Ashnabis session 29

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Session date: March 22, 2020
Fair Cycle date:

Daifan confers with Balinteze about recent events

<Balinteze> (how did you want to set things up to talk to Balinteze - at their place, or somewhere else?)
* Daifan will try and make some time that they can actually spend with Balinteze, away from the demands of work, babisitting, efugee wrangling, etc
<Daifan> (their place lets say?)
<Balinteze> (sure :)
* Daifan will bring their monkey though
* Balinteze will bring some food for us to share, and for Lil Asshole to have something to steal ;)
<Balinteze> how are you holding up?
* Balinteze asks you once we're settled
<Daifan> I'm okay. I think. Everyhing is a lot, but there are so many people helping out already...
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> I'm trying to feel liek it is okay to breathe at least for now.
* Balinteze nods, offering you a slice of the melon they're cutting up.
* Daifan will gratefully take it
<Daifan> How are you? Have you heard anything?
<Balinteze> Well, I think if she was going to try and invoke the law to get them back, she'd have done so by now. I haven't heard anything about that, which I take to be tentatively good news. Maybe she realized she wouldn't get anywhere that way.
* Daifan will break off a bit of their melon for lil asshole
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> She told Veznara that she isn't going to try, but I'm not sure if I believe that, or if that is just the message she wanted taken back to the tempple
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> she did sk if the Hand was looking for them, and Veznara told her no
<Balinteze> And she took that well?
<Daifan> I thnk so?
<Balinteze> Hm.
<Daifan> it was a large investment for her to put this all together, and she is old.... maybe she doesn't think she can start over even if she cold find them - or doesn't feel like her magic is stronger than theirs togather....
<Daifan> but also, perhaps, maybe there is somethign she's already gotte out of it that she wanted.
<Balinteze> Maybe.
<Balinteze> Something about studying their magic?
<Daifan> perhaps, yes.
<Daifan> or the... breeding >.>
<Balinteze> the act itself, or the resulting pregnancies?
<Daifan> I don't know
<Daifan> it coud be either
<Daifan> I know the Hand will not allow her to have them
<Daifan> if they can stop her
<Balinteze> it's something about the women in particular, which makes me think it's to do with the pregnancies. If it was just about sex, why not have equal numbers of men and women? Unless she just thought the men would be harder to control or something.
<Daifan> no, I think you are right, and that it is about the breeding
<Daifan> I have... tried to tell the women that they don't need to keep them. It's still early. But they just think the tide will take care of it.
<Balinteze> they'll make their own choices I suppose. We can't tell them what to do there.
<Balinteze> If they know they have that option, some will surely take it.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Is it aranoid to worry that.... they might still be under her influence in some way?
<Daifan> At least regarding that decision?
<Balinteze> no... it's not. I don't know what kind of suggestions she might have implanted in their minds. Maybe it's worth getting someone who knows more about magic to look them over, if they can check for something that might be affecting them?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I can talk to Ughiva about it
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> Meanwhile Kikhash is absorbed right now with envoy drama, which is causing some distractions around here.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> anything fun?
<Daifan> is it more about the stuff with the inn?
<Balinteze> Ah, he was "accidentally" left off the list of people who have privileges at their new hall. He's convinced it was deliberate, in an attempt to keep him out of there for some reason.
<Daifan> hmm
<Daifan> that seems likely, doens't it?
<Daifan> but isn't his wife supposed to be part of that organizatoin?
<Daifan> That must be stressful too
<Balinteze> Envoys have these customs that let them travel from place to place and use the halls along the way - lists of members so they can verify someone is an envoy and not just someone who stole a silly hat. I'm sure it's resolvable - they probably have to get a copy of a list from another kelta and confirm he's on it. But that she's being a stickler for the rules when everyone knows who he is,
<Balinteze> is what's aggravating him.
<Daifan> that is fair. I mean - who drew up their list?
<Balinteze> I believe they get a copy from the master hall in Omba. I don't know who there would specifically have drawn it up, but it's Zefa who is in control of it here.
<Daifan> so it really comes down to her
<Balinteze> That's what he thinks, certainly.
<Balinteze> That either she changed the list, or is just claiming he's not on it when really he is, or something like that.
<Daifan> what do you think?
* Balinteze considers that for a moment
<Balinteze> I think this scheme, if that's what it is, can't hold up for long. She isn't going to reasonably be able to keep him out of there indefinitely. So there's something happening soon that she wants him to be shut out of. And the only big thing that's happening soon that I've heard about, anyway, is a meeting with the mystics from the Academy to try and resolve the tensions.
<Balinteze> He's asked your friend Junan to go in his place.
* Daifan smiled, then nods more seriously
<Daifan> Junan is smarter than he would like to be.
<Daifan> he's a good choice
<Daifan> Any sesnse of what she might be up to?
<Balinteze> Kikhash, working on behalf of the General, doesn't want a war. The General would definitely prefer that things settle down and go back to normal. I can only assume that keeping him out of the negotiations is intended to, hm, either undermine them - to create more tension instead of reducing it - or specifically to advantage the mystics in Charadip.
<Balinteze> In either case, it's really not the neutral position envoys are usually expected to provide.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> why would she want a war?
<Balinteze> why does anyone want a war? >.> if it's not because they have a personal grudge of some kind, it's usually because they think they can profit out of it.
<Balinteze> so one of those things, I imagine.
<Balinteze> I don't know her personally well enough to know if she has a personal grievance. But the Fands, merchants who sell fos, definitely stand to profit if there's a war.
<Daifan> Yes, and it already seems like they are sing the place to their own advantage
<Daifan> are there any consequences for envoys wh abuse their positions like that?
<Balinteze> In theory, yes, they could be stripped of their position. But I don't know how the envoys enforce their own rules, or what leverage she might have there. I guess they probably start by removing someone from their lists :p
<Daifan> Hmm. Fair.
<Daifan> well
<Daifan> it isn't realy any of my business I suppose.... other than that now Junan is being dragged into it...
<Balinteze> He can probably tell you more about it than I can, honestly - I just listen to Kikhash complaining, I don't know as much about the inner workings of the envoy guild.
* Daifan 's face flashes wth concern and uncertainty too
<Daifan> I don't want to cause problems for him if he acquires poweerful enemies from this...
<Daifan> Junan I mean
<Daifan> Though he woudl tell me he doesn't care, or not to worry, I expect >.>
<Balinteze> That's something you'd need to talk about with him, I guess. I imagine he'll know his own situation best and can decide what's sensible.
* Balinteze reaches over to put an arm around you.
* Daifan leans into them
<Daifan> mmmm.... maybe I will just try to stop worrying for a little bit though
<Balinteze> That seems like a good idea.
* Balinteze gives you a kiss.
* Daifan will give them a bigger kiss :3

Veznara talks to Zeba about Galdai's prisoners escaping

* Veznara goes to call upon Zeba Mopister
<AshnabisGM> All right, Veznara, you can head over to visit Zeba Mopister, and potentially also talk to Zusir
* Veznara is dressed in a light green dress and darker robe, with vumuri (sp?) shell earrings
* Zeba is dressed, as usual, in high Taizian style, in a long blue-green gown and a silver-trimmed shawl.
<Zeba> Hand Veznara, I am blessed by your presence after so long away.
* Zeba smiles warmly.
<Veznara> Zeba! It has been too long.
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> I hope you are well?
<Zeba> Well enough, yes, despite the hot weather. Of course, it's been a very chaotic couple of months.
<Veznara> Yes - so much has happened since the last time I saw you!
<Zeba> Do tell!
<Veznara> Oh, my team at the Registry was sent to that island...
<Veznara> ...but I suppose you have been informed of that?
<Zeba> To Ruur, yes, for a second time. I did read the report that the General shared with us.
<Veznara> It's disturbing, that those pirates have been so bold.
<Veznara> And it makes me wonder who else may be involved.
<Zeba> Yes, well, that is the issue, isn't it?
<Zeba> So far, there has been a lot of talk, but not much action. Although we hear there are to be negotiations with Basai.
<Veznara> So they have influence here? They're thought to be behind it?
<Zeba> Yes, well, that is the prevailing wisdom. Certainly, we are convinced that this isn't some ploy by the General. She's very attached to her hith allies.
<Veznara> T|hey seemed to be trying to get us enmeshed in other local issues too... just before this, I think.
<Zeba> Oh, such as?
<Veznara> Oh - we were sent to Charadip a while ago, at their request.
<Veznara> To summarize, I think they were trying to get us entangled with this "Brother Bones" person who occupies land between Charadip and Kaskind.
<Zeba> Hmm. Interesting. Well, I'll bear that in mind.
<Veznara> Did you not hear about that before?
<Zeba> No. Although the General does not always discuss all her affairs with us. After all, our purpose is merely to make her look less like a dictator, in her view.
<Veznara> Ah. Well, she didn't specifically ask us to keep it especially secret... but she did come to the Registry to give us the mission personally.
<Veznara> Oh dear - I may have just committed an indiscretion by mentioning it. ;)
<Zeba> Hmmm. No, I don't imagine so.
<Zeba> But I will admit that all of that pales in comparison with the question I've been dying to ask you, which is about the Princess.
<Veznara> Ah.
<Zeba> It is not every day that a prison simply collapses into the earth, seemingly after all its residents had departed the area.
<Veznara> Yes. Indeed.
<Zeba> You have spoken to the Princess since that time, presumably?
<Veznara> Yes, I have had occasion to attend upon her since then. She did not tell me much about it... though I expect she was telling the truth when she said she was still trying to get a handle on what had happened, since she had only just returned.
<Zeba> What do you think happened?
<Veznara> She did confirm that nobody was injured during the incident itself. Though I gather her guards... well, they may have suffered *afterward*. :/
* Balinteze is now known as Gefraz
<Veznara> I think magic was involved. However, I don't think it was Charadip.
<Zeba> No? Then who? A rival?
<Veznara> No. You remember, the prisoners were accused of "witchcraft"?
<Zeba> Of course.
<Zeba> You believe they orchestrated their own escape?
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I still don't know what the situation was all about, unfortunately.
<Zeba> Surely someone as expert as the Princess would have taken precautions to prevent such a thing. The corpseborn are crafty and full of curses but this ... this could not have been done without fos.
<Veznara> How would anyone in Charadip have known about this, though?
<Zeba> I don't know. I thought you might.
<Veznara> Would it be a threat if it were them?
<Zeba> Galdai would surely perceive it to be. Although she has not registered any formal complaint about the matter with the Fort.
<AshnabisGM> (give me a Bluff check)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+14
<Zeba> Well, it is a very interesting mystery, to say the least. But as long as the Princess does not seem overly upset about it, perhaps not a matter of extreme importance. I would like to know where dozens of corpseborn go to hide away. Toadtown, presumably.
<Veznara> She implied that they had headed out to the swamp.
<Veznara> I don't think that's necessarily true, but in any case I do expect they'll want to get as far away as possible.
<Zeba> Indeed. Galdai is not known for her mercy and kindness to those who have wronged her.
* Zeba shudders a little.
* Veznara frowns
<Veznara> Has she brought it up with you, in any way? I think she actually wants to keep it as quiet as possible.
<Zeba> I agree. As if it is a matter of embarrassment, but perhaps nothing more.
<Veznara> I think she may have more of an investment in it than that. :/
<Zeba> Yes, quite. Will you still be attending her, then, now that her prisoners have gone?
<Veznara> Yes, as far as I know! Hand Dezmali has not indicated otherwise to me.
<Veznara> And it is an honour, of course.
<Zeba> Yes, of course.
<Veznara> In any case: I do not think Charadip is involved. But they appear to be a threat to the colony for other reasons.
<Veznara> Do you have any thoughts on what the General intends to do?
<Zeba> Well, I think she intends to meet with them, with envoys to mediate. But it is a matter of concern that both Charadip and the Fort vehemently deny any involvement in the matter of Ruur. Someone clearly wants a war. Perhaps it is Charadip. I do not think it is the Fort. Perhaps it is the hith themselves who inspired the attack? Or some other party.
<Veznara> Some other party?
<Veznara> I suppose the Aummesh would be glad to be rid of all of us... but surely they too would suffer greatly in a war.
<Zeba> Yes, perhaps more than most.
<Veznara> So who else could it be? I suppose "Brother Bones" would benefit, but I can't believe he has the will nor the means to arrange all this.
<Zeba> Since I just heard of him now, I can't possibly say.
<Veznara> Ah well. Speculation is pointless. I'm sure all will become clearer in time.
<Zeba> Well, do let me know as you learn more.
<Veznara> Very well. Perhaps the General will have another mission for my team in the near future...
* Zeba smiles.
<Zeba> I'm confident that the General is very pleased with your work.
* Veznara smiles ruefully
<Veznara> I am glad to hear it. I am here to serve...

Llillilli goes to Sulise and meets with King Whuthe

<AshnabisGM> Llilililli, you are headed with Thelef to go to the court at Sulise. Normally, this would be cause for excitement, and in a way it still is. Yet you know that this is deadly serious stuff. You have made your arrangements to be away for a time
* AshnabisGM is now known as Thelef
* Thelef talks to you before you head down
<Thelef> I didn't sleep much last night ...
<Llillilli> No?
<Thelef> I know that you are doing this willingly. I know that ... I know I couldn't make you do something you didn't want to do, ever. But still. You know ...
<Llillilli> You're worried.
<Llillilli> Well, it's dangerous here too.
<Thelef> I know. And I know you're not afraid of danger. This just feels so personal - that there are solars in Sulise who regard you - you personally - as a threat to what they believe.
* Llillilli makes a face.
<Llillilli> I don't understand why
<Thelef> I don't either. Not really.
<Llillilli> If their belief is so fragile maybe they shouldn't be solars
<Thelef> Sure, that's right. But ... we huwhi are still guests among the People. Who are we to tell them their faith is wrong?
<Llillilli> I'm not telling them anything.
<Llillilli> I'm just... being
<Thelef> I know. They won't see it that way though. Or some of them.
<Thelef> Anyway ... let's go get Liwhis and be on our way.
* Llillilli sighs and nods.
* Zeba is now known as Liwhis
* Liwhis seems very eager to get back to Sulise, almost hopping giddily.
<Liwhis> [h] Brother and sister, thank you again for your many kindnesses.
<Llillilli> [h] It might not be the same atmosphere you remember...
<Liwhis> [h] Maybe not. But I have friends there.
<Llillilli> [h] alright then
* Llillilli shrugs
<Thelef> I pledge to you both. I will keep us all safe.
<Llillilli> I'll keep *you
* safe.
* Llillilli gives him a little shove
* Thelef pulls out a pair of small pearls and hands you each one.
<Llillilli> This is for the breathing?
* Thelef nods.
* Llillilli holds it between her thumb and index finger, examining it.
<Llillilli> I just keep it on me?
<Thelef> Yes. Don't lose it - they are very hard to make and only a handful of makers know the way. And all of them are solars, so ...
<Llillilli> ... Right.
* Llillilli tucks it away carefully.
* Thelef takes you by land to a point north and west of Kaskind, a couple hours' walk, and then out onto a rocky beach, near where the pfullaes was conducted, actually.
<Thelef> All right, here we go.
* Gefraz is now known as Dekhesh
* Thelef leads you under the water, taking you south and west. The swim is not too bad - warm and with little obstruction. It's easy to forget how close Sulise is to Kaskind.
* Liwhis is now known as AshnabisGM
<Llillilli> :3
<AshnabisGM> The royal court is magnificent, built of coral and lithus and stone, with polished radiant surfaces reflecting the sunlight from beneath the water down onto the ancient buildings. Of course you know that most hith live much more simply, and many live on land, as Shulilae and Helithae do. Still, this is quite a sight.
* Llillilli tries not to gawk too much >.>
<AshnabisGM> The palace itself is bathed in sunlight despite being well beneath the waves. The solars have done their work on these buildings over many generations.
<AshnabisGM> Of course, you are the only humans you see around you at all. The People are not too surprised, though - Thelef gets many respectful greetings, and a few even recognize Liwhis. Whether you are known or recognized to any of them, though, you can't say. You're confident, though, that in a small community like this, your presence will hardly be a secret for long.
<Llillilli> (no dirty looks or anything yet? :v)
<AshnabisGM> (not yet!)
* Thelef escorts you through the palace with ease, and to a set of chambers.
<Thelef> Here we are. And Liwhis, here is where we bid you farewell for now. We'll talk later.
* AshnabisGM is now known as Liwhis
<Liwhis> Thank you again. I ... yes, thank you.
* Liwhis seems at a loss for words.
<Thelef> Think nothing of it.
* Liwhis heads off to find some of his friends.
<Llillilli> I hope he doesn't get into trouble.
<Thelef> Here? They might greet him as a hero. A stupid, stupid hero, but still.
* Llillilli snorts.
* Thelef hauls his bags into the room and lays them on the bed.
<Thelef> You can leave anything here you wish. These are my ... our chambers.
<Llillilli> Should I wear my armour?
* Thelef considers.
<Thelef> No, I think no armour and weapons. Not for the king's sake, but for those who may be observing us.
<Llillilli> Not even pfethe?
* Thelef considers.
<Thelef> No, I think not.
<Thelef> We need to exude confidence that we are where we belong.
<Llillilli> Alright. I will trust you.
* Thelef leads you down a set of curved hallways, baffling in their complexity, and then into a great hall with wide steps leading upwards and ... out of the water?!?!
<AshnabisGM> You find yourselves ascending into an open-air cavernous room, a bubble, whose source of fresh air you can smell but cannot see. You know you are still under the sea but you are not sure where. At one end of the room, a set of low stools. Seated on one of them, King Whuthe. They have clearly known to expect you.
<Llillilli> ... Huh. :o
* AshnabisGM is now known as Whuthe
<Llillilli> I thought it would all be underwater.
* Whuthe is dressed simply in shells. Their high crests and deep blue and orange skin are the only real sign of their age and esteem visible.
* Whuthe laughs.
<Whuthe> And so it is!
<Whuthe> But the People love the high-air and low-air both, and why should I not have them both in my court?
<Whuthe> Whuthe is my name, born in the whu, so why should I not have it here with me?
<Llillilli> (I did not mean for him to hear that -_-_
<Thelef> Your majesty, you know Lllillilli, hatched of my people and bonded to me as my partner.
<Whuthe> Yes, yes! Be welcome, daughter, come, sit.
<Llillilli> Thank you your majesty.
* Llillilli will come over,
<Whuthe> Despite these difficult times, our blessings and all kindnesses upon you.
<Llillilli> I am honoured to be here.
* Thelef sits.
* Llillilli sits next to him.
<Thelef> Your majesty, we thank you for your kindness and, as always, for your protection.
<Whuthe> Very well. Now that the formalities have been performed, we have much to discuss. I have cleared the room in anticipation of your arrival. But even this act will draw attention.
* Llillilli looks around the chamber.
<Whuthe> Thelef has explained to you his plan?
<Llillilli> More or less.
<Whuthe> Well - that is the best that any of us can understand.
<Whuthe> I will admit, when he first proposed it to me, I did not think it wise.
<Whuthe> My solars, much beloved to me since I was a tadpole, are not all of one heart.
<Llillilli> Probably true of any group.
<Whuthe> There are some who find my unhatched People, my huwhi, offensive to their organs. You know this.
<Llillilli> OH yes.
<Whuthe> And those see even the fact that you were allowed a pfullaes as an offense, a pollution.
<Whuthe> Even more so given that you were touched by the selleluf.
<Llillilli> That last they are welcome to take up with the sun
* Whuthe laughs.
<Whuthe> Indeed, I have no doubt that some have done so. And yet it shines on us all.
<Whuthe> They do not own Sellu.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> So. What now?
<Whuthe> Well. For now, you are to be welcome as my honoured guest, as the partner of my trusted advisor Thelef.
<Llillilli> I thank you again for your hospitality. :)
<Whuthe> Here in Sulise, there are two ... factions, I suppose, of solars, although that oversimplifies.
* Llillilli listens respectfully.
<Whuthe> The first group, and by far the most powerful, is influenced by Fellis, the most potent solar of this generation. They were raised to the hesethi some years ago, yet they are far younger than I, or many others. They ... do not hate you, but they have allies, students, who do.
<Whuthe> Fellis has made no secret of the fact that they wish for there to be a different emperor. That I am too partial to humans, and to those, like Thelef, who they see as an influence on me
<Llillilli> Allies like Thethu?
<Whuthe> Exactly.
<Whuthe> So their dislike of you is a proxy for their dislike and distrust of me.
<Llillilli> Mmm.
<Whuthe> Thelef tells me that you helped to rescue my foster-son Liwhis, even though he had done wrong to you and your kin. Is that so?
* Whuthe asks, almost randomly changing the subject, apparently
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Llillilli> I would not leave him to the mercy of those... people.
<Whuthe> Of course.
<Whuthe> In your home, who does your General blame for the attack on Pfaeshes?
<Llillilli> The pirate, as far as I know
<Llillilli> But I am certain there are other forces.
<Whuthe> If a tree falls on your house, do you blame the tree or the winds?
* Whuthe says, nodding.
<Llillilli> The wind... but it is harder to see.
<Whuthe> Indeed.
<Whuthe> And what forces do you think are involved?
<Llillilli> I don't know exactly. I don't have a head for politics or diplomacy. I don't know all the forces at play. But it seems that someone is trying to set the humans and the eople at war. To what end, and whose benefit... I couldn't say.
<Llillilli> (People)
<Whuthe> Yes, quite so.
<Whuthe> And among the humans, you think it is the fos-drinkers, the mystics, perhaps, who would do so?
<Llillilli> They do seem ... well. I don't trust them,
<Whuthe> Yes, yes. And that mistrust, it could weaken both the mystics and the Fort, in the end, if they go to war?
<Llillilli> Maybe.
<Whuthe> Then tell me this, daughter: why is there wind?
<Llillilli> It doesn't matter what I think; none of them will listen to me anyway.
<Llillilli> I don't really know.
* Llillilli says uncomfortably.
<Whuthe> There is wind, the sages tell me, because the Sun heats some areas more, and some less.
<Whuthe> It is not the tree, nor the wind, but the Sun.
<Whuthe> Do you see?
<Llillilli> Not really
<Whuthe> If the humans go to war with each other, then what must I do? what choices do I have?
<Llillilli> What will you do if the humans go to war with *you*?
<Whuthe> Then I will fight, of course. And I will send Thelef home, and I will have been shown to have been wrong about the humans all along.
<Whuthe> And if they do not war with me, but they war with each other, then I will have to pull the People out of Kaskind forever, and from Pfaeshes my beloved town now held captive. And our gates will be closed to the huwhi.
<Whuthe> And either way, who benefits?
<Llillilli> I don't know.
<Whuthe> Who wants the humans gone?
<Llillilli> ..Fellis?
<Whuthe> The Sun.
<Llillilli> The Sun.
* Llillilli repeats, clearly not understanding.
<Whuthe> If Fellis, and the solars who work against me, can either humiliate me or drive me to war, forcing me to abandon my human People, they get what they want.
<Llillilli> [internal screaming]
<Llillilli> . o O (Isn't that what I said???)
<Whuthe> (yes)
<Llillilli> Y... yes
<Whuthe> (Fellis = solars = the sun)
<Whuthe> (he was agreeing with you, cryptically)
<Whuthe> So that is why you are here. Because, you are the hope that, instead of war and humiliation, we may show Fellis and others that huwhi are People, not merely painted hairspawn.
<Whuthe> The selleluf, I believe, is a portent at a most opportune time, a sign driving me to action even in my dotage.
<Llillilli> How?
<Llillilli> How will we show them that?
<Whuthe> By giving you the power of the sun.
<Whuthe> This is not merely an old person's fancy. I have talked to my own solars, my kin and friend Laelaesi, who has given me these thoughts
<Llillilli> Like... a solar?
* Llillilli looks doubtful
<Whuthe> ... Yes, perhaps. Such a thing has never happened. But then, a selleluf has never touched a human before.
<Whuthe> Not all the solars see the world the way that Fellis does. Not all are misguided by too long spent beneath the shimmering sun.
<Llillilli> What do I need to do?
<Whuthe> Laelaesi and others - a minority, to be sure - see in humans - perhaps not all humans, but at least the huwhi - something greater than we had imagined possible, in my youth.
<Whuthe> Laelaesi will guide you during your stay. And then, there is, I am told, some discernment, or some testing, that they can do.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> When do we start?
<Whuthe> Soon - I know I have taken you away from your kin and I would not keep you here too long.
<Llillilli> I'm ready.
<Thelef> Your majesty, your trust in us is echoed in kind. Thank you.
<Whuthe> I am truly blessed by my human People. That the Sun has blinded others to that fact has illuminated it all the more strongly to me.

Junan shoots the shit with Ghendalt

* Ghendalt is wearing a fashionable orange wrap cinched at the waist with a wide silk belt, and a turban atop his head with a bronze pin.
<Junan> I like the pin
* Junan comments tasting the wine
<Ghendalt> Thank you! I've been shopping.
<Ghendalt> Business has been a bit slow, what with all the uncertainty about war and drought and all that. But I'll be fine.
<Junan> I honestly was never worried
* Ghendalt laughs heartily.
<Ghendalt> No, I suppose not. And you - you are doing all right for yourself?
<Junan> I'm managing
<Junan> The land registry has been slow too, same sort of things
<Junan> I was just musing that the drought has perfect timing if it lasts... a failing fos crop will help soothe tensions so well
<Ghendalt> You, sir, are a cynic. I like the way you think.
<Junan> well I'm being thrust into the soothing part, so its good to have some cynicism
<Junan> Kikhash has recruited me to fill in for him
<Ghendalt> In ... what capacity?
<Junan> you hadn't heard about the upcomming negotiations... I'd be shocked if you hadnt
<Ghendalt> Yes, of course.
<Junan> well that pesky Zefa lost Kikhash's name on the roll, so he can't participate... in steps me
<Ghendalt> Those Rubies are at each other's throats, aren't they? They should have more solidarity
<Junan> I do wish I knew what she had against Kaskind, or at least the envoys here... it must be something personal
<Junan> that caught me off guard as well
* Junan shakes his head
<Ghendalt> Well, it'll be good to have a solid voice from the Envoys there.
* Junan looks around
<Junan> Oh, were you referring to me?
* Ghendalt laughs.
<Ghendalt> You think so little of yourself sometimes. You need to learn that any role, even a Senator, is merely a performance. Like a lute, you just have to learn how to play it, and people will believe it.
<Junan> Oh I understand performance
<Junan> and I like the lute reference
<Junan> sometimes its good to be in the front of the stage, singing and getting all the attention
<Ghendalt> I mean it. You just go in there with the attitude of someone who is to be respected and obeyed. And people say 'there is a man to be respected and obeyed.' Before you know it, they forget that it was ever any other way.
<Junan> ah that is true in business and in leading, but mediating can require more subtle nudges
<Ghendalt> That's true - especially when it comes to this case. Mystics generally look down on all the rest of us.
<Junan> like how the lute player can slow down a singer who is getting ahead in the song
<Ghendalt> Yes, I can see that.
<Junan> I think sometimes Mystics forget that an arrow in the back leaves them just as dead as everyone else
<Ghendalt> Probably don't lead with that line during negotiations.
* Junan laughs
<Junan> I'll definitely advise that to the Choradani, even though I know they're thinking it
<Junan> I've never lived a war, and I dont want to.
<Ghendalt> No, you definitely don't.
<Junan> I've been trying to learn about magic... at least what it can do
<Junan> figured it would be prudent, all things considered
<Ghendalt> Yes, I think that's true.
<Ghendalt> I have learned just enough to know not to mess with it.
* Junan nods
<Junan> yeah I'm not really interested in studying like a Mystic or indulging like a Manifest... feels too risky for my blood
<Junan> or too time consuming
<Ghendalt> Our talents lay elsewhere.
<Ghendalt> I'm curious why you think that the mystics would have started this, if indeed they did.
<Junan> I especially enjoy the talent of drinking fine wine... it takes time to perfect
<Junan> I'm not sure why
<Junan> there is always more fos, but war doesnt seem like a good way of ensuring supply
<Ghendalt> The general thinks that it is a matter of arrogance - that they believe they have an insurmountable advantage in magic.
<Junan> I imagine to some of them that is true
<Junan> the Mystics
<Ghendalt> Yes, quite.
<Junan> but take Funa for example... I'm sure she has a much different view on the subject
<Junan> but the first stroke makes little sense to me... it was an attack on the Hith, not really Kaskind
<Ghendalt> Yes, that's right. An attack on the Hith, made in the crudest possible way to seem as if it were from Kaskind. But we certainly weren't fooled. Presuming Charadip was behind it, they weren't fooled. Were the hith fooled, I don't know? And the Aummesh hate us all equally, either way.
<Junan> It sounds like a move just to stir up everyone
<Ghendalt> Yes, that's right. But that kind of uncertainty and chaos can be beneficial to the person who is expecting it.
* Junan shakes his head
<Junan> I dont see how you gain benefit... this can easily spiral out of control, way beyond what someone might expect
<Ghendalt> War is always profitable to someone
<Junan> the Hith, the Aumesh, Kaskind, Charadip, any of them could come out worse
<Junan> who does that leave? Envoys should be trying to stabilize things
<Ghendalt> Well, that should make your job that much easier. If both the parties see themselves as having much to lose, they'll be more likely to settle.
* Junan nods
<Junan> and if there is someone else with an agenda, and I say a big IF, 'cause I have more faith in people being arrogant and stupid and blundering into messes like this, they will push against settling, and give a clue as to who they are
* Ghendalt nods.
<Ghendalt> Sounds like you have a plan.
<Junan> If by a plan, reminding everyone what they can lose, then yeah, its a plan
* Ghendalt smiles.
<Ghendalt> You'll be fine.
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> I hope you are right.
<Junan> I just worry trying to negotiate with Charadip at a site which belonged to a murdered Basai prospector before the Envoys took it over just may not be a good omen
<Junan> but I'm not one to favour omens
* Junan drinks deep
<Junan> and no, I wont bring that up either
<Ghendalt> I don't suppose there's any way to use that to your advantage
<Junan> it would if they ever found out who killed him
<Junan> the one suspect the Reckoners cleared...
<Junan> and the other... just makes things really complicated
<Ghendalt> Well, then best to hope it doesn't come up. Who would bring it up?
<Junan> Nobody should... but who knows...
<Junan> we'll need another bottle
* Junan shakes his glass
<Junan> to move on to different messed up subjects, how is Kirkha these days?
<Ghendalt> Kirikha is ... well enough. Coming to terms with her situation, I suppose is the uncharitable interpretation.
* Ghendalt waves a hand in the direction of a servant who brings a bottle over.
* Junan pours
<Junan> Its a tough situation... a friend of mine at the Land Registry is going through something similar, but with a little more choice in the matter
<Junan> I think of my sister when these situations come up... I mean, she would never let anyone control her life like that.
<Junan> But she was gonna be the head Ghez after my father
<Junan> so I guess that makes things different
<Ghendalt> Someone of her station - and I suppose, at this point in my life, I also mean my station, although I came from nothing - often has constraints that aren't obvious from the outside.
<Ghendalt> The Kemnaizo are the sort of family that practically would demand the right sort of marriage, and there just aren't enough of those around in Kaskind.
<Junan> How many would be on that list... three, four people?
<Ghendalt> If we restrict ourselves to Daligashi, within a few years of her in age: really just the one.
<Ghendalt> Now, of course, we can take a broader view, in terms of nationality, and that opens it up a bit.
<Ghendalt> But still. She complains now that he's two or three years younger than her but that won't matter when they're thirty, or fifty.
<Junan> but they're not waiting until they're thirty are they?
<Ghendalt> No, of course not.
<Ghendalt> They may wait another year, until he can grow a whisker or three.
<Junan> If I thought there was a good Basai suitor to lure here for her... but then she would leave, and that wouldnt help anything
<Ghendalt> Sigh ... love is wasted on the young.
<Junan> although I am a little hurt that on your list you didn't include me... the Ghez may not be as renouned, but we are rich
<Ghendalt> Yes, well ... rich should matter more than it does, but at that level of the nobility, the name still matters more.
<Junan> They are Daligashi right? not Tazi?
<Ghendalt> Yes, Daligashi.
* Junan laughs
<Junan> you were supposed to laugh too
* Ghendalt laughs.
<Ghendalt> I suppose I am worried about the girl. She has a lot of talent.
<Junan> yes, lots of talent... and good with coins too
<Junan> hey I'm still young
* Junan smiles
<Ghendalt> Are you looking to find a marriage partner? I could arrange that.
<Junan> Im enjoying being the yound drunk Daligashi playboy envoy for now... makes things easier, but thanks for the offer
* Ghendalt laughs.
<Ghendalt> Well, I'll drink to that!
<Junan> to pivot from that horrible subject, I did learn a little about what Gaidai was up to
<Ghendalt> Oh?
* Junan drinks
<Junan> it might be easier if you let me know what you've heard, and I just correct you if you are wrong.
<Ghendalt> Oh, toying with me, are you? Very well.
<Ghendalt> Well, I think very few people thought she was taking corpseborn prisoners either to work fields - if so, why take so many women? - or to act as a jailer - why would she want to do that?
<Ghendalt> So presumably there was something going on more ... in the nature of the sorts of things that mystics do.
<Ghendalt> Now, I am not an expert on magic, but I do know that normally, a localized sinkhole exactly the size and shape of a prison compound does not simply open up in the earth.
<Ghendalt> Particularly not when, it appears, there were no casualties - suggesting that the prisoners were already out of the buildings at the time?
<Junan> were they? Or is that just the cover story
<Ghendalt> Well, I don't know. I wasn't there.
<Junan> What I do know is she was definitely doing Mystic 'things' to her corpseborn 'field workers'.... and not exactly moral things
<Ghendalt> Mmmmm.
<Ghendalt> Many of us wondered. Suspecting and knowing are two different things though.
<Junan> true
<Ghendalt> How did you learn this?
<Junan> I consider you a very good friend. I can tell you I know this 'cause im an Envoy and I learn things. You can trust me that if I don't explain myself its to ensure my friend does not have to reckon with any of the consequences of knowing where it came from
* Ghendalt takes a good swig of his drink.
<Ghendalt> Well, that took a quick turn. But I understand. Thank you for protecting me.
<Junan> regardless I think its a good thing for you to know
<Ghendalt> Well, it's not as if anyone is going to do anything against the Pretender's cousin.
<Junan> there are more pressing concerns, which I understand
<Junan> but its still a good nugget that may have uses in the future
<Ghendalt> Indeed, I'll keep it in mind.
<Junan> assuming war doesnt break out and we have a whole suite of different things to deal with
* Ghendalt laughs.
<Ghendalt> Yes, exactly.
<Ghendalt> Well Junan, it has been a pleasure, as always. Feel free to drop by and sample my wine anytime.
<Junan> I do appreciate the hospitality
<Junan> I'm sure the next time I visit, I'll have excellent topics of conversation

Katenzhi meets Bachelor #2, Gefraz Argolda

<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Katenzhi, you're meeting Gefraz Argolda - he has invited you for dinner at a fancy (or at least what passes for a fancy) restaurant in Kaskind - The Blue Heron.
* Katenzhi will show up, again in her good dashi, looking completely out of place.
* Gefraz is a short, elegantly-dressed man with a mustache and wavy light brown hair fashionably styled.
<Gefraz> Good evening.
* Gefraz gives a slight bow.
<Katenzhi> Oh... hi.
<Katenzhi> You must be Gefraz.
* Katenzhi holds out a hand.
<Gefraz> Yes, that's right. And you must be Katenzhi.
<Katenzhi> It's... a pleasure to meet you.
* Gefraz will take your hand and kiss it.
<Katenzhi> Oh... um... ok...
<Gefraz> Please, have a seat. Would you like some wine?
<Katenzhi> Yes. Please.
* Katenzhi will sit.
* Gefraz has what you suspect is a fairly pricey bottle of wine, and will pour us each a glass.
<Gefraz> I don't know how much your parents have told you about me. Where should we begin?
* Katenzhi will take a good sized drink.
<Katenzhi> ...they said you're in the fos business?
<Gefraz> That's right. My family are merchants out of Kindi Nasku - I was sent here in order to further expand our trading networks, particularly for fos.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, that's kind of the same situation I'm in, really. I guess you're technically my competition, then.
* Gefraz chuckles slightly at that.
<Gefraz> I hope we can be business acquaintances, rather than rivals, regardless of whether a match between us works out or not :)
<Katenzhi> That would be good. I'm always happy to make friends. And you have good taste in wine.
<Gefraz> I'm glad you like it. It's not easy to come by such good vintages here, but I have connections :)
<Katenzhi> What kind of connections?
<Gefraz> Oh - traders, sailors, those who journey back to the old Empire regularly. My family own a pair of ships that we use to transport our goods, so I'm around the docks fairly often.
<Katenzhi> I'm surprised I haven't seen you around then.
<Gefraz> Yes, your family have a boat as well, I think?
<Katenzhi> Yeah, my cousin and I own it and we run it for our parents business out of Ratsla.
* Gefraz nods
<Gefraz> You must be quite familiar with this area, then. I've only been here a year or so.
<Katenzhi> I've only been here for about the same, really. Maybe a bit longer. Lot's of people here are new to the area.
<Gefraz> It does seem to be the up and coming spot for traders, indeed.
<Katenzhi> Everyone smells money. It's even easier to bait traders than gators.
<Gefraz> Those with ambition and a good head for business expect to make a fortune here.
<Katenzhi> That's the hope.
<Katenzhi> Seems like you've done pretty well for yourself already.
<Gefraz> I've had a few strokes of good fortune, yes :) I hope to have more.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Gefraz> Having another partner in my business would be a good opportunity for us both, I think.
<Katenzhi> Like merging our businesses?
<Gefraz> Or at least, say, conjoining them? If you want to handle the local trade and I the long-distance, or for you to deal with the refining and processing and myself the business negotiations, it might be beneficial for each of us.
<Gefraz> The details could be worked out in time, of course - I wouldn't expect a rapid merger.
<Katenzhi> And my cousin? I'd want to make sure he would still play a part. It's his business too.
<Gefraz> Oh, of course. I wouldn't want to exclude him.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> That sounds... perfectly rational...
* Katenzhi sighs and takes another drink.
<Gefraz> Is something bothering you?
<Katenzhi> No... yes... maybe. Sorry.
<Katenzhi> It's not your fault.
<Gefraz> It's fine. Please - I would hope we can be open with one another.
<Katenzhi> What about the.. other... aspects of marriage? the non-business ones?
<Gefraz> ah, yes.
* Gefraz takes a sip of wine, trying to figure out how to approach this subject.
<Gefraz> Perhaps it's just best to be truthful. My family sent me here because I had a... a partner who they did not approve of. It was easier to keep me out of the public view here.
<Katenzhi> ...oh.
<Katenzhi> I'm sorry.
<Katenzhi> I... I can empathise.
* Gefraz gives a slight shrug.
<Gefraz> My feelings in that regard have not changed. If you were hoping for a marriage that brings passion and desire, it isn't something I can currently offer. But I wouldn't expect that from you either. If this is unacceptable to you, then it's best we know now.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> That's... actually a relief, honestly.
<Katenzhi> I'm kind of in a similar situation myself.
<Gefraz> oh? That's... I'm sorry, I wouldn't wish that on you, but I'm also relieved you understand.
<Katenzhi> So... if we did do this... we could just be friends? See where that goes? I mean, I'd like to be friends regardless. Never hurts to have contacts around here.
* Katenzhi smiles.
<Gefraz> Indeed, that's true. I can't say what the future will bring, but having good business contacts is always useful.
<Katenzhi> Alright. That's at least something we can start with.
* Katenzhi seems to relax a bit.
* Gefraz as well
<Katenzhi> So... what's good to eat around here?
<Gefraz> Well, the flounder is quite good - or at least, it's fresh :)
* Katenzhi smiles.
<Gefraz> So, in addition to your trading contacts, you work for the land registry?
<Katenzhi> Yeah. It's a weird job. Mostly it's pretty boring but once in a while it gets real interesting.
<Katenzhi> But it's been good for getting to know the area and the people.
<Katenzhi> We go all over the place.
<Gefraz> I can imagine it takes you into all kinds of places you might not otherwise get to.
<Katenzhi> That's for sure. Do you travel a lot?
<Gefraz> I've been back to Choradan once since coming here, but it's a long journey - I don't expect I would make it more than once a year or so, if that.
<Katenzhi> How is it there? I haven't been back since I was a child.
<Gefraz> Busy, a great deal of travelers pass through there on their way here, in addition to the cargo of course.
<Katenzhi> Maybe I'll go back some day to visit. Could be profitable if there's that much trade going through.
<Gefraz> I'd be glad to bring you, if you did want to go at some point. I'm sure my family would love to meet you, at least.
* Katenzhi smiles again.
<Katenzhi> And your... partner? Are they there as well?
<Gefraz> Yes. And our... we have a child as well, a daughter. She's about two now.
* Gefraz says with a slightly pained smile.
<Katenzhi> Oh...
<Katenzhi> That must be... difficult.
* Gefraz nods.
<Gefraz> I hope... at some point, perhaps, when things are calmer... that I might have them join me here.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I hope that you can.
<Gefraz> well, we'll see.
<Katenzhi> If we do get married, I want you to know I wouldn't stand in the way of that.
<Katenzhi> And I don't think you'd have to worry about my partner and I having any children...
<Gefraz> Thank you. That's good to know.
<Gefraz> At this distance from my family, I think they wouldn't interfere too much.
<Katenzhi> Hah. That's what I thought.
<Gefraz> What about your parents, though? They would expect children?
<Katenzhi> ...I have to admit they probably would. I could put them off for a while.
<Katenzhi> But eventually...
<Gefraz> hm, well. The trip to Choradan takes long enough that if you told them before leaving that you were pregnant, you could have a baby by the time you came back. If we decided to proceed, that is.
* Gefraz says with a shrug
<Katenzhi> It's definitely a possibility.
<Katenzhi> There are definitely things we could do.
<Gefraz> It's a bit early to worry about that now, i
<Gefraz> I suppose
<Gefraz> But there would be options, at any rate, that might satisfy them while also not requiring us to do anything we didn't want to :)
<Katenzhi> That's a comforting thought :)
<Katenzhi> I mean... not I that I don't think your... not that I wouldn't... I'll shut up now.
* Gefraz chuckles
<Gefraz> I appreciate the flattery though :)
<Katenzhi> Well, I hear it's a good way to make friends. Never been great at it, personally.
<Gefraz> I think you're doing fine, at making friends anyway.
<Katenzhi> :)

Jimba visits Dekhesh to sell him some weapons

<Dekhesh> (okay, where would you like to meet him, Jimba?)
<Jimba> (I could actually go out to Banei?)
<Dekhesh> (okay, that works)
* Jimba will head to Banei.
<Jimba> (Do I know where he lives?)
<Dekhesh> (you could ask Daifan if you wanted, or just ask someone there and they can direct you to his house)
* Jimba will ask around for him.
* Jimba needs to get to know the community a little.
* Dekhesh 's home is a good-sized one for Banei's standards, which is still not that big. It's located near a communal garden, overlooking it.
* Dekhesh is lounging in a hammock on his deck
* Jimba will smile and wave.
<Jimba> Hi there.
<Dekhesh> oh, hey :)
* Dekhesh sits up and waves back.
<Jimba> Got a minute?
<Dekhesh> Sure, come on over - do you want a drink?
<Jimba> I wouldn't mind one, certainly.
* Dekhesh will get up and get you a drink of tea with honey and a squeeze of lemon.
<Dekhesh> What brings you all the way out here?
<Jimba> I was hoping to get a chance to talk to you. ;)
<Jimba> Thanks.
<Dekhesh> well, that's convenient - here I am.
* Jimba says for the tea.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Much as I enjoy your company, I am actually here on business.
<Dekhesh> oh?
<Jimba> Some friends of mine have some merchandise they'd like to unload, and I thought you might be the man to get it to people who could use it.
<Dekhesh> Ah, that sounds intriguing. What sort of merchandise?
<Jimba> (quietly) Weapons.
* Dekhesh raises his eyebrows
<Dekhesh> I see. That would certainly be something I could use, yes.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I thought that might be the case.
<Dekhesh> What kind of price is your friend asking?
<Jimba> (Liraula didn't mention. Do I have some idea of what they're worth?)
<Dekhesh> (you can probably guess, yeah. we can take the money negotiations as read and assume you can reach some kind of price that seems reasonable to you.)
<Jimba> (Sounds good)
<Dekhesh> I think I can manage that.
<Jimba> (Jimba doesn't want to gouge the corpseborn, and he's will to take less of a cut to smooth things over with Liraula if necessary.)
* Jimba nods.
<Dekhesh> (legit)
<Jimba> Sounds good.
<Jimba> I was hoping we could work something out. :)
<Dekhesh> What works for you as far as transporting them? Are they in your warehouse now?
* Jimba nods.
<Dekhesh> well, it isn't a rush on my side - maybe bringing them a few at a time would be least obvious?
<Jimba> I can manage that. I could also sail down the coast, try to meet you somewhere more secluded?
<Jimba> If you wanted to handle the whole of it in one go.
<Jimba> With some help for carrying.
* Dekhesh considers that
<Dekhesh> that could work. I can probably secure some help from this side too, if necessary.
<Jimba> That would be helpful.
* Dekhesh smiles
<Dekhesh> It does sort of ruin the romantic mood of meeting somewhere secret and secluded, but I'll manage ;)
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I mean, I'm strong, but it's a couple crates. I don't think I can move them all on my own.
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> I'll bring some muscle to help out.
<Jimba> Sounds good.
<Jimba> Out of curiosity, is this something there might be a larger market for?
<Dekhesh> Maybe. I was going to see how this lot went over, but eventually, there might be a need for more.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Like I said, I thought that might be the case.
<Jimba> I can't promise I'll have more, but I'll keep a look out.
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> I appreciate this. I know it's a risk for you, so... thank you.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> I don't know what you mean. I'm just offloading cargo. ;)
* Dekhesh smiles at that
<Dekhesh> Well, I appreciate you thinking of me for this particular shipment.
<Jimba> Well, I'll be sure to think of you more in the future.
<Dekhesh> Make sure you do ;)
* Dekhesh teases


Junan and Katenzhi talk about magic and marriage

* Junan will come find Kat, bearing several wine skins
<Junan> (and not first thing in the morning, you cruel people!)
* Katenzhi will be on the boat and smile a bit sheepishly when she sees him on the dock.
<Katenzhi> Hey!
<Junan> Hello
<Katenzhi> I umm... sorry about the other day.
* Junan shrugs
<Katenzhi> Come aboard if you want.
<Junan> It looked as painful for you as me, so nothing to appologize for
* Junan will hop up
<Katenzhi> Need some help with those?
<Junan> That was my plan
* Junan will hand her one
* Katenzhi will take it gratefully.
<Junan> we should talk about the other day
* Katenzhi sighs.
<Katenzhi> Yeah.
* Katenzhi takes a swig.
* Junan takes one too
<Katenzhi> I guess I let Llillilli get a bit carried away.
<Katenzhi> It sounded so good in my head.
<Junan> I have to admit, it was kinda nice to be thought of as good for marrying
* Junan takes a seat
<Katenzhi> Hey, you're good for a lot of things. You make a great drinking buddy, for example.
* Junan chuckes
<Junan> and so do you
<Katenzhi> heh. Thanks.
<Junan> and if that's all the marrying involved, we'd be the best at it
<Katenzhi> Would it really have to mean more than that?
<Junan> I would say in a simpler world, probably not... but in a simpler world, you wouldn't need to be married anyway
* Katenzhi sighs
<Katenzhi> It's not even that I don't want to be married. I just... the thought of marrying someone I don't even know...
<Katenzhi> It scares the shit out of me.
<Junan> you can call lightning from the sky, and that's what scares the shit out of you?
* Katenzhi shrugs.
<Katenzhi> I'm also afraid of heights.
<Junan> I get it, you like your life the way it is and you don't want to have to adjust to account for someone new
* Katenzhi nods.
* Junan laughs
<Katenzhi> I thought maybe you might be in the same situation.
<Junan> I'm the third child, all my familial obligations are accounted for
* Katenzhi nods.
<Junan> and while I'm sure my parents would be happy to see me settle down, they know what the life of an envoy can be like
<Katenzhi> I'm really sorry I bugged you with it. I guess we should have at least waited until like midday.
<Junan> cruel cruel people... you most of all
<Junan> you should have known
<Katenzhi> heh
<Junan> I do hope that someone does come along that will satisfy what you are looking for
<Katenzhi> We'll see, I guess. They set me up on one "date" already. He wasn't bad... I guess.
<Junan> so more dates in your future, then?
* Junan drinks
<Katenzhi> Yeah. Another one tomorrow, actually.
* Katenzhi takes a long drink.
<Junan> They taking you to nice places?
<Katenzhi> So far. He took me out for beer and oysters.
<Katenzhi> It actually wasn't bad.
<Katenzhi> I guess I just don't like feeling used. Like I'm just another commodity they can trade.
<Junan> hence your desire to take the decision away from them
<Junan> but in the end, its still your decision
* Katenzhi shrugs.
<Katenzhi> Never put that much thought into it, honestly.
<Katenzhi> Sometimes I just do things.
<Katenzhi> Not the best habit.
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> Its who you are.
<Katenzhi> Maybe who I am isn't a great thing to be.
<Junan> bah
<Junan> this one thing is becoming a pain in the ass, don't let it define you
<Katenzhi> ...I wasn't just thinking of this.
* Junan nods
<Katenzhi> Not thinking is what got someone killed awhile ago.
<Junan> or maybe it saved a bunch of lives? Might it have been a bit much? Probably.
<Katenzhi> Yeah. It's done now anyways.
<Junan> That leads into the other thing I wanted to chat about, but I really wasn't planning on such a grim turn in
* Katenzhi laughs a bit hollowly.
<Katenzhi> Sorry.
<Junan> you remember what Ughiva did
<Katenzhi> ...yeah. I do.
<Junan> before that I just thought as fos or magic as a commodity or a tool... one which I didn't need to know much about to take advantage of
<Junan> or at least earn a living from
<Junan> that was very niave of me
<Junan> I need to understand more of what it can do
<Katenzhi> You want to learn how to cast?
<Junan> I'm not sure if that's the greatest idea... just to know what people can do with it? Start there?
<Junan> I could get warts or somehting if I fuck up a casting... I don't want that
<Katenzhi> Well that's not too difficult. I can tell you what I know, at least. Maybe get you in touch with someone with more experience too.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, no problem. It's the least I can do to apologize for waking you up. How much time you got?
<Junan> about two skins worth
<Katenzhi> That should do fine.
* Junan smiles
<Junan> great
<Katenzhi> (Should we assume she goes through what she knows about the limits of magic, then?)
<Katenzhi> (With a big asterix of "That sit the other nioght was crazy though, don't know about that.")
<Junan> (ok)
<Katenzhi> (She can also put in a word for you with Sajan and set up a meeting, assuming you're buying the booze he should be willing.)
<Junan> (always buying booze)
<Katenzhi> (heh)
<Junan> (some of my best buds are brewers)
<Katenzhi> (Mine too! ...fos brewers...)

Daifan and Junan go on a date

* Daifan will make some time to see Junan - maybe we can meet at that honey cafe?
<Junan> (sure)
<Daifan> This place is nice... very prvate. And they have good mead, which I thught might be a nice change for you ;)
<Junan> I'm always open to experiencing different things, especially with you.
* Daifan smirks
<Daifan> oh I have many new experiences for you to try >:)
<Daifan> but....
<Daifan> I wanted to talk to you about something more serious first
* Balinteze is now known as Gefraz
<Junan> oh? Lets hear it
<Daifan> if you can tolerate that...
<Junan> I'll survive, I'm tougher than I look :)
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> we'll see about that later ;)
<Daifan> but.... I heard there is some more envoy business afoot, and that you are maybe going to be informattly working for Envoy Kikash?
* Junan looks a little surprised by the comment
<Junan> I'm impressed. I didn't think that was exactly common knowledge.
<Junan> Its true
<Junan> do I dare ask how you heard about this?
<Daifan> From Kemai >.>
<Daifan> I know we had talked about this before
<Daifan> But it seems like.... Kikash has some very powerful enemies
<Junan> or one annoying one, more like
<Daifan> mmmhmmm... maybe just one, but I don't feel like she is all alone in this, either
<Daifan> But... I dn't want to be a tool to be used against you, if you inherit these enemies by ssociation
<Junan> It's not my plan to be the one out front in any of these conflicts.
<Junan> So you don't need to worry.
<Junan> that doesn't mean I wont be trying to cool things off
<Junan> Zefa is a problem, and I don't know what she has against the Envoy's in Kaskind. That doesn't mean I cant figure her out.
<Daifan> Mmmm...
<Daifan> The theory I like is that she is hoping to profic from conflict through the Fand
<Daifan> and that they wanted to keep Kikash out of the discussions with Charadip bcause he would be a moderating influence
<Junan> conflict brings uncertainty which is bad for sustained profit... can be very good short term... which feels short sighted
<Daifan> Maybe, but it gives her a chance to establish her place here as well - her role and the role of the inn
<Daifan> and to make connections she could maintain
<Daifan> as well as to establish her own authority
<Daifan> those are longer lasting benefits
<Junan> except that if she just lets Jaigadu keep the peace, her inn and her connections will build
<Junan> due to the association
<Junan> I mean war is risky
<Daifan> it is... and zi don't really understand it anyway
<Daifan> We know that there is at least some faction from Charadip what is working with those pirates
* Junan nods
<Daifan> But I think it is fair to assume that they are no more united on the issue than we are here - that there are partes there who see it as advantageous and others who see mostly the risks
<Junan> the false flag attack which nobody with any sense would believe, targetting the Hith.
<Daifan> mmhmm
<Daifan> this is all very much above my head.... I just worry for people I care about, like you, and Llillilli
<Junan> I dont want anything to happen to us either... especially me :)
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> Do you tihnk we need to be more cautious....?
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> I can start practicing some of my less used Envoy tricks. We could build me an allias.
<Daifan> oooohhh... that sounds fun :3
<Daifan> We could both build one ^_^
<Daifan> I have one I've used a few times to go to the market...
<Junan> she from around here?
* Daifan slaps Veznara around a bit with a large trout
<Daifan> (LOL whoops)
* Daifan shakes their head
<Veznara> :O
<Junan> hmm I need a proffession that requires no work, but nobody would bother to visit...
<Junan> ... sounds like a writer... but I already know one in town, which could be awkward.
<Daifan> hmmm
<Daifan> an artist?
<Daifan> I suppose somene might sk you to draw though
<Daifan> unless you have secret talents? ^_^
<Junan> Is music not enough?
* Junan laughs
* Daifan grins
<Daifan> no, you must master all the arts to satisfy me ;)
<Junan> an aspiring artist then
<Daifan> mmhmm, yes, who came here becaue the markets are smaller and ou hoped your meager talents might make more of a mark?
<Junan> sounds great
<Junan> I'll need a small studio
<Junan> so I can focus on my art... with my muse :)
<Daifan> alright
<Daifan> we can be very focused ;)
<Junan> alas he grew up in Enskrai, so all his art is horses
* Daifan laughs
<Daifan> oh perfect
<Junan> how is your enskrai?
<Daifan> non existant, I'm afraid
<Daifan> I could try and learn some?
<Daifan> But I could be someone you met here, too
<Junan> very true
<Daifan> Daligashi is probaby easiest.... but itd a big country
<Junan> very true
<Junan> we could have met on the boat here
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> AAnd when was that?
* Junan shugs
<Junan> last wet season? with so many people arriving who would ask
<Daifan> perfect
<Daifan> but you're just gettin a studio now because...?
<Junan> stipend from my family finally arrived.
<Junan> its been hard practicing my art before I could get my studio
<Daifan> excellent ;)
<Daifan> I knew I liked you for more than just your looks....
<Daifan> now, we shoudl try some of this mead...
<Junan> agreed