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DM Alexander Kilcoyne's Sargavan Saga

Game Master Alexander Kilcoyne

"What is this place? Puzzles in Azlant, more magic than you see in a year in Absalom. Wheels literally within wheels. Bound demons and wax golems? The expense must have been enormous. But why? To what end?"

Jakob

Kingdom Rules | SRD Reference | Pyramid, Level 1 | Pyramid, Level 2 |


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Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

She demurs, smiling. "Let Ansha have my share of the accolades; she enjoys them more. I do not dance for applause," she reminds him. "I dance for pleasure -- my own and his who dances with me. The citizens of Eleder lined the streets and cheered for us as their champions the day we won the Trials, when we thought Jakob lost and were a team of near-strangers who barely trusted one another. Yet I am happier today, when the crowds have already forgotten my name, if ever they even knew it."


Your Humble Narrator

The coveted post 2,000 is coming up... I will deduct a character level and apply the first six curses I randomly roll to whoever dares take it from me while I sleep. You will also be reincarnated, and the odds of becoming a Kobold will be disturbingly high (1-98 on a D%).

Bethany smiles weakly at N'bellocq. The matronly, middle aged cook still seems a little in shock. As you reach the caravan Jeggare insists she have a hot bowl of soup and to rest immediately, before wandering off to the front of the wagons.

Although Qhude's body paint does indeed give the caravan crew pause, its not nearly as negative an effect as he imagined it would be. Although some cringe as they look upon his bloody visage, many nod in respect and thanks to him, just like they do to the others. He is however, given a little distance in comparison to say Ansha, who allows the crew to adore her. Albert is more than happy to give Qhude his possessions back. The commander looks in far better spirits now and he alone has the courage or tenacity to lay a hand on Qhude as he passes- a firm and welcoming pat on the back as he arrives.

Ansha cleans herself with her magic, looking as immaculate as she ever did. She finds Jeggare at the front of the caravan, inspecting the work to remove the tree trunk from the path. He grunts in greeting to Ansha in a noncommittal manner; and as she joins him she can see the road has now been cleared.

Not long until Freehold now. Its a fine little town. A model for Sargava, i'm always saying.

Tebati and Kieran are given the degree of space that couples in a large crowd often seem to afford themselves as they whisper with their hands entwined.

Seeing N'belloqc as a logical target to latch himself to, the excitable Mengak hounds him with questions about the brief incursion- and makes a point of boasting about the three Bandu he cut down himself.

The blond-haired Stephanie greets Jakob in particular as he returns with the group, smiling softly at him and holding two cups of water in her hands as she offers one to him wordlessly; clearly wanting to drink with him.

Qhude moves off and makes an inquiry of Unwe. She seems to click her tongue, perhaps in annoyance or exasperation upon seeing his visage; shaking her head wordlessly.

First the scars and now... she mutters sourly, moving to inspect his fresh wounds, fetching a bucket of water, a cloth and unfolding her healers kit onto a nearby flat rock in preparation for the hour ahead.

Welcome back she murmurs a little more warmly, sympathy for his wounds and the future pain promised from the needle in her hands as she sets to work.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

o_O Mental note to stop posting at all around post 1995.

Ansha offers Jeggare a friendly smile as she approaches. "Oh? How so? Mwangi and colonial working side by side?" she asks, her voice conveying idle curiosity more than any partisan interest in the struggles of humans with other humans. She comes up beside him, then stops, letting her gaze wander of the broken-up tree trunk and newly-reopened road. After a couple of seconds, she turns her gaze on the portly half-elf, studying facial features--in particular, his slightly-pointed ears. As she speaks, she makes a point of keeping her demeanor open and friendly, an inquisitive smile playing over her lips. Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17 "I take it that you share the Grand Custodian's vision, then? Or is it more personal? Do they treat half-humans as well as their own, or are you somewhere between a Mwangi and a true-bred colonial in Sargavan society?"


Your Humble Narrator

Don't worry Ansha, just a late april fools ;). Well, it might be. Or that sentence might be a lie. Depends on my mood around post 2000 I guess?

Jeggare gives Ansha a slightly defensive glance but then his features settle as he answers, his eyes distant and looking out onto the horizon.

Half-Elves know better than anyone what it is to be between two cultures or communities Miss Ansha. I'm not privvy to Utilinus' vision. But Freehold's a good place. Strong community; equal pay regardless of heritage; plenty of Mwangi who work there even have shares in the place. Olgran Macini was a man well ahead of his time when he founded that little cattle ranch.

As for me, i'm a Sargavan. Any who say otherwise can tangle with my crossbow.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

hmmm Kobold oracle.....a Koracle? Or rather a Coracle?. Mind you with 6 curses there is a good chance that the wee bestie will think he/she is a small woven boat covered with calico and bitumastic paint. I could work with this. Might hurt Jakob's marriage prospects though.

"Thank you Stephanie. This is most welcome. Must not have been easy here, not knowing if Jeggere or the rest of us would come back, or if we would come back with half of the Bandu nation on our heels. Thank you for staying. To you Stephanie.." Jakob smiles through the trail dust and lifts his water cup.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati watches N'bellocq hand Bethany over to her friends and then get corralled by Mengak with a smile before turning to Kieran. "Now that we are back with the others and as safe as we can feel ourselves to be while on the road, shall we get you out of your armor and let me see what I can do about the pains left behind by our fall into the ankhegs' lair? Unless you prefer Unwe's needle, of course."

cure light wounds on Kieran 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

Kieran looks around at the rest of his comrades, as well as the guards and members of the caravan, with a smile before turning to Tebati. "Ah, a moment of respite after our recent troubles is quite welcome, is it not? Especially when I get to spend it under your care."

"And no, I would not have traded you for Unwe's needle even if Qhude had not already chosen her as his healer. Although I am fairly certain you already knew my answer," he adds with a wink before quickly and suddenly pulling the priestess closer and into his embrace.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha nods noncommittally, following Jeggare's gaze toward the horizon. "Of course." She pauses for a moment, then asks, a bit hesitantly, "Was your mother or father your elven parent? Are they still here in Sargava?"

She sighs, smiling sadly. "Sometimes, I feel so alone here. The only other elf I've even seen in the past decade was one of the competitors at the Trials of Grallus a few weeks ago. I've never heard of a Kyonin-born and -raised elf becoming Forlorn, but...most elves from Kyonin never leave at all. Or if they do, not for good."


Your Humble Narrator
Ansha Saeralyan wrote:

Ansha nods noncommittally, following Jeggare's gaze toward the horizon. "Of course." She pauses for a moment, then asks, a bit hesitantly, "Was your mother or father your elven parent? Are they still here in Sargava?"

She sighs, smiling sadly. "Sometimes, I feel so alone here. The only other elf I've even seen in the past decade was one of the competitors at the Trials of Grallus a few weeks ago. I've never heard of a Kyonin-born and -raised elf becoming Forlorn, but...most elves from Kyonin never leave at all. Or if they do, not for good."

Jeggare is still gazing towards the east, not wanting to meet Ansha's eyes and content with the off-hand conversation.

My father. Not the usual clichéd love story. He was a... scallywag, to put it lightly and my mother a young and naive colonial. She lives in Eleder now, but she has few years of life left in her. I know nothing of Kyonin. Is it a less harsh land than Sargava?


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha's smile turns wistful. "If you avoid the Tanglebriar in the south, yes; although perhaps not any less dangerous. It's a beautiful country, full of trees and plants and elves and fey. When I was a child, I lived with my family in the capital, Iadara. The city was always cloaked in the most artful of illusions, with beautiful crystal spires entwined in perfect harmony with the trees and streams. There are a couple of towns on the western shores of Lake Encarthan that have large communities of half-elves in them, too: Erages and Greengold. I never visited either of them, though. My lady-mother forbade it. I take it your father left your mother, then? Or did he meet his end somewhere?"


Your Humble Narrator

Jeggare smiles wryly at the description of Iadara.

Sounds... complicated. He would have had to be around long enough to leave her, Miss Ansha. I don't get the impression they were... acquainted for long before he moved on. As I said- a scallywag. An adventurer to boot. Probably met his end in some beast's belly.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha smirks in turn. "Probably."

She turns her head to look at Jeggare out of the corner of her eye. "If you ever find yourself on Avistan, I would highly recommend seeing it for yourself," she looks down in the general direction of Jeggare's hands, then continues, "So, this amulet Qhude acquired. May I see it?"

I wonder how much more of a disappointment Mother would consider me if I were to seek the protection of another Abyssal power than her own Lady of Shadows.


Your Humble Narrator

The symbol of Angazhan? Already disposed of it Miss Ansha. A lady like yourself shouldn't have to see such a thing.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Ansha hides her disappointment quickly, smiling at the half-elf's reference to her as 'a lady such as yourself.' Enough troubles in my life as it is, anyway. Though perhaps worth researching in case we run into more of his worshipers. "I am afraid that my curiosity gets the better of me, sometimes. The Bandu worship this Ravenous King--are there others in the wilds of Sargava who do the same? I can't imagine it is done out of anything other than fear, given what Tebati said of the man-eating charau-ka."


Your Humble Narrator

I don't pretend to understand the minds of demon-worshipping cultists Miss Ansha. Jeggare replies softly, scratching his brow. But what Miss Tebati says is right. The "Ravenous King" is an old and ancient Demon Lord that pre-dates any nation in Avistan or Garund; perhaps even the Azlant themselves. I imagine that his worshippers gain power and strength from his worship and that the culture of power and fear keeps those who might question his teachings in line.

He thinks for a moment and then continues his answer.

Just the Bekyar Mwangi tribe I believe- which mostly means the Bandu in Sargava. I expect Angazhan has secret individual followers among the colonials too though. A philosophy of domination and achieving personal power over others regardless of the cost to society no doubt appeals to much of the "Old Guard" in Eleder. he goes on, subtly alluding to the traditional colonials that grew the country of Sargava on the backs of Mwangi slaves. Allowing his words to sink in, his tone becomes grim and perhaps a little troubled.

What I do know, is that his areas of greatest influence and power are said to be in the jungle. The Laughing Jungle of Sargava is almost entirely unexplored- there could be hordes of his apes in there for all we know. He has a greater claim by strength and numbers to the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse than any other.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4
Jeggare wrote:
A philosophy of domination and achieving personal power over others regardless of the cost to society no doubt appeals to much of the "Old Guard" in Eleder.

Ansha smiles wanly as Jeggare speaks, hiding any sympathy for the philosophy of the Eleder 'Old Guard' she holds. "I understand that there is a tribe of wild elves near our final destination in the jungles. Perhaps they might know more of the dangers therein? How far is it until we arrive, anyway?"

Oh, to see full-blooded kin again.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Kieran:
He feels a thrill of pleasure run through her body as he pulls her close, followed by a faint wince of pain as his hands brush against her own bruises from the tumble into the subterranean tunnels. The discomfort is not enough, however, to dissuade her from wrapping her arms around his neck to pull his lips down to hers. "You may not have been the one to rescue the damsel," she murmurs, "but a man should expect some modicum of gratitude for protecting a woman from an insect the size of a horse, should he not?"


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq listens patiently to Mengak's questions but always seemed to deliver too brief answers.

How many warriors were out there? - Many
You fought a duel? and Won? - Yes
Did you kill them? - Yes
Did Qhude chop off their heads too? - No

Mengak eventually realized that if he knew what to ask, his curiosity could be served. It seemed N'bellocq didn't talk much, but he was patient...to a point.

To eventually stop the barrage of question. N'bellocq asked for a telling of what he had learned of the fight at the front of the caravan.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Qhude takes note of the soldiers and caravaneers reactions, noting Albert's above all but giving it merely a nod of acknowledgement in return. When he finds Unwe and they move aside to the flat rock, he waits her return with the water and cloth. As she returns, he takes the cloth and water unto himself having asked for it more to clean off the blood and paint than any request of healing. Though he does not refuse her needle's attention upon his leg where the spear struck during the duel.

Seating himself on the rock, Qhude first douses the cloth and covers his head letting the cool water drip over tired and aching muscles. He then sets to vigorously cleaning off the dried blood and warpaint that he had applied, uncovering his face and turning to the Mwangi healer. Placing a hand upon hers so as to stop her work and draw her eyes, Qhude asks her directly "How do you see me now Unwe? Am I so different to the Bandu.. I saw your eyes before and after I ended the one that cut Albert..."


Your Humble Narrator
Jakob Mulle wrote:


"Thank you Stephanie. This is most welcome. Must not have been easy here, not knowing if Jeggare or the rest of us would come back, or if we would come back with half of the Bandu nation on our heels. Thank you for staying. To you Stephanie.." Jakob smiles through the trail dust and lifts his water cup.

Stephanie raises her glass, the young blonde colonial smiling warmly at Jakob's toast.

And to you Jakob. We were all worried about all you... all of you.

She takea deep gulp and then softly gestures to the surrounding land.

It is strange but... Despite all the men we just sent to the Boneyard, I can't help but think the countryside is more beautiful than ever now we lived through the attack. Don't you think?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

Ansha Saeralyan wrote:

Ansha smiles wanly as Jeggare speaks, hiding any sympathy for the philosophy of the Eleder 'Old Guard' she holds. "I understand that there is a tribe of wild elves near our final destination in the jungles. Perhaps they might know more of the dangers therein? How far is it until we arrive, anyway?"

Oh, to see full-blooded kin again.

DM Only:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17

I don't know much about Elves in the jungle. Well, we should make Freehold tomorrow evening. From there, we'll need to pick up a few supplies and I want to give my crew a week or two of rest after the trials getting there. The distance between Freehold and this base camp that has been set up should be less than the distance between Eleder and Freehold, but it'll probably be another week or more until we arrive there. For one thing, you'll be heading on foot through the jungle once we reach it- there's no road in the Laughing Jungle.

Ansha please make a DC17 Sense Motive check, if you pass I will PM you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Qhude wrote:


Seating himself on the rock, Qhude first douses the cloth and covers his head letting the cool water drip over tired and aching muscles. He then sets to vigorously cleaning off the dried blood and warpaint that he had applied, uncovering his face and turning to the Mwangi healer. Placing a hand upon hers so as to stop her work and draw her eyes, Qhude asks her directly "How do you see me now Unwe? Am I so different to the Bandu.. I saw your eyes before and after I ended the one that cut Albert..."

Unwe sighs softly, looking Qhude right in the eyes.

I think Albert thinks much higher of you now- that last deed of yours bonded him to you, although I wonder if such a cruel act is a good influence on him. Fear is a weapon, something you clearly understand well. But there were no Bandu onlookers as you slowly tortured a warrior in his final moments. There was no reason to make such a display of it. Cruelty for cruelty's sake is the beginning of a dark road.

Unwe lays her free hand on Qhude's, her tone softening.

I am grateful that you risked your life for Thenjiwee's and I am glad you returned safe to the caravan. Truth be told, I wish I had spoken up before you. I cut him deep with my blade and I would have liked to finish him myself- especially now I know it would have spared your soul such hardness.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mengak extricates information from N'bellocq but his enthusiasm seems to dampen against N'bellocq's dourness. It isn't long before he politely extricates himself from the conversation, looking a little put out.

I think with Qhude back in gear we can start moving the caravan onwards to Freehold, what say ye?


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Ready to go. Tebati intends to talk to Qhude in the morning after her prayers, but we can flextime it. Wasn't sure how much daylight was left and if Jeggare considered it worth trying to get on up the road a little bit more tonight. If we make it to sunset without any further trouble, Tebati will cast her last clw on herself ... and I'm not even going to roll it because she only needs 3 hp to full, and it'll frustrate me if I roll an 8. :)


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Happy to roll on and resolve the RP in flex

Flextime - Qhude and Unwe Cleansing / Healing

Qhude sighs and his eyes moisten at Unwe's words "When the white heat takes my heart there is little I am not capable of..." pausing a few moments while keeping his hand nestled between Unwe's "The slaver was strong... and if not already injured I do not know if I could have bested him alone..."


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)
DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:


Stephanie raises her glass, the young blonde colonial smiling warmly at Jakob's toast.

And to you Jakob. We were all worried about all you... all of you.

She take sa deep gulp and then softly gestures to the surrounding land.

It is strange but... Despite all the men we just sent to the Boneyard, I can't help but think the countryside is more beautiful than ever now we lived through the attack. Don't you think?

Jakob looks out at the wildlands, still under the late afternoon sun.

"A wise man once taught me that life is always beautiful. In the cities, at sea, here." Jakob turns and addresses Stephanie directly, studying her face. "Just that here, surrounded and alone as we are, the beauty is easier to see."

Jackob's thoughts are disturbed as he speaks with Stephanie."Is she well? Stumbling over words, is she flushed? Hate to have sickness hit our caravan...."

Heal to see signs of disease/poison: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6. Sense motive to see beneath the surface: 1d20 ⇒ 5. Hmmm must be distracted by something.

Ready to keep running down the road, well walking anyway.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 17

Ansha nods at Jeggare, remaining silent for the moment.


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'belocq sadly watches Mengak blend back into the camp. To take such joy in taking lives...The joy is that we are back and all are safe. I did my share of killing, but had it forced upon me...and I would have slain that whole village of their warriors if necessary...but there would be no joy.

He goes to find some water with which to wash himself. Covered in dirt and dried blood, he imagined he looked the opposite of Qhude's judgmental appearance. He merely looked like a voodoo dead, still walking through a curse.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4
Jeggare wrote:
I don't know much about Elves in the jungle. Well, we should make Freehold tomorrow evening. From there, we'll need to pick up a few supplies and I want to give my crew a week or two of rest after the trials getting there. The distance between Freehold and this base camp that has been set up should be less than the distance between Eleder and Freehold, but it'll probably be another week or more until we arrive there. For one thing, you'll be heading on foot through the jungle once we reach it- there's no road in the Laughing Jungle.

Ansha arches an eyebrow, her tone teasing as she replies, "Are you sure it's not because you're looking to spend time with your girl in Freehold?"

I'm ready to move on too.


Your Humble Narrator

Jeggare chuckles, his portly face smiling and full of mirth.

I have no girl in Sargava, let alone in Freehold. Nice try, Miss Ansha. Come on, lets get the caravan moving.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jakob Mulle wrote:


Jakob looks out at the wildlands, still under the late afternoon sun.
"A wise man once taught me that life is always beautiful. In the cities, at sea, here." Jakob turns and addresses Stephanie directly, studying her face. "Just that here, surrounded and alone as we are, the beauty is easier to see."

Jackob's thoughts are disturbed as he speaks with Stephanie."Is she well? Stumbling over words, is she flushed? Hate to have sickness hit our caravan...."

Heal to see signs of disease/poison: 1d20+4. Sense motive to see beneath the surface: 1d20. Hmmm must be distracted by something.

Stephanie eagerly listens to what the wise man taught Jakob, seemingly eager to lap up his wisdom too. Jakob doesn't think she's necessarily stumbling over her words, she seems to just be pausing to put her thoughts into the right words. She sighs as Jakob finishes.

Very poignant of him. Who was he to you, this wise man? Perhaps your father or a friend?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Feel free to continue as long as you like in Flextime. Remember when it comes to NPC interaction I'm just as happy to see you declare things like "Jakob spends time talking to Stephanie and coming across as enigmatic as possible while also telling the occasional joke" as I am to see "Qhude looks at Unwe's eyes and says- How dare you look at me like that!"- it can be handled in third person narrative, first person spoken IC or any mixture you please. I often use a third person style for NPC's to interact with you and I'm happy for you to do the same with your characters.

This is particularly true of Diplomacy checks. Remember to change an attitude takes at least a minute and a successful check to me is usually several back and forth lines of conversation not including the critical "kicker" you've written out in speech. Detailing the approach you take as well as the methods and any subtleties is always appreciated as it leaves less for me to narrate and assume when I've only been given ten seconds of speech to work with to represent an NPC's attitude being changed.

Jeggare gets the caravan going once more a short time later and you carry on travelling throughout the caravan. You stop for the night with the knowledge that having made good time despite the attacks, you are a mere day or two away from relative safety after a difficult week on the road.

1d100 ⇒ 77

Early Morning, 29th of Sarenith, 4711 AR, En Route to Freehold

The caravan begins to stir with the morning light and the chorus of birdsong as you awaken to a glorious day of smouldering sunshine in sunny Sargava. The caravan crew are up early and preparing breakfast- cooked beans and sausages, judging by the delicious smell.

Pause for RP but in particular, prepare your spells ladies.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Morning , 29 Sarenith 4711
Jakob is awake to see the last of the stars and hear the beginning of the dawn chorus. His ears bick out new sounds and he realizes that one could navigate simply by listening to the different bird calls and knowing the land the different birds liked. Here the rawkus costal birds were rare and the quieter birds of jungle and forest were predominating. Nat div to skill today please

At breakfast:
To Jeggere, "So Freehold by Tomorrow night? There were some back in the city who wanted me to pay close attention to the way things are done in Freehold. What can you tell me about it Sir?"

To Qhude as Jakob passes him a flagon of water: "I am glad you chose to wash the blood off. It was useful for a time but it didn't really suit you and it can be hard to remove."

Flexing with Stephanie.
Jakob is friendly, telling her of Abraxes the Druid and his time in Magimar, pointing out the fragrant herbs and flowers the caravan passes. He maintaines a distance however, seeking friendship but not wanting to expose her to the dangers and plots that he sees surrounding him. Though he does give her a small boquet of heady scented night flowers, "..to help you sleep."

Diplomacy? Not really trying to do anything but more to track her perception of Jakob? 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25.


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4
DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:

Jeggare chuckles, his portly face smiling and full of mirth.

I have no girl in Sargava, let alone in Freehold. Nice try, Miss Ansha. Come on, lets get the caravan moving.

"No girl, hm? Well, if it's the company of men you prefer, I do believe Jakob may be a kindred spirit," Ansha says, her tone wheedling and teasing all at once. "But you are right. We should get on the road again. I'm looking forward to seeing this Freehold of yours--and shaking the dust off my boots."

Spells prepped and ready to go.

Early Morning, 29th of Sarenith, 4711 AR

Ansha awakes with the sun. Slowly she crawls out of her bedroll and to the edge of the wagon, where she sits and faces the dawn, basking in the new day. Awake my soul, and with the sun,... she thinks, smiling softly to herself. After an interminable period of time, she digs up her spellbook and flips it open to a particular page. Poring over the text, she quietly mouths the syllables as she prepares herself for the day ahead. Only after she has finished memorizing the incantations does she put the spellbook aside and go to find something to take the edge off of her gnawing hunger. She smiles and waves at the caravan staff, engaging in friendly banter as she approaches the mess area, and continues to chat pleasantly with the crew as she eats until the caravan begins to pack up again or someone interrupts her.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Early Morning, 29th of Sarenith, 4711 AR

Having spent the hour just before dawn communing with her goddess, Tebati arises from her meditation and goes to find Qhude. With a slight smile, she waits for his nod of acknowledgement before sitting down next to him. "May I see the weapon you won from the Bandu chief?" she asks mildly. "I have asked Shimye-Magalla to allow my eyes to be opened to any taint of Angazhan it might carry." Assuming he hands it over, she'll cast detect evil and examine it. As she turns the guisarme in her hands, she remarks, "I did poorly yesterday. My tongue is quick to speak my mind, and my concern over the unholy symbol swallowed up the accolades that should have been yours." She turns to look him in the face. "Angazhan would have had you slaughter the whole camp to retrieve Bethany. Instead, you chose to minimize the shedding of blood. That is no way to please him. His eye is on you because you would be a great weapon in his hands, just as this was in the hands of the Bandu leader. But now it is in your hands, and it is up to you how you choose to employ it. Your strength and ability are also in your hands, and it is your choice how you will use them. Angazhan may covet you but he cannot command you without your assent."

Will wait on AK for confirmation of the results of the detect, although I fully expect this to be a total waste of a first level spell on fluff. If the weapon were evil, A) it would most likely also be magic, and B) Qhude would have already grown an evilverse goatee and started cackling maniacally. Don't see your hp total on your profile, but I'm assuming he's less than full, even after getting 2 hp back overnight -- and I don't know if Unwe attempted a Treat Deadly Wounds check to give him any additional healing last night. About to go check if any of the NPCs are still hurt and need a channel after this, so Qhude can tag along if he needs it.

After speaking with Qhude, she approaches Unwe to ask after the wounds suffered by the soldiers during the defense of the caravan, particularly Albert's and Thenjiwee's. "Are any still suffering this morning? I can provide some more healing now that the sun has risen once again."


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Qhude was 17/23 at the end of the day - so 19/23 from rest, plus whatever Unwe provided.
If Tebati is channeling then Qhude wouldn't refuse.

Flextime - Qhude and Unwe Time

Qhude speaks sparingly while Unwe continues her work, though offers up some details of himself if asked. Unwe would learn some detail of Qhude's father - and that the pendant is the only talisman of his that Qhude has left - though he does not offer the circumstances of his banishment or how his father died in Kalabuto. Qhude does not ask much of Unwe in return... sated with the answer given to his first query earlier.

He wipes down the blood and paint himself, and does not ask for any of the remaining cuts to be forsworn her attention. When she is happy with her work, Qhude clasps her hands in his and offers thanks. He then retreats to the edge of camp and sits gazing into the wild with his lion pelt gathered around his shoulders for warmth.

Early Morning 29th with Tebati

Qhude does not refuse the Sangoma's presence, beckoning her sit beside him where he is still shrouded with the pelt of the young lion. Offering the weapon for inspection and listening to words spoken, Qhude has a hollow smile and tired eyes as he replies "There is no harm in opening the door on a hut so it's owner might see the sun. The truth in the day was that Bethany was returned... and two Bandu died in her place." Qhude sighs and looks downward "You were not here to see the manner in which my duel with the slaver was won... I did not merely end him, but made him suffer. I goaded him, robbed his lungs of breath and crushed his throat...." looking back at Tebati with a pained expression "Are you sure that the demon ape does not already have some sway over my soul? It was easy to me... too easy..."

Breakfast 29th with Jakob

Qhude nods, somehow more centered within himself this morning - though clear his heart is still working through events "How does the morning find you Jakob? There was much death yesterday..."


Your Humble Narrator

Unwe healed you of 2HP. Will post an update later.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)
Qhude wrote:

Breakfast 29th with Jakob

Qhude nods, somehow more centered within himself this morning - though clear his heart is still working through events How does the morning find you Jakob? There was much death yesterday..

Jakob returns the nod as he drops a bit of wild mint into his leather water cup. "Yesterday was...unplesent. But we came through it intact. I was worried about you for a time when I saw the blood and paint not to mention the severed head but I understand more now. In order to get Bethany back you had to speak to the Bandu in a way they could readily understand. If Jeggere or Kerian or gods help us, I had gone to rescue her she would have been killed and we would have had another fight on our hands." Jakob smiles and maybe chuckles. "Falling on my ass in that blasted hole was pretty much the best thing I could have done."

"I am a bit concerned about the duel where you picked up your new toy though." Jakob indicates the pole arm. "From what I have heard it seems you were pushing the line. You exhibited a cruelty that I would have thought alien to your nature. I have seen you use your rage, it is part of who you are like it or not. But I have not known you to use it pointlessly before. You can be cruel. But it is the direct cruelty of the lion not the cruelty of the slave master who whips a broken man simply because he can."


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Breakfast 29th with Jakob

Qhude's spine visibly stiffens as Jakob seeks to reprimand. Chewing his words for a few moments he replies simply "I did as I was bade."


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4
Qhude wrote:

Early Morning 29th with Tebati

Qhude does not refuse the Sangoma's presence, beckoning her sit beside him where he is still shrouded with the pelt of the young lion. Offering the weapon for inspection and listening to words spoken, Qhude has a hollow smile and tired eyes as he replies "There is no harm in opening the door on a hut so it's owner might see the sun. The truth in the day was that Bethany was returned... and two Bandu died in her place." Qhude sighs and looks downward "You were not here to see the manner in which my duel with the slaver was won... I did not merely end him, but made him suffer. I goaded him, robbed his lungs of breath and crushed his throat...." looking back at Tebati with a pained expression "Are you sure that the demon ape does not already have some sway over my soul? It was easy to me... too easy..."

"Why did you do as you did?" she asks gently. "Before we retrieved Bethany, before you received the token of Angazhan, was what you did right in your own eyes?"


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Early Morning 29th with Tebati

Qhude sighs and shrugs "The Bandu had opened Albert's stomach and threatened to end Thenjiwee. Before I succumbed to the white heat Albert asked me to make him suffer..." trailing off for a moment before continuing "During the rage it was as natural as walking... though I do not view it as easily in retrospect."


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Tebati nods and stares pensively into the distance for a moment. When she goes on, her voice is quieter. "The Ravenous King ruled the Expanse for thousands of years before our own peoples achieved civilization. It is possible he holds sway over a corner of the soul of all of us who call ourselves Mwangi. If I could find the Ombo -- our own kin! -- who took N'bellocq and sold him, I would glory to watch him slay them. And if it had been I taken instead of Bethany, I would want to see the Bandu who dared to treat me as cattle slide dying off of Kieran's blade." She turns her face back toward Qhude and smiles. "Or perhaps people everywhere burn with anger at injustice and cruelty toward those they love and call their friends. It was Albert who bade you not merely to kill but to be cruel. Perhaps he must guard his heart against the teachings of Angazhan as warily as must you." She hands the guisarme back to him. "There is no taint in this weapon. The choices you make with it are yours and no one else's."


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Kieran:
Night, 28th of Sarenith

After the caravan has stopped and been prepared for the night, when the sun has set and all but those on watch have laid down to sleep, Tebati waits until all she can hear are the soft nickers of the horses and murmurs, her head nestled on Kieran's chest, "What Ansha said today, about having been a slave ... did you know that of her? Is that part of what the two of you were running from? She is so ... self-possessed. I can envision her commanding slaves but not being commanded."

Later, after her talk with Qhude

Having accepted her portion of the breakfast fare, Tebati goes to find N'bellocq, trailing her fingers against his shoulder before she sits down beside him, greeting him with a warm smile that fades as she surveys her breakfast; used to fresh fruits and fish, she quickly tired of the salted and dried meats served on the road. "They say we will be at Freehold soon," she remarks. "Do you suppose they will have fresh fruit in the market there? Only a fool looks ahead to days he may never see, but I long for something appetizing to eat. This food reminds me too much of my days aboard ship, although we at least had fresh fish many days then. Of course," she gives her cousin a teasing smile, "if the cooks keep any secret stash of the choicest fare, I'm sure it found its way onto your plate this morning. Did Bethany let you get away with only your own portion and not five men's more?"


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq gives a dry chuckle, "Are two dry biscuits more than my share, I would gladly put one back."

"As far as Freetown goes, I do not know the food. But I dreamed of visiting there. A place where slavers cannot go, and escaped slaves rule. At last that was the rumor on the river. I knew if I ever escaped, I was to make my way there. On the edge of going there now, I find myself conflicted, free and yet just coming back from the edge of slavery."


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Early Morning 29th with Tebati

Taking the blade back Qhude's head bobs a thanks while he mulls the words of the Sangoma. "Cruel actions are within us all... we are both kin of a tribe that cast us out, are we not?" Said as a statement of reassurance to himself more than anything "He who acts against my umkhaya shall have reason to fear me.... though I must learn to temper my anger into cold steel that cuts cleanly, rather than a barbed arrow that flenses flesh. Your words are ever comfort Sangoma." pausing before adding as he regards the haft of the slaver's guisarme "Perhaps I should mark this blade as my own..."


Your Humble Narrator
Jakob Mulle wrote:

Morning , 29 Sarenith 4711

Jakob is awake to see the last of the stars and hear the beginning of the dawn chorus. His ears bick out new sounds and he realizes that one could navigate simply by listening to the different bird calls and knowing the land the different birds liked. Here the rawkus costal birds were rare and the quieter birds of jungle and forest were predominating. Nat div to skill today please

At breakfast:
To Jeggere, "So Freehold by Tomorrow night? There were some back in the city who wanted me to pay close attention to the way things are done in Freehold. What can you tell me about it Sir?"

To Qhude as Jakob passes him a flagon of water: "I am glad you chose to wash the blood off. It was useful for a time but it didn't really suit you and it can be hard to remove."

Jeggare responds to Jakob at breakfast, but directs his voice at the whole group.

Its a fine little town, Mister Jakob. Population a little over a thousand. It was founded as a cattle ranch in 4297 by the Grand Praetor Olgran diMacini after he retired from service. Olgran was very progressive for his time and paid his Mwangi cattle hands the same as his Chelish and he insisted his sons and daughters do the same. That policy continues to this very day and many Mwangi families around the ranch own shares in it to this day. Anyway, the ranch was very successful; and so a small little town grew around it. Cattle ranch workers would have homes built for them and as they were permanent residents of the land, other people began to move to Freehold to provide other services to the inhabitants.

Jeggare pauses to scratch absent mindedly at his nose and take a bite out of breakfast before continuing.

Theres a small Sargavan military base there on the outskirts to keep Freehold defended, and the Ivory Cross are given lodgings within the local inns when they are on contract- its the only major center of civilization for 50 miles in any direction, meaning that when trouble strikes the M’neri Plains, it ultimately comes to Freehold. Essentially though, its the most racially integrated place in all of Sargava. Folk there don't tolerate any talk of Mwangi or Colonial superiority.

Jeggare addresses Jakob directly.

Perhaps Utilinus hopes you'll found a similar settlement in your new land, Mister Jakob.

Jakob Mulle wrote:


Flexing with Stephanie.
Jakob is friendly, telling her of Abraxes the Druid and his time in Magimar, pointing out the fragrant herbs and flowers the caravan passes. He maintaines a distance however, seeking friendship but not wanting to expose her to the dangers and plots that he sees surrounding him. Though he does give her a small boquet of heady scented night flowers, "..to help you sleep."

Diplomacy? Not really trying to do anything but more to track her perception of Jakob? 1d20+9.

That would be Sense Motive to track her perception of you rather than Diplomacy, but we'll use that Diplomacy roll to represent charming company. Diplomacy is normally used to butter up people and improve their attitude as well as make requests of them.

Stephanie blushes in pleasure as Jakob gives her flowers and the two continue to talk pleasantly throughout the evening. Stephanie herself is a bright colonial girl, well-schooled but not from a very rich or important family. Military service to her is a stepping stone into a government position someday. The next day she is often waving happily at her new friend, moving to chat with Jakob occasionally when she is not on patrol or spending time with Unwe or Albert.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 29th of Pharast is an uneventful day but a satisfying one. Several grievances that have been troubling the atmosphere of the caravan appear to be on the mend and the crew continue to think highly of both the soldiers accompanying them and your band. Much as Tebati teased, the group finds the finest fare of each meal on their own plates and bowls- Qhude and N'bellocq in particular are even surreptitiously given a little chocolate. The weather is gloriously pleasant the entire day and settles into a warm and soothing heat in the evening, complete with a wonderful sunset. The caravan rolls gently on towards Freehold, making good time and occasionally meeting other traffic en-route from Freehold to Eleder.

1d100 ⇒ 95

30th of Pharast, 4713

The caravan wakes up and continues on its journey to Freehold...

Next update will be your arrival to the small town :).


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)
Qhude wrote:

Breakfast 29th with Jakob

Qhude's spine visibly stiffens as Jakob seeks to reprimand. Chewing his words for a few moments he replies simply "I did as I was bade."

Seeing Qhude stiffen. "Please, I mean no criticism. No doubt you did what you had to do. I am likely just being over sensitive but I have seen cruelity, even when warrented and ordered, turn men sour and spoiled. Rotten inside. You must have seen this in the ring. There were a few true warriors like yourself. Fighting to test themselves. Most of the others just fought for cash but there were a few who took joy not in the contest, or even in the victory, but in the pain they inflicted. That is a dark road to walk and it never ends." Jakob is silent for a moment.

"But enough dower talk. This is a new day. Let's see what it brings us."


Your Humble Narrator

Its actually Sarenith, but thats my fault...

Btw, big brainfart on my part. I get the year mixed up with my KM game sometimes, glad no one spotted you time travelled two years while on the journey...

Early afternoon, 30th of Sarenith, 4711 AR

A little past midday, you finally reach Freehold. A wall-less small town built around the large cattle ranch on the town's northern edge, the town has as many strong stone buildings as it has wooden ones- but you see no slums or poor quality housing. In fact, most of the buildings seem to have been made in one uniform style that affords what appears to be quite a roomy living space.

The massive wagons that make up your caravan are too big to be driven down the small streets of the town, so Jeggare calls a halt on the southern outskirts. Several cattle hands and other townsfolk see you arrive; you spot as many Mwangi as you do colonials and they all smile or wave politely to you as you arrive.

Jeggare addresses the six of you as preparations begin to be made for the repair and re-supply of the caravan. You are stood on the very outskirts of the idyllic little town.

Right, we'll be here at least a week or two so I hope you can keep yourselves busy. Off with you! I wash my hands of you! he begins with a grin, clearly joking.

Honestly though, I have no instructions as to what to do with you in this time. Keep yourselves busy, get to know the locals, maybe Mindra will even give you work on the ranch if you want to earn a few coins. The local inn is called the Lion's Maw; the innkeep's a charming Halfling whose name is Bellis Marra. She happens to also be on the Council and is always a good source of information or help. Put your room bills on my tab, Utilinus is paying my fees. Feel free to check on us here but i'll send word if we're ready to go ahead of schedule. I'm sure i'll see you in the tavern.


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Actually I was working on a post talking about this huge tornado that swept us all to some strange surreal plane and there were flying monkies and poppies..poppies..poppies And how it all turned into a vast multi-year party because today is Jakob's birthday!

Nat div to skill today

"No need to soil your hands further Mr. Jeggere, I'm going."Jakob says with a smile. "So this is Freehold, looks like quite the place." Jakob shoulders his pack and prepares to head into town. "See you soon everyone!" Jakob waves as he begins to walk into town. He catches the eye of Stephanie and gives her a larger smile than the others.

There is a certain spring in Jakobs step as he walks.


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Breakfast, 29th Sarenith

N'bellocq wrote:

N'bellocq gives a dry chuckle, "Are two dry biscuits more than my share, I would gladly put one back."

"As far as Freetown goes, I do not know the food. But I dreamed of visiting there. A place where slavers cannot go, and escaped slaves rule. At last that was the rumor on the river. I knew if I ever escaped, I was to make my way there. On the edge of going there now, I find myself conflicted, free and yet just coming back from the edge of slavery."

She lays her hand over his companionably for a moment. "I hope you find it all you hoped, all that Jeggare claims," she says quietly, but her eyes betray that she remains skeptical of Freehold's virtues. Putting aside her concerns, she smiles warmly at N'bellocq. "I, for one, am happy you finally come here, not as a desperate runaway but as a free man. What you did yesterday, when you faced the Bandu and forced them to return what they had stolen, did it not confirm in your mind that you are no longer a frightened boy but a grown warrior, not one who must fear slavers but one whom the slavers fear?"


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)

N'bellocq sits silently for a moment, but then answers, "It is not that I fear what they might take. It is that I know what they have taken. These scars will always be here to remind me."

"From Jeggare's wards, it does not sound the sanctuary I imagined, and yet, that it inspired hope in me and many other slaves on the River, its true purpose will not diminish what it means in my heart."


Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 4

Sarenith 30, 4711 AR

As the caravan halts, Ansha hops down from the rear of the wagon she had spent the morning riding on, wincing as she rubs at her aching backside. "...Should've walked..." she mutters to herself, grabbing her pack by a strap and moving to one side of the caravan staff as they go to work. She joins the other members of her party, remaining quiet until Jeggare dismisses the group into the town. Arching an eyebrow at the exchange that passes between Stephanie and Jakob, she thinks, Huh. Maybe I was wrong. I didn't hear anything last night.... "I don't know about everyone else, but I am going straight to the Lion's Maw. I miss hot baths. Wouldn't mind brandy, either." With that, she starts off toward town as well.

After a few moments, she picks up her pace to a jog, attempting to catch up to Jakob. Coming up alongside him, she catches his attention and she gives him a questioning look--after a silent moment, she speaks, asking, "...Well? Is that the future Lady Mulle?"


Female Human (Bonuwat) Cleric 4

Breakfast, 29th Sarenith

N'bellocq wrote:

N'bellocq sits silently for a moment, but then answers, "It is not that I fear what they might take. It is that I know what they have taken. These scars will always be here to remind me."

"From Jeggare's wards, it does not sound the sanctuary I imagined, and yet, that it inspired hope in me and many other slaves on the River, its true purpose will not diminish what it means in my heart."

Tebati nods solemnly in response. "No one can ever repay what was taken from you," she agrees. "Even if I could heal these old wounds," she lightly touches his shoulder, "as I can the new and leave your back unscarred, it would not give back the years that should have been yours, if not for the Ombo." She sighs and then smiles. "Let us hope we find Freehold at least a welcome respite from the road. If it is nothing more, there is still Nantambu. One day I will take you there, and you will see what a city built by the Mwangi people for themselves can be."


Male Half-Elf Fighter 2nd/Rogue 2nd

Tebati:
Night, 28th of Sarenith

Kieran sighs as Tebati asks her questions and there is a brief pause before he answers. "There are things in my past I regret..." Another pause. "I met Ansha when she was a slave, yes, but I was not one myself. I was part of a group of smugglers, the same group that captured her."

The half-elf takes a moment to look into her eyes, but he does not stop telling his story regardless of her reaction or lack of one. "After finding myself bereft of father and mother, I suppose I longed for somewhere to belong and, as fate or luck or whatnot would have it, my... skills seemed well-suited to more questionable endeavors. I did not think much of it. There was fun and money and, after all, what was it to me if I helped move around certain items under the authorities' noses?"

A soft bitter chuckle escapes his lips before going on. "At least, until I found out that not all of those items were quite so innocent... or that not all of those items were mere things. Ansha was one of the slaves, though, as one would expect of one such as her, she managed to actually become the leader's consort, albeit with thoughts of vengeance in her mind."

Kieran smiles a thin little smile. "Noone should be owned by another person. The two of us became friends, or at the very least allies, and managed to cripple the smugglers -she even killed the leader- and, as you can imagine, we made rather more enemies than friends because of it."

"And that is my story, or, at the very least, a part of it that really matters." With that, he stops talking, looking to the priestess beside him and waiting for her reaction, his face marked with perhaps a hint of fear.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

30th - Present Time

Qhude gives Jeggare a forearm clasped handshake "I look forward to walking beside you again if the need calls for it. I will not forget my promise to seek spears from the Induna to quell the Bandu." before nodding and moving away with his companions. Walking the streets he casts his eyes around taking in the sights of a town that is much different to both Eleder and Kalabuto. In particular he keeps a weather eye for any Bas'o among the Mwangi.

His step is less direct than Ansha however, and he does not make for the Maw directly. He notes it's location, but excuses himself to walk the town first. At present he is still garbed in his armor and wears his rope, the guisarme held vertical and used as walking staff.

I'm interested in a tannery or leatherworker - Qhude needs to get his raw lion pelt worked into a more hardwearing garment.

Flextime 29th - Evening, over Dinner

Having received his victuals for the evening, Qhude is suspicious of a square of dark brown material on his plate. Picking it up speculatively in one hand to sniff it, it does not appear to be something he has had before. Sidling closer to N'Bellocq, who seems to have some of the same substance he whispers in Polyglot "What is this thing brother... do you think they wish to poison us?" indicating the brown square.

Flextime 29th - Evening, after Dinner

After a day spent mulling his conversation with Tebati, Qhude makes for the quartermaster of the wagons and requests a short length of thin rope. He then sits near to the fire and marks his newly won weapon as his own. At both the head of the weapon just below the blade, and at the end of the haft - Qhude tightly winds a length of the rope about the wooden haft. It is but a hand in width and is clear of where he grips the weapon in anger - but in his mind it has made the weapon his.

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