Ashnabis session 3

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Ashnabis session logs
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Individual scenes.


Session date: Jan. 29, 2019
Fair Cycle date: Fikho, I.E. 765


<AshnabisNarrator> After returning from your strange and tormented trip to the temple, you return late in the evening and file your report to Utus the next day, while Voice Erku returns to his temple to do likewise to his superiors.
<AshnabisNarrator> You have yet to make full sense of your unusual experiences there, and much remains unanswered. For the time being, Utus has denied Rovosa's claim over the territory, and is working with the Corps to ensure that the temple is properly dealt with.
<AshnabisNarrator> For the next few days, you have no new missions as a group, and spend your days doing more mundane tasks - paperwork, cleaning and tidying, and occasional spot checks and monitoring on local sites within the Kaskind Territory itself.
<AshnabisNarrator> Heavy rains have been falling for the past several days, so that the banks of the Kaskos run very high indeed, and making travel through the swamps even more treacherous than usual, even if you had had reason to travel afield.
<AshnabisNarrator> Despite the gloomy weather and constantly feeling drenched, the one ray of sunshine is that the rain gives you a break from the labour and allows you a precious few days to spend more time with kith and kin, and to process the strange events of the recent past.

Junan has dinner with Ghendalt, Iftos, and Kirikha

<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, you have received an invitation for dinner at the home of Ghendalt Rumordi. The Senator is known to put on a lavish spread and it would certainly be rude to turn down an invitation from the Daligashi liaison and such an important member of the Bronze faction.
<AshnabisNarrator> (There is no special occasion listed or mentioned - just a generic dinner invitation)
* Junan has nothing else to do, and would not turn down a good meal, so is happy to go
<AshnabisNarrator> Ghendalt's home is made largely of local limestone, built up in a style rarely seen these days, more the custom of a century ago. It sits to the northeast end of the town, with a fine view of the harbour and the North Kaskos river. A low mossy barrier rings the property, more to signal its extent than to serve as a deterrent to entry.
<AshnabisNarrator> Ghendalt's antiquities shop abuts the house to the south, bordering the wide road that passes through the town and bridges the river. There, he does his business with a select clientele. But the house itself is entered from the east, through a broad archway with fluted columns on either side.
<AshnabisNarrator> Ghendalt's house staff is small in number compared to what he surely must have had in Daligash, but surely one of the largest in town nonetheless. There is a helpful young fellow wearing clothes in which he clearly feels uncomfortable to wipe your boots and direct you in to the parlor.
<AshnabisNarrator> The parlor is a warm room with plastered walls with fine murals on every surface. A thin but sturdy cabinet on the north wall contains several ancient clay vessels, painted black and red as used to be the common custom. A fireplace sits along the south wall, burning low embers but still emitting a good heat. A table for four has been set up at the northwest.
<AshnabisNarrator> Ghendalt is there, and with him are two other familiar faces from the Bronze faction, Iftos Kemnaizo and his daughter Kirikha.
* Ghendalt is a tall, elderly man with curly brown hair done up in a topknot. An opal necklace on a bronze chain is at his throat, and several rings adorn his fingers.
* Iftos is a fat, bearded man wearing an emerald-green turban decorated with a pair of vibrant turquoise feathers. He wears a pair of indigo blue trousers and a gleaming bronze silk hip-length jacket, completing the outfit with a pair of wooden sandals decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay.
* Ghendalt wears a comfortable robe of a purple so dark it's nearly black, belted at the waist with an ornate leather belt with a silver clasp.
* Kirikha is a very attractive young woman with curly dark brown hair tied back in a loose knot with strands falling artfully about her heart-shaped face.
* Kirikha 's green eyes are accentuated by the knee-length sea-green tunic she wears, embroidered with a pattern of twisting coppery-gold knots at the collar. Her legs are bare, aside from the straps wrapped around them that hold on her shoes.
* Ghendalt looks up from his seat as you enter.
<Ghendalt> Junan, my brother. It is good to see you again. How have you been?
* Iftos smiles warmly and will greet you as well
* Junan will have dressed in one of his few silk shirts and a pair of nice trousers. For jewelry, he will have his favourite chain with bronze pendant, and several rings on
<Iftos> Good evening, Junan - how goes your day job?
<Junan> It is good to see you as well Senator. I've been well, if a bit wet.
<Ghendalt> Yes, I don't suppose I'll ever get used to this, no matter how long I live here.
<Ghendalt> And for you, this is your first real rainy season in the Territory.
<Junan> The day job has its highs and lows, to be honest.
<Ghendalt> Ah yes, how are things at the land registry? Any grand adventures?
<Junan> Somewhat adventurous, yes, getting away from town and visiting disputed plots... I'm not sure if I would classify them as grand.
<Junan> I did have to put an arrow in a bogwiggle.
<Junan> Ever heard of them?
* Ghendalt considers.
<Ghendalt> I don't think so. But you know, I've never spent much time outside of cities.
<Ghendalt> I have useful young people like you to find interesting objects and bring them to me, after all.
* Ghendalt sips his wine.
<Junan> dog sized walking tadpoles with sharp fangs and sticky tongues. your better off in the city.
<Ghendalt> No doubt.
<Iftos> Ugh, how unpleasant.
<Ghendalt> Well, come, sit, let's get some spirits and lamb into you to warm your toes.
<Junan> and you Kirikha, surviving the rainy season well?
<Kirikha> Oh, it's not too bad. I think I prefer it over the hot season, at any rate.
<Kirikha> For the rainy season, at least one can stay inside, but there's no escaping the heat.
<Junan> A cool drink if one can find it, and to be immobile in the shade can help... but I must admit my toes are cold and spirits sound delightful.
<Ghendalt> Kirikha has been cataloguing my coin collection, which has become completely out of control through years of neglect. And doing a fine job.
<AshnabisNarrator> As if by magic, a servant appears with a cup for you, Junan.
* Junan smiles, always appreciating why he visists Ghendalt
<Junan> Oh, have you stumbled on anything rare or exciting?
<Ghendalt> Hmm, let's see. Nothing too much lately, in terms of local things. Honestly most of what I'm doing now is importing antiquities from back home to fill the homes of newly wealthy folks who migrated here with little, and now have money to spare.
<Ghendalt> Oh, but Kirikha had an interesting discovery, didn't you my dear?
<Kirikha> A silver tusk from the reign of Emperor Aldain, which has both him and his wife upon it - I haven't seen one like that before, it's very rare.
<Junan> Alas my history is a little lacking... did Emperor Aldain prefer his image alone or just didn't have wives?
<Kirikha> They were only married for a short time before he died, so coins with her image are unusual.
<AshnabisNarrator> Dinner is served shortly, a nice three-course affair, nothing too fancy, but far better than you're normally accustomed to.
<Junan> Ah, I see. I guess that makes it easier to determine its antiquity as well
* Junan enjoyes the meal
<Ghendalt> Yes, pins it down almost to the year. Some later coins have regnal years, marking the year of the emperor's reign, but early coins normally don't.
<Ghendalt> But anyway, Junan ... I haven't brought you here to talk about coins.
<Kirikha> Aww.
<Ghendalt> Ahh, Kirikha, after dinner you may chat with Junan to your heart's content if you wish.
<Kirikha> Maybe I can show you some of them later :)
<Junan> I would like that, yes
<Iftos> Yes, sounds delightful.
<Junan> And the reason for inviting me is not to clear out your larder of this fine meat?
* Iftos says a bit firmly, indicating he will definitely make sure you aren't going off alone with his daughter later ;p
<Ghendalt> Well of course you are always welcome. But I do have another matter in mind.
<Ghendalt> You work with a priestess, Hand Veznara, do you not?
<Junan> I do yes
<Ghendalt> What do you know about her? What's she like?
<Junan> Taizi... comes across as a by the book type... but I don't associate with many Hands so I don't know if that is a personal trait or just her training
* Ghendalt considers your words.
<Ghendalt> Hmm.
<Junan> I'm guessing she comes from money, or at least had some before coming here
<Ghendalt> The reason I ask is that she is supported by, or mentored by, a woman, Zeba Mopister, a very intriguing person whose goals and intentions are of some interest to me. Have you heard of her?
<Junan> (have I?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (you can make a K:local or K:nobility roll)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 12 ].
<Junan> (local)
<AshnabisNarrator> You know that she is the liaison to Fort Kaskind from Taizi, which means she's some kind of advisor to General Ghurtai. That's it.
<Junan> I've heard of her... Taizi liason to the Fort... but thats about it
<Ghendalt> Yes, she's my counterpart on this mockery of an advisory council that the General has set up.
<Ghendalt> Mostly it seems to consist of well-to-do dandies who have more money than brains. I should be offended, really, that I was invited to be on it.
<Junan> Is Zeba one of these dandies? Seems unlikely if you're interested in her.
<Ghendalt> No, indeed. She certainly comes from high rank. The Mopisters are an old folk lineage, and indeed half the noble families along the north coasts have some Mopister tie or another.
<Ghendalt> But she is also extremely cunning and, it seems, quite critical of our dear General.
<Junan> I always assumed you were quite critical of the General
<Ghendalt> Indeed I am. And to find someone who is of like mind and temperament is quite refreshing.
<Ghendalt> But Taizi and Daligash don't normally have much in common. It's so very aristocratic, governed by rules of rank and birth that are quite unfamiliar to my more egalitarian sentiments.
<Ghendalt> And so I haven't had any reason to think she's of any use to me.
<Ghendalt> But I am reconsidering that position.
<Junan> And what prompted such a change in position?
<Ghendalt> Well, partly just timing. The recent influx of money and persons of esteem from Daligash puts us in a stronger position than a year or two ago.
<Ghendalt> Partly just an increasing awareness that Taizi is up to something. In addition to Zeba, there is a woman, Galdai Ebesnata, who is the cousin of the Taizian Pretender, a powerful mystic who has set up a plantation here.
<Junan> (I think ive heard that name before)
<AshnabisNarrator> (maybe but not sure where, if so)
<Ghendalt> At any rate, I don't really know what's going on, but I certainly would like to know.
<Junan> (not important)
<Ghendalt> Veznara herself is of no interest to me. But I would like to find ways to learn more about what Taizi may be planning, with regard to the leadership of the Territory. Taizi is a small country, compared to Daligash, and easily overlooked, but I am no fool and there is something afoot.
<Ghendalt> I would, I suppose, like to know specifically of Veznara, what Zeba's interest is in her.
<Ghendalt> When a priestess arrives in town and is immediately appointed to a role in the land registry, as opposed to, say, a more customary role at the temple, that is of potential interest to me. But more to the point, it is the actions and motives of those who support her that interest me.
<Junan> I'm sure I can at least find out what prompted the assignment... and with luck maybe some information on Zeba.
* Ghendalt smiles.
<Ghendalt> I'm sure.
<Ghendalt> I am not asking you to lie, nor to conceal any fact from Veznara save, for now, that you should not reveal my interest and involvement. Eventually, if this proves to be fruitful, I will make myself known to her.
<Junan> I never assumed you were asking me to lie, but I'll keep your name out of any discussions, if that's what you want.
<Ghendalt> For now, yes. Until I know whether she can be trusted. I have no reason to think she can't, but one must be careful.
<Junan> as this is council politics, I'm guessing its not immediately pressing, though
<Ghendalt> Right, nothing that needs to be attended to immediately. When you have a natural opportunity. But in that respect, I have no fear. You have good sense and a gift for conversation.
<Junan> well now that were through the "reasons"... I think a drink and I was told there were coins to be shown?
<Kirikha> Oh, yes, I can bring a selection out :)
* Kirikha will do that, under careful fatherly supervision ;p

Bivizmi visits Katenzhi to ask about a mysterious plant

<AshnabisAssistant> Katenzhi, you're on the boat one morning, mopping and bailing as is often necessary given the season, when you see a familiar face coming across the pier towards you. It is the herbalist Bivizmi Pindevuzi.
* Bivizmi is a tall, rather gawky young woman with shoulder-length black hair tied in two braids, and a small red cap that indicates she is unmarried. She wears a floor-length red robe decorated with blue and gold braided ribbons.
<Bivizmi> Hello? Katenzhi?
* Bivizmi calls out to see if you're there
* Katenzhi puts down the mop and wipes her hands on her linen dashi. Her only other garment is her tooth necklace and bangles.
<Katenzhi> Bivizmi! How goes?
* Bivizmi has a small parasol to protect her (somewhat) from the rain, but her robe is still a bit muddy at the hem.
* Katenzhi approaches the gangplank to greet her.
<Bivizmi> Oh, I'm fine - this rain is miserable, though.
<Bivizmi> Maybe I should start dressing like a local :)
* Katenzhi shrugs and grins.
<Katenzhi> I kind of like the rain. If only it didn't make such a mess on the ship.
<Katenzhi> What brings you out here in this weather?
<Bivizmi> Well, could we talk out of the rain a bit? If you have a few moments, anyway. I have an interesting question - or at least, I think it's potentially interesting.
<Katenzhi> Of course! Come on below deck. Do you want something to drink?
<Bivizmi> I wouldn't say no if you have something to take the chill off :)
* Bivizmi comes aboard
* Katenzhi will lead her below decks and grab a bottle of something strong from the galley and pour two glasses.
<Bivizmi> Thank you
<Katenzhi> Of course. How's the refinery going?
<Bivizmi> Business is brisk - I'm definitely keeping busy.
<Bivizmi> And how about you?
<Katenzhi> Definitely keeping busy also. Between keeping up with the boat and scouting for the land office.
<Katenzhi> I may need to come see you soon for some more fos.
<Bivizmi> Ah, well, it's somewhat related to that issue that I wanted to discuss with you.
* Bivizmi takes a scroll case out of her robe's deep pocket and sets it in front of you.
<Katenzhi> Oh?
* Katenzhi picks it up.
<Katenzhi> What's this?
<Bivizmi> Go ahead and open it up.
* Katenzhi will do so, slightly dubiously.
<AshnabisAssistant> It contains a single sheet of vellum which looks to be a new copy of an old manuscript, although you're hardly an expert on manuscripts.
<Katenzhi> Uhhhh...
* Katenzhi twists the manuscript sideways, then upside down, peering at it.
<AshnabisAssistant> The page contains words, which you can't read, and an illustration of a plant
<Katenzhi> (Do I recognize the plant?)
<AshnabisAssistant> It looks a little like fos, but there are some differences - the colours are different, is the main obvious thing.
<Katenzhi> What is this? Some kind of mutant fos? I ummm... I've never been great with letters.
<Bivizmi> This is a description of an unusual plant - a variation of fos, I think, like you said.
<Bivizmi> I only have this one manuscript page to go on, written in Duedarcian, to go on, along with a name: "the pale oracle". You see here, there is a sketch of the plant, and just the barest description. Not really anything at all.
<Bivizmi> But the description, what little is there, is tantalizing.
<Katenzhi> What does it say?
<Bivizmi> It's a description of a plant that the writer calls "the pale oracle".
<Bivizmi> "The pale oracle" is described as a white root with white-purple flowers, just as illustrated in the drawing below.
* Bivizmi points to a certain portion of the page
<Bivizmi> To the right, a marginal note in a different handwriting reads "Its tendrils extend through Source to streams untapped and futures unwritten. I am entwined with the pale oracle, and have seen my end."
* Katenzhi raises an eyebrow at that.
<Katenzhi> So it's some kind of prophesy plant?
<Bivizmi> Possibly, yes. Assuming that it even exists. That's what I wanted to ask about. Have you seen any plant like this in your journeys?
<Katenzhi> Not that I know of. Looks like you wouldn't really be able to tell until you picked it.
* Bivizmi nods
<Bivizmi> That's what I figured :/
<Katenzhi> Why are you interested in it? Looking to cultivate and sell it?
<Bivizmi> Well... I guess that would depend on what its effects actually are. If, like you said, it's some kind of prophetic variety of fos, it could potentially be very valuable.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Bivizmi> But it goes without saying, right? That this has to be kept quiet. Imagine the panic if, on top of the fos boom, everyone goes out into the swamp looking for this thing.
<Katenzhi> Well, it's a long-shot but I can keep my eyes open. Ancestors know I've seen weirder stuff out in the swamps.
<Bivizmi> Thanks, I appreciate it. I know you see a lot in your travels, so I thought, who would be better to keep an eye out for this plant :)
<Katenzhi> No worries. And I won't say a word. For all we know it could be extinct or someone's idea of a joke.
<Bivizmi> Yes, it's entirely possible that it doesn't exist, or doesn't grow in this area, or even if it used to exist, it's gone extinct or something. But on the off chance that this is a lead to a new commodity, I figured it couldn't hurt to have a look.
<Katenzhi> One condition, though...
<Bivizmi> Oh?
<Katenzhi> If I do find this miracle plant you give me a damn good price on the extracts ;)
* Bivizmi smiles at that
<Bivizmi> Well, of course :)

Chimi and Idovo give Daifan romantic advice

* Idovo has managed to muster up some shellfish and snails that have been turned into a tasty stew.
<Idovo> I think I'm getting better at this :)
<Daifan> I think so too!
<Chimi> It's not bad.
* Chimi agrees
<Daifan> did hyou catch these in a trap?
<Idovo> No, these I mostly just watched where the folks harvesting them go, got a basket, and walked around poking in the mud with a stick until I found them.
<Idovo> It's a bit more work, but once I found a good spot, there were a lot more nearby.
<Daifan> well, that;s good as long as there's enough
* Idovo nods
<Idovo> How was your trip?
<Daifan> Weird.
<Idovo> oh?
<Daifan> There was an old temple, and it gave some people frightening visions
<Daifan> and then JImba had some kind of....curse dream
<Daifan> it made him ill
<Idovo> That doesn't sound good.
<Idovo> Was it haunted or something?
<Daifan> Maybe. Someone had brought one ancestor into the temple, a guard of some kind.
<Daifan> the vision and the dream were definitely warnings
<Chimi> that's weird
<Daifan> but both the hand and the voice who were with us said that the temple was sill hallowed
<Daifan> yes, very weird....
<Daifan> but that's for someone else to sort out, I think
<Daifan> We went back and reported.
* Idovo nods
* Daifan shrugs
<Idovo> other than that, how did it go? are they still being nice to you?
<Daifan> Yes but... it makes a little more sense, now... sort of.
<Chimi> sort of?
* Daifan frowns a bit
<Daifan> It's still weird.
<Daifan> I guess.... when the twins parents were leaving Choradan, that's when they were born, so there was no one, no Hands, around. And their mother died.
<Idovo> Oh, huh.
<Daifan> And their aunt kept them... Their uncle eventually told them they were corpseborn, I guess.
<Daifan> So that's what they think. That they could have been like us.
<Chimi> why would he tell them that?
<Daifan> I think because he's an asshole... that was the impression I had.
<Chimi> if they didn't know, and hadn't been raised that way, it just seems ... cruel.
<Daifan> That would be Katenzhi's father, I think.
<Daifan> yes, very.
<Daifan> SO i think maybe that's why she went to live with the Hith.
<Daifan> I don't know about Jimba, I haven't asked him about it.... it isn't really my business
<Daifan> But Llillilli told me. She found out what tetem means, somehow, and wanted to tell me
<Idovo> well, sometimes people who have Corpseborn relatives - even if they aren't supposed to keep in contact with them - they know they exist, and it affects how they view all of us. you know what I mean?
<Daifan> SHe's very.... direct.
<Idovo> so maybe it's sort of like that.
<Daifan> Yes, I think so.
<Daifan> I think it really explains them all
<Daifan> Kathenzi just wants to pretent it doens't matter at all, because they're her cousins and there is this family drama
<Daifan> they are very close, raised like siblings... almost
* Chimi nods
<Daifan> but the others are still nice too... >.>
<Daifan> I talked to Moss about that
<Chimi> oh yes?
<Daifan> he said it's the same with is group... they work together and things matter less on the job
<Daifan> not all friendly but... respectful mostly
<Chimi> Moss is a nice fellow. Stable, has a steady job, responsible, you know... ;)
<Daifan> mmhmm
<Idovo> I think this is a hint, but I'm not taking it.
<Daifan> Have you talked to him?
* Daifan asks, a bit suspicious
<Chimi> A bit, when I first arrived and didn't know my way around or really what to do now that I was here. He was one of the people who was helpful when I was getting set up here.
<Idovo> Should I be jealous? ^-^
<Chimi> I don't know, should you? :p
* Idovo smiles
<Daifan> He's been very helpful
<Idovo> that's good
<Idovo> I'm not jealous, you know that, right sweetheart?
<Chimi> Mmhmm.
* Chimi eats her soup.
* Daifan rolls her eyes a little at the both of them
<Chimi> I would probably have given you at least another six months to show up before I decided to move on.
<Idovo> Thanks.
<Daifan> that's a good long time
<Idovo> Can't ask for more, really.
<Daifan> (I mean... how long was she here?)
<AshnabisAssistant> (probably somewhere between 6 months to a year? I'm not sure exactly, but not longer than a year.)
<Daifan> (*nod*)
<Daifan> you are very lucky and you know it ;p
* Daifan says to Idovo
<Idovo> I know.
<Chimi> I know.
* Chimi says at the same time.
<Daifan> :3
<Daifan> you two are so cute
* Daifan sighs though, thinking about their own mess of a life
<Chimi> Disgusting, isn't it? What about you - have you met anyone cute? :)
<Daifan> Cute people are everywhere, it's really a problem
<Idovo> And they have to be cute and also not an asshole, so that makes it harder.
<Daifan> that's harder to judge. Better to just assume they all are :p
<Chimi> Definitely true.
<Daifan> It's probably easier just not to talk to anyone... but I can't do that :p
<Idovo> It's hard to get to know people that way.
<Daifan> yes well. exactly :p
<Idovo> Giving them a chance means... giving them a chance to hurt you :/ I get it.
* Daifan pokes at their soup
<Chimi> You take whatever time you need. You've got us, anyway :)
<Daifan> Thanks.
<Idovo> Yeah... we just want you to be happy. If that means you live with us forever, we wouldn't mind that.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I told you about the envoy, right?
<Idovo> The one from Daligash?
<Daifan> mm, yes. >.>
<Chimi> What's that look about? is he cute?
<Daifan> I spent a lot of time talking with him on the way back...
<Idovo> ooh?
* Llillilli changes topic to 'DAINAN IS CANON KING'
<Daifan> He is cute... friendly. He's an envoy, that's his job.
<Chimi> I don't think they actually require them to be cute.
<Idovo> But it doesn't hurt ;)
<Daifan> mmhmm... I am sitting there... telling him stories... it's so easy, you kow, to fall back into that.
* Idovo nods
<Idovo> he reminds you of home?
<Daifan> I know it is a bad idea but.. yes. Good and bad.
<Chimi> Well... I know you'll be careful. Take your time, don't rush into anything, all of that. Give him a chance to prove he's not an asshole :p
<Chimi> Especially since you work with him. It'd be hard to avoid him if things turned awkward.
<Daifan> mmhmmm.. :|
<Daifan> I'll try anyway
<Idovo> but there's nothing wrong with a bit of fun. flirting, or ... whatever :)
<Idovo> it doesn't have to lead anywhere.
<Chimi> well, as long as everyone involved understands that, sure. sometimes men get the wrong idea :p
<Daifan> yes... we'll, we'll see. I expect it wouldn't have anywhere to go, anyway
<Daifan> anyway.
<Daifan> at least I know it is a bad idea, that's a start, right? >.>
<Chimi> Definitely a start.
<Daifan> thanks
* Daifan smiles a bit wanly
<Daifan> I feel better having people to talk to anyway... just don't let me do anything too stupid
<Idovo> We'll try.

Veznara speaks with High Priestess Dezmali

<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, with work at the registry less busy than usual, you are freed up to spend more time on your religious duties at the temple in Kaskind.
<AshnabisNarrator> You do not normally have any particular charge or assignment, but the expectation is that you will make yourself useful when possible.
<Veznara> (Of course!)
<AshnabisNarrator> About four days after your return, you are working in the small temple library, a collection of the major theological works plus a few random volumes acquired through trade or donation. Hardly the Aigilar Library in Fuvuri, and not enough for any real scholarship - really more oriented towards conversion of the locals than research purposes.
<AshnabisNarrator> As you putter away, you sense a presence behind you quietly enter the room. Turning to look, you see High Priestess Dezmali standing in the doorway.
* Dezmali is an angular, skinny woman of around thirty, with curly caramel-coloured hair cut close to her head. She wears the white robes of a priestess of the Hand, accented with a panel of green and blue diamonds, and belted at the waist with a wide silk sash.
<Dezmali> Veznara.
* Veznara is wearing a relatively simply white dress. She stands and greets the High Priestess.
<Veznara> High Priestess Dezmali. May I be of service?
<Dezmali> I would speak to you in my office. Come with me.
* Veznara puts aside the book she was reading, and follows Dezmali
<AshnabisNarrator> You head into Dezmali's office. A bubun clothed in white, bearing a heavy stone club, stands on either side of the door, motionlessly awaiting any instruction. As you pass through, Dezmali instructs them 'Let no one pass until I emerge.' She closes the door behind you.
<Dezmali> Please, sit.
* Veznara does so.
<Dezmali> This morning I had a long conversation with Tegus Ufrangum, my counterpart at the temple of the Voice. We spoke at some length about the subject of your most recent investigation.
<Veznara> Ah, yes. The Voice temple... which seems to have been claimed by the Sashnir family.
<Veznara> Or so they might say.
<Dezmali> Yes, exactly.
<Dezmali> But the temple itself, while not abandoned, precisely, had no one present at the time of your visit, save the one ancestor?
<Veznara> I... I'm not sure. There was another presence there, I think.
Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> Your colleague Erku had indicated as much in his report to Voice Tegus.
<Veznara> There was an incident... some of the others were affected, and fled out of the temple in fear.
<Dezmali> Yes, I read the report. Very disconcerting.
<Veznara> And one of our number had a dream that night of a woman warning him away.
<Veznara> As you know, there was one area that appeared to be sunken.
<Dezmali> Yes.
<Veznara> Has Voice Tegus indicated what he would have done next?
<Dezmali> Well, that is what I want to talk to you about.
* Veznara nods
<Dezmali> In your view, were the experiences of your team authentic holy experiences? Or potentially something else?
<Veznara> Holy? I am not sure. Both Voice Erku and myself agreed that there was no haunt. But the experiences themselves sound like the type of encounter we would normally consider to be a haunting.
<Dezmali> Hmmm.
<Dezmali> As you note, there is a strange custom that the local priests have tolerated here for some time, namely that the Sashnir lineage has been permitted to treat its own dead, according to its own custom, using its own priests of the Voice.
<Dezmali> How that came to be, or what exactly that means, only our colleagues at the Voice can say exactly.
<Veznara> The visions our colleagues had did not harm them, not directly. They were clearly intended to drive off and warn them away.
<Veznara> But I take it that the Voice is now reconsidering their former tolerance for these practices?
<Dezmali> I don't know. There appears to be at least some inclination to take ... local sensitivities ... seriously.
<Veznara> I imagine they need a better understanding of the incident before they can make any final judgments.
<Dezmali> The Sashnir do have an actual temple that they actively use, in a location nearer the coast to where you were, as I understand it. This place is not that.
<Dezmali> So what happens to this temple may be independent of the question of whether the practice is allowed to continue.
<Veznara> Oh? But then... what is the place we found?
<Dezmali> I don't know. An old temple perhaps?
<Veznara> Have the Sashnir been able to explain it?
<Dezmali> I spoke to Yena about this, thinking that as a local she might know more. But she didn't know anything about the temple you investigated, although she did know, at least vaguely, about the unusual Sashnir practice.
<Veznara> Yes, she mentioned it to me before we set out.
<Dezmali> Hmm, she did? Interesting, she didn't tell me that.
<Veznara> It may have slipped her mind. Based on the description we had of this temple, it didn't sound likely.
<Dezmali> Indeed.
<Dezmali> At any rate, it would be ... politically insensitive to simply go and demand answers of the Sashnir. We may need to deal with our colleagues at the Aummesh temples of the Hand and Voice in Timiil to see if they can learn more - or indeed if they know more.
<Dezmali> We are not always well perceived, even by our colleagues of the Corps, as you probably know.
<Veznara> Yes. I'm afraid I don't yet understand who the Sashnir are - I take it they are an important local lineage?
<Dezmali> They are an old lineage, common, not noble, but yes, they've apparently been in this area for centuries.
<Dezmali> But I am assured that they are the only lineage with such unusual practices, and I am told, though I remain skeptical of this, that it is only with respect to the ancestors and the Voice that they diverge from our practices.
<Veznara> I can understand the reluctance to interfere with them.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> Exactly.
<Dezmali> But at the same time, doing nothing is not an option.
<Dezmali> Something like this has theological implications. Particularly if the belief system of this … group … have diverged in any significant ways.
<Veznara> Surely the Voice must have had an idea of the practices they were permitting at the time?
<Dezmali> Tegus indicates no, that this is news to him. But the locals surely knew much more.
<Veznara> Does he want Erku and myself to go to Timiil to ask about this as the next step?
<Dezmali> I don't know what he wants, but that is not what I want. My impression of Erku is ... not good.
* Veznara grimaces, then smiles
<Veznara> I admit, he was not entirely pleasant to work with.
<Dezmali> My concern is for the arms of the Corps, not its mouth. And I should be clear, I think this may have some political implications for our order specifically.
<Dezmali> As you may know, I am relatively new in this position, and there are others of the Hand who are not entirely happy that I occupy this seat.
* Veznara nods
<Dezmali> I am also concerned, perhaps, that our colleagues of the Voice may know more than they are telling us about this whole affair. While we are two parts of the same body, naturally, our interests sometimes diverge.
<Dezmali> But if there is a disease in this body I want to be the one who deals with it. Not our colleagues at the plantations in Zhumne, who are overconcerned with their farms in any case. And not our counterparts of the Voice.
<Veznara> How best to proceed, then?
<Dezmali> Well, I don't know if direct historical research will be effective.
<Dezmali> As you know, our library here is not nearly sufficient for conducting historical research, and in any case the natives do not typically write long histories or the like.
<Dezmali> Do you have any ideas?
<Veznara> Many of the members of my registry team have more local knowledge, and contacts. But if they knew anything at the time, I think they would have mentioned it. I could ask them about their contacts, but that might be suspicious - of course this is something we would want to keep to ourselves.
<Dezmali> I agree.
<Dezmali> Perhaps you and Yena have the right combination of skills. Her local expertise, and your background in theology and history.
<Dezmali> And of course it would keep it amongst us.
<Veznara> Perhaps. I do have a family member who has been here longer. She may have more local knowledge. But this seems rather obscure, so it might not be worth asking. I should investigate other avenues before we consider that.
<Veznara> I could go to Timiil. I am new to the area, after all, so there is a pretext.
<Dezmali> It does seem that this is something the locals have been keeping to themselves. I would not presume they are likely to share much with Ombesh people. And in any case you must keep yourself from any harm.
<Dezmali> But this matter, if it were revealed widely, would cause some in our Order great consternation.
<Dezmali> So we must be careful, even as we must certainly proceed.
* Veznara nods
<Dezmali> Use Yena as a resource to whatever extent it is practical and useful to do so.
<Veznara> I will.
<Dezmali> And particularly be alert for any sign that the Hand may have ancient temples in the swamp.
<Veznara> Us too? My goodness.
<Veznara> There was one thing in particular that struck me - the position of the saglikom.
<Dezmali> Oh?
<Veznara> It was placed on the inside of the temple door, rather than in its standard position outside.
<Dezmali> That is very strange.
<Veznara> We speculated at the time that it might be intended to keep something in, rather than ward against intrusion from outside.
<Dezmali> I don't know enough about local customs to know about that. A saglikom is not a magical artifact ... more a symbol than anything else.
<Veznara> I suppose Yena may have an idea.
<Dezmali> She may.
<Veznara> I should consult with her as soon as possible.
<Dezmali> I agree. I will ensure that her duties permit her to be of use to you, although of course as my chief assistant her work is more substantial than yours.
<Veznara> Of course. Thank you.
* Dezmali stands and opens the door.
<Dezmali> Stand aside and let us pass.
* Dezmali orders the bubun.
* Veznara stands, and follows Dezmali out

Jimba receives a visit and a warning from Hishkobal

<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, you are the caretaker of two very wet, very sorry-looking dogs and one very wet, ecstatic hippo. Young Washteppo is of course better-suited for the wet weather than any of you, and scurries back and forth on the boat, and into and out of the water, as much as she can.
<AshnabisNarrator> You're not sure if hippos can smile, but you're confident that if they could, she would be. You're lounging under the canopy watching her play when you see a familiar face approaching.
<AshnabisNarrator> It is Hishkobal Wartibar.
* Dezmali is now known as Hishkobal
* Hishkobal looks rather drawn, like he hasn't slept in a few days - which could easily be the case, if he's been carousing.
<Hishkobal> Jimba!
* Hishkobal calls out.
* Jimba waves.
<Jimba> Hishkobal! Come on up.
* Hishkobal steps aboard.
<Hishkobal> I welcome and acknowledge the Ghughife clan and its hospitality as I enter these grounds.
* Hishkobal intones seriously as he steps onto the boat, in the style befitting a reckoner, although his pronunciation of your Ombesh lineage name is a little rough on his lips.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Come on out of the rain, to the extent we can manage.
<Jimba> You here on business?
<Hishkobal> Afraid so.
* Jimba will lead him into the enclosed part of the boat.
<Jimba> (Is there a specific formal greeting to a reckoner?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (uhh ... probably?)
* Jimba will do that then.
<Hishkobal> I've come, I suppose, to apologize.
<Jimba> Oh?
<Hishkobal> You and your kin have got yourself in a situation.
<Jimba> I don't like the sound of that.
<Jimba> Did Katenzhi blow something up?
<Hishkobal> I'm sorry. I should have been firmer with you the other day. I hoped, I suppose, that Umba would scare you off with tales of monsters. I couldn't have said much in such a public place anyway.
* Jimba frowns at that.
<Jimba> So you know what's out there at that temple?
* Hishkobal nods.
<Hishkobal> At least ... in general.
<Hishkobal> You should not have anything more to do with that temple. And you ought to find a way to ensure that your superiors understand that as well. That place is not for you.
<Jimba> Believe me, I'm not the one you need to convince.
<Jimba> I'm happier quit of the place, but I don't know it's entirely up to me.
<Jimba> Other than it being dangerous, is there anything you can tell me that I can tell my bosses as to why they should leave well enough alone?
<Hishkobal> The Sashnir are not to be trifled with. They may not be the largest lineage around here, nor the wealthiest, but you do not want to find yourself on their bad side.
<Hishkobal> They're very old, and their ways are deep rooted.
<Jimba> A feud? That's what you want me to take to the land office?
* Hishkobal shakes his head.
<Hishkobal> It's not about a feud.
<Hishkobal> You must understand, this isn't just about one family either.
<Hishkobal> The Sashnir and the Wartibar, we have many ties of marriage. I have all sorts of Sashnir cousins.
<Jimba> Sorry, I'm not meaning to make light.
<Jimba> I'm on the local side here.
<Jimba> I just don't have a lot of power.
<Jimba> So I need a good argument if I'm going to run this by my superiors.
* Hishkobal nods.
<Hishkobal> I agree. I'm concerned that now that the church is involved it is too late for any of that.
<Jimba> Well, I mean, it's a temple. Does it have a caretaker or anything?
<Hishkobal> ...
<Jimba> Someone who can claim it, or speak for it, or whatever?
* Hishkobal shuffles uncomfortably.
<Hishkobal> It does.
* Jimba raises an eyebrow.
<Jimba> Sounds like maybe they'd be reticent to deal with the land office.
* Hishkobal laughs out loud.
<Hishkobal> Yes, you might say that.
<Jimba> This wouldn't have anything to do with vomit dreams and persimmon ladies, would it?
<Jimba> Well, persimmon lady.
<Hishkobal> You've lost me a bit there, Jimba.
<Jimba> Don't worry about it.
<Jimba> Look, I'll do what I can to keep our noses out of it, but there's only so much I can do.
<Hishkobal> I've done what I can on my end.
<Hishkobal> Explained to some of the relevant parties that you and your kin know our people well, speak our tongue.
<Hishkobal> But I can't speak for all of your group, especially not the religious ones, seeing as this is a religious matter.
<Jimba> Yeah, that's not my strong suit.
<Jimba> But I'll help how I can.
<Hishkobal> You know I joke about you imperial scum and all that. I'm not joking now. Your presence is disruptive to ways and patterns long established, and long forgotten by most. I know you're a good sort, but that won't matter if things start getting upended.
<Hishkobal> I won't be able to defend you or your friends.
<Jimba> Is it that bad?
<Jimba> I knew tensions were high, but I thought there was a rough equilibrium for now. The Ombesh push, folks like the Black Storks raid, it shakes out.
<Hishkobal> Not yet. It really isn't. I don't mean to suggest that you need to watch your back. I think they're going to wait and see what happens next.
* Jimba sighs.
<Hishkobal> This is the sort of thing that might throw things out of balance.
<Jimba> I know there's things outside my power and experience, but I can only help to the extent I'm informed.
<Hishkobal> The Storks and the Cormorant and the other little raiders, they live off the fact that you're here. They're wealthier than ever before, because of Kaskind. They hate the imperials, a little bit, but without you they'd be struggling. They really exist because of you.
<Hishkobal> This other thing ... the Sashnir ... you pose a real threat to them, without any counterbalance.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Is there...there's not a compromise here, is there? The Ombesh need to leave that area alone, full stop, right?
<Hishkobal> That would be enough for now. It's bigger than that, because it's about customs and beliefs, but that would be a start.
<Jimba> Well, all I can promise is to do what I can. If things get worse, let me know. Yeah?
* Hishkobal considers.
<Hishkobal> All right.
<Hishkobal> I'll extend you the courtesy of not asking for your formal oath.
<Jimba> What would it even be? "I solemnly swear to try"?
<Jimba> I still feel a bit blind here, but I'll do my best.
<Hishkobal> I believe you. That matters around here, the trust that one man puts in another.
<Hishkobal> I will convey to the parties involved that the matter is closed, as far as you are concerned.
<Hishkobal> And that you can't speak for others - they will understand that.
* Jimba nods.
<Hishkobal> But you should surely tell your kin the same. Actions they take will be interpreted as if you had broken your promise.
* Jimba frowns.
<Jimba> I will, but I only have so much say there, too.
* Hishkobal nods.
<Jimba> Please, *please*, if either Kat or Lillilli are in danger, tell me before someone does something drastic.
<Hishkobal> Trust me, I know all about having unruly kin, Jimba.
* Jimba smiles wryly at that.
<Jimba> I'm not exactly ruly myself all the time, but, yeah.
<Hishkobal> Take care. I will do my best to let you know if anything changes.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I appreciate it.
* Hishkobal takes his leave.

Daifan has a drink with Jovoz at the Mudbug

<AshnabisAssistant> Daifan, your roommates look to be getting frisky this evening, so you decide to take a walk over to the Mudbug and get a drink (and give them some privacy).
<AshnabisAssistant> The bar is a ramshackle but popular establishment in Banei, built on stilts in a marshy patch of ground, with a section under the building that in drier weather can be used to sit or sleep outside, but with the current rain is more of a shallow muddy lake.
* Daifan will leave them to it ;p
<AshnabisAssistant> different-kinds-house-philippines.jpg is how I envision it, although more run down and no satellite dish ;)
* Daifan would liek to have made/scavenged some kind of umbrella/parasol our of waxed cloth ;p
<AshnabisAssistant> Okay, I'm sure that can be managed.
<AshnabisAssistant> You climb the rickety stairs to the main level, already able to hear the sounds of voices and music from within.
* Daifan will take anything to help them stay more dry :V
<Daifan> (and also, be cute ;)
<AshnabisAssistant> The tavern is crowded tonight, with Eshani behind the bar, doling out drinks and advice, and Jovoz holding court near one of the open windows that looks out over the town.
* Daifan will poke their head in and see if there is anyone they know hanging around
<AshnabisAssistant> A few other people you know are also present - Eldiri and her husband Ranaan are at a table in the corner.
* Jovoz is a very fat, bearded man with a ready smile and a twinkle in his eye, wearing a majestic patchwork robe made of hundreds of scraps of colourful fabric, from gleaming silk to brightly patterned cotton, belted at the waist with a thick black sash.
* Daifan will wave to people they know and grab a drink
* Jovoz fans himself occasionally with a fan made of woven reeds, to keep away insects and stay cool in the humid air.
<Jovoz> Ah, a beautiful flower graces us with their presence :)
* Jovoz says upon seeing you
* Daifan smiles at that
<Daifan> This flower needs a little fertilizer to really bloom tonight... give them a few minutes
* Daifan gestures at the bar
<Jovoz> There is surely plenty of fertilizer to be found here.
* Jovoz says with a chuckle.
<Eshani> What can I get you?
* Eshani asks once they're able to work their way over to you.
<Daifan> (good question :V)
<Daifan> Oh just some of the regular swill 'll do me tonight I think
<Eshani> One mug of swill, coming up :)
<Daifan> perfect :)
* Eshani can get you some of the homemade stuff they probably make in a vat somewhere ;)
* Daifan will probably not go blind with just one mug so that's fine :V
<Eshani> It's got a good kick to it, this batch.
* Eshani says, handing you the drink.
<Daifan> perfect, one glass to forget about today, two to forget about tomorrow?
<Eshani> Three to forget your name and where you live.
<Daifan> thanks
<Eshani> Enjoy!
* Daifan tips their glass and will find somewhere to sit
* Jovoz waves to you with his fan and points to an empty seat near him.
* Daifan can go settle in for stories and general bullshit, sure
<Jovoz> Is the fair blossom feeling a little less wilted now? :)
<Daifan> defintely perking up
<Daifan> But I thought this woudl be a good seat, since we all know you're full of shit ;)
* Jovoz laughs
<Jovoz> That's true enough, I can't deny.
<Daifan> Indeed. Anything interesting to tell?
<Jovoz> Always, of course. Of late I've had the chance to speak with Ufrim - you know, the one they call Big Mouth, for some unknown reason. Have you met him?
<Daifan> once or twice
<Jovoz> He has a fascinating outlook. Those who are chosen as prophets, or self-appointed perhaps, usually spin a good yarn. But I think his is more compelling than most.
<Daifan> oh?
<Daifan> somethign about a corpseborn saint?
<Daifan> I've heard that much
* Daifan glances around to see if everyone else has been hearing about this all night or what
<Jovoz> That's the one. He believes that somewhere in the swamp, there is a saint of the Corpseborn. One of our kind who, against the tenets of the church and all teachings that they hold, was chosen to bring a message from beyond.
<AshnabisAssistant> A few people nearby do sort of roll their eyes, but others are listening with interest.
<Daifan> Saints don't really bring messages though, I don’t think...
<Jovoz> He believes this one has, at any rate. He says he's had visions from it that promise that, if it's found, it portends salvation for all of us. A rise in our stature, so that we are no longer outcast from the rest of society.
<Daifan> I think it would take a lot more than one saint for that :p
<Daifan> even if it exists, that sounds like a crock to me.
<Jovoz> Perhaps, indeed. But for there to be a Corpseborn saint at all does suggest that the church's teachings are in error.
<Daifan> maybe. I'm sure they'd find some way to justify it
<Daifan> And people would believe them, because that works out better for them
<Jovoz> It could be, as you say, a crock. Some call him a madman, or believe he might be well-meaning but mistaken. But... something about him tells me that at least, he's not mad.
<Jovoz> I've met enough madmen in my day to know the sort.
<Daifan> looked in a mirror once or twice? ;p
* Jovoz chuckles
<Jovoz> After a few of Suds' fine beverages, perhaps!
<Daifan> mmhmmm... how long have you been in here today?
<Jovoz> Well... it's been so rainy, one hardly wants to leave.
<Daifan> I can't argue that
* Daifan lifts their glass and will drink to that ;p
<Jovoz> Tell me something about your travels, if you find my tale too outlandish - where have you been lately?
<Daifan> Oh sure, this is a good story.
<Daifan> We went to investigate... an abandoned haunted temple, out in the bay
* Jovoz looks intrigued
<Daifan> someone wanted to grow fos out there, but the old place gave them a bad feeling, so they wanted to have it investigated
<Jovoz> It sounds like an eerie place.
<Daifan> it turns out... the place was not abandoned... if it had been, someone had re-hallowed it
<Daifan> oh yes
<Daifan> Some of the people I work with when we were inside, had terrible visions of the place being destroyed by fire
<Daifan> There was one ancestor there that someone had brought, even though part of it was sinking into the swamp
<Jovoz> Interesting. Did it show signs of having experienced a fire in the past? Perhaps they were granted a vision of its demise.
<Daifan> and one of the little plaques they put above the door... only it was looking in.
<Daifan> the only fire I saw evidence of was one that someone had lit in the hearth some time before
<Jovoz> so it was still tended? still used by someone, I take it?
<Daifan> yes, exactly.
<Daifan> but just that one ancestor, who had been a temple guard, was there.
<Daifan> We spent the night outside in a grove of persimmons, and Jimba, one of the peple i my group, had a terrible dream that cursed him
<Jovoz> There are strange people out in the swamps - those who've chosen to live there, or those who always lived there. Perhaps one of them makes use of this place as their own, ah, private sanctuary.
<Daifan> maybe
<Jovoz> Did he tell you what was in his dream?
<Daifan> but if so, there must be someone from the Voice to help them
<Daifan> yes, a woman, warning him that this was not his place, and filling him with shadows
* Jovoz 's eyes widen a bit at that
<Daifan> in his dream the shadows poured out of him, and poisoned everything, and when he woke, he was very ill
<Daifan> there was a statue of the woman from his dream inside the temple too
<Daifan> so maybe she was an angry ancestor or ghost, I don't know.
<Daifan> We left in the morning.... the Hand who was with us tried to see if there was anything in the sunken temple, but everyone else wanted to leave.
<Jovoz> Or a saint, perhaps. It's something like what saints can do - to send a vision to someone. Perhaps this is a sign of Ufrim's missing saint.
<Daifan> maybe
<Daifan> Maybe the Sashnir are hiding it from us :p
<Jovoz> Not very friendly, if so, though....
<Daifan> no.
<Daifan> or they have theor own saints hidden out there
<Jovoz> The Sashnir?
<Daifan> it was one of their ancestors in the temple
<Jovoz> Hm, interesting.
<Daifan> Lesmidus? Something like that?
<Jovoz> It all sounds very mysterious and strange. I love it.
<Daifan> yes well, I think you will have to get any more of the story from someone else - no one seemed very keen on going back out there
<Daifan> and since it is Jimba's boat, I feel that's the end of it for us :V
<Daifan> i think they woudl have to give him quite a lot of money to go back after all of that.
<Jovoz> I'll keep my ear to the ground and see if I hear anything else about it.
<Daifan> well, let me know if you hear anything, I am curious... from a distance, anyway!
* Jovoz nods
<Jovoz> From a distance is generally the best way to experience such tales, I've found.
<Daifan> So I am finding.
<Jovoz> Take care - it would be a shame for such a delicate flower as yourself to come to harm.
<Daifan> I'm hoping I got all my bad luck out in my first assignment... but I will continue to be careful.
<Jovoz> Let us hope you're right!
* Jovoz offers you a toast.
* Daifan will drink to their own health and luck, sure :V

Veznara speaks with Yena about the Sashnir

* Veznara goes in search of Yena after her interview with the High Priestess
* Yena is pretty easy to find, as she is generally available at the temple
<Veznara> Hello, Yena! How are you today?
<Yena> Veznara, I'm well. Have you just come from Dezmali?
<Veznara> Indeed I have!
<Yena> I didn't mention our conversation to her - you had asked for discretion and I thought it best.
* Idovo is now known as Eshani
<Veznara> Oh. Thank you, I appreciate that - but I did mention to her that I had spoken to you myself. :s
<Yena> What did she have to say to you?
<Veznara> (I take it we're in a discreet location where we can discuss these things without being overheard, right?)
<Yena> (yes, sure)
<Veznara> Well, I take it she told you about what we found?
<Yena> She did, or at least, she told me enough. I promise you I didn't know anything about a second Sashnir temple, Veznara.
<Veznara> No, it's puzzling. That's what she wanted to talk to me about - to ask a bit more about what I'd seen, and what I thought of it.
* Yena nods.
<Yena> I don't understand it all myself. But, you know, I'm not as connected as some Aummesh people are to these sorts of things.
<Veznara> She's asked me to take advantage of your expertise - she'd like us to work together quietly to find out what might be going on.
<Yena> Well, I'm happy to help if I can! I just don't know how.
<Veznara> There were a few things I wanted to ask you about - details that Dezmali may not have mentioned.
<Yena> Okay, sure!
<Veznara> For example, there's the name of this ancestor - "Lesmidus" or "Leshmidus" Sashnir. I didn't recognize it, but perhaps you have an idea?
<Veznara> It appears that this person was a stoneguard, if that helps.
<Yena> Well Lesmidus is just the way it's written. Back when our languages were the same, that's what it would have been. It's Leshmidus Sashnir when you say it but Lesmidus Sasnir in writing.
<Yena> But I don't know who that is.
<Veznara> What about stoneguards in general? There are fewer of them nowadays, I know.
<Yena> Yeah, I mean, I you would know more than I would. Back in the old days every temple used to have them, but now only the important Voice temples still do, mostly. I don't know how common they are among you imperials, but here, the temples don't have or need guards.
<Veznara> Not even spiritual ones?
<Yena> I don't know what you mean. To guard against haunts?
<Veznara> Perhaps. There was an area that was sunken, in front of a carving of a woman.
<Yena> Ancestors can't do anything - even stoneguard ancestors.
<Veznara> I just get the sense that she may be a guardian of that place, in some sense.
<Veznara> We found that the saglikom was placed on the inside of the door, rather than facing outward. What might that signify, do you think?
<Yena> I ... don't really know. That's very odd.
<Veznara> Dezmali pointed out that the saglikom is only symbolic. But still...
<Yena> If people take symbols seriously, then they matter a lot.
<Veznara> Yes. I find it disturbing.
<Yena> How can I help, Veznara?
* Veznara sighs
<Veznara> I'm not sure... I'm just not sure of what's going on here.
<Veznara> What about the Sashnir? They're a local lineage of some importance?
<Yena> Welllll .... I don't know about 'importance'.
<Yena> There are some lineages, like mine, or the Tsamorg, or the Belidomi, the old noble families. I mean, nobody takes that too seriously anymore, but it does matter, a little bit.
<Yena> The Sashnir are a common lineage, but they've been around a long time. Because they have their own burying grounds and priests, it's always a bit odd, but it's not like they're strangers to us. They're an ordinary lineage that has this quirk, I guess.
<Veznara> How did that come about, I wonder?
<Yena> I really don't know.
<Veznara> (Sense Motive?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, make a roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 11 ].
<Yena> (she seems to be telling the truth)
<Veznara> I'm sure there were reasons.
<Veznara> There was no haunt there, so everything seems fine as far as that's concerned.
* Yena nods
<Veznara> And I'm sure we don't want to interfere with the Sashnir family's rights.
<Yena> Don't we? I mean ... if they're doing something untoward ...
<Veznara> In that case, certainly. But so far I'm not sure there's any reason to think they are.
<Veznara> Unfortunately, I don't think we can ask them about this directly.
<Yena> No, I suppose not.
<Veznara> Dezmali was clear that we should just investigate quietly for now.
<Yena> I could ask around ... you know, my family is not well loved in Timiil these days, but I do have some friends.
<Veznara> Well, we have to be careful about asking anyone else, I think. Questions may raise suspicions.
<Yena> I agree, unfortunately.
<Veznara> Perhaps for now we should just do research with the resources we have in the library.
<Yena> All right, well, you're more of an expert than I am about that.
<Yena> I mean, we don't get great historical training here.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Don't sell yourself short!
<Veznara> Anyway, I think I'll have a look, and see what I can find out. Without drawing notice to what I'm researching, I hope.
<Yena> All right. Just let me know if there is anything you want to do.
<Veznara> Thank you. I will.
<Veznara> And if you think of anything, please let me know!
<Yena> I will. Thanks!
* Veznara will have a look in the library for anything that seems relevant...
<Veznara> (Another Knowledge(History) roll, perhaps? :D )
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, you can roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+12
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 25 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> (Nope, nothing)
<AshnabisNarrator> (it really is a pathetic little library. You suspect that you would need to consult some specialized volumes)
<Veznara> (Any signs that relevant books have been carefully removed? :P )
<AshnabisNarrator> (no, nothing like that. It just really isn't a historical library relevant to Aummesh things at all. Theology books mostly.)
<Veznara> (Meh. I had to ask. :P )

Llillilli learns that Shulilae has been reprimanded by a solar

<AshnabisAssistant> Llillilli, you can go to Shulilae's home to bring the persimmon cuttings you took to add to their collection.
<Llillilli> (yay)
<AshnabisAssistant> You can make the short walk to the outskirts of Kaskind, where their hut is located near the shore. When you arrive there, you find Shulilae outside, seemingly examining something about the structure.
<AshnabisAssistant> Their house is made mostly of shells held together by lithus, with pieces of driftwood here and there for structural support, and a roof thatched with dried grass. In a few places, larger panels of lithus serve as windows, letting the light in through their translucent surface.
* Shulilae is looking at one of these 'windows', poking it experimentally with one of their fingers.
<AshnabisAssistant> As you approach closer, you can see that the lithus seems strange - it is dark and opaque, nearly black.
<Llillilli> ...
* Llillilli frowns as she walks up.
<Llillilli> What happened to your window?
<Shulilae> Ah.. it is a long story, little one. But one that I ought to tell you.
* Shulilae looks rather weary, you think.
<Llillilli> WHat is it?
<Shulilae> You know already that there are some among the people who do not like that we associate with humans, bring them into our trust and teach them our ways.
<Llillilli> Oh. Yes.
<Llillilli> ¬_¬
<Shulilae> Yesterday, Helithae and I received a visit from one such person, a solar named Thethu.
<Llillilli> (do I know them)
<Shulilae> (you do not recognize the name, no)
<Llillilli> What did they want.
<Shulilae> To ... caution us, about our involvement with the humans. No, caution is too kind a word. To lecture and reprimand us that we are wrong to live among you, and wrong to teach you our secrets.
<Llillilli> And they... did this to your window? How? Why?
<Llillilli> What purpose does it serve?
<Shulilae> They left after a time - after I told them to leave - and we took some time to center our thoughts and find peace in a walk along the shore.
<Shulilae> Helithae said I needed to calm down >.>
<Shulilae> When we returned, this was what we found. It is a type of lithus, produced by ingesting a bitter herb called llethithi before one begins to make the lithus. It causes it to come out dark like this. The solars use it as a ... a mark. A symbol, that we are cut off from the sun's blessings.
<Llillilli> OH... oh no.
* Llillilli hangs her head.
<Llillilli> I am so sorry.
<Llillilli> Sorry to have caused you this trouble.
<Shulilae> It means nothing, little one. It is only a symbol - they can't really cut us off from the sun's powers, for they are all around us, in everything. Including in you.
<Llillilli> BUt others will see it...
<Shulilae> Others who live here, they mostly think the same as us - that it is better to live together and learn from one another.
<Shulilae> And besides, I'm going to chip it out and rebuild it >:(
<Llillilli> Can I help?
<Shulilae> Of course you can.
<Llillilli> I feel I should.
* Shulilae offers you a stone chisel and takes one for themself as well.
* Llillilli starts chipping away at the blight.
<Shulilae> It is not your fault, but I appreciate your kindness.
<Shulilae> You are a blessing to us, and we don't regret teaching you.
<Llillilli> You are... my family. :(
* Shulilae nods
<Shulilae> The ones who think like this, their vision is clouded and narrow. They can't be too open about it either, since even our king sees the wisdom of working with humans.
* Llillilli nods.
* Shulilae takes another patch of the dark lithus and begins to hammer at it.
<Llillilli> Oh... I brought those cuttings you asked for.
<Shulilae> oh - thank you
<Shulilae> was it any trouble to acquire them?
<Llillilli> Well not them specifically.
<Llillilli> The mission ended up being more fraught than I expected.
<Shulilae> how do you mean?
<Llillilli> That place is haunted, or cursed. I don't know. It made me see things, terrible things.
* Shulilae looks dismayed
<Llillilli> It gave Jimba bad dreams, made him sick.
<Shulilae> That is worrying. I hope he is recovered now?
<Llillilli> Yes, he is well.
<Llillilli> I think it just wanted us to leave.
<Llillilli> Whatever it was.
<Shulilae> the powers there affected your minds to cause you to be afraid so you would leave?
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Llillilli> I think, anyway.
<Llillilli> I certainly am not eager to return.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Shulilae> Well, I appreciate your bringing the cuttings, anyway. I hope you will not have cause to have to return there.
<Shulilae> And that a sweeter fruit will grow because of your efforts.
<Llillilli> I won't, unless Jimba goes. But I doubt it.
<Llillilli> I hope so too.
* Shulilae manages to chip out a chunk of the stained lithus and tosses it aside.
<Shulilae> If they are growing bolder like this, you should be cautious. I don't know if someone like Thethu would target you too, or if they are just concerned with hith people, but even so, you should keep watch for them and if you see them or if they bother you, let me know.
<Llillilli> I will.
<Llillilli> What does this Thethu look like?
<Shulilae> They are taller than me, but not so tall as Helithae. Dark blue, with lighter blue stripes on their shoulders and back.
* Llillilli nods, committing that to memory.
<Llillilli> I will keep my eyes open.
<Shulilae> Very well. It might be that they are more interested in telling their own people how to live their lives, or perhaps that they had some specific task from the high solar, Fellis. I am not well liked by them anyway.
<Llillilli> Fellis? Why would they dislike you?
<Llillilli> Are they also against the teaching of humans?
<Shulilae> I suspect so, yes. But also, in my youth I was more hot-tempered... I spoke out more freely about my thoughts on religion. They were not favourable >.>
<Llillilli> Oh.
<Llillilli> Well that I understand.
<Llillilli> HUmans believe many foolish things.
<Shulilae> As do the people, truly. I cannot dispute that there are powers the solars have that others do not, but there is a great deal of foolishness that goes along with them, and the people allow it too much influence over their thoughts and actions.
<Llillilli> Agreed.
<Shulilae> Rather than thinking for themselves... *chip* they let others tell them how to think *chip chip* and it leads to misguided decisions *angry chip*
* Llillilli chips along in solidarity
<Shulilae> At least some humans are more open-minded. Like yourself.
<Llillilli> I am glad you think so...
<Llillilli> I wish more were like you.
<Shulilae> I wish so too, but there are enough of us to make a difference, I hope.
<Shulilae> here... I think we can remove this piece now, if you help me pull.
* Llillilli digs her fingers in to help.
* Shulilae shows you where you can help, and together you can remove the bulk of the dark lithus, leaving only some chips behind.
<Shulilae> There. Much better.
<Shulilae> We should be able to replace it in a day or two, and in the meantime, some fresh air is good.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> Is there anything else I could do to help?
<Llillilli> I could find a curtain, or...
<Shulilae> Nothing is required, but your company is welcome. Would you like to come in and have a bite to eat, or do you need to go?
<Llillilli> That would be very nice, thank you :)
* Shulilae will have you in for some quick-roasted frogs, then. easy to whip up for company ;)
<Llillilli> (yum! :9)

Veznara visits the illustrious Galdai

* Veznara buys suitable and pricy presents for Galdai and her granddaughter Ziftu
* Veznara then arranges the visit, and goes to call upon the distinguished old lady once more
<AshnabisNarrator> You can visit Galdai's manor here in Kaskind. By virtue of your birth, it would be highly irregular for her to deny you access, so you are welcomed in by her doorman, though you get the sense that it is with just a hint of disdain.
<Veznara> (I actually did buy a courtier's outfit & jewelry, so I will wear those.)
<Veznara> (How would I normally address her?)
<Galdai> (her official title is Imperial Princess)
<Veznara> (So, Your Imperial Highness on the first greeting, and Ma'am thereafter?)
<Galdai> (yeah, that would do, as a translation)
* Veznara waits to be conducted to the study - or wherever Galdai is granting this audience - and bows appropriately when the great lady appears
* Galdai is wearing a long green and gold robe with her long white hair put up, and her head covered in a thin veil.
* Veznara humbly waits to be acknowledged
<Galdai> Greetings, Veznara of the Kezondo. You are recognized in this house.
<Veznara> I thank you for receiving me, Your Imperial Highness. It is an honour and pleasure to see you once more.
* Galdai extends her arm toward a chair.
<Galdai> Sit.
<Veznara> Thank you, ma'am.
* Veznara sits as directed.
* Galdai slowly gathers herself and comes and sits on a rather more ornate chair across from you.
<Veznara> (I'll assume that my gifts have been dealt with somehow. :P )
<Galdai> A pleasure to see you again.
<Galdai> (oh, surely someone took those at the door and is dealing with them)
<Veznara> Thank you, ma'am. It is a pleasure to see you as well.
<Galdai> What is the purpose of your visit today, other than to pay your respect?
<Veznara> I have come in hopes that you could advise me on a few matters having to do with magic.
<Galdai> Hmmm. Well, I don't know. But do go on.
<Veznara> As you know, ma'am, I have bee assigned to work with the land registry.
<Veznara> In my most recent assignment, I and my colleagues came across an area that seemed to be warded with magic.
<Galdai> Oh?
<Veznara> Some of them experienced a vision - an illusion that the area suddenly burst into flame, such that they felt impelled to rush out of it.
<Veznara> They were not actually harmed, mind you; but the effect did not wear off for some time.
<Galdai> I see.
<Veznara> As you are an expert, I thought at once of consulting you, ma'am. I was wondering what opinions you might have of the local peoples command of such powers.
<Galdai> Well, the Osnabi are not known for their prudence with magical arts. Imagine, all the years they have had this fos, and how far their civilization has declined.
<Veznara> Indeed.
<Galdai> Are you asking could some local person have done this?
<Veznara> Yes, ma'am. I think it must have been a local practitioner of some kind.
<Veznara> Possibly in the distant past - but perhaps you know of some in the present who can do such things.
<Galdai> Certainly, such things are possible. Nightmares, visions, illusions of dark things - these are not trivial, but neither are they beyond the capacity of even the Osnab savage.
<Galdai> I can think of numerous ways that one could do so.
<Veznara> So it would be possible, ma'am, for the most skilled practitioners among the locals.
<Galdai> Yes, or depending on the effect, even one less skilled but willing to take great risk upon themselves.
<Galdai> Such is the nature of the Source, that it gives infinitely but takes in the same measure, if one cares not for waste nor danger.
<Veznara> Yes, ma'am. It is surely a power to be treated with great respect.
<Veznara> I wonder also, ma'am, about another item: the significance of the fruit and blossom of the persimmon in such workings.
<Galdai> Hmm, the persimmon. No, that has nothing to do with fos or the Source.
<Galdai> I know a parfumier in Pivuku who would do the most marvellous things with persimmons, though. Well, I knew him. He's dead of course.
<Veznara> Does it perhaps have some other significance, ma'am? Perhaps to do with local history?
<Galdai> Ahhh, well as for that, I couldn't say. If the savages even have history to speak of, it's centuries old, before their decline.
<Veznara> Well, simply knowing that it had no connection to the power is good to know. Thank you, ma'am.
<Galdai> You are most welcome. Please do convey my good wishes to your family when next you write home.
<Veznara> Thank you, Your Imperial Highness. They will be most gratified, as am I.
* Galdai waves a hand as if to dismiss you.
* Veznara rises and bows
<Veznara> Thank you again for receiving me, Your Imperial Highness. May the blessings of the Ancestors be with you.
* Veznara bows again, and backs off to where the butler is surely waiting to escort her out.


Daifan speaks with Dekhesh about the future for Corpseborn

* Dekhesh makes his way into the Mudbug a little later, and will give you a wave when he sees you there.
* Daifan will wave back
* Dekhesh is tall, fairly light-skinned, in his mid-twenties, with long wavy chestnut hair that he has tied in a knot, and striking green eyes. He wears a knee-length dark orange tunic with a narrow trim of patchwork.
<Dekhesh> Hi there - I was just going to get a drink, do you want me to get you another one?
<Daifan> sure!
<Daifan> I don't have anything important to do tomorrow
<Dekhesh> All right, I'll be right back.
* Dekhesh weaves his way through the crowd to get to the bar, and retrieves a couple of drinks.
* Dekhesh returns and will sit down next to you, where you can listen to Jovoz play some tunes on his reed flute.
<Dekhesh> here you go
* Daifan will shuffle over to make him a seat
<Daifan> thanks
<Daifan> how's things?
<Dekhesh> Things aren't too bad. I heard you weren't doing so well, so I'm glad to see you're up and around again.
<Daifan> rough first field work.... but I'm all good now.
<Dekhesh> oh, what happened?
* Daifan taps their thigh, though the scar is covered by their dress
<Daifan> Bad luck with hungry wildlife
<Daifan> They thought I looked too delicious
<Dekhesh> well, they're right, but that doesn't give them the right to have a snack ;)
<Daifan> well, they were forcibly corrected, and I got better.
<Dekhesh> glad to hear it
<Daifan> it was certainly memorable anyway
<Dekhesh> so that job is working out okay for you?
<Dekhesh> other than local wildlife not knowing when to keep their mouths to themselves?
<Daifan> i think so, yes
<Daifan> the hedal I'm working wth are all fine so far
* Dekhesh nods
<Daifan> some of them are pretty nice
<Daifan> they took care of me when I was hurt.... they didn't have to do that.
<Dekhesh> that's... a bit unexpected. but pleasantly so.
<Daifan> I was a bit anxious at the time, but everything worked out
<Dekhesh> it's understandable - you never really know what hedal will do, or expect you to do in return. so I'm glad it turned out all right.
<Daifan> yes, exactly
<Dekhesh> being with other budal is so much easier. at least you know where you stand.
<Dekhesh> everyone on the same level, in the mud ;)
<Daifan> mmhmm!
<Daifan> well MOss is there, so I've got someone to talk to who gets it, at least
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> It's good that they'll even hire us there.
<Dekhesh> Not a lot of places will do that.
<Dekhesh> especially not to do more than cleaning
<Daifan> yes, it's definitely better than other things I could find...
<Daifan> probably even safer. If you discount the wildlife. And the ghost curses. So far ;p
<Dekhesh> Ghost curses?
<Daifan> Well, I don't know, really
<Daifan> dream curses anyway. Whetehr they were from a ghost...maybe? Maybe an ancestor. Jovoz said maybe a saint ;p
* Daifan will tell him about Jimba's dream as well
<Dekhesh> that's pretty alarming.
<Daifan> it was. He was very ill, Hand Veznara hallowed him and that helped, but he was still shaken and ill. I helped him as much as I could, after
<Daifan> Hopefully we won't have to go back there, and the church and the lineages can sort out whatever needs to be sorted without getting us involved.
<Dekhesh> I'm not an expert on saints, but making someone sick doesn't sound very much like what they usually do. Although I guess if he was badly shaken up by the vision or whatever it was, maybe he was just sick because he was so upset by it.
<Daifan> maybe, I don't know anything about them at all.
<Daifan> I think it was just in his house from listening to that Big Mouth
<Dekhesh> well, I hope you won't have to go back there, like you said. They can deal with their own problems, whether it's a saint or something else.
<Dekhesh> oh, Ufrim? yeah... he has some... "interesting" ideas
<Daifan> so I've heard.... what do you think about it?
<Dekhesh> I guess I think that it's all very speculative. He has a vision, and I don't disbelieve that he really thinks it's real. But... there are lots of reasons someone might have a vision, and most of them aren't a mysterious missing saint.
<Dekhesh> Meanwhile in the real world, there are problems we could be working on here, not chasing after some fever dream in the swamp that is supposed to fix everything.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Yes, I think even if he is right, if won't change as much as he thinks.
<Dekhesh> Like finding work for budal, making sure our people have decent living conditions, working to improve our situation here, as much as we can anyway.
<Dekhesh> People say I'm idealistic, but honestly, at least I don't think there's a saint who's going to solve our problems with magic or something.
<Dekhesh> nothing really changes except with hard work.
* Dekhesh takes a sip of his drink
<Daifan> yes...
* Daifan makes a face though
<Daifan> What woudl it look like, to you, if things were better?
<Dekhesh> well, for one, better work conditions for budal. Whether they're working in traditional jobs for our people, or other roles, there's a great deal of room for improvement in the conditions and the pay.
<Dekhesh> We should be able to support ourselves on our work, like anyone else.
<Dekhesh> Not having even the positions we can get be undermined by bubun labour. I don't expect we'll stop people from using bubun for farming, but why should they take the few jobs that are open to us?
<Daifan> well who wants to farm in the swamp anyway >.>
<Dekhesh> well, fos farmers I suppose.
<Daifan> true
<Daifan> at least we can make claims
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> It's better than nothing, to be sure.
<Dekhesh> But not everyone is cut out to go out into the swamp on their own and set up a claim.
* Daifan nods
<Dekhesh> Jobs in town are needed too - for every farmer, there needs to be someone to sell them supplies or mend their shoes or forge their tools or transport their goods.
<Dekhesh> but they would have to be willing to let budal do those things. to not assume that everything we touch is tainted.
<Daifan> mmhmm.... I think supplies are probably going to be left to bigger fish than us - people who can bring things in from afar. Maybe not to actually sell them, I guess
<Dekhesh> Even things like shifting cargo on and off the ships - if they have bubun doing that, why couldn't we?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> they would have to change how they think, yes...
<Dekhesh> They'd rather have dead hands on their food and their goods than ours.
* Dekhesh says with some disgust.
<Daifan> there will always be things they can't do, anyway
<Daifan> or people who dont want to owe the Hand
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> It's true... we need to find those opportunities, and work on creating more.
* Daifan nods
<Dekhesh> What would it look like for you, if things were better?
<Daifan> they'd probably hire more of us at the registry, if more of us applied
<Daifan> Oh, hmmm...
<Daifan> I think, what I want to see is.... more of what we have here now, where we have a place of our own, with whatever services we need to support each other
* Dekhesh nods
<Daifan> but probably we need more money coming in from the outside for that too
<Daifan> but it shows that we can do these things... all the things to keep a town together
<Dekhesh> Yes, it's a great community that's been building here. But like you said, the more people come, the more they'll need to find work outside Banei.
<Dekhesh> And can we sustain a community like this, generationally? Can we keep relying on immigration to boost our numbers?
<Daifan> I guess that depends on the fos :/
<Dekhesh> It's not like back in the cities at home, where you have enough new children being born budal who need families...
<Daifan> ugh
<Dekhesh> The population here is so different, I'm just not sure what it looks like in ten or twenty years - like you said, it depends on the fos, and on new babies coming in, and immigration levels, and... yeah.
<Dekhesh> it's hard to imagine how it works longer term. I hope it can, though.
<Daifan> :/
<Daifan> there aren't enough families in the city
<Dekhesh> Right - lots of unmarried people, or people who already had their children and decided to start over here, that sort of thing.
<Dekhesh> Maybe in time that'll change, and things will even out a bit more in terms of the distribution of ages in the population.
<Dekhesh> I'm sorry - this is a bit heavy for drinking talk. Let me know if you want to change the subject.
<Daifan> that just means more of our babies wind up at the temple, too... yeah maybe :|
* Daifan says glumly, thinking of their roommates, since they're certainy not having any babies of their own
<Dekhesh> I mean, I think a lot of us are ... well, are not aiming to make babies for the temple to take.
* Daifan takes a big drink
* Dekhesh says with a slight shrug
<Daifan> true
<Daifan> but some have better aim than others
* Daifan says dryly
* Dekhesh laughs at that
<Dekhesh> True enough.
<Dekhesh> but anyway... there's a lot of things that could change, and I'm excited to see what will happen. It's certainly a whole different set of opportunities here.
<Daifan> yes, better to think about that, all of our opportunities. I'll drink tot that
<Dekhesh> cheers.

Junan visits Kirikha at work

* Kirikha can often be found at Ghendalt's shop, where she works as an antiquities dealer, despite her young age.
<Kirikha> (or at least, an assistant to an antiquities dealer ;)
* Junan will stop by on a slow day, looking for a distraction
* Kirikha is going through an assortment of coins (as is perhaps to be expected)
<Kirikha> oh.. hello :)
<Junan> Golden still has you peering over coins, eh?
* Kirikha smiles
<Kirikha> Yes, but I don't mind. Coins are easy, mostly. They have dates on them, or people and symbols... things like that. It makes it easy to identify them.
<Junan> I suppose... I never had to deal with stuff like this growing up
<Junan> too niche for my family
<Kirikha> Oh? What were your family into?
<Junan> suppliers is I guess how you'd describe it... buy and warehouse goods, selling them to peddlers and shops
<Kirikha> So the more practical kind of merchants?
<Junan> big lots of stuff to get it cheap... then dole it out in smaller, more expensive lots... when its more in demand
<Kirikha> Not dealing in pieces of rare pottery or someone's gold backscratcher?
<Junan> not unless they can get 50 of em
<Junan> or more
* Kirikha smiles at that
<Kirikha> So what brought you to Kaskind, then? Family business?
* Junan shakes his head no
<Junan> that stuff isn't my... preference... would be the best word I guess
<Junan> and me and the family are not on the best of terms
<Kirikha> oh no... what happened?
<Kirikha> oh - sorry - that's probably too personal. I ask too many questions sometimes >.>
<Junan> nothing wrong with questions, its just not that an exciting a tale, to be honest.
<Junan> I went and became an envoy and didn't stick with the family business
<Kirikha> that sounds exciting to me, anyway :)
<Junan> the life of coins not what you were hoping it would be
<Junan> ?
* Kirikha blushes a bit, looking down at the piles of coins in front of her.
<Kirikha> Well... no, it's not that, exactly. I do enjoy it.
<Kirikha> But sometimes I feel like... we came all the way here, for what? to sit in a shop?
<Junan> [Enskrai]the trails can have as much horse shit on them as the stables
* Kirikha laughs at that, mildly scandalized
<Junan> Its just damp and wet out there right now
<Kirikha> That's true.
<Junan> I'm not denying there is excitement too
<Junan> on one of my first tasks for the Land Registry, we found a dead body
<Kirikha> Ew, that doesn't sound very exciting.
<Junan> it was unexpected though, which does add to the excitement
* Kirikha nods uncertainly
<Kirikha> Were they okay?
<Kirikha> I mean... obviously not.
<Kirikha> But was it... a violent death? or natural causes?
* Junan chuckles
<Junan> I'm pretty sure he didnt fall backwards onto a pitchfork and into a watering hole
<Kirikha> oh :o
<Kirikha> I guess not natural, then.
<Junan> I wish we had found him alive and well
<Junan> would have ruined that rude Ruby's claim
<Kirikha> oh? What rude Ruby?
<Junan> Zefa
* Junan narrows his eyes
* Kirikha thinks
<Kirikha> I don't recognize the name. She must be new here?
<Junan> of the Teltai... merchant who does shipping
<Kirikha> I'll ask my father if he knows of her.
<Junan> just the way she acted...
* Junan shakes his head
<Kirikha> I mean.. if you want me to. I don't mean to meddle in your business.
* Kirikha says, a bit flustered.
<Junan> Nah, let it be
<Junan> no need for you to bring it up
* Kirikha nods
<Junan> this isn't Daligash... why keep the grudges?
<Kirikha> I guess so.
<Junan> thats what I try to tell myself at least
<Junan> sometimes its not easy
<Kirikha> um.... well. I guess that makes sense.
<Kirikha> I should probably... get back to work... >.>
* Kirikha says, clearly not really wanting to
<Junan> whats the rush? Nobody is coming in when its this wet out... this is just make-work for the Senator.
<Junan> if he asks... just say you were recieving a message from an Envoy
<Kirikha> well... that's true.
* Junan winks at her
* Kirikha blushes
<Kirikha> well, ah.... if you want to stay longer, I suppose that's fine.
* Junan will slip in beside her looking at the coins
<Kirikha> oh :)
<Junan> which one has your eye lately?
* Kirikha gets nervous and knocks a pile of them onto the floor.
<Kirikha> uh... sorry @_@
* Kirikha gets down to pick them up.
* Junan drops down to help her
<Junan> I'm sure that was my fault
<Junan> let me help
<Kirikha> thank you...
* Kirikha gathers up as many as she can, embarrassed
* Junan will accidently brush her hand while he helps to pick up the coins
* Kirikha 's face is flushed as she scrambles back up to her feet
<Junan> I think that's all of them
<Kirikha> Yes... I think so @_@
* Junan stays on the floor a moment before finally getting back up
* Junan puts the few coins he has on the counter
* Kirikha gets very busy examining the coins and making sure everything is accounted for.
* Junan takes a quick look to make sure they are all accounted for, at least what was on the counter originally
<Kirikha> I think we got everything.
<Junan> (that true?)
<Kirikha> (you think so)
<Junan> I agree
<Kirikha> I'm not usually this clumsy. I must be ... tired. or ... something.
<Junan> Like I said, I probably bumped you... not your fault
* Kirikha smiles a bit
<Kirikha> well anyway, um... I can show you some of the more interesting ones, if you like...
* Kirikha is a bit more relaxed when she has something she knows about to talk about ;)
<Junan> yes, I would like that
<Junan> and how about next time we talk, its away from the shop
<Kirikha> where?
<Junan> the Red Stump, for example? I could play for you.
<Kirikha> oh... that sounds nice :)
<Kirikha> well, um, maybe on a day when my father's busy >.>
<Junan> well hopefully soon
* Kirikha nods
<Kirikha> what about next week?
<Junan> I can't see that not working out.
<Kirikha> okay :)
<Junan> you were showing me some coins?
<Kirikha> yes, right ...
* Kirikha can get back to that, then.
* Junan enjoys the show

Jimba shares the warning with Katenzhi

* Katenzhi is taking a break from boat upkeep to lounge in her cot with a bottle of some kind of rum-like substance.
<Jimba> Hey, Kat, you got a sec?
* Jimba will say from the doorway.
* Katenzhi looks up.
<Katenzhi> Sure thing. What's up?
<Jimba> So, I had a visitor.
<Katenzhi> You too, huh?
<Jimba> Me too?
* Katenzhi shrugs.
<Katenzhi> Bivizmi stopped by earlier for a while.
<Jimba> That's...your herbalist friend, right?
<Katenzhi> Yeah, the one who runs the refinery.
<Jimba> She just stop in to visit?
<Katenzhi> She's chasing some kind of weird plant. Wanted to know if I'd seen it. Nothing major.
<Katenzhi> What about you?
<Jimba> Do you know my friend Hishkobal?
<Katenzhi> Hishkobal Wartibar? Yeah, I've seen him at the taverns sometimes.
<Katenzhi> used to be a sailor, I think.
<Jimba> Yeah, he's good people.
* Katenzhi nods
<Jimba> He's a reckoner, and he came to talk to me officially.
<Jimba> About that temple business.
<Katenzhi> What about it?
<Jimba> Long and short of it, he said we need to stay away from it, and keep other folks away from it, or there might be violence.
<Jimba> He didn't come out and say the last part, but he was pretty pointed.
<Katenzhi> Uhhhhh... from him? Pretty sure I can take him.
<Jimba> No, from this Sashnir lineage.
<Jimba> And associated ones, including his.
<Katenzhi> Oh. I might not be able to take all of them.
<Jimba> Yeah, I tend to doubt it. -_-
<Katenzhi> What's their problem?
<Jimba> I don't know. It's sacred, right? And they don't want any Ombesh messing with it.
<Jimba> I mean, I'd say just as a practicality, it should be avoided, but I'm worried that's not going to fly.
<Katenzhi> Well, fuck, I don't plan on going near it again. Not after what you and the others saw.
<Jimba> Yeah, but I told Hish I'd try to keep other folks away.
<Jimba> I'm not signing on with the Sashnir or anything, but I am going to tell folks at the land office we need to leave well enough alone.
<Katenzhi> You think they're gonna listen?
<Jimba> Not in the slightest, but I have to try.
<Jimba> I was hoping I could get some backup on that.
<Katenzhi> And if they don't, we get blamed? That seems a bit unfair. All we did was find the thing. How did we suddenly become responsible for what happens to it?
<Jimba> Well, I think we only get in trouble if we ourselves go back out there.
<Jimba> But I am going to warn other folks.
<Katenzhi> I mean if worse comes to absolute worst we can always pack up and hit the river back to the coast, but I would hate for that to happen.
<Jimba> Yeah, likewise.
* Jimba sighs.
<Jimba> I don't know.
<Jimba> I didn't realize how complicated it would be dealing with all this Ombesh/Aummesh crap.
* Katenzhi shrugs again.
<Jimba> I mean, we're Ombesh, but we grew up here.
<Jimba> Not here here, obviously, but you know.
<Katenzhi> Near as I figure it we're Aummesh in all but name.
<Katenzhi> Here, do what I do.
* Katenzhi offers the bottle.
* Jimba sighs again, but takes the bottle.
<Jimba> This isn't a solution.
* Jimba takes a drink anyway.
<Jimba> Also, the name is a big part of it.
<Katenzhi> This is why I prefer being out on the water. Like I was telling our guest who got bogwiggled, out there all that really matters is what you can do.
<Katenzhi> Not so much where you're from
<Jimba> I wish that were true.
<Jimba> It matters for the length of a voyage, maybe, but the moment you get where you're going, where you came from comes crashing back in.
<Katenzhi> Only if you eventually make berth.
<Jimba> You have to stop for supplies sometime.
<Katenzhi> Not if you like fish.
<Jimba> Yes, if you like not dying of thirst.
* Katenzhi laughs.
<Katenzhi> Point.
<Jimba> I just hate being caught between the various groups.
<Jimba> Ombesh, Aummesh, hith...[quietly] corpseborn.
<Katenzhi> that what's really bugging you?
* Katenzhi sits up straighter in her cot
<Jimba> No, what's bugging me is the threat of violence if I can't do the impossible.
<Jimba> But it's tied in.
<Jimba> I've got a foot in all these groups, but no real standing in any of them.
<Jimba> It's...tough to navigate.
<Katenzhi> Hey, whatever happens, we have each other. You, me and Llillilli. Just like always, yeah?
<Jimba> Yeah, I guess.
* Jimba looks down and away.
* Katenzhi stands up and puts her arms around him.
<Jimba> Hey, I'm fine, really.
<Katenzhi> Shut up, tough guy. Let me hug my brother.
* Jimba sighs.
* Jimba will be quiet and return the hug, somewhat awkwardly.
<Katenzhi> You can be whatever you wanna be. Long as you don't let anyone tell you different.
<Jimba> That is...monumentally naive, Kat, but thanks.
<Jimba> That helps.

Daifan brings Lil Asshole to meet Llillilli, Katenzhi, and Jimba

* Daifan will put Lil' Asshole into a carrying sling to keep her mostly hidden, and bring her down to the docks in the city
* Daifan will come down alongside your boat, carrying an umbrella of leaves over themselves and something held close against their body
<Daifan> Hello?
* Llillilli looks over the railing.
<Llillilli> Hello.
<Daifan> oh hello!
<Llillilli> ... is that a baby?
* Katenzhi pokes her head up next to Llillilli
<Katenzhi> Baby?
* Daifan smiles in amusement
<Daifan> Not a baby.... well, sort of :3
<Daifan> I though... I would come by and say thank you for taking care of me...
* Katenzhi smiles.
<Daifan> and since you are all animal lovers, I thought I would bring someone for you to meet
* Daifan pulls back the cloth covering Lil Asshole's head so she can see the new people
<Katenzhi> Monkey!
<Llillilli> oh!
<Daifan> yup :3
<Daifan> she's very sweet
<Daifan> but a little shy
<Llillilli> You can bring her up here if you want...
<Katenzhi> Yeah, let's get out of the rain.
<Daifan> okay..
* Daifan will glance around and make sure no one is paying much attention before coming aboard your ship again
* Katenzhi will head into the cabin and shake herself off a bit.
<Daifan> (I assume probably you guys haven't seen a monkey like this before)
<Katenzhi> C'mon in.
<Llillilli> That's not... local
* Llillilli eyes her curiously
<Katenzhi> She's adorable though! What's her name?
<Daifan> no, I'm not where she is from originally. She came with me from Daligash.
<Daifan> Well. >.>
<Daifan> tecnically her name is, uh, Saffron.
<Daifan> but I just call her lil' asshole >.>
<Katenzhi> Aaahahahahaha
<Katenzhi> Is she a bit of a pest sometimes, I gather?
<Daifan> not really.
* Llillilli snorts.
* Daifan takes her out of the sling
<Llillilli> What a pretty color.
<Daifan> Is JImba not here?
* Katenzhi holds out a finger tentatively to Saffron to see what she'll do.
<Llillilli> He was supposed to be,
<Katenzhi> He ran to the market. Should be back soon, I think.
<Daifan> I know, she's so pretty :3
<Llillilli> Probably still talking to his drunk friends at the pub.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> well, his loss I think
<Katenzhi> Yeah, he'll be pissed he missed this!
<Llillilli> He will be sad to have missed you
<Daifan> (Probably she would sniff and then grab your finger for a closer inspection)
<Katenzhi> Eeeeee
<Katenzhi> She grabbed my finger!
<Daifan> she likes to climb
<Daifan> give her a little bit to feel more comfortable and she might come over to meet you
* Llillilli watches with interest but she isn't as good with animals as her brother
<Daifan> she is very tame.... I don't think she has ever lived in the wild. She was even littler when I got her
<Katenzhi> Man, why didn't Jimba get one of these instead of that giant marshmallow?
<Llillilli> What does she eat?
<Llillilli> WIll she live a long time?
<Daifan> I gve her fruit, but she lieks to eat bugs.... she's been very happy here
<Daifan> and.... I think she could, but I'm not really sure.
<Daifan> here...
<Llillilli> So bany bugs...
* Daifan will encourage her to go over and meet Katenzhi
* Katenzhi will happily let her crawl onto her arm and up to her shoulder.
<Daifan> there :)
<Daifan> see, new friends!
* Daifan tells her pet :3
<Katenzhi> She's so cute!
* Katenzhi pets her head gently.
<Daifan> (She can chirp at you)
<Daifan> yes, she likes that
* Jimba will walk up the ramp to the boat with a load of stuff from the market.
<Daifan> also right at the base of her tail
* Daifan will demonstrate
<Jimba> Hey guys, who's hungry? I got...oh, hey, Daifan. How're yOU HAVE A MONKEY!
* Daifan smiles
<Katenzhi> Stay back, I got dibs!
<Daifan> HI Jimba
* Jimba grins stupidly wide.
<Jimba> Where'd you get it? It's not local. Is it a he or a she?
<Daifan> It's a she, and I got her in Daligash, though I don't think that's where she's from
<Katenzhi> Her name is Lil' Asshole!
<Daifan> mmhmm :3
<Katenzhi> And she's my new best friend.
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> That's a heck of a name.
* Jimba will put down the stuff he brought from the market.
<Llillilli> Jimba you can't get a monkey. They don't likve here.
<Daifan> It's, ah, kind of a joke <.<
<Katenzhi> ...she's not gonna poop on me is she?
<Daifan> Does anyone else want to hold her?
<Daifan> no, unless she doesn't like you
<Katenzhi> :3
<Jimba> Not this type of monkey, maybe...
* Jimba will offer his hand for Lil' Asshole to sniff.
* Llillilli moves a little closer with Jimba
<Daifan> (she will sniff yout and then pronbably angle for pets)
<Katenzhi> I suppose I should probably share, huh?
* Jimba is very happy to give her pets and scritches.
<Jimba> That's really up to Lil' Asshole here.
<Jimba> She's so adorable.
<Daifan> YOu can pick her up, she doesn't mind
<Jimba> How long have you had her, Daifan?
<Daifan> Just about two years, I think...
<Katenzhi> She's really friendly.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> She does know some tricks still, but I don't make her do them very often
* Llillilli touches her soft lil head
<Katenzhi> Ooooh, what tricks?
<Llillilli> oh.... soft :o
<Jimba> Well, I wouldn't imagine she's a working animal. :)
* Daifan smiles at Llillilli
<Daifan> Okay, come here lil' asshole!
* Daifan says and will pint to a spot on the deck in front of them
* Daifan will have her do a few little tricks, like dancing and such
<Katenzhi> (Heeeee)
* Llillilli is enchanted.
* Daifan will tell Lil asshole thats she's a gool lil' asshile, and gives her some dried fruit as a reward
<Katenzhi> Can I give her one?
<Daifan> yes, but not toooo many, she is spoiled enough
* Daifan will fish some out of one of many pockets, and desite their comment offer one to each of you to feed her :x
* Katenzhi happily stuffs you monkey with fruit.
* Jimba will offer Lil Asshole some fruit after Kat is done.
<Daifan> you can make her work for i if you like
<Daifan> she likes dancing
<Jimba> Aww, you want to dance, little one?
<Daifan> its like this..
* Daifan will show you the hand gesture
* Katenzhi will laugh and clap out the rhythm to a sea shanty for her to dance to.
<Daifan> (she's not super good at rhythm but its still cute ^-^)
* Daifan smiles when she dances for a bt and will go chirp at llillilli, who still clearly has an undistributed treat :d
<Llillilli> Oh...
* Llillilli holds it out carefully.
<Daifan> (she will take it from you with her little long-fingered hand and eat it :3)
<Llillilli> :3
<Katenzhi> She is the cutest
<Daifan> she is, I'm very lucky :3
<Daifan> do you want to hold her?
<Jimba> Did you raise her?
<Llillilli> Oh... alright :o
* Daifan will ask Llillilli
* Daifan will pick her up and show you how to hold her
<Daifan> but really she will just want to sit on your shoulder
<Daifan> I got her when she was young, but she was already mostly trained
<Llillilli> :3
* Llillilli holds the little monkey and actually *giggles
* when she climbs up onto her shoulder
<Llillilli> Her claws tickle...
* Katenzhi gives Daifan a grin.
<Katenzhi> Thank you for bringing her.
<Jimba> Yes, thank you, she's adorable.
* Daifan smiles as well
<Daifan> I'm glad... I thought you might like her :3
<Jimba> Well, you're both welcome on the boat any time. :)
<Daifan> thank you.
<Daifan> Maybe sometime I will bring her when we are going on a trip, if I don't think it will be dangerous :3
<Katenzhi> That could be dangerous. I'd never get any work done.
<Daifan> well, she does like to sleep sometimes, so maybe you could get some work done... ^-^
<Katenzhi> No, I bet that's when she's cutest :3
<Daifan> I dn't know, I think she is pretty cute when she's talking :3
<Llillilli> SHe can *talk*?
<Daifan> well, she chatters.
<Daifan> not real words
<Katenzhi> Awwwww
<Katenzhi> Still pretty cute though
<Daifan> mmhmm :3
<Katenzhi> Hey, do you want a drink or something? Or does she need some water?
<Daifan> she has plenty of water...
<Daifan> (we're in the cabin, right?)
<Katenzhi> (Yeah)
<Jimba> (sure)
<Daifan> ...It is very generous of you to offer to share your food with me.
<Daifan> I understand that you are trying to be kind... and I appreciate that, so thank you
<Daifan> In tme like this, where it is more private, I am happy to accept
<Daifan> but I don't want you to have trouble because of your kindness.
* Katenzhi smiles at that.
<Katenzhi> No trouble at all.
<Katenzhi> Is wine ok?
<Daifan> yes please :3
* Katenzhi will get you a glass.
<Katenzhi> I'm sorry. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable. I just like to be hospitable.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I'm not worried about my comfort.... but if people know you associate with me, they might not want to trade with you. Or if they don't want to be angry at you, then maybe they will be angry at me.
* Jimba scowls a little.
<Daifan> I know you might think it is foolish... but that is how people are here.
<Llillilli> Terrible.
<Llillilli> Is how they are.
<Jimba> I know we have to keep it in mind, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.
<Katenzhi> Fuck people.
<Katenzhi> But yeah, I understand.
<Katenzhi> Exactly
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I am not asking you to like it, Jimba :/
<Jimba> I know.
<Katenzhi> Just know that not everyone is terrible, ok? Or at least not in that way.
<Jimba> Well, you being welcome any time still stands.
<Daifan> Thank you.
<Jimba> We'll deal with whatever shitty people do if and when it comes up.
<Daifan> I think I am pretty lucky in my workmates, all told :3
<Katenzhi> :)
<Jimba> Us too. I mean, you have a monkey. :D
<Katenzhi> Yeah, we're pretty great.
<Daifan> :)