Ashnabis session 37
Session date: July 26, 2020
Fair Cycle date:
<AshnabisNarrator> O shale heart, betray me not
<AshnabisNarrator> Sunder not on crashing tides
<AshnabisNarrator> Become as slate, a shield
<AshnabisNarrator> Against the winter rains.
<AshnabisNarrator> Become as slate, a wall
<AshnabisNarrator> Against the midnight raiders.
<AshnabisNarrator> Become as slate, a precipice
<AshnabisNarrator> From which I cast my love.
<AshnabisNarrator> (Aummesh poem - anonymous)
Utus gives them the task of going to the Auggi to survey it
<AshnabisNarrator> Utus calls you into his office late one afternoon, just as you were starting to think that you would get off a bit early.
<Utus> I received word this morning from the Fort. They are requesting that I compose a team to send on a mission.
<Utus> As you are probably aware, we are at peace with the Academy at Zhardif at the moment. And, of course, our joint campaign at Pashas was successful in displacing the pirate Yeggun, at which point the hith asserted control over the island of Ruur.
<Utus> We are going to be expanding our formal reach, accordingly, to several areas previously left unclaimed or at least unattended.
* Utus rolls out a map on the table.
* Jimba takes a look at the map.
<Utus> Here, you will see the borders of the Kaskind Territory as presently constituted. We will be extending our reach to the north and to the west, into areas of the Sestapor that have previously not been within our reach.
<Utus> It is our belief that if we do not extend ourselves westward, our new friends in Zhardif are going to extend themselves eastward, at our expense. Almost all that territory is uninhabited swampland, but its potential is as yet unknown.
<Utus> Eventually, we will also be extending ourselves to the southwest, across the rivermouth, and to the east, although the eastern areas are already effectively under our control, and of course you have been that way several times.
<Utus> But for now it is to the west that the colony is looking. Your immediate task is to survey the area immediately to the west of the current territorial boundaries, the Auggi.
<Veznara> (Does any of this include the area where we know Brother Bones is?)
<Jimba> (What do we know about that territory?)
<Jimba> (That's about it?)
<Utus> The Auggi is, as we understand it, long since been abandoned for habitation even by the Aummesh. There was once a village there, Suduk, but now there is only a Voice temple which is cared for by some of the priests who are supplied out of the village of Shuggep.
<Veznara> (Where do the current territorial boundaries begin?)
* Daifan wonders why were really going
* Veznara nods
<AshnabisGM> (the red lines mark the edge of current territory)
<AshnabisNarrator> (it probably doesn't include where Brother Bones is)
<Utus> While it is a peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land at the north, it is effectively an island since there is no passable way through the swamp at that point. Even by sea, there is apparently only a small beach on the east coast that allows entry.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> And we're just doing a survey?
<Veznara> (So is it the temple that is unclaimed, or the village of Shuggep?)
<Utus> That's right. You are to take your ship over there and conduct a full survey of the Auggi to determine what, if any, strategic or economic value it has for the colony. It is a small area, really, only a mile or two across, but very rocky, and it may take you a few days to complete the job.
<Jimba> (Shuggep's in Kaskind territory)
<AshnabisNarrator> (Shuggep is and has been part of the territory for a long time. The Auggi and the temple are unclaimed until now)
<Llillilli> . o O ( it's never just a survey anymore )
maybe somewhere to build a lighthouse
* Llillilli snorts.
<Utus> I'm sure that is one of the options they're considering, yes.
<Jimba> Sir, if I may, we already know what strategic value it hiths, I mean holds, for the colony.
* Utus says dryly.
* Llillilli snorts again.
<Utus> While you are unlikely to encounter any locals other than perhaps the priests, I do urge you to exercise due care. The Auggi is the sort of place that local folks have superstitions about. Even if they don't use it, they won't necessarily be thrilled that you are over there.
<Junan> what sort of superstitions? Seems like an inhospitable rock
<Utus> Well, the village being abandoned - presumably for some good reason - leads to stories growing over time. That there were haunts, or that everyone there died of some disease, or that there were cannibals, or that all the village's children threw themselves off the cliffs and so the people left.
<Utus> All legends, no doubt.
* Veznara is pensive
<Katenzhi> Sounds like fun.
<Llillilli> <m> 5 horns on cannibals
<Jimba> <m> You're on.
* Junan shakes his head
<Katenzhi> <m> Put me down for disease.
* Jimba will be sure to take a look at all the maps and any nautical charts we have before we go.
<Junan> lets get this done. A few days wandering around parched rocks and brackish swamps will be wonderful time.
* Veznara will certainly do the same
<Utus> Well - take your time to look over the charts and make sure you know the safest approach. You'll need to get up the cliffs even once you land the boat.
* Junan looks at the map
<Junan> (anything obvious on the chart, or will we have to hug the coast and try and look?)
<AshnabisGM> There's a spot marked (which I didn't actually mark on the map on the wiki >.>) where there is apparently a small beach you can land at - where the locals from Shuggep go to bring supplies or similar.
<Veznara> What about the Temple, sir?
<Utus> What about it?
<Veznara> How do they fit in to the plan for this area?
<Utus> Well, as far as I know, the priests are associated with the village of Shuggep, which is already part of this territory.
<Utus> But presumably talking to them, assuming they can be located, is part of what you will do during your survey. To determine their numbers and any potential complications they might bring.
* Veznara nods slowly
<Junan> they may be happy to see an Envoy?
* Junan suggests
<Veznara> I have a sincere historical interest in them as well... I hope they will respond favourably to that.
<Utus> Maybe so.
* Utus doesn't seem entirely convinced, but shrugs.
<Utus> Very well, good luck and see you in a few days.
* Jimba nods and will head out after carefully studying the maps and charts.
<Veznara> Yes, Commissioner. Thank you.
They place bets and discuss things before leaving
<Jimba> (Once outside) Okay, so Llillilli has cannibals, Kat has money on disease. Anyone else got a guess?
<Katenzhi> Wait, what if it's diseased cannibals?
<Jimba> Then you split the pot.
<Jimba> Veznara has massacre.
<Junan> You are all horrible. You know whats more horrible, I'm gonna have to forgo carrying wine for water for this whole trip.
<Llillilli> I'm tired of working for the fort. THis is garbage.
<Jimba> Aww, poor Junan.
<Daifan> It is a hard life for you, nowine for mmm.. three days? ;)
<Jimba> You're not wrong. But...I don't know that we can support ourselves without the income just yet.
* Daifan shrugs
<Jimba> Well, I mean, I guess you can, with Thelef.
<Llillilli> We could make our own surveying company.
<Katenzhi> Soon as my our crop comes in...
<Jimba> We'd be dealing with the land office anyway.
<Daifan> Well is better than picking trash out of the street to sell, so I will take the work, terrible as it can be.
<Llillilli> Or guiding.
<Llillilli> I would hire you.
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> But then who would hire you?
<Llillilli> Smart people who don't want to die in a swamp.
<Veznara> I hope this village is not like Dzugon... so many unrestful souls.
<Junan> Grumble all you want but this work has kept us well in touch with the goings on in Kaskind and the local area. I doubt most of us would rather be in the dark on it all.
<Jimba> It's going to be crawling with child ghosts, mark my word.
<Jimba> Junan's got a point.
<Llillilli> I wouldn't be.
<Jimba> I'm not a fan of everything we've had to do, but we've also been able to help people.
<Katenzhi> Wait, so you're taking child ghosts?
<Jimba> Yeah. It's clearly the most interesting story.
<Katenzhi> It's a longshot.
<Jimba> Want to give me odds? ;)
<Veznara> It's not a joke.
<Jimba> Gallows humor, Sister Veznara.
<Jimba> Sometimes horror needs to be met with a laugh, just so we can keep going.
* Veznara sighs, and nods
<Jimba> We've seen pretty terrible stuff already, and ostensibly we're just land agents.
* Llillilli just scowls
<Daifan> do we know how long it has been abandoned?
<Junan> (do we? K local?)
<Veznara> (K History, even? :D )
<AshnabisGM> (you can roll for K: local)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+12
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 27 ].
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+10
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+10 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 10 ] totals [ 16 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+14
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+14 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 26 ].
* Daifan rolls [ 1d20+10 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 10 ] totals [ 22 ]
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 11 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 18 ].
* Daifan answers their wn question ;p
<AshnabisGM> (I'll take the Daifan rolls)
<Daifan> (should be off now)
<AshnabisGM> (I'll say Junan, Jimba, and Llillilli, with those rolls, know that it's been abandoned for over 100 years at least - there are no living people who would have lived there when it was inhabited)
<AshnabisGM> (probably even over 100 years)
<Veznara> (Except maybe one!)
<AshnabisNarrator> (except for the Voice temple, yes)
<AshnabisNarrator> (all right, folks, are you ready to get moving?)
<Veznara> (After gettin' my prezzies for the Voice guys.)
<Daifan> (yep - I'll let my other partnersa and roomies know I'll be away)
<Veznara> (I'm also tempted to ask Lentus, because I'm guessing he can confirm my suspicions...)
<Jimba> (He predates the abandonment by a lot, doesn't he?)
<Veznara> (Does he? Who knows?)
<Veznara> (Anyway, I can always check with him later - no need to hold things up now.)
They arrive at the Auggi and Katenzhi helps them up the cliffs using magic
<AshnabisNarrator> The Auggi is just a short boat ride from Kaskind, and even shorter - less than a mile - from the village of Shuggep along the coast. And yet, this ancient rocky spit of land, jutting out into Nimneha Bay towards the island of Ruur, is nothing like the lands around it.
<AshnabisNarrator> Where the Sestapor swamp is low, wet and brackish, full of cypress and willow, the Auggi is stark and rocky, cliffed on three sides, treeless except for stunted pine, eking out a feeble existence next to boulders or wherever the cliffs will permit purchase.
<AshnabisNarrator> Only at the north edge does the Auggi connect to the mainland. Even if someone could live here, you're not sure anyone ever would.
<AshnabisNarrator> Along the eastern coast, there is a single rocky beach that might allow a boat the size of the Menagerie to land. Just a short swim or boat ride away is the village of Shuggep, part of the Kaskind Territory for years now. This feels very different from there. You've sailed by here any number of times, but this is your first landing on the Auggi.
<AshnabisNarrator> (care to make a sailing check, team?)
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+13
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 17 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+12
* Lan-werk rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 17 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 29 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, it definitely is tricky but you can get her in without too much trouble.
<AshnabisNarrator> Kat, you tried, which is the important thing.
<AshnabisNarrator> You climb ashore.
* Jimba looks up the cliff.
* Daifan also
<AshnabisNarrator> A few wooden poles and a fragment of rope suggest that here must be where visitors from across the bay in Shuggep must land. Shells and seabird eggs dot the landscape here along the beach, before the cliffs rise before you.
<Jimba> I really don't relish making that climb.
<Katenzhi> Yeah me neither. So I'm not gonna.
<AshnabisNarrator> A winding rocky path is just barely visible ahead across the cliff face, which might allow the sure-footed to ascend westward onto the mass of the island without too much risk.
<Jimba> Oh, well, that might not be so bad.
<Junan> unless we find a hidden swayback, I suspect thats our best bet.
<Jimba> What did you have in mind, though, Kat?
<Katenzhi> I mean... I'm just gonna fly. I don't know about you guys.
<Junan> how much fos did you bring? I mean were gonna be here for days.
* Katenzhi sighs.
<Daifan> theres the levitating spell, its' pretty cheap...
* Daifan says as they were sonsidering it themself
<Llillilli> It's not too bad.
<Daifan> for you, maybe :x
<Junan> how about we let Llillilli and Jimba lead on the path?
<Veznara> I expect this path may lead directly to the Temple. That's the one reason most people would have for coming here, I imagine.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> we can find out
<Katenzhi> Oh wait...
<Katenzhi> Hang on...
<Katenzhi> I saw something once. Let me see if I can try something.
<Katenzhi> Everyone group up.
* Katenzhi will cast communal spider climb
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+12
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 31 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> (ok, no problem)
* Katenzhi will hop up against the cliff face to test it and stick fast.
<Junan> So I guess we take the direct route
* Junan will start climbing up
* Daifan will try it
* Llillilli shrugs and starts scaling the rock.
* Jimba will start making his way up the cliff.
<Daifan> How long have we got to get up there?
* Veznara joins them
<Katenzhi> Uhhhh... like a bit more than ten minutes? After that make sure you're somewhere firm.
<AshnabisNarrator> You clamber up the cliffs without too much difficulty, supported by Kat's magic. The cliffs are daunting but you navigate them with ease.
<Junan> that will be plenty of time
* Daifan nods, and will scamper up, still carefully
<Jimba> Kat, this is amazing.
They reach the ruined village and meet the two priests who still live there
<AshnabisNarrator> At last you reach what seems to be the top, and scrabble across rocky ground before coming over a crest and seeing what must once have been the village of Suduk.
* Veznara surveys the ruins of the village.
<AshnabisNarrator> It's still marked on the map, but you can see that there is only one standing building - a temple of the Voice. A few edges of foundation walls, perhaps of a Hand temple, and evidence of what may have once been a well, testify to its erstwhile habitation.
<AshnabisNarrator> The Voice temple is old and made purely of stone - not surprising, you suppose, for a building that was built when this was still an island, but surely had no lumber even then. Other than a few small shrubs and a moss or two, there is no sign of vegetation anywhere nearby.
<AshnabisNarrator> The oldest bits seem to be of the era of the Osnabi campaigns, or perhaps the chaotic decades right afterwards. Later additions appear to have been cobbled together from bits of abandoned buildings, without any real architectural plan.
* Jimba will keep an eye out for trouble, just in case.
<Llillilli> (no persimmons then)
<Junan> lets go see if anyone is here
* Veznara nods
<Junan> (can I use commune with city here?)
* Llillilli pokes around in the rubble
<Daifan> I can look around the ruins
<Veznara> The chief priest here is Voice Witis, I am told.
* Daifan says, knowing they are certanly not going to be allowed in the tmple
* Daifan will do so, anyway, looking for anything of interest
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, Junan, you can use commune with city)
<Veznara> I am also told that he may not be particularly eager to greet outsiders. Not that that's a surprise.
<AshnabisNarrator> (what do you want to know?)
<Junan> (ok I want to know about people, any presence of powerful unnatural creatures, and general state of the settlement)
<AshnabisNarrator> There are currently two male residents of the settlement. There are no powerful unnatural creatures in the settlement. The settlement is ruined and abandoned except for one building.
<Daifan> 9Lemme knwo if I should mke a perception roll or anything)
<Junan> There are only two people here... men.
<Llillilli> (same re perception)
<Jimba> Stands to reason, right?
<Daifan> Priests of the temple
<Veznara> Well, we know where they should be.
<AshnabisGM> Those of you looking around the village can make a Perception check, sure.
<Junan> considering its the only building that is not ruined or abandoned
<Veznara> !roll 1d0+14
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d0+14 ] getting [ 0 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 14 ].
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+13
* Lan-werk rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 14 ].
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+12
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 5 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 17 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+11
* Lan-werk rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+11 ] getting [ 5 ] which, after the modifier [ 11 ] totals [ 16 ].
<Veznara> (Let me try that again... :P )
<AshnabisGM> (you might want to roll something other than a d0, yeah ;)
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+16
* Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+16 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 16 ] totals [ 29 ].
<Llillilli> (I ain't see nothin)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+14
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+14 ] getting [ 20 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 34 ].
<Daifan> (that's a litttle better yeah ;)
<AshnabisNarrator> It is definitely, assuredly, an abandoned ruined village except for that one temple.
<Veznara> Well, let's go knock on the door...
<AshnabisGM> ok - Daifan, you check out the well, and are able to determine that it holds only a small amount of brackish water - presumably if it was once the village's source of fresh water, it has since dried up or been contaminated.
* Daifan wonders what the priests do for water, and kicks a stone in out of boredom
* Veznara will approach the temple, keeping an eye out for a particular elderly priest...
<AshnabisGM> Veznara, you can see that clearly the Hand temple, or what remains of it, was used to incorporate into the expansion or re-building of the Voice temple. That suggests to you something a bit odd - the Voice temple continued to expand after the village itself was gone. Perhaps the villagers who moved to Shuggep continued to bring their dead here, at least for a while?
<Veznara> . o O (Hmmm.)
<AshnabisNarrator> As you are looking around, two priests, one older, one younger, come out of the temple.
* Veznara bows slightly to them.
<Veznara> Voice Witis?
* Witis is a tall, dark-skinned man with a thin, well-trimmed grey beard. His long black robes are lined in green, a style not seen in decades. He bears a gnarled staff or cudgel, and looks you over with a skeptical eye.
* Bitsaar is a wavy-haired man, perhaps in his twenties, with a long dark beard. Under his black robes, you can tell he must be a man of enormous musculature.
<Witis> Yes, I am Witis. Who are you?
<Veznara> I am Veznara. These are my companions, from Kaskind.
<Junan> Good to meet you
<Witis> This is my apprentice, Voice Bitsaar.
* Veznara nods respectfully to him as well
* Daifan stays back, sittig on the edge of the empty well
<Veznara> We have brought some humble gifts - I hope you will find them pleasing.
* Witis seems skeptical, but takes them anyway.
* Veznara opens her pack and offers the wine and foodstuffs she brought.
* Llillilli goes and sits on the well with Daifan
* Bitsaar looks a bit intrigued at the wine, any way.
<Witis> You are not welcome here. We are not expecting visitors.
* Llillilli snorts
<Veznara> We're most sorry to disturb you. However, we have no choice.
<Junan> We've been tasked out of Kaskind to survey The Auggi.
<Bitsaar> What for?
<Junan> I'm sure we wont be in your hair for very long.
<Jimba> And we'll do our best not to disturb you.
<Veznara> Would you tell us, though, of the history of this place?
* Veznara indicates the village around them
<Witis> This is Suduk. None live here now, except for we who tend the Ancestors.
* Bitsaar looks like he is about to speak up, but falls silent when Witis speaks.
<Junan> Knowing a little bit about the failure of the village should help us in explaining how inhospitible this place is.
<Junan> I think that's all she is getting at.
<Katenzhi> There wasn't some disease or something, was there?
* Veznara nods
* Jimba glances at Kat and hides a smile.
<Witis> There is no fresh water here, except what we can gather from the rains. It has been a hard year.
* Bitsaar nods
<Bitsaar> Sometimes the people of Shuggep bring us supplies, but beyond that, we fend for ourselves.
<Junan> must be a rough lonely time
<Veznara> It was not always this way, though?
<Witis> Once, many generations ago, yes.
<Bitsaar> In the time of my elder companion's grandparents, there was a village here of a few hundred.
<Junan> too rough and they just eventually drifted away?
<Witis> Most of them went to the new towns, like Shuggep and Timiil.
<Witis> Some still visit here to consult their Ancestors.
<Bitsaar> I grew up in Shuggep, until I was chosen to serve at the temple here.
<m> lucky you
<Veznara> The line of Ancestors here must go back far in time.
<Junan> we're will be around for a few days. Anything useful about the local area you can tell us would be appreciated, and make our task easier.
<Witis> A few days? No, that won't do. You are not welcome here.
<Jimba> And get us out of here faster.
<Witis> There is nothing here of value. Leave us alone.
* Bitsaar looks a little ambivalent, but doesn't speak up over his superior.
<Jimba> We're not looking to profit from this place.
<Junan> We will not bother you in your tasks, I assure you.
<Witis> Why were you sent here, then?
<Veznara> We are sorry to intrude, Voice Witis. But we must do as we are bid.
<Veznara> You have heard of events in Pashas?
<Witis> The battle was readily visible to the west.
<Bitsaar> Were many killed?
<Junan> Some yes
<Bitsaar> I hope their families were able to retrieve their remains. An ancestor lost at sea is a great tragedy.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> It is the Hith who control it now.
<Veznara> Have they come here, at all?
* Bitsaar shakes his head.
<Bitsaar> This is not a hospitable land for them.
<Witis> There is nothing here for them ... or for you.
<Junan> Territorial tensions are heightened right now. Charadip is reaching west quickly. I'm not saying they would bother coming here, but it less likely if its known that we at least looked and decided to leave it alone.
<Jimba> That may very well be the case, but they won't believe it without us looking around a bit.
* Bitsaar looks concerned, but keeps silent.
<Jimba> Rather, the fort won't, I mean.
<Bitsaar> You should do what you need to do, then.
* Witis sighs.
<Witis> Yes, very well. Over our objection.
<Junan> I will make sure its communicated clearly.
<Junan> Also if you have any other messages to pass on, I am an Envoy, and can offer that service for you.
* Bitsaar nods
<Veznara> We should probably begin tomorrow.
After they make camp, Veznara speaks further with Voice Bitsaar
* Junan will help set up camp and get the lute out to play some tunes over the evening meal
* Veznara will keep an eye out for a chance to talk to Voice Bitsaar... if he comes wandering by out of curiosity, for example...
* Witis goes back into the temple and does ... whatever one does in there.
* Jimba will get camp set up.
<Veznara> (And create the opportunity if none arises naturally!)
* Bitsaar is out and around the temple doing various tasks - bringing in water from the rainbarrels, cooking an evening meal for the two priests, etc.
<Bitsaar> (you can try to talk to him if you like)
* Veznara will approach him at what seems like an opportune moment, then!
<Veznara> Voice Bitsaar?
<Veznara> I'm sorry to disturb you. I just wished to apologize again for imposing on you both this way.
<Veznara> Unfortunately, I fear it cannot be avoided.
<Bitsaar> Ah... I understand. Your people will come here whether we say so or not, I suppose :/
<Veznara> I'm afraid so... it's part of the times.
<Veznara> You seem very isolated out here.
<Bitsaar> It is an honour to be asked to serve at Suduk.
* Bitsaar says a bit stubbornly.
<Veznara> Of course! It is an honour to serve the Ancestors.
* Veznara says, sincerely!
<Veznara> Do you have many who come to consult them?
* Daifan will bum around the camp and try and entertain themself, but probably the cute priest is not so much interested in talking to them ;)
<Bitsaar> Some do... but not very often.
<Bitsaar> A few might come each month, mostly from Shuggep, to speak with their ancestors.
<Veznara> Mostly from Shuggep. But sometimes from elsewhere?
* Bitsaar shrugs.
<Bitsaar> A few from Timiil or Pashas now and then. Most of the villagers moved to Shuggep when the well went dry, so mostly that is where they have stayed.
<Bitsaar> What about you, Veznara? What brings you to this place?
<Veznara> Here to Auggi specifically? Or Ashnabis in general?
* Bitsaar says with a bit of a smile.
<Veznara> Well, Ashnabis in general, I was sent. I'm originally from Taizi, as you may be able to tell.
<Bitsaar> I knew you were not from these parts, to be sure.
<Veznara> As for here, there is the Land Registry. But I'm also an amateur historian.
<Veznara> There's so much history in this area that has been lost...
<Bitsaar> Lost to who?
* Bitsaar asks, smiling
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> Ah, I confess. I'm only looking at it from the Taizi point of view, I suppose.
<Bitsaar> There is much that isn't written in your histories, I'm sure.
<Bitsaar> But that doesn't mean it's lost.
<Veznara> Yes, I'm afraid so.
<Veznara> We've also been to a place, a former village of Dzugon...
* Veznara shudders
<Bitsaar> What did you find there?
<Veznara> Evidence of great evil, I fear. Committed by Imperial troops, long ago. There were a great many unquiet souls...
* Bitsaar frowns
<Bitsaar> Were they able to be brought to rest?
<Veznara> Fortunately, we were able to bring rest to them, yes.
<Veznara> There was a record there of the names of the fallen... by reading them out loud, we were able to bring some peace to them.
<Bitsaar> That is good. Too many spirits go unnamed and untended.
<Bitsaar> Here, we make sure at least that is not the case.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> The village there - it was once the home of an Imperial general, Odazhi Lentus.
* Bitsaar listens attentively, but doesn't show any particular sign of recognition or familiarity with that name
<Veznara> He grew weary of the war, and sympathetic to the people. He married the daughter of a chief, and had a family here.
* Bitsaar nods
<Veznara> Eventually the order came for him to attack the local people, and he refused. He was tried for mutiny, and condemned to petrification... they turned him into a statue at Fort Kinjilai, near Dzugon.
<Veznara> A few months ago, he was revived. I've been talking to him, and he's been able to tell me much about the history of this place.
* Bitsaar looks intrigued at that.
<Veznara> He mentioned that there was a massacre of a village a few months before his punishment.
<Bitsaar> I think there were many such attacks in those days.
<Bitsaar> It was a time of war, after all.
<Veznara> I thought it might be here... but you say that there were people living here a hundred years ago?
<Bitsaar> Yes, about that time. This place was always well-defended from outside attacks, as few wished to make the effort to come here.
<Veznara> Some of the Ancestors here may know the true story of it, though, I'm sure.
<Bitsaar> It might be...
<Bitsaar> But I cannot allow you to consult them, as you are not their descendant >.>
<Veznara> (How firm does he seem about that? :D )
* Bitsaar seems like he knows very well what Witis would say about this, but also like he is kind of ... friendly towards you? or at least, not as gruff as his senior priest.
<Veznara> I suppose not. But I'm sure the Ancestors do want their stories known...
<Veznara> ...and those from those times may no longer have those who are able to ask, and tell them.
<Bitsaar> I suppose. Certainly there are ancestors here who have not been visited in my time here, at least. We try to maintain a contact with them periodically even so.
<Veznara> Could you ask, then?
<Bitsaar> I'm not sure what you want me to ask. About a massacre at a different village?
<Veznara> Well, I understand that this one allegedly involved a unit of Stoneguards.
* Bitsaar frowns a little at that.
<Veznara> I find that difficult to believe, but apparently that is what was said at the time.
<Veznara> If it is not true, a great wrong has been done them.
<Bitsaar> These stoneguards were the ones who were attacked? or who attacked the village?
<Veznara> The story is that they attacked a village and committed a massacre there, and were later slain in retaliation.
<Veznara> If that is true, I suppose the story ends there. But if not, they have been greatly slandered.
<Veznara> And the victims of the original massacre are unavenged.
<Veznara> Have you heard anything about this before?
* Bitsaar looks uncertain.
<Bitsaar> I don't know.
<Veznara> There is something, though?
* Bitsaar looks uncomfortable.
<Bitsaar> I don't think I should talk with you about this.
<Veznara> Please, Voice Bitsaar. I have not told my companions about any of this. But the truth... is important. I wish to know... please!
* Veznara entreats him
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+18
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+18 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 18 ] totals [ 19 ].
<Veznara> (I think I will re-roll that...)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+18
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+18 ] getting [ 18 ] which, after the modifier [ 18 ] totals [ 36 ].
<Bitsaar> There are some remains of stoneguards here, very old ones. But I am not permitted to consult with them - only Voice Witis tends to their remains.
<Bitsaar> I don't think I can help you further. A shame... I was enjoying our conversation.
* Bitsaar says with a bit of a smile.
<Veznara> Not permitted to consult? Strange. Are there others from the same time period whom you may consult, perhaps? Not Stoneguards, but others who might know something of it?
<Bitsaar> Perhaps. But I should get back inside now - Witis will be wondering what is keeping me so long.
<Bitsaar> Good night, Hand Veznara. I enjoyed this chance to talk with you...
* Bitsaar says wistfully as he heads into the temple.
<Veznara> Very well. I have enjoyed out conversation too, Voice Bitsaar. Good night. I hope we have a chance to talke again before we leave.
They survey the area and encounter a beast like a spider made of plants, which they defeat
<AshnabisNarrator> In the morning, you awaken, well-rested, and can begin your survey of the Auggi.
<AshnabisNarrator> The central mass is dry and rocky, with patches of guano and thin shrubs here and there. In one or two places, long-dry ponds give evidence that once the Auggi had fresh water to support life well. But now there is neither stream nor creek nor pool nor pond to support humans or large game.
<AshnabisNarrator> Voice Witis certainly seems to be accurate in his contention that there is not enough water here for any significant population.
<AshnabisNarrator> Along the south shore, the cliffs are not quite so sheer, but the rocky faces are still steep and barren. Here there are stunted bristlecone pines, nearly leafless, clearly centuries old. Seabirds flit here and there, landing for a moment on a rock or branch. The surface is covered in what surely must be decades of guano, slickened by rain.
<AshnabisNarrator> You do imagine that the guano might be of some value, if it could be harvested.
<Katenzhi> Huh... I wonder why this place dried up...
<Daifan> but what's it from?
* Veznara will map everything carefully, but otherwise seems preoccupied...
<Katenzhi> (What's what from?)
<AshnabisGM> (the guano? sea birds)
<Katenzhi> The seabirds. Nasty things. Cover your boat in shit at the slightest opportunity.
<Jimba> Still, it has uses. Fuel and such.
<Katenzhi> Makes great fertilizer, though. If you can find someone willing to shovel it.
<AshnabisNarrator> At the western edge of the Auggi, the slate cliff faces are high and impassable, and there is no beach below, though it looks like there may be caves at sea level or even below. From this height, you have an astonishing view across the strait to Pashas, so close that you can see the harbour and make out the larger buildings.
<AshnabisNarrator> The battle must have been right here, in the strait.
<AshnabisNarrator> You wonder idly where the Cormorant has gotten itself to.
<AshnabisNarrator> But no matter. There is no place for a ship to land here - no beach at all, even a rocky one.
<AshnabisNarrator> You do imagine (sigh) that one could put a watchtower or lighthouse up here, if one wanted, but other than that the terrain is far too complex for this area to be useful for much.
<Daifan> (caves tho >.>)
<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, you do wonder whether your encounter with Loeluth was immediately below where you're standing now.
<Llillilli> (yes I do in fact)
<AshnabisNarrator> You spend the next day or so outlining and describing all these rocky areas before heading to the north, to the lowlands.
<AshnabisNarrator> The northern slip of land, if you can call it that, is all that links the Auggi to the mainland. The swamp here is so impassable that it may as well be an island, though, which it surely once was.
<AshnabisNarrator> Brackish half-ocean and patches of muddy soil, thick vegetation concealing what is land, what sea. Here, the coastal cliffs give way to dense wetland that threaten to swallow up anything that dares tread inside.
<AshnabisNarrator> At least here it sounds like the Sestapor, which is a relief. The sounds of treebirds and small game, the gentle croaking of frogs, provide a sense of normalcy in an otherwise strange landscape.
<Junan> great place to hide bodies, if you could get them here
<AshnabisNarrator> Yet to get from here northeast to Shuggep by land would involve traversing a mile or more of the thickest, most perilous swamp. You can quickly see, if you hadn't already been told, that this is a true barrier to passage.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, you'd have to import them. No one in there right mind would live here.
<AshnabisNarrator> You suppose someone could try to grow fos here where the land is a little more solid, but it hardly seems worth the risk. You certainly can't tread here by foot, and so mainly you find yourself sticking poles in the ground and making notations as needed for your report.
* Veznara maps...
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+14
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+14 ] getting [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 22 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Just then, you see the body of a rabbit, dried and desiccated, on a patch of ground before you. It hasn't decomposed, though - it looks perhaps to be only dead a day, no more, but it is almost completely dried out.
* Llillilli pokes it with her pole.
* Veznara frowns
<Katenzhi> More giant tadpoles?
<AshnabisNarrator> As you examine it, you hear a noise, a squeal, and a second rabbit, this one very much alive, comes shooting out of the densest part of the swamp to the north.
* Junan will get his bow out
<AshnabisNarrator> Behind it, you hear the patter of too many legs and the bending of reeds against something very large and quick, coming this way.
<AshnabisGM> (let's move to roll20 and roll initiative)
<Jimba> Oh crap...
<Daifan> ugh >:p
* Veznara backs away a bit and gets ready to Hallow Shroud everyone...
<AshnabisNarrator> Out of the dense bog a creature emerges, green and mottled brown, and seeming to be made of reeds and vines, in the shape of a great beast, twice the size of a human. It is as if the swamp was tasked with inventing a spider out of its own elements.
<AshnabisNarrator> Eight thin legs supporting an oval body, from which two giant sinewy tentacles extend. Atop its body, a pattern of leaves and reeds that resembles nothing so much as an hourglass. It seems to have forgotten the bunny, as it has found more ample prey. [They fight and defeat the spider-like creature]