Ashnabis session 49

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Summary

Session

Session date: March 14, 2021
Fair Cycle date:

Introduction


<AshnabisNarrator> The moon to the tide, the tide to the shore
<AshnabisNarrator> The shore to my heart as once before.
<AshnabisNarrator> The wind to the waves, the waves to the shore
<AshnabisNarrator> The shore to my fields as once before.
<AshnabisNarrator> The kings to the ships, the ships to the shore
<AshnabisNarrator> The shore to my kin as once before.
<AshnabisNarrator> What sorrow now the shore it brings
<AshnabisNarrator> When we talk of the moon and the wind and kings.
<AshnabisNarrator> In Pikho, the heavy rains bring lots of work shoring up earthworks and irrigation ditches, repairing roads, and fixing the roofs of houses. Have you ever smelled a musty bubun? The Hands take care of their charges of course, but at times like this there's only so much you can do.
<AshnabisNarrator> Meanwhile there is some sort of mild illness circulating through the town of Kaskind, which seems to happen every so often when new ships come in from the eastern Omban states. Daligash and Choradan have similar plagues to Ashnabis, you suppose, but who knows what comes out of Hasmala?
<AshnabisNarrator> In any case, both the living and the dead mix uneasily in the streets of Kaskind, stepping through mud along their appointed tasks.

Veznara chaperones Sumurt and Ziftu's meeting, and speaks with Galdai


<AshnabisNarrator> O happy day, Veznara! Today you and your family are going to the Kaskind manor house of the Princesses Galdai and Ziftu to make introductions and early arrangements for the upcoming nuptials of Ziftu and your own dear baby brother Sumurt. Joy!
<AshnabisNarrator> Your parents have already conducted much of the brideprice negotiations with Galdai's kin back home in Taizi, but will be meeting to finalize some additional arrangements with her steward, Ghegis, at the town house.
<AshnabisNarrator> You will have the esteemed role of accompanying Sumurt to meet Ziftu herself. You're still not sure what to make of this union, but you understand your role perfectly well.
<AshnabisNarrator> It's just a short walk, as Galdai has not deemed it necessary to meet you out at her plantation.
<AshnabisNarrator> The manor house is of course not nearly as lavish as the Imperial quarter back home, but it nonetheless has been laid out in resplendent fashion for this important meeting.
<AshnabisNarrator> The staff greet you - of course, they already know you - and quickly shuttle your parents off to meet with Ghegis, and you, along with Sumurt, into a separate room where four chairs have been laid out in a circle.
* Sumurt is dressed in his finest silks, which are ill-fitting, probably due to a recent growth spurt.
* Sumurt shifts in the chair as the two of you wait for the arrival of the Princess.
<Sumurt> Tell me again what she is like.
<Veznara> Lady Ziftu is pleasant... a bit quiet.
<Sumurt> We are the same age. That's good, right? Like, not too young or too old?
<Veznara> That's right.
<Veznara> I'm sure she'll be as curious about you...
<Sumurt> Father has told me fifty times, surely, not to worry. That makes me worried.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Well, you can be nervous. Just not worried.
* Sumurt nods silently.
<Veznara> I'm sure you'll get along fine with her. It just takes some time.
<AshnabisNarrator> Princess Ziftu enters the room, followed immediately by her grandmother.
* Ziftu is dressed in a green dress with gold lining at the sleeves, and a single pearl draped on a gold chain around her neck. Her hair, normally straight and loose, has been braided tightly. She still looks so young to you - but then, so is Sumurt.
* Veznara curtseys
* Galdai wears a heavily beaded blue and white floor-length gown. She wears her in a carefully braided bun and her face is covered by a thin translucent silk veil, with a silver tiara accompanying the outfit.
<Galdai> Good afternoon, Hand Veznara. And this must be young Sumurt.
* Galdai looks the lad up and down in appraisal.
<Veznara> Good afternoon, Your Imperial Highness.
<Ziftu> It's good to meet you, Sumurt.
<Sumurt> Good afternoon, ahhh, Your Highness..es.
* Ziftu says politely.
* Veznara restrains an urge to poke him to answer.
<Sumurt> It's, ahh .. a pleasure.
<Galdai> Well, let's not just stand here. Sit, sit.
<Veznara> Thank you, ma'am.
* Veznara sits as indicated.
* Ziftu takes the seat next to Sumurt.
<Ziftu> Um... did you have a good trip here? Did you teleport?
* Ziftu asks, trying to make polite conversation.
<Sumurt> Yes, it was my first time.
<Sumurt> It's not as bad as they said it would be.
* Ziftu nods
<Ziftu> You came at a good time of year, the weather is pleasant, aside from the rain I guess. It isn't so hot as it will be later in the summer.
<Sumurt> Is the smell because of the rain?
<Ziftu> Um... well, it sort of always smells a bit, ah, swampy. But you get used to it.
<Ziftu> What do you like to do for fun?
<Sumurt> Oh. All right.
<Sumurt> I have been told that I am more than a passable hunter, Your Highness.
* Veznara nods, ready to intervene if things go off track, but not wanting to interrupt as they get to know each other...
<Ziftu> Oh, well, I think there is plenty of hunting here. Fishing as well, if you like that.
<Sumurt> I like to sing, also, though there is not as much opportunity for that.
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+16
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+16 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 16 ] totals [ 30 ].
* @Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+16 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 16 ] totals [ 20 ].
* Galdai seems very pleased with herself.
<Ziftu> Oh, music? I play the harp, at least a little. I'm told I play well enough.
<Sumurt> I would like to hear that sometime, Your Highness.
<Ziftu> Certainly :)
<Galdai> Well, perhaps we should let the two of you get acquainted. Hand Veznara, with me.
* Galdai says, more an order than a question.
<Veznara> Ma'am.
* Veznara rises and accompanies her.
<AshnabisNarrator> (There are many staff at hand, so the children are well-chaperoned, no worries)
<Veznara> (Aren't my parents here too?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (They're in another part of the house, with Ghegis, doing business things.)
<AshnabisGM> (they're doing financial negotiations, probably)
<Veznara> (So I'm all alone with Galdai! Oh joy!)
* Galdai escorts you to a nearby room for some privacy.
<Galdai> They will be a fine couple, don't you think?
<Veznara> I hope so, ma'am.
<Veznara> I must confess, I was surprised when I heard the news. I am most grateful for it; a connection to your house is an honor I did not aspire to.
<Galdai> You have concerns that your family is not of adequate status for this union.
<Galdai> A natural sentiment. The Kezondo are an old and esteemed family but not close to the Imperial line.
<Veznara> No, ma'am.
<Veznara> However, if you deem us worthy, I am most gratified.
<Galdai> Worthy...hmmm.
<Veznara> Ma'am?
<Galdai> You know, surely, that my granddaughter went home some months ago, to meet with suitors.
<Veznara> Of course, ma'am. I did not know specifics, but naturally while you were there...
<Galdai> What did you hear of that trip, and these meetings?
<Veznara> Other than what you told me yourself? Not much, ma'am. My family did not pass on any news of discussions at that time.
<Galdai> Well, suffice it to say that any number of our most esteemed, wealthy, and well-connected families presented well-behaved young men.
* Veznara nods
<Galdai> Your brother is no different than any of them, and in wealth and connections, far less so.
<Veznara> There is another reason why he has won your favour.
* Galdai nods slowly.
<Galdai> You know, Hand Veznara, I have been to dozens of marriages of various kinsfolk, those of my lineage, or lineages into which my family has married, or just people whom my esteemed cousin chose to favour with my presence.
<Galdai> After a while, they all blend together. They were lovely, I'm sure, each in its own bland way.
<Galdai> Now in my old age, I see the value of these rituals all the more, though. I may not live to see Ziftu's children and grandchildren, but I will be present at their beginning, you see?
<Veznara> This marriage will have special significance for you, then, ma'am.
* Galdai nods eagerly.
<Galdai> Ziftu and I have a special bond, a special understanding of our place in the world.
* Veznara nods
<Galdai> Now that our families are to be joined, you, I think, will be present in Ziftu's life, long after our time here in Kaskind. Don't you suppose?
<Veznara> I hope so, ma'am! I have grown very fond of her.
<Galdai> And she of you.
* Veznara smiles
<Galdai> I hope that she will continue to have you as an advisor, many years from now. She will have many responsibilities, even though she has no real claim to direct power - she will always be a Princess of Taizi. And that is not nothing.
* Veznara nods solemnly
<Veznara> Yes, ma'am. I will always do my best to be a good advisor to her, if I have that opportunity.
<Galdai> That loyalty is one of your finer qualities.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Thank you, ma'am. I am gratified to have your good regard.
<Galdai> Tell me, do you, Veznara - do you dream of returning home? Or have you warmed to this place, despite the smell?
<Veznara> I think... I think that I have, actually, ma'am.
<Veznara> I originally thought of my placement here as an exile, of sorts. When I first arrived.
<Veznara> Now, though, I have had a year to make a place for myself here.
<Galdai> There is much here, for someone of ambition and good sense. To be here at the start of things - like attending a wedding where you know you may not see the grandchildren, or planting a seed knowing you will not be there to harvest the lumber. It is a sort of power.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> There are many seeds growing in this place, I think, ma'am.
<Veznara> We do have a unique chance to shape their growth.
<Galdai> So there are.
<Galdai> Your family stands to benefit quite a great deal from this union, I would imagine. Your sisters' marriages, they will be fine ones, I am sure. You will be there to shape their paths as well.
<Veznara> Yes, ma'am. I am most grateful to you for that opportunity.
<Galdai> And you - have you been dreaming of giving up the robes for some handsome fellow?
<Veznara> Oh, no! I am dedicated to the Ancestors, ma'am.
<Veznara> ...though I am permitted to *notice
* handsome fellows.
* Galdai laughs.
<Galdai> Well of course. We are human, despite our other commitments.
* Veznara smiles
<Galdai> My own marriage was not a happy one. But I have thought about that many times, over the years since my husband's death.
<Galdai> I have come to the conclusion that I am simply too independent - that I have my own interests and I would not be willing to surrender those.
<Galdai> I can see the same in you.
<Veznara> Thank you, ma'am.
<Veznara> That is high praise indeed.
<Galdai> Here, I want you to have this.
* Galdai removes the tiara from her head and hands it to you.
<Veznara> I... oh, ma'am! It's not my place...
<Galdai> It is now your place.
<Veznara> I... I am overwhelmed, ma'am.
<Galdai> Try not to be too overwhelmed. It is, after all, a very small token, given all that you have done, and will do, for our family.
<Veznara> Oh.. thank you, ma'am.
<Galdai> Well, we should get back to the children. I think they've had enough time to chat, don't you?
<Veznara> I.. yes, of course. Thank you, ma'am.
<AshnabisNarrator> You return to the room where you find Ziftu and Sumurt chatting away, seemingly happily.
* Veznara smiles at the sight
<Galdai> Well, now, that's good to see.
* Veznara nods
<Galdai> But that is, I'm afraid, all we have time for today. But perhaps you will come again very soon, Sumurt?
* Sumurt smiles.
<Sumurt> Yes, Your Highness.

Daifan speaks with Nezha about recent activity at Galdai's estate


<AshnabisGM> Daifan, you are curious about what's been going on at Galdai's home, and it isn't as if Veznara is likely to tell you much of anything. Your best source, therefore, remains Nezha.
<AshnabisGM> On this evening, you take a stroll with baby Shira over to her house, bringing some leftover cabbage and crab (crabbage) soup as a bribe (since everyone at your house is sick of eating it).
* Daifan will knock
* Nezha comes to the door. She wears a faded green-grey dress with a woven belt, and has a black and white cat twining around between her feet.
<Nezha> Oh, good evening!
* Nezha says with a smile.
<Daifan> hey Wolf - how to you feel about crabbage?
* Daifan says, offering up the soup
<Nezha> Well, it could use a better name, but I won't say no :)
* Nezha accepts the soup
<Nezha> And how are you doing, little one?
* Nezha asks Shira, who waves her hands happily in response.
<Daifan> Pfft, we don't do good names, we're budal ;)
* Nezha chuckles at that
<Nezha> Do you want to have a seat on the porch? It's out of the rain, at least.
* Nezha offers, gesturing to the bench she has there.
<Daifan> that would be lovely
<Daifan> though *someone
* doesn't seem to mind
* Daifan says at Shira with a smile
* Shira is trying to get down
<Daifan> more rain man more mud pies, right?
<Nezha> At least it's easy enough to get clean afterwards.
<Daifan> exactly!better than tryng to play with the cat - at least lil asshole can climb >.>
* Nezha will take a seat on her porch, the cat coming to lie down at her feet.
<Daifan> what's its name?
* Daifan says, leaning down to let it smell their fingers
<Daifan> I don't think I've seen it before?
<Nezha> Oh, this one? I fed her a few times and now she thinks she lives here. I haven't thought of a name yet. Maybe I should take your lead and call her 'Greedy' or something.
<AshnabisGM> The cat lightly sniffs at you, seemingly friendly if a bit wary of the baby.
<Daifan> don't worry, I won't let her at you
* Daifan says reassuringly to the kitty
* Shira is very interested in the cat, and keeps reaching out in its direction.
<Daifan> Baby girl you're gonna get scratched
<Daifan> see that tail? That tail mean 'no babies.'
<Daifan> look at all that nice mud by the steps though
<Daifan> maybe there's a frog
<Daifan> remember the frog we saw the other day?
<Shira> Ah!
<Daifan> yeah, Froggy :)
* Shira will get down and play in the mud if permitted to do so ;)
<Daifan> do you need help gettign down stairs or are you a big girl?
<Daifan> (yeah sure, we can hose her off after, is good for her immune system ;)
* Shira can creep her way down them backwards
<Nezha> Well... that will keep her occupied for a little while, anyway.
* Nezha says with a smile.
<Daifan> hopefull!
* Daifan will keep an eye on her thoug, and see if she can entice the kitty into her lap for pets
<Daifan> how have you been?
<Nezha> I'm well. How have you been doing?
<Daifan> busy
<Nezha> Well, I'm sure this little one keeps you busy, but I'm guessing you mean with other things too?
<Daifan> Mmhmm, they're changign some things around at work, so we might have some different responsibilities
<Daifan> they're also look to hire, and they will take budal
<Daifan> so if you know anyone whose looking, spread it around
<Nezha> Ah, interesting. I'll pass that along.
<Nezha> Things have been quite busy at Lady Galdai's as well.
<Daifan> oh?
<Daifan> whst's she up to now :p
<Nezha> The Kezondo family have been visiting from back home, and by the sound of things, their son is going to be married to Princess Ziftu in due course.
<Daifan> what, really? :o
* Nezha nods
<Daifan> that's hand Veznara's family
<Daifan> I wonder what she thinks of that.
<Nezha> Hmm, well, I know Galdai is quite fond of Veznara - maybe that's influenced her decision. After all, although the lineage is a prominent one, they aren't exactly at the same level as those who normally marry into the Imperial family.
<Daifan> huh, yeah
<Daifan> I'd heard they were visiting ], but I ssumed it was just to see her
<Daifan> Married though...
<Daifan> what's the timeline like on something like that?
<Nezha> After she rejected so many suitors for Ziftu's hand, I am a little surprised to see her accept this one.
<Nezha> They're still both quite young, but I think Lady Galdai intends to proceed as soon as is reasonably possible with the match.
<Daifan> hmm.
<Nezha> So, perhaps in a few months? I'm not certain. It seems as if they would be married here, so there wouldn't be a trip home required.
<Nezha> Her intention is for them to live here, with her, although she plans to convert the building she used for her... experiments into a little cottage for them to be able to have some privacy.
* Daifan makes a face
<Daifan> ugh
<Daifan> thats terrib;e
<Daifan> I thought it was all swallowed up by the earth >.>
<Nezha> The quarters where the prisoners stayed was, but the other building was somewhat intact - of course it needed repairs and so on.
<Daifan> ugh. how does someoen's mind work to think that is a fine place to let your granddaghter live >.>
<Nezha> I'm not certain :/
<Nezha> I think she expects that I'll stay here as well, to help look after the young couple after she's gone.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> would you?
<Nezha> Well... there isn't much reason I would have to go back to Taizi. I suppose it's a nicer climate, but I enjoy it here. And ... without Galdai, I'd be going back to nothing. At least here I have a place to stay and some prospect of stability.
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> and some friends, I hope
<Nezha> Yes, that too :)
* Daifan sighs
<Daifan> I hope that works out
<Daifan> ....did you know about the baby?
<Daifan> I forget if I tolkd you about that
<Nezha> What about it, particularly?
<Daifan> That she is paying a family to take care of it for now, but wants to claim it herself, and have Ziftu raise it
<Nezha> Ah, yes, I had heard that...
<Daifan> mmhmm.
<Daifan> she wants to try and put her soul in the baby, so she can keep living
<Daifan> I know it sounds crazy
* Nezha winces.
<Daifan> we did a divination, and it was very clear
<Nezha> No... it sounds like Galdai.
<Daifan> I don't have any idea how it woudl word, or whay the kid needs to be a sid or... any of that
* Nezha puts her head in her hands, considering this.
<Daifan> but then Ziftu and Veznara's... brother? raise the baby and you help out, andshe keeps on grinding people into the dust until she needs to do it again
<Nezha> I don't know that it needs to be. But it probably makes it easier for her, in her view, to control what happens to it?
<Daifan> its awful.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> she went to a lot of troube to... create this baby, when she coudl have tried for any sid
<Nezha> I think... I don't know, but... maybe she kept me because she thought she could do this to me. Or to experiment, I'm not sure. I don't remember, obviously, I was a baby, but...
<Daifan> :/
<Daifan> I have wondered about that
<Daifan> I'm sorry
<Nezha> But she wouldn't have wanted to be budal herself - that would be too much of a, a sacrifice to make, I think. But a child of budal, if she thought they would have some kind of special power that wouldn't come with the same stigma - where she could still live her comfortable life...
* Nezha sighs
<Daifan> Mm.... I gues that... could make sense to someone like her >.>
<Nezha> I don't know exactly how it would work, but this doesn't sound crazy to me. It would be a natural conclusion to her research...
<Daifan> mmmhmm
<Daifan> Well. I don't intend to let her have this all so easily.
<Daifan> well see. I shoudl tell Veznara
* Nezha nods
<Daifan> I wasn't sure I should
<Daifan> But if her family is being roped in...
<Nezha> It is her brother, who would be drawn in - it seems fair she should know.
<Daifan> Yes.
<Nezha> You can ... if you think it would help... you can let her know that I would stay to help the young couple. I know they haven't done anything wrong in all of this, and they may need someone to look out for them.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> we'll see. if it came from me sh might ust see it as meddling :p
* Nezha nods
<Nezha> Well, if there is anything I can do, please let me know.
<Daifan> I will - thank you.
<Daifan> Shira - not too far okay?
<Shira> Ah! Cat!
* Shira says, reaching again for the kitty.
* Shira hasn't said many identifiable words yet, beyond 'mama' and 'dada'.
<Daifan> careful, cat is sharp
<Daifan> :3
<Daifan> but that's right that's a cat :)
* Shira can be scooped up before she reaches the sharp kitty.
* Daifan will settle her on her lap, if possible, and try to redirect to other things that aren'r abotu galdai
<AshnabisGM> (sounds good)

Llillilli and Thelef go to Sulise so she can speak to Whuthe and confront Fellis


<AshnabisNarrator> Lllillilli, your mind has been greatly on the words of the elder solar Laelaesi, since their visit for the pfullaes ritual several days ago. Your little ones are well, which is the most important thing, but the fate of the huwhi among the people affects thousands, now and in the future.
<AshnabisNarrator> You and Thelef have discussed it, and although he is concerned, he agrees with you that going to Sulise directly to confront your detractors is something you have to do. You make arrangements for your obligations and the two of you head out.
<AshnabisNarrator> The trip to the hith kingdom is short and easy, with light rain falling on the waves. The southern entryway to Sulise is guarded, but you and Thelef are recognized and given ready admission.
<AshnabisNarrator> (if you had anything you wanted to ask Thelef about you could, at this point - or if not, also all good)
<Llillilli> I'm still not sure what I am going to say.
<Thelef> Just speak from your heart. You know your own mind, and you should say what you feel is truth.
* Thelef reassures you.
<Llillilli> I want to know what they are afraid of.
* Thelef nods
<Thelef> They may not be so willing as you are to speak of what is in their hearts. But I hope that you can gain some insight nevertheless.
* Llillilli nods
<Thelef> I'll be here if you need me.
<Llillilli> Thank you.
<AshnabisNarrator> You head to Thelef's rooms in the king's palace. After a short while, a young attendant of the sese grade comes and tells you that King Whuthe requests your presence in their chambers.
<Llillilli> (both of us?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no, just you)
<Llillilli> (ruh roh)
<Llillilli> (well off I go then)
* Llillilli is bringing Llifesi though.
<AshnabisNarrator> You accompany the attendant, who does not remark on Llifesi's presence. After a few minutes you arrive at Whuthe's chambers - you don't think you've ever been in here before.
* Galdai is now known as Whuthe
* Whuthe looks tired, more even than the last time you saw them. Their orange and blue crests seem less vibrant than usual.
* Llillilli makes a bow as expected.
<Llillilli> Your Majesty, you called for me?
<Whuthe> Llillilli, I sing with joy at your presence. And I take it, this is Loeluth's spawn?
<Llillilli> Yes. They are called Llifesi.
<Whuthe> Welcome to my kingdom, Llifesi. Your kind is always welcome here in Sulise.
<Whuthe> I had heard, from Laelaesi of course. Llifesi's presence, and talk about it, will be no secret here.
<Llillilli> Good.
<Whuthe> I am so very sorry for what has happened, with Liwhis, and after. You and the other huwhi do not deserve any of it. You have not created the problem, and I am ashamed that you have had to come to solve it.
<Llillilli> WHy did you let the solars do this?
<Whuthe> It is not my place to tell them what rituals they can and cannot do.
<Llillilli> You called us 'hairspawn' in your verdict.
<Llillilli> An ugly word that does not befit your grace.
<Whuthe> Well ... I believe I was referring to the pirates who took over Pfaeshes.
<Whuthe> I needed to make it clear how egregious that atrocity was - to establish that Liwhis' actions were loyal to Sulise.
<Llillilli> So we are "the good ones"?
<Whuthe> I do not say that it was an easy decision. But it was the correct one, if I would like to remain king in Sulise.
<Llillilli> You fear the solars.
<Whuthe> I fear what sort of kingdom would be in place, if they anointed a different ruler.
<Whuthe> Fellis is ... complicated. But capable of being understood and kept in their place.
<Llillilli> Mm,
<Whuthe> Fellis, for all their many flaws, has a generous spirit. Deeply loyal, careful and thoughtful, always thinking. I cannot justify their hatred of you and the other huwhi, but I do know where it comes from.
<Whuthe> It is that knowledge that guides my actions.
<Llillilli> And where is that?
<Whuthe> It is not unrelated to the situation with Kaskind. Every day, it seems, you have more humans in your colonies. And just as you are descended from colonists, more and more, new huwhi will not be the descendants of those who have been here for generations, but newcomers.
<Whuthe> It comes ultimately from fear. And for you, a newcomer and a young huwhi, to be a selleluf, that is a lot to bear.
<Llillilli> Why?
<Whuthe> Because to be a selleluf is supposed to mean something. It is supposed to mark great influence over the People. It is to ask Fellis to acknowledge that something held to be ours alone, must be shared.
<Llillilli> The humans and hith have shared things before.
<Llillilli> They cared for the spawn of Loeluth, together.
<Whuthe> It is so. And I am sure that is why you have brought young Llifesi. But the sun, the sun - for the solars, well ... that is supposed to be their domain.
<Llillilli> No one can own the sun.
<Llillilli> IT shines on us all, as I have heard it said
* Whuthe laughs.
<Whuthe> I am not disagreeing with you, of course.
<Whuthe> But simply trying to put what Fellis thinks in context.
<Llillilli> I look forward to hearing their thoughts myself
<Whuthe> Very well - would you like to speak to them in public, then? In a place where many will see?
<Llillilli> Yes, I think so.
<Whuthe> At midday, then, amidst the eastern corals. The solars gather there, most days, to discuss matters of interest to them
<Whuthe> That would be where I would seek Fellis out.
<Llillilli> Well, this should certainly be interesting.
<Whuthe> If I were human, I would wish you luck. As it is, may your heart stay firm.
<Llillilli> Thank you. It will.
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, following King Whuthe's instructions, you head at midday to the eastern corals, Llifesi alongside you.
<AshnabisNarrator> There are a number of solars and other hith there, some playing games or singing songs, others listening to the conversation among the solars.
<AshnabisNarrator> Fellis is sitting centrally among them, engaged in discussion.
* Llillilli swims up with Llifesi.
* Whuthe is now known as Fellis
* Fellis sees you coming from a distance away, but tries not to react.
* Llillilli comes right into their midst.
<Llillilli> Greetings, Fellis.
<Fellis> Llillilli.
<Llillilli> I have to come to ask you why you are afraid of us.
<Fellis> Afraid? Of a little painted girl with her little friend?
* Fellis uses the gendered pronouns, rare in Hithaeli, with emphasis.
<Llillilli> You are afraid of the huwhi.
<Fellis> No, you are mistaking me for someone else.
<Llillilli> You hoped Loeluth would eat me.
<Llillilli> SO that you would not have to be afraid anymore.
<Fellis> They seemed hungry at the time.
<Llillilli> And yet.
<Llillilli> Here I am. :)
<Llillilli> They worry for you.
<Fellis> I do not fear you, Llillilli. Only an arrogant human could think so.
<Llillilli> You're afraid of what I represent.
<Fellis> Do you really want to know what I think?
<Llillilli> Yes, very much so
<Fellis> You humans expect everything. Everything that is yours, and everything that is ours. You have distaste for your death-cult, so you take that of others.
<Llillilli> The sun shines on us all, Fellis
<Fellis> You cannot stand your own people so you play at being one of Our People.
<Fellis> But your pretense, it is abhorrent.
<Llillilli> The sun doesn't think I am pretending :)
<Llillilli> Nor Loeluth.
<Fellis> To be a selleluf, it is an honor beyond all reckoning. Once a decade, perhaps, one of the People is so blessed. And yet here you are, claiming that too.
<Llillilli> I never asked for it,
<Fellis> And yet here you are, asking for, what, my blessing? my friendship?
<Llillilli> No.
<Llillilli> I just want to understand why you are so... full of hate. When it's not necessary.
<Llillilli> Did you know that the humans and the People once cared for the spawn of Loeluth together
* Fellis pauses at that.
<Fellis> Many things may once have been true.
<Llillilli> The earliest of the huwhi, perhaps.
<Fellis> We have given the huwhi so many privileges, so many honors, so many things precious to us. And yet it never seems to be enough.
<Fellis> You still demand more. So human.
<Llillilli> No one wants to take things away from you. There is enough of the sun for everyone.
<Fellis> No? No one? You attack us, and you expect us to forgive you. You defy us, and you expect us to embrace you. I have tried - for decades - to find a way to live with you.
<Llillilli> To think that we could steal it is... a very small thought
<Llillilli> HUmans are not a unit, any more than the people are
<Fellis> My trust is worn thin. I do not have the time or the energy to spend on deciding anymore.
<AshnabisNarrator> The gathered hith, solars and others, are completely silent now, as the two of you debate. All attention is on you and Fellis.
<Llillilli> Well I have time. And I'm not going anywhere
<Fellis> Are you here to provoke me? To see if I will move against you, in front of all these here gathered?
<Llillilli> I would never expect that one so revered as yourself would stoop to that
<Fellis> Then you have perhaps come to taunt me, that you have taken Loeluth's child as your own, just as you have taken one of our own?
<Llillilli> I am here to show that I am not afraid of you. And I am not ashamed.
<Llillilli> I have taken the child that the People abandoned on Pfaeshes, And Loeluth entrusted me with Llifesi. I am proud to care for both of them.
<Fellis> Pride has never been lacking, among your kind.
<Llillilli> NOr yours, it would seem. :)
<Llillilli> All I have left to say is this: I am ont going away. I will not be silent, and I will not be bullied.
<Llillilli> (not)
<Fellis> Careful, your paint is flaking, little one.
<Llillilli> I am done being careful.
<Llillilli> You have no power over me.
<Llillilli> My heart is firm, and your petty insults cannot harm me,
<Fellis> Well, if you're done, then. My heart grows tired of your wind-talk.
<Llillilli> Thank you, this has been very illuminating.
* Llillilli swims off with her head held high (if that's possible while swimming)
<AshnabisNarrator> You leave the astonished crowd, uncertain what they have just seen.

Jimba meets a friendly visitor on the Menagerie, then talks with Kayibir


<AshnabisGM> Jimba, it's fairly quiet on the Menagerie at the moment, with Kat being occupied with helping Gefraz with the plans for their future house, or helping Bivizmi with her work, and Llillilli having gone to Sulise.
<AshnabisGM> You have been busy helping Utus as he requested, inspecting the new ship and trying to recruit a new team. Who have you asked so far?
<Jimba> Presumably my various wards. :P
<AshnabisGM> okay, cool
<AshnabisGM> well, some of them have probably said yes, others may need some time to think about it, but we can deal with that later. Just wanted to know who was being considered :)
<AshnabisGM> On this evening, you make your way back to the Menagerie after a couple drinks, not quite drunk but certainly in a cheerful mood as you climb on board.
<AshnabisGM> The usual greeting from Washteppo and Mogri and Bashi is not forthcoming, and you realize it's because they are asleep.
<AshnabisGM> This is unusual, as normally any creak of a board or footstep on the deck will wake them and have the dogs, at least, running over to see who it is.
<AshnabisGM> You can make a Perception check.
<Jimba> (I'm considering asking Mayiru whether she has someone from her lineage who might be interested. I'm trying to get as many groups as possible a little buy-in to the colony and how it's run, even at the lowest level.)
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+14
* @Lan-werk rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+14 ] getting [ 3 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 17 ].
<Jimba> (Oof)
<AshnabisGM> well, the animals sleeping through your return seems unusual to you, but maybe you're just very stealthy.
* Jimba thinks that's odd but will head to the cabin.
<AshnabisGM> In the cabin is a young man, fairly short and wiry, with dark hair tied back in a ponytail and the lower half shaved in an undercut. You don't recognize him. He is looking through your things.
<AshnabisGM> He turns as you enter and makes a quick gesture with his hand, muttering a few words you don't understand.
<AshnabisGM> !roll 1d20
* @Lan-werk rolls for AshnabisGM: [ 1d20 ] getting [ 18 ].
<AshnabisGM> you can make a Will save.
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+3
* @Lan-werk rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+3 ] getting [ 5 ] which, after the modifier [ 3 ] totals [ 8 ].
<AshnabisGM> Well, this is a bit unusual, but probably he means well.
* Thelef is now known as Friendly_Visitor
<Jimba> Uh, can I help you?
<Friendly_Visitor> Oh, hey - are you Jimba?
<Jimba> Pretty sure you know that I am, being in my cabin, on my ship. Who might you be?
<Friendly_Visitor> I heard you are recruiting people for some kind of job with the land registry?
<Jimba> This really isn't the way to go about asking for a job.
<Friendly_Visitor> Oh, yeah, sorry. I stopped in but you weren't here, so I figured I'd wait until you got back.
<Friendly_Visitor> My name's Lurokai.
* Friendly_Visitor is now known as Lurokai
<Jimba> Nice to meet you, Lurokai. Who are you?
<Lurokai> I'm a sailor - I heard you were looking for sailors who know their way around these waters.
* Lurokai seems like a friendly, trustworthy guy
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> That I am.
<Jimba> (Does he seem Aummesh?)
* Lurokai is Aummesh, yes.
<Jimba> You from around here?
<Lurokai> From Ruur. You know, things are kind of a mess there lately, so I was hoping for something that would take me elsewhere.
<Jimba> Oh? Where on Ruur?
<Lurokai> Oh, just out in the middle of nowhere.
* Lurokai says vaguely.
<Jimba> Can I ask what you lineage is?
<Lurokai> Wartibar. There's a lot of us around.
* Lurokai says with a shrug.
<Jimba> Oh! Do you know Hishkobal?
<Lurokai> Well, sure, everyone does!
* Jimba smiles.
<Lurokai> He's probably my third cousin or something. Who can keep track?
* Jimba chuckles.
<Jimba> So, why the land office? If you're a sailor, I would think you could find plenty of ships if you just wanted to get away.
<Lurokai> Ah... kind of an awkward story. But I'll tell you, since you seem trustworthy. When I was younger, for a little while, I sailed with the Cormorant fleet. Even once I left that behind, it's made honest jobs rather hard to come by.
<Jimba> I imagine it would. And *definitely
* make things difficult on Ruur right now.
<Lurokai> I'm glad you understand.
<Jimba> So, sailing...any other skills?
* Lurokai says with a friendly smile.
<Lurokai> Well, I'm not half bad in a fight. I can get in and out of places pretty well, as you might have noticed, hah! There are those who've told me I have a way with words.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> You understand I'm not the final arbiter here, right?
<Lurokai> Oh, of course, of course. I just wanted to let you know I was interested. Make a good first impression.
* Lurokai winks, smiling.
* Jimba smiles and nods again.
<Jimba> I'll be sure to keep you in mind.
<Lurokai> I appreciate it. But look, I won't keep you - you were probably just on your way to bed, I imagine. It's late and I should be on my way. Drop me a line at the Three-tailed Fox, if you think there's a position for me.
<Jimba> Three-tailed Fox, got it.
* Lurokai gives you a friendly wave and heads out of the cabin.
<AshnabisGM> You can head to bed, then, unless there was anything else you wanted to do that night?
<Jimba> Probably just check on the dogs.
<Jimba> Since they didn't come to greet me.
<AshnabisGM> When you go to check on them, they wake up and come over, wagging their tails. They seem fine.
<AshnabisGM> Happy to see you, as usual.
<Jimba> (Cool cool)
<AshnabisGM> Well, upon thinking about it the next day, that whole encounter seems weird to you. Not actively threatening, but just very strange. Why was he in your cabin, looking through your stuff? Why did you just accept that and have a nice chat with him? Did he cast a spell on you?
<Jimba> I'll check my stuff to see if anything is missing.
<AshnabisGM> Ok, upon looking through your things, the only noticable thing you find missing is your razor. Which is definitely weird.
<Jimba> Hmm, that's strange, but not concerning yet. I'll make sure to ask Kat about it later.
<AshnabisGM> Cool, cool.
<AshnabisGM> well, sometime that day, Kayibir will come to talk to you.
* Lurokai is now known as Kayibir
<Kayibir> Hey, Jimba... how's it going?
<Jimba> Hey Kayibir. It's going pretty well. Yourself?
<Kayibir> Well, it's all right. I was wondering - about the job thing, with the land office. I've been thinking about whether I should take it or not.
<Kayibir> I don't have a lot of other opportunities right now, but would my, uh, my past be a problem?
<Jimba> It's not insurmountable, I don't think.
<Jimba> I take it you're interested, then?
<Kayibir> Well.. I'm still thinking about it. How long do you think I have to decide?
<Jimba> I'm not actually sure. They're definitely still recruiting.
* Kayibir nods
<Kayibir> Well... either way, I wanted to thank you for thinking I'd be good at it. For giving me a chance, at least.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I think you could do well there. You'd be able to make your own way. Be your own person.
<Kayibir> I've never really had that opportunity before.
<Jimba> Seems like it'd be good for you, and I don't feel like you would waste it.
<Kayibir> Thanks for the vote of confidence.
* Kayibir gives a hint of a smile.
<Kayibir> But okay - serious question. Would I be in charge? Or would it be Aptan? Do I have to do what Aptan says? because I can't actually take him seriously.
<Kayibir> Not if I have to call him Captain Aptan.
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> Well, I think it falls to your team to sort that out. Ours doesn't have a specific leader. We mostly work through consensus.
<Kayibir> Hmm. Weird, but okay.
<Kayibir> Thanks for the information. I'll give it a little more thought.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Happy to help.
<Jimba> However strange that may seem to everyone.
<Kayibir> I appreciate it... you guys didn't have to be this nice to me.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> There was no reason not to.
<Jimba> Might as well help people when you can.
<Kayibir> Thanks, Jimba.
<Kayibir> I'll see you later, I guess.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> See you later.
* Kayibir heads off, then.
<Jimba> Hey, Kayibir, just a second.
<Kayibir> Yeah?
<Jimba> I just remembered. You don't happen to have known a Lurokai who sailed with the Cormorant, do you?
<Kayibir> Lurokai? never heard of him, no.
<Jimba> He's of the Wartibar, if that helps.
* Kayibir shakes her head.
* Jimba will describe him.
<Kayibir> oh... that sounds like Ishmaar. Why do you ask?
* Kayibir looks a bit puzzled/concerned.
<Jimba> Who's Ishmaar?
<Kayibir> He's close with my uncle. One of his lieutenants, I guess? He used to sail on the Cormorant but then he got his own ship, the Nightjar, that's how trusted he was. I don't really know what happened to him after the battle, though.
<Jimba> Was the Nightjar sunk?
<Kayibir> It must've been, or at least badly damaged.
<Jimba> Hmm.
<Jimba> So, you'd be able to identify him if you ran into him?
<Kayibir> Oh, yes. Definitely.
<Kayibir> Why?
<Kayibir> Is he around in town or something?
* Kayibir looks a bit nervous.
<Jimba> Had kind of a weird encounter with the Lurokai person, and you said his description fits one of your uncle's lieutenants...
<Jimba> Hopefully I'm just being paranoid.
* Kayibir nods
<Kayibir> Well, I'll keep an eye out. You be careful too.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Will do.

Solos

Daifan tells Veznara about Galdai's plan


* Veznara is in the map room, poring over surveys for Ruur
* Daifan will slip in and close the ddoor behind them
<Daifan> Hello Hand Veznara
* Veznara looks up
<Daifan> I hear congratulations to your family are in order?
<Veznara> Oh, hello, Daifan!
<Veznara> Ah... yes? :/
<Veznara> I take it you have heard the news, then.
* Veznara takes a deep breath, and exhales
<Daifan> Mmhmm
<Veznara> It was, ah, an unlooked for honour. :/
<Veznara> I had nothing to do with it.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> Well, not directly. :/
<Daifan> I'm sure - you have managed to gain her trust, so perhaps it is no so surprising that she would chose to embroil you and your family further
<Veznara> It seems so. Normally... well, my family has standing. But not so much that they would normally be considered for such a link to the Imperial House.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> In that sense, it's a boon.
<Daifan> I an glad that your family will see some benefit - I know you dont really want to be involved in this
<Veznara> Thank you.
<Veznara> It will be nice to have my brother so close by.
<Daifan> yes...
<Veznara> And of course, it will give me even more reason to visit... and keep an eye on things.
<Daifan> I hope that he can have a marriage free of her influence, beyond its arranging
<Veznara> Well... from their one brief meeting so far, they seem to suit each other.
<Veznara> They seem to get along well And that's a great relief - I want both Sumurt and Ziftu to be happy in their own right. If they're happy together, all is well.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I... don't want to crush your joy here more than I already do, Veznara. I mean what I said jst now
<Veznara> :/
<Veznara> ...but you're about to?
<Daifan> But you should know more of her plans, if your family is being drawn into them further
* Veznara closes her eyes, rubs them, then opens them again.
<Daifan> YOu remember what Junan and I told you of her interest in Fuska's baby?
<Veznara> ...yes?
<Daifan> how she want Ziftu... and presumably your brother, to raise that child after her death?
<Veznara> ...I .. no. No, I didn't realize.
<Veznara> I only hear that they are to stay here with her after the marriage.
<Daifan> well. She is making arrangements for that child, and there is more to it
<Veznara> :/
<Veznara> Oh no.
<Daifan> I couldn't understand why she waned this child so badly.... so we did a powerful divination, to reveal her intentions
<Daifan> She plans to put her soul into it, and thus to prolong her own life
<Veznara> Oh, Ancestors. :O
<Daifan> So her her granddaughter, and your brother, would just be taking care of her until she could reclaim her power
<Daifan> It's evil - and shocking
* Veznara falls back in her chair.
<Veznara> ...
<Daifan> I've had more time.
<Daifan> to wrestle with the idea
<Daifan> it still makes me feel ill
<Veznara> You're sure this is what she intends? She's made no effort to track down the escapees, not that I know of... oh, Ancestors!
<Daifan> I am.
<Veznara> ...
<Veznara> How long before the baby is born, again?
<Daifan> its already born
<Veznara> Oh.
<Daifan> livig, for now, with its family
<Daifan> until she is ready, I presume
<Veznara> So she's waiting for what? For the wedding to take place?
<Daifan> maybe?
<Daifan> I don't know.
<Daifan> Maybe she's not quite tired yet of her current bag of bones
<Daifan> I don't want to interfer in your family's business.... but I m not repared to let her continue with this plan
<Veznara> No. Of course not. But what can be done? Can the baby be warded in some way to protect it?
<Veznara> This baby was born to two Corpseborn parents?
<Daifan> yes, but it has gone out on the tide
<Daifan> who it was born to doesn't really matter
<Veznara> Doesn't it? It's the Hand that normally places such children.
<Veznara> Maybe Dezmali could pull rank at the last minute...
<Daifan> as far as I know, it is already done, through the Timil temple
<Daifan> it woudl no be hr place to interfer there.
<Veznara> No... no, it wouldn't.
* Veznara frowns
<Daifan> I can give you the name of the priestess, but... *shrug*
<Veznara> As usual, Galdai has been clever.
<Daifan> She would try something else, I'm sure, if she became more desperate
<Veznara> She had a list of candidates, no doubt. She could just move on to the next one.
<Daifan> perhaps - I think we did releve her of some further options at least
<Veznara> What materials would she need for this? Perhaps we can prevent her from getting them. It must take... well, something.
<Daifan> mmmhmm. I have no idea
<Daifan> other than herself
* Veznara freezes
<Veznara> ...
<Veznara> No. There must be some way to stop this. Or to undo it after it is done.
<Veznara> What is to happen to the baby's soul? Will both be there?
<Daifan> I hope that no one else understand her research well enough to know
<Daifan> I certainly don't.
<Veznara> If it happens... an exorcism. Warding beforehand. There must be something.
<Daifan> if it happens, we will find a way to fix it.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I will look into it. What can be done.
<Daifan> thank you.
<Veznara> I wonder whether Hand Dezmali should be informed of this...
<Daifan> I thought about it - but what coudl she do?
<Veznara> Call a special blessing to protect the baby? I don't know.
<Daifan> perhaps - I will leave that to youb to determine, though if she wants to hear from me, that's fine
<Daifan> I'm sure she trusts you
<Veznara> Well, I certainly have every reason *not* to want to believe this.
<Daifan> TO leave no uncertainty...in the spell we cast, we asked about her intentions to the child. The answer wa "The child will serve as a safe harbour for the old spirit when it leaves its current body, allowing it to grow into still greater power."
<Veznara> Does it need to be prepared in some way that we could stop, or interfere with after it's done?
<Daifan> I don't know.
<Veznara> So many questions... no answers.
<Veznara> Well, speculation is pointless.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> how old is your brother?
<Veznara> He's fourteen now. The same age as Lady Ziftu.
<Daifan> too young for her bullshit
<Veznara> He's in no position to oppose her, if that's what you mean. :/
<Daifan> no.
<Daifan> I hope that he can stay out of it
<Veznara> Yes. So do I.
* Veznara says grimly.
<Veznara> Neither he nor Lady Ziftu deserve to be involved in this.
<Daifan> I will bear that all in mind.
* Veznara raises an eyebrow at that
<Daifan> If your reseach come s up with anything, let me know.
<Veznara> Of course. I'm afraid it may be more wishful than anything else, but perhaps the Ancestors will be kind.
<Veznara> More likely I'll hear about the timetable, though, which will be something.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> that would be helpful too.
<Daifan> if I learn anythig else relevant... I will let you know as well, of course.
<Veznara> Thank you.