yes.
<Veznara> This is.. unusual.
<AshnabisNarrator> The interior of the building is surprisingly clean of vegetation. No trees or plants grow inside the building and very little debris, save a few leaves that have fallen recently, is inside. Neither have any animals taken up residence here, as far as you can see. The flagstones are in relatively good repair, at least at the front of the building where the water doesn't reach.
<Llillilli> Well let's get this over with then.
* Daifan will... go in... the temple with the others :V
<AshnabisNarrator> This place shows signs of having once had thick interior wooden walls, now long since rotted away leaving just postholes and small holes in the stone to which logs or boards were presumably once joined.
* Erku is too distracted to complain about you going in the main door, same as everyone else :p
<AshnabisNarrator> This place is very old - far older than any of the buildings you have seen even in Timiil, the oldest Aummesh settlement in the immediate area. It is perhaps hundreds of years old? It does not appear to be immediately inhabited.
<Daifan> (I'm pretty sure the other door is sunk into the swamp, also ;p)
<Erku> (also that)
<AshnabisNarrator> The south side of the temple is largely still intact but murky water ranging from several inches to perhaps a foot deep has flowed in over much of the far third of the structure.
* Llillilli unfolds her pole.
* Jimba will put up his bow and go in with his machete and shield.
<AshnabisNarrator> You look around with wonder at this strange out-of-place edifice.
* Daifan will make sure they're never too far from anyone else, also
<AshnabisNarrator> On the inside of the lintel of the doorway, you see to your surprise that a recessed panel has been carved containing a well-worn copper saglikom, clearly of great antiquity, decades old at least, a deep green color and engraved with abstract imagery.
<AshnabisNarrator> Along the south wall but sitting well above the waterline, a bas-relief sculpture of a young woman has been carved into the ancient stones. She looks down upon you, with her image reflected in the still water below, as if to both welcome and warn you to this place. In her left hand she holds a branch or leaf of some sort.
<Veznara> (Any religious significance to the engravings?)
<Veznara> (And is it unusual to find a woman represented in a Voice temple, or not so much?)
<AshnabisNarrator> A saglikom is like a ward, to keep haunts / dangers from entering a place.
<AshnabisNarrator> Make me a K:religion check Veznara
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+9
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 24 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> It's unusual but not unheard of for there to be such a prominent sculpture. But then of course, Voice temples hold the remains of both male and female ancestors.
<AshnabisNarrator> Centrally, a great stone hearth sits in the middle of the building, now quite close to where the water has intruded.
<AshnabisNarrator> At the east side of the temple, you see a set of recessed thin nooks. Most of them are empty. One is not.
<AshnabisNarrator> Inside it is a box, about two feet long and half as high, of carved marble, surely imported from some distance. A heavy lid sits atop it. Along the wall, next to the box, a great iron hammer hangs on a chain on a hook.
* Erku heads over to look at the alcove with the box.
<AshnabisNarrator> (ok, what's everyone doing?)
* Daifan looks to see if there is any (other) evidence of other poeple being here recently/currently?
* Daifan doens't really know what they are looking *for*, though...
<Veznara> (What would that box be?)
* Jimba is looking around warily.
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Daifan I will get you to make a Perception roll.
<AshnabisNarrator> The box would likely hold remains, in an active temple.
<Lan_phone> !roll 1d20+3
* Daifan rolls for Lan_phone: [ 1d20+3 ] getting [ 16 ] which, after the modifier [ 3 ] totals [ 19 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Daifan, Inside the hearth are some bits of soggy charcoal and ash.
<Daifan> This place isn't abandoned at all...
* Veznara looks up, startled
<Veznara> What do you mean?
<Daifan> look...
* Llillilli comes over to see what you're looking at.
<Daifan> and someone had to have brought these other things
* Daifan gestures at the box and hammer
<Llillilli> (can I roll survival to guess how old these ashes are)
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure)
<Veznara> I imagine those may have been left behind. But the ash...
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 20 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 26 ].
<Llillilli> (nice)
<Veznara> ( :O )
<Jimba> (Llillilli about to go all CSI: Kaskind)
<Llillilli> (B)
<Veznara> (Oh, I hope she doesn't say a terrible pun...)
<AshnabisNarrator> The charcoal and ashes are wet, so, not totally fresh, but it is the rainy season. You figure maybe a week or two old? maybe a little older? There is no precise forensic test for cold charcoal and ash.
<Llillilli> Maybe a week or two old.
* Llillilli says, smearing the wet ash between her fingers.
<AshnabisNarrator> (more than that and the ash would have been washed away by multiple heavy rains)
<Veznara> Somebody who entered for temporary shelter, then?
<Llillilli> And left their hammer.
* Erku is still examining the box and hammer.
<Llillilli> And cleaned.
<Erku> It has some old writing on it.
* Veznara approaches to see
<AshnabisNarrator> An inscription along the top of the lid is still legible, carved deep long ago. The writing is of a style of lettering now deeply archaic. Veznara, you have seen it often enough, in centuries-old inscriptions from Taizi, though never before in this country.
<Jimba> Odd, that. Maybe they had to run? Or got eaten? There is dangerous wildlife around here.
<AshnabisNarrator> It reads ‘LE-S-MI-DU-S SA-S-NI-R'.
<Llillilli> Like that mageshi
<Jimba> Exactly.
<Veznara> (Do I know what it signifies?)
<Erku> I will open it to see if it still contains the remains of an ancestor.
<AshnabisNarrator> (It is almost certainly someone's name)
<Veznara> (So is this definitely Taizi origin, or just Ombesh in general?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (possibly neither? Ombesh and Aummesh writing uses the same alphabet)
* Erku gets his fingers under the edge of the lid and will carefully lift it, with a bit of a grunt at its weight.
<AshnabisNarrator> (it's just old)
<AshnabisNarrator> Erku manages to pull the lid off - it's clearly meant to come off, as would be the case normally, and inside is a complete skeleton, disarticulated.
<Erku> They left an ancestor behind... D:
* Veznara gasps softly
<Daifan> did they?
<Erku> Well, someone did.
<Llillilli> he doesn't seem bothered
<Daifan> I think it was brought here by whoever came out here and lit that fire
* Llillilli deadpans
<Daifan> and hallowed this place
<Erku> I could speak to him...
<Erku> But I can only ask one question.
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, those who have K: local can make that check, and those who have K:religion can make that check
<AshnabisNarrator> Actually, sec.
<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara do you have K:local?
<Veznara> (Nope!)
<Daifan> (I doooo)
<Jimba> (I have Local)
<AshnabisNarrator> (are you there Jimba, at the box?)
<Jimba> (Oh, no, I'm a bit away)
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK then)
<Jimba> (Just staying on guard.)
<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara you can make K:religion
<Veznara> Daifan, what are you saying? You think this place was unhallowed, and then somebody else came in and re-hallowed it?
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+9
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 24 ].
<Daifan> I think that's possible, yes
<Daifan> they found this old place and decided to use it for this ancestor
<Veznara> And this is not one of the original village ancestors, then?
<AshnabisNarrator> (how would they know Charles?)
<Daifan> The box is better kept than the rest of this place
<Daifan> (I assume - it isn't mossy or stained or anythig else that infdicates that it's been out here for ages)
<Veznara> (Presumably if the place was duly unhallowed, they removed the original ancestor bones. So this would have to be somebody else.)
<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, you know that the warhammer is the sacred weapon of the stoneguards, the sacred order of holy warriors who, once upon a time, would have guarded every temple. Nowadays there are still stoneguards, but far fewer than once there were.
<AshnabisNarrator> It may be a stoneguard's weapon.
<Veznara> (So would a stoneguard's remains be left at the temple?)
<Erku> What does it say, on the box?
<AshnabisNarrator> (could be? you don't know since you've never been to an abandoned temple)
<AshnabisNarrator> (or not one like this, anyway)
<Veznara> (Is there anything on the box other than the words we assume are the name?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no)
<Veznara> I assume it must be a name.
<Erku> well, what is it?
<Erku> I *could* read it, but it's in really old style letters :p
* Erku says a bit defensively
<Veznara> (Can I make a history roll to see if I recognize it?)
<AshnabisNarrator> sure, you can try
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+12
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 25 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> You don't know of anyone by that name. But something is tickling the back of your brain...
<Veznara> (Is it a bad idea to say the name of an ancestor out loud in a Voice temple? :s )
<AshnabisNarrator> Not at all - that's what you do, talk to the ancestors.
<Veznara> It seems to say... Lesmidus Sasmir.
* Veznara gages his reaction carefully
<AshnabisNarrator> (would you like to look again?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (more carefully, perhaps?)
<Daifan> (is that a lineage name I've heard of before?)
<Veznara> (Er, yes...)
<Daifan> (Or like one?)
<Veznara> (Oh, the dashes are obscured?)
<Veznara> LE-S-MI-DU-S SA-S-NI-R
* Veznara points out each letter / syllable
<AshnabisNarrator> You would know that ther is a Sashnir lineage ... in fact you think it was mentioned to you ... recently ...
* Erku displays no particular reaction to the name, but is examining the box and its contents with interest.
<Veznara> (Yes, of course!)
<Veznara> Oh. Oh, I see.
<Daifan> you do?
<Veznara> Sasnir... Sashnir.
<Veznara> I have heard that the Sashnir family maintains a temple out in the wilderness. This must be it.
<Daifan> uh...
<Daifan> with one ancestor?
<Daifan> That doens't seem right.
<AshnabisNarrator> Some of you who are bilingual would be aware that in Aummesh the S sound turns to SH before consonants. That's why Ashnabis is known, by old timer Ombesh, as Osnabis.
<Veznara> Perhaps there are more we haven't noticed yet. Or perhaps it is a particularly distinguished ancestor.
<Daifan> ...
<Erku> I don't think this is normal. The saglikom is on the inside of the door, not the outside like it should be. The remains of just one ancestor - perhaps a stoneguard, by his weapon. It feels like something is wrong here.
<Daifan> I think someone stole them
<Veznara> Yes. The hammer is a sacred weapon of the stoneguard. They were more prevalent at the time this temple was originally built, I think.
<Daifan> ....did anyone see any fos outside?
<Erku> Again, I offer that I could speak to the ancestor here. But I only have the opportunity to ask one question. To ask more, we would need to bring him back to the temple in Kaskind.
<Veznara> What question should we ask, then? "Who are you?"
<Daifan> No, we have a name
<Daifan> who they are isn't important
<Daifan> maybe ask them... where they belong?
<Daifan> would they know that?
<Erku> The ancestors only know about what they knew in life.
* Daifan shrugs, wtf do I know about ancestors
<Veznara> Perhaps a question about this place, then, or how it came to be abandoned?
<AshnabisNarrator> (what's everyone else doing while this is going on?)
<Daifan> they woudn't know that either, then.
<Veznara> (Who are the Sashnir, by the way?)
<Daifan> they wouldn't have come to be in any temple until after they died.
<Erku> If it was abandoned after this ancestor's death, he wouldn't know that.
<AshnabisNarrator> (they're an Aummesh family. You don't know any more than that other than what Yena told you)
<Erku> He could know about the place if he was here during his life, though.
<Daifan> (could I make a K: local to see if I've heard anythign about them?"
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure)
<Lan_phone> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Lan_phone: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 11 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 16 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> You've heard of people with the name, but you don't know anything else specific.
<Veznara> Perhaps we should look around for more signs of ancestors.
<Veznara> (About the ash - is that in keeping with standard religious practice?)
* Erku eyes the flooded section of the building warily.
<AshnabisNarrator> (well it's a hearth, it's for fires. But it's nothing more than a hearth for cooking / heating / whatever, not for specific ritual purposes)
<Daifan> if someone is using this place, why would they leave ancestors to the swamp? I don't think there are others.
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK, who is looking around, and where?)
<Veznara> (I'll have a look around. What about near that bas-relief?)
<Erku> (that's the flooded section - you'd have to wade through the water to get to look at it close up)
<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, you can go over there, but it is wet down there, with water at least a few inches high.
<Jimba> (Has been looking around, watching the entrance, etc.)
* Daifan is keeping away from the water... for reasons >.>
<Veznara> (Ew. Well, before that, anything of note in non-submerged areas?)
<AshnabisNarrator> Just the hearth, the box, the hammer, and the unusually placed saglikom
<Veznara> Why would the saglikom be placed here?
* Veznara wonders aloud
<Veznara> There must be a reason.
<Jimba> Is it meant to be keeping something in?
<Jimba> I mean, I don't know anything about this, but it's usually a ward, facing out, right?
<AshnabisNarrator> (yup)
<Veznara> Now *that* is a disquieting possibility.
* Veznara eyes the submerged area
<Veznara> (How much area does it cover? Enough to hide a sea monster? :P )
<AshnabisNarrator> (big enough yes, but not deep enough)
<Erku> (yeah, it looks like it could only be at most about a foot deep? so only very small sea monsters)
<Daifan> ... do the stoneguards still guard things in their death?
<Erku> Maybe...
<Daifan> (or bogwiggles >.>)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, everyone who is in the temple, make a Will save DC 15.
<Daifan> (argh)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 19 ].
<Lan_phone> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Lan_phone: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 24 ].
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+2
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+2 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 2 ] totals [ 8 ].
<Llillilli> (welp)
<Junan> (is it a charm/compulsion effect?)
<@Erku> !roll 1d20
* Daifan rolls for Erku: [ 1d20 ] getting [ 20 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20-1
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20-1 ] getting [ 17 ] which, after the modifier [ -1 ] totals [ 16 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> (it is not mind affecting
<AshnabisNarrator> it is not a charm/compulsion
<Veznara> (What do we notice, if anything?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (i'm waiting for everyone to roll)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+1
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+1 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 1 ] totals [ 11 ].

Junan and Llillilli experience a vision of fire

<AshnabisNarrator> OK, most of you notice nothing. But Junan and Llillilli:
<AshnabisNarrator> You are walking around the temple when the scene around you begins to shift, first just a flicker in the corner of your eye, then growing, growing ...
<AshnabisNarrator> The stone around you turns molten and begins to melt around you. A hissing noise followed by a terrible high-pitched scream emanates from the southern wall of the temple. The swampy water on the temple floor begins to boil, and the hearth shoots forth a column of flame.
<AshnabisNarrator> The open sky above you turns smoky and a smell of charred flesh pervades the temple. The heat is almost intolerable.
<AshnabisNarrator> You find yourself overwhelmed with terror.
<AshnabisNarrator> (everyone else, you see nothing and nothing happens)
<Junan> (is there anyplace to run?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, out of the building)
* Junan flees out of the building
<AshnabisNarrator> Lli?
<Daifan> ...what?
* Veznara is startled at Junan's panicked departure!
<Llillilli> (sorry god damn fire alarm)
<AshnabisNarrator> (ironic)
* Llillilli books it outside
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, you guys flee the scene. Upon reaching a safe distance, the terror subsides, though of course you still find yourself rather reluctant to re-enter.
* Llillilli attempts to drag Jimba out too.
* Veznara reaches for her sling and moves toward the exit, assuming the others have detected some sort of danger out there
<Llillilli> We must go!
* Jimba will go with Llillilli.
<Jimba> What's wrong?
<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, there's no time to argue, the flames are licking around your feet!
* Llillilli is panicked beyond saying any more until we get outside.
* Junan stands panting looking back at the temple
* Daifan backs up
<Junan> (its no longer on fire and melting to me, correct?)
<AshnabisNarrator> well you're outside now
* Veznara looks around, nonplussed
<Veznara> Why did they run out?
* Erku also seems puzzled at their strange behaviour
<AshnabisNarrator> If you look inside the door? Still on fire.
<Erku> I have no idea...
* Llillilli pants...
<Llillilli> Fire...
<Jimba> Fire?
* Veznara will investigate haunt again, just in case...
<Jimba> What are you talking about?
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 19 ].
* @Erku heads over to the door to look out at where they went.
<AshnabisNarrator> You detect no haunts, Veznara.
<Llillilli> You... you did not see it? The water was boiling!!
* Llillilli gestures wildly.
* Daifan looks between the submerged section adn the people who'se run outside
<AshnabisNarrator> Daifan, you see nothing amiss.
<Daifan> (you could cast detect magic if you're feeling brave)
<Llillilli> I can see the flames still from here!!
<Veznara> (Have I heard of temples using this kind of illusion as a defense?)
<AshnabisNarrator> You've never heard of that, but can't rule it out.
* Daifan will go outside to check on what's going on o_O
<Daifan> what's wrong?
<Jimba> I don't see any flames.
* Junan slowly works his way back to the doorway of the temple to look inside to see if his companions are burnt to a crisp
* Daifan says, standing just inside the door
* Veznara is perturbed
<AshnabisNarrator> After what seems like an eternity, but upon reflection cannot have been more than several minutes, the infernal scene before you fades away, leaving you apparently unharmed.
<AshnabisNarrator> It is now almost sunset.
<Veznara> Well, I *was* going to suggest that we take a closer look at that sculpture.
<Llillilli> IT'S ALL ON FIRE
<Daifan> what's on fire?
<Llillilli> It's...
* Daifan asks confused and concerned
* Veznara looks at Llillilli oddly
<Llillilli> It stopped :|
<Jimba> Nothing and no one is on fire, I promise.
<Jimba> I thought it wasn't haunted.
<Veznara> It is not.
* Veznara says firmly
<Jimba> So it's...?
<Junan> did you all not see that?
<Daifan> YOu said it's hallowed.... so it can't be cursed.
<Veznara> If there is some sort of... hallucinatory effect, it is not of haunted origin.
<Daifan> magic?
<Llillilli> Ugh.
<Daifan> I didn't see anything, but you both ran out of here...
<Veznara> Perhaps. If this is indeed a place of importance to the Sashnir lineage, they may well have used magic to protect it.
<Veznara> Do any of us know anything about them?
<AshnabisNarrator> (anyone other than Daifan can make K:local. Daifan already tried)
<Veznara> (unskilled, then?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (nope, it's trained only)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no ranks = no check)
<Veznara> (Yeah, that's what I thought.)
<Veznara> Unfortunately, I know nothing of them myself other than the name.
<Junan> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 19 ].
<Veznara> Erku? As you told us on the way here, you've been in the area for almost a year. Does the name mean anything to you?
<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, you know you've met some Sashnirs in town. Nothing particularly about any of this sort of thing though.
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 18 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 15 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, about the same. Just one of the big old lineages around here.
<Junan> just some locals
* Junan calls out from the doorway
<Veznara> Hmmm.

The group agree to make camp in the grove for the night

<Erku> It's starting to get dark. Are we intending to make camp here for the night, or try to walk back through the swamp in the dark?
<Veznara> I imagine it's safer staying here rather than going through the swamp in the dark.
<Junan> Are you sure?
<Veznara> Or near here, at least.
<Erku> It might be more... hm, respectful... to stay outside the temple.
* Erku says a bit warily.
<Daifan> >.>
<Jimba> We can find a likely spot nearby. Failing that, we sleep in trees
<Veznara> Very well.
<Daifan> ...
<Veznara> As for questions, perhaps it would be better to wait.
<Veznara> Erku, we agree that this place is still hallowed, yes?
<Erku> Yes, it's definitely still hallowed.
<Erku> And if people deliberately left it, say because it was sinking into the swamp, they would have - or should have, anyway - unhallowed it and taken all the ancestors when they left.
<Veznara> Then the ancestor here will not be displeased or disrespected if we leave him or her as we found them.
<Veznara> It seems to me that we should return to Kaskind and find out more before disturbing anything here.
<Erku> Yes, I suppose. The ancestor is being kept in appropriate surroundings, and ... seems... perhaps to be tended by someone? At least, his remains are not in serious disrepair or neglect.
<Veznara> I do not know why the Sashnir would maintain a temple here in this way, but I assume they have their reasons.
<Daifan> maybe you should ask them about this temple
<Veznara> Yes, exactly.
<Daifan> if only so we can have a better idea what to ask abotu or look into in Kaskind
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK, so you are going to camp nearby?)
<Erku> All right, if you want me to.
<Daifan> I mean the Ancestor
* Erku nods
<Erku> We could make camp in the grove of trees over there. It's within sight of the temple, at least, so if we keep watch, we can see if anything unusual happens here overnight. I can ask the ancestor my question before we leave in the morning, maybe.
<Veznara> Yes, that sounds reasonable.
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, you can set up a camp near the persimmons quickly, before the sun disappears entirely.
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, after spending some time setting up your camp, you return to where you had laid down your pack and note that your walking stick is no longer there. You're *sure* you left it there.
* Jimba will take a look around to see if there are any tracks or anything.
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK, make a survival roll)
<Jimba> (Do Bashi and Mogri help with this, looking for any trail?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (maybe? just make a roll)
<Jimba> (Well, the can Aid me, is why I'm asking)
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+3
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+3 ] getting [ 3 ] which, after the modifier [ 3 ] totals [ 6 ].
<Jimba> (Not so much)
<AshnabisNarrator> (well ... doesn't matter )
<AshnabisNarrator> I mean, maybe you just dropped it somewhere?
<AshnabisNarrator> You were pretty sure though.
* Daifan is a clueles camper and will try to follow whatother people they think are more sensible are doing. And also will stick more or less with everyone else unless anyone says something. >.>
<Jimba> Hmm.
* Jimba will help Daifan with their stuff if they need it.
<AshnabisNarrator> The dogs are sniffing around, and are maybe a bit confused, but then, this is a pretty weird place.
<Daifan> thank you.
* Jimba will also quietly let people know there might be someone around.
* Jimba doesn't want to alert the suspected stick-stealer.
<Llillilli> hm. :|
<Veznara> We should set a watch.
<Junan> I will be glad to be gone from here
<Daifan> I don't know if I'll be sleeping much anyway
* Daifan nods
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK, so watches? want to divide it into 3 groups of 2?)
<Veznara> (I have to go real soon.)
<Jimba> (Sounds good)
<Junan> (so we set watches and hunker down)
<AshnabisNarrator> (OK, sounds good.)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Erku and Junan, can I get you to make me a Perception roll?
<Erku> !roll 1d20
* Daifan rolls for Erku: [ 1d20 ] getting [ 10 ].
<Junan> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 18 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 22 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, during your watch, you think you hear something in the swamp that sounds like an animal or creature moving around. Just for one moment ... and then it's gone.
<AshnabisNarrator> Erku who is on watch with you notices nothing
* Erku mostly is content to talk to you about how awesome his horse is ;)
* Junan will use the opportunity to practice his Enskrai
* Erku can talk to you in Enskrai, and actually seems happy to do so.

Jimba experiences a disturbing nightmare

<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, while you are asleep, please make a Will save
<Jimba> !roll 1d20-1
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20-1 ] getting [ 9 ] which, after the modifier [ -1 ] totals [ 8 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Well.
<Jimba> (Yep, ensorcellated)
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, your sleep is interrupted with fitful visions of dark and intangible shadows.
<AshnabisNarrator> Out of the shadows emerge a figure of glowing light - a young woman wrapped in a shroud, her visage angry.
<AshnabisNarrator> In her right hand, she holds a persimmon fruit, and in the left, she holds a branch with persimmon blossoms.
<AshnabisNarrator> "You should not be here. Flee this place before the curse befalls you!"
<Jimba> I knew there was something wrong with the persimmons.
<AshnabisNarrator> She gazes at you and it is as if she sees your darkest secrets and pulls them from you, coming out of your mouth as shadow-stuff. And as the darkness oozes out of you, it seems to infest the fruit in her hand, turning it black and rotten.
<AshnabisNarrator> "See now, there is nothing you can do. You will rot and melt away into nothingness. Pitiful."
<AshnabisNarrator> You awake with a start, shivering and cold, the moonlight interrupted by the trees swaying above you in the breeze.
<Jimba> *hurk*
<AshnabisNarrator> You take 6 points of damage.
<Jimba> (Should I tell folks, or are we ending?)
<AshnabisNarrator> You feel as if not only did you not sleep, but you haven't slept for weeks.
<AshnabisNarrator> (not ending quite yet, no)
<AshnabisNarrator> (soon though)
<Jimba> Ugh.
<Erku> (we'll do the question for the dead guy, and then you'll head back, and we'll end after that)
<Jimba> So, I don't know about haunted, but, yeah, this place is definitely cursed.
<Daifan> ...are you okay? D:
<Llillilli> (i'm still taking cuttings >.>)
<Jimba> Absolutely not.
<Jimba> But hopefully i will be.
<Erku> What happened?
<Llillilli> You look bad.
<Jimba> Hand Veznara, if you please, could you maybe help?
<Jimba> I dreamed, or saw, or both, a glowing woman, with a persimmon fruit and branch.
<Veznara> Certainly. Let us call with reverence upon the Ancestors.
<Llillilli> . o O (ugh let's not)
<Jimba> She was angry, and she told me to flee before I was cursed, and then she said I would fade into nothingness.
* Veznara proceeds to Hallow Jimba, in hopes of putting an end to the curse...
<Jimba> Then I vomited up shadow.
<Llillilli> What did you eat
<Jimba> And now I feel like I vomited up my insides.
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Jimba, you feel slightly better but are still super super tired and feel like someone pulled out your guts.
<Jimba> But I didn't actually vomit, I don't think.
<Veznara> Did she look like the woman in the sculpture we saw inside the temple?
<Llillilli> Did you eat something bad??
<Daifan> YOu should check him...
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, it did definitely look like that woman.
<Jimba> Nothing no one else ate.
* Jimba nods.
* Daifan says to Lli
<Veznara> Hmmm.
<Jimba> It was the woman in the sculpture in the temple.
<Llillilli> (I'll make a heal check sure)
<Daifan> ...I could help....
* Daifan can assist?
<AshnabisNarrator> (go ahead)
<Jimba> Sure.
<Daifan> (aid another or whatever)
<Veznara> Perhaps we should have a closer look at that sculpture before we go.
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 7 ].
<Llillilli> (NOPE)
<AshnabisNarrator> (noooope)
<Veznara> (Tourniquet to the neck!)
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, if anything you feel worse now
<Daifan> uhhh...
<Llillilli> Fuck
<Veznara> (Dammit, secular types undoing all my good work...)
<Jimba> I'll be fine, I promise.
<Lan_phone> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Lan_phone: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 20 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 28 ].
<Daifan> no, come here
<AshnabisNarrator> Yeah, the corpseborn mojo works much better. Still feel awful though.
* Daifan will relieve you from your sister's ministrations :x
* Jimba will relax a bit, not feeling quite so bad.
<Daifan> (the secret is to use the right leeches)

In the morning, they consult the ancestor and look around a bit more

<AshnabisNarrator> In time, night passes to morning and the low dawn sun streams through the grove.
<Veznara> Shall we ask our question of the ancestor?
<Erku> What should it be - 'what is the significance of this temple'?
<Daifan> yes I think so
<Junan> yeah that sounds good
<Junan> and then boat
<Llillilli> I don't know why being dead makes them any smarter
* Daifan nods in agreement
* Veznara nods
* Llillilli mutters as she goes off to cut tree parts
<Jimba> It doesn't but they might know more than we do.
<Veznara> Given what happened to Jimba, I would like to look at the sculpture before we go, though.
* Daifan nods to Jimba
<Jimba> I'm happy to keep watch out here.
<Jimba> Far from that temple.
<Jimba> Maybe also out of these trees.
* Erku will re-enter the temple and perform the appropriate ritual to speak with the ancestor.
* Daifan will stay out because probably he would fuss about me creeping on that ;p
* Veznara will go with him
<Erku> What is the significance of this temple?
* Erku listens as if to nothing, and then nods, but looks a bit disappointed.
<Erku> He says "the temple of my ancestors, which I am sworn to guard."
<Veznara> Hmmm.
<Veznara> Well, as I said, I would like to examine that sculpture before we leave.
<Erku> so... I suppose leaving him here is all right, at least until we find out more. If he is intended to guard the place.
<Veznara> Please, everyone, keep an eye on me just in case something happens...
<Erku> all right, well, you go ahead. I'm not wading in a foot of mud...
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Veznara, it's pretty wet over there - you going to wade in?
* Junan calls from the entryway...
<Junan> Yep, watching you
<Veznara> (Will it go over my boots?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (probably?)
<Veznara> (Bah, fine.)
<AshnabisNarrator> (yes, in some places it's a foot or more deep)
<Veznara> (maybe it's best to take them off and dry my feetses afterward, then?)
* Veznara first Hallows herself
<Veznara> (Au) Oh ancestors, I approach with reverence . Protect and guide me, that I may discover what you would have me know, and do your will
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Veznara, you can wander in.
* Veznara approaches the sculpture and has a look
<AshnabisNarrator> The water is muddy and difficult to see in, but as you proceed you can feel an area of about two or three feet square where the floor seems to fall away, right in front of the sculpture
<Veznara> (So a niche, where another ancestor's remains may be kept, perhaps?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (yes, could be)
<AshnabisNarrator> (it's basically a hole in the floor - but of course under murky water)
<Veznara> (Okay. Anything else? Should I roll Perception?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (what are you doing? You don't see anything above the water)
<Veznara> The floor falls away here.
<Veznara> (Can I notice anything more about the sculpture now that I'm closer?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (you don't see anything else unusual about the sculpture)
<Daifan> Just leave it... This is something for the Voice and the lineage to deal with.
<Veznara> We'll have to investigate it when we return. If we return.
<Daifan> Why would we?
* Veznara frowns, but backs away
<Veznara> I do not think we have finished our investigations here. There is something...
<Veznara> But for now, I think we have done all we can do.
<Veznara> Well. Let us be off.
* Daifan just shrugs

They leave, but find an ominous sign when they reach the boat

<AshnabisNarrator> You break camp, and leave, with more questions than you have answers, but at least something to put in your report for Utus.
<AshnabisNarrator> You return to the landing in the morning, finding everything as you have left it.
<AshnabisNarrator> With one exception.
<AshnabisNarrator> In the soft earth at the side of the bank, near where your boat is tied, Jimba's walking stick has been thrust.
<AshnabisNarrator> Around the top of it, some string or twine has been wound, lashing to the stick a branch laden with persimmon blossoms.
* Jimba sighs.
<Jimba> Well, we have been warned.
<Llillilli> good thing this isn't our claim
* Jimba nods wearily.
* Daifan makes a sign of fortune... to offset any curses... maybe >.>


Junan and Daifan talk on the boat on the way back to town

* Daifan will come over maybe later in the morning, then, after everyone has had some time to process or what have you
* Junan is lounging, idly tuning his lute, out of the rain
* Daifan won't get *tooo>* close because they haven't got a super good read on you yet and also reasons >.>
<Daifan> Uh, hi...
<Junan> oh hi
<Junan> you're in much better shape for the return trip this time
<Daifan> That's true... it seems like it is Jimbas turn to have a rough time
<Junan> poor guy... im sure he'll recover
* Daifan nods
<Junan> I will say I'm glad we are long gone from there
<Daifan> I don't think I've heard of someone being attacked in a dream like that
<Daifan> yes. I hope we won't have to go back
<Daifan> it seems like it would be something for the lineage and the Voice to figure out
<Daifan> we just can say that there is someone using the temple
<Daifan> and maybe that there is some kind of curse there
<Junan> I thought I heard or saw something when I was on watch... it was there then gone
<Junan> probably got bored of hearing about Erku's horse
<Daifan> hmm.
<Daifan> well, he doesn't seem to like anything else
<Daifan> I guess we could have looked around more to see if there was anyone else around, but.... I'm not too upset that we didn't
<Junan> nope, not our job, glad we left, aint worrying about going back
* Daifan nods
<Junan> you didn't see those visions of molten stone and fire... I have no intention of re-experiencing it if it can be helped
<Daifan> no... That was very strange
<Daifan> It must have been some kind of magic, but I don't know where it came from
<Junan> next time, we wont leave Katenzhi on the boat
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes, she could have been helpful for that
<Junan> magic... it just isn't something I know much about
<Junan> best left to the mystics and whatnot
* Daifan nods
<Junan> its a long boat ride, you have any good stories?
<Daifan> me?
<Junan> yes you
<Daifan> aren't you supposed to be the storyteller?
<Junan> I know a few yarns, its true
<Junan> but hearing someone elses stories is a good way to get to know them
<Daifan> mmmm, I might know a few.... but where are you from, first?
<Junan> cant you tell by my excellent style I'm from Daligash
* Daifan rolles their eyes
<Daifan> it's a big place, I hear
* Daifan says dryly
<Daifan> or is this because you are an envoy, and you're a little bit from everywhere?
<Junan> well, I'm sure we'd like to everyone to think that, but I grew up in Zhuru
<Daifan> ahhh, big city boy, then, hmmm
<Junan> well the Ghez are suppliers... at least back there
<Daifan> suppliers?
<Junan> they supply other merchants and traders
* Daifan nods
<Junan> and buy goods and stuff
<Junan> its very boring really
<Daifan> mmhmmm
<Daifan> well, you found a good way to make life more interesting, then
<Junan> that I did
<Junan> although maybe I could have picked a place less swampy
* Junan shrugs
* Daifan also
<Daifan> Ashnabis is a land of opportunity, they say
<Daifan> I think this is a saying developed by the local mosquitos
<Daifan> they want to bring us here and feast
<Junan> it is, the washladies are making a killing
<Daifan> Aumesh blood alone can no longer sustain them.
* Junan chuckls
<Daifan> maybe they're conspiring
<Daifan> they made a deal.... the mosquitos will leave them alone, but they must bring in someone else to take their place
<Junan> enough about conspiracies... out with your story
<Daifan> I am trying to decide what kind of story
<Junan> just no molten rock
<Junan> my only request
<Daifan> okay
<Daifan> Hmmm.... though, I did watch a man light himself on fire one time, trying to impress a girl
<Daifan> that's not a bad story
<Junan> was the girl cute?
<Daifan> of course, very beautiful
* Junan statified with the tuning, picks a few notes
<Daifan> he was not the only one trying to vye for her attentions, of course
<Daifan> and he was not very attractive himself
<Junan> that can be a hinderence
<Daifan> and this was at a casino, they they all had some money to spend and he didn't stand out for being so much richer than his competitors
<Junan> now he is twice hindered
<Daifan> mmhmm
<Junan> I'm not much of a gambler myself
<Daifan> he did have one advantage, though, or so he thought
<Junan> combustability?
<Daifan> well, that was maybe not so advantageous! But he was well known there, a regular at the tables, and he was on good terms with the bartenders
* Junan softly picks a Daligashi tune as background noise
<Daifan> So he thought, I see all these other men, they buy this beauty a drink, and it is always the same things, fancy wines, or whatever the latest fashion is for mixed drinks
<Daifan> I will speak to my friends at the bar, and have them create some thing special that will capture her attentions
<Junan> how thoughtful
<Daifan> well, he tried.
<Daifan> so the barkeepers got together and thought, because this man, though he was not necessarily richer than anyone else there, was a very generous customer, and they liked him well enough.
<Junan> so he wasn't lucky at gambling
<Daifan> not that night, certainly!
<Daifan> also, I think, they were hoping that if this ploy was successful, theirs woudl be the newest top fashionable cocktail
<Daifan> maybe if they had succeeded they woudl even have been drinking it in Zhuru
<Junan> the beauty eye-catcher
<Daifan> Mmhmm.
<Daifan> But they were a little too clever, or maybe this patron had sampled too many of their initial attempts
<Daifan> but they thought that a cocktail that was served while on fire would certainly be he thing to capture this woman's attention and set this otherwise unfortunate suitor apart
<Daifan> I like to think that they explained to him the details of how to light it and such, and that they expected him to carry it to her and *then* light it
<Daifan> but he was, hmmmm, too excited, maybe
<Junan> lit up before the show
<Daifan> or he thought it would be more dramatic to carry it across the room while it was flaming
<Daifan> yes, well, I'm sure it makes a very unfortunate metaphor
<Daifan> but you know, of course, what some Daligashi men can be like, when it comes to their perfume oils, and such things
<Junan> oh I am aware
<Daifan> well, he stumbles in crossing the floor, and the fire licked thesleeve of his coat, and I am sure you can imagine how poorly it went from there!
<Daifan> woosh!
* Daifan makes a dramatic hand gesture
<Daifan> he shrieked, and that, plus the fire, captured everyone's attentions
<Junan> more than just the eyes he was hoping for
<Daifan> he *did* have the presences of mind to call out this woman's name, but on the whle it did not have the effect he was hoping for
<Daifan> one of the servers had rushed up and doused him with a bucket of, well... probably water
<Daifan> it was a very long time before he showed his face there again
<Daifan> and of course the woman's affections were won by someone else
<Junan> burned in more ways than one
<Daifan> very tragic
<Daifan> it was a very memorable evening for all in attendance, and it did gain some attention for the place at least
<Daifan> and the drink itself was a fad for a week or two following the incident
<Daifan> but since no one else managed to set themselves dramatically on fire, interest waned, as it often does.
<Junan> good story
<Junan> some lessons to be learned there
<Junan> as I said, I was never one for casinos
<Daifan> no?
<Junan> too young before my training, and its bad form for envoys to gamble
<Daifan> ahhh, I suppose
<Daifan> though.... that didn't stop a lot of them >.>
<Junan> I can appreciate the lure of a beautiful girl
<Daifan> Yes, maybe they just came for the drinks and the company
<Junan> I know I appreciate both
<Junan> and a good story
<Junan> and a nice tune
<Daifan> You play very well - it reminds me a little of home
<Junan> I play at the Red Stump quite often
<Junan> but while Kaskind can be very much like Daligash, it is not in others
* Daifan nods
<Junan> It just means you get private performances
<Daifan> mmhmm, semi private anyway
* Daifan says, looking around the boat
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> any requests?
<Daifan> Hmm
<Daifan> I'll let you know
<Junan> Here's an upbeat Enskrai bit
* Junan starts to play the quick picked song
* Daifan will sitback and just listen for now then
<Junan> in case you're wondering, its about a horse
* Daifan chuckles and glances over at Erku
<Daifan> Of course it is
* Junan smiles and plays