|Water Day, Death Week
It is noticed that one of the sacred stones of the stone circle tribe is missing. Turruk's son Barak is also missing and it is suspected that he has taken it. Daranor left to go to Jonstown to try and do some research about the stones.
A Clan council was called for the evening to determine what is to be done about it. Alia Garmund the Clan Lawspeaker has used great magics of Lhankor Mhy to determine that Barak did indeed steal it and headed north, but that his motives for doing so were unclear.
Kimmel was visited by his Grandfather who spoke to him and told him some gibberish. He then asked him to "say hi to him when he met him".
At the Clan council after the telling of the myths, Tarkal Marjammer spoke and presented the evidence against Barak. He advocated that Barak be hunted down and killed for his crimes. He then invited Turruk as his head of bloodline to speak in his defense. Turruk was not given a fair hearing by many of the Clan who jeered him. Then Jinna Ferlansdotter got up and spoke. She said that it was clear that they needed to go after Barak but that it was not clear why he had taken the stone. Alia's findings determined that he had not done it to harm the tribe and it would be better to find out why he did it. She told the tribe they must bring him and the stone back alive. Others spoke and then a vote was taken. It was marginally in favour of bring Barak back alive.
Jinna volonteered to lead the expedition and Brant Reaver and Orlav Vangotyr volonteered to accompany her. Orlav had been looking out of it during the meeting, and he may have been communing with the Clan Wyter. A scout was called for, and Kimmel Reaver stepped forward to volonteer. Finally it was determined that Turruk would go to help calm his son and bring him back.
That evening Kimmel went to see Turruk to get some clothing so as to track Barak next morning. They checked with one of Kimmel's nephews to try and find out a bit more about what Barak did. Kimmel's young nephew said they didn't have much to do with Barak, but that he would go down to talk with the Dryad Priestess. They decided to talk to her at dawn before they left.
Meanwhile Orlav and Brant decided to get drunk together. Unlike Brant, Orlav was not as able to handle his drink and he headed back to his annoyed wife drunk as a skunk.
|Clay Day, Death Week
The early risers went to see Myarla first thing in the morning. After she came out from her tree they asked her about Barak. She told them that she told Barak about the myths of Aldrya and the myths of the Earth as she did with other children of the tribe who came to talk to her. She noted that she had seen none of them when she was recounting myths.
By this time Orlav still hadn't shown up, so Brant volonteered to find him. He used a bucket of water to wake him. Orlav said that he would fly and catch up with them in a couple of hours.
Kimmel meanwhile caught the scent of the trail and tracked it westward along the Creek river. Just before midday Orlav flew in and nearly panicked Turruk's half zebra. The group stopped for lunch and then followed the trail a little way further to a slight narrowing in the river. Orlav flew Kimmel across and he determined that the trail continued a little way further down on the far bank. The group crossed, with Brant swallowing water whilst swimming and Turruk needing to calm his mount as it crosssed. Kimmel's Alynx, Purdyn, refused to swim and Orlav eventually fly back across and carried him.
The trail led into the lands of the Rainbow Clan of the Dinacoli. Ahead they spotted a group of warriors guarding the herd, and they approached cautiously. The ritual greeting was given and the warriors led the group back to the stead to determine if they would be given hospitality. Jinna exchanged greetings with Clan Chieftan Harauthi before they were offered minimum hospitality. As they were standing around Kimmel's eye fell on a girl. This was unusual in that the girl had features similar to his own. As they stood there the girl stared back at him. Clan Cheif Harauthi warned them that their warriors were on guard at the moment as there had been Broo spotted around the area. The girl Kimmel spotted dissappeared off in a huff.
That evening Brant chatted and drank with Alwen, a warrior who'd fought with him at Dangerford. They discussed the Broo seen on the borders, the problems the Clan was having with the Rain Blossom Clan and the quality of the Clan's cows. In the convesation Alwen mentioned that his sisters second cousin was still in the Rain Blossom Clan, and he'd spoken to him on patrol this morning. Apparantly some Lunar bigwig had shown up at the Blue Boar Fort recently.
|Winds Day, Death Week
Next day the group were escorted north by Alwen and the other Rainbow Clan warriors. Barak's trail had been picked up on the road to the north. As the group travelled Jinna started talking to the others in the group. She asked Brant how he felt about marriage in the light of his father's matchmaking. Brant after all was in his mid twenties and old for an elegible young Weaponthane. Brant said he didn't think much to his potential bride's looks and would only consider her if her brains made up for her lack of charm. He was looking for a woman with brains who could match his brawn. He then said that he didn't trust his father's taste after he'd abandoned his brother. Jinna said that Brant didn't know anything about that and that his father had done his best. Brant challenged her to back that up. She told him to think back to the time his father had been away from the Clan for a year. He'd gone looking for Brant's brother and had killed many a Telmori in the process. He'd returned a broken man, which was why he hadn't opposed the take over of the Clan council any more vehremently. She said that he really had cared - unlike some other tribal members had for their wives (she said looking at Orlav). She challenged Orlav to remember the names of his children, to which he replied number 1 and number 2. She said they needed a father figure to look up to. Orlav sheepishly said that he brought them apples. Then she turned to Turruk and said that there were others around here that needed a few lessons in child raising. Turruk said that he did his best to raise Barrak when he was back, but he had to go away for periods of time for the tribe and couldn't always be there.
As they approached the border Brant and Orlav spotted a group of Warriors coming down the road from the Rain Blossom Clan flanking three Dragonewts. The Rain Blossom warriors kicked the Dragonewts out from their clan lands. The group approached the Noble Dragonewt flanked by two scouts. Turruk bet the others that the Dragonewt would give them a straight answer. The Noble introduced himself as "Communes with Spirits" and told them he was looking for a Dragonewt called "Smiles without Grace". When asked why the Communes told them that the other Dragonewt was a miscreant (straight answer 1). They then offered to trade information and asked Communes if he had seen a boy going north. Communes said that all humans looked the same to him (straight answer 2). They remebered seeing "Smiles" a month ago at the Clan and that he'd headed south-west, so they figured they had something to trade. They asked about why "Smiles" was wanted as they wanted to ensure that he had done something that was worthy of punishment. "Communes" replied that he was a miscreant and needed to die. He had been born wrong. Orlav profoundly stated that the Dragonewts had a prescribed view of the world and that "Smiles" did not fit it. They told "Communes" where they'd last seen him and let the Dragonewts go on their way.
Then they went over to talk to the Rain Blossom clan warriors. They were greeted by a rather rude warrior who didn't greet them in the formal Heortling way and refused to allow them to go to Blue Boar Fort. Turruk tried to fast talk the warrior (whose name was Weaponthane Belphas). Weaponthane Belphas rudely dismissed him and Jinna was upset at his complete lack of manners which included burping loudly. Turruk then stated that the Priestes of Ernalda from their Clan had been sent to provide greetings to the Tribal Chief of the Dinacoli. Belphas demanded to know what gifts they were bringing and Orlav stepped in to say that had brought mystic apples. Belphas decided to check they weren't poisoned by getting one of his warriors to taste it. Eventually he grudgingly agreed to take them back to the fort.
Kimmel kept his eye on Barrak's trail and they followed it until just about a mile before the fort. He encountered Barrack's trail again just as the entered the massive 120 acre fort. The group was led into a walled inner fort known as Strangers Place where the Rain Blossom Clan directed strangers coming to trade and talk with the Clan. The group headed for an Inn called The Horn Inn where Brant asked for a beer and then wondered why the barman was demanding something called money. An argument ensued that was eventually settled by Turruk who settled the bar-tab with some money he produced. Brant was disappointed in the beer and Purdyn leapt up on the bar to piss in an empty cup to show his displeasure. Brant chucked the contents at the Alynx but it jumped out the way.
Turruk talked to some Lokarnos traders from the north who told him they had travelled with a Lunar magician and an escort of 50 troops. They were now shacked up in the Palace on the other side of the fort.
The group asked Jinna if they could sense the stone, and she spent some time on all fours using her talents. After 5 minutes she told the group she could faintly sense the stone somewhere in the compound. They decided that they would get Orlav to fly Kimmel over the wall who could use the common magic Invisibility to search for Barak.
At ten bells Brant tried to summon some clouds to cover the Red moon's glow and managed to get some thin stringy clouds to cover it. Orlav (after removing his many apples) managed to lift Kimmel over the wall, but was spotted by the guards who blew a horn. He dropped Kimmel who improvised a feat to Catfall and then promptly went invisible. Meanwhile Orlav spotted a couple of glowing Angel like creatures with shortswords coming at him in the air. Orlav speed off outside the city very quickly and decided to wait half an hour before trying to return. He spotted the daimones still waiting around the city with flaming swords, and headed back off into the distance.
Meanwhile Kimmel headed towards Barak's trail and followed it towards the longhouses and it lead into the square where the sacred stone was located. The trail became confused around there and then seemed to become blurred. A number of other tracks led to the Palace. Kimmel noticed that Purdyn had dissappeared off. Kimmel decided to head back to the Strangers Place and he did a huge Cat Leap to get over the wall.
As Brant and Turruk headed back to the bar, Turruk spotted someone he recognised. She was wearing a blond wig over a sock of red hair. She had only three fingers on one hand, an eyepatch and several scars. She didn't recognise Turruk at first, but he introduced her to Brant as Viella whom he knew from Pavis. It seems that she had come back West from Pavis with Argrath and was now back here in her old tribe spying for him against the Lunar presence her. She told them that Barak's son was being held at the palace and that she'd overheard that there would be a trial tomorrow for damaging the sacred stone. She also told them that there was a Lunar mage there called Lagistus. Viella told them that she knew of a secret passage from the Strangers Place as her father built the place.
Way outside the fort Orlav felt himself fading across the boundary into the God Plane. There he saw a dark cloud that said it wanted vengeance on the occupants of the fort, and that Orlav shared that vengeance with him. Orlav tried to think of any spirit in Orlanthi mythology that was like this cloud, but could not think of any. The cloud refused to name itself and issued more threats against the local population that it claimed had stolen it's ancient lands. As it began ranting further it tried to force Orlav to help it by trying to twist his mind, but he easily shrugged it off. The cloud began to get angry and began to swirl around re-arranging the landscape behind it as it went. Orlav backed off and headed to his orchard. The cloud chewed up the landscape as it chased after him making it completely dissasembled. As he approached his orchard Orlav faded back into mortal world.
It started to rain and Orlav decided to head back to the fort by going around the other side and land on the Palace roof. He managed to do this, but as he did lightning struck one of the two towers, the sparks just barely missing him. The central section felt charged up with "good" magic after the strike.
Just before this Turruk and Brant brought Kimmel and Jinna to a house in the corner of the strangers place where they had been taken to by Viella. There Viella showed the group of the secret flagstone that led down into a tunnel. Jinna tried chatting to Viella in the tunnel, but Viella did not seem to want to get involved in womens talk. The tunnel came up near the Ernalda temple through a panel in a statue of Ernalda and Viella said that there was an old Priestess she knew who was still alive called Amilie who might help them. Viella went into the temple and fetched an old hooded Priestess. The Priestess knew that the High Priestess was going to attend a trial tomorrow and that more than likely the accused would be killed for damaging the stone. Priestess Amelie didn't entirely share High Priestess Yana's views on the way things were run around here, but she stopped short of openly criticizing her. She asked if Viella were here to reclaim her birthright, but Viella downplayed this saying that the Tribal Chief was elected. Amelie then offered to take them to see the stone.
As they approached the stone Orlav landed and joined them. He told Brant about the charged stone on top of the palace. Meanwhile Jinna checked the sacred stone and declared that it was the same piece of rock as the sacred stones from Red Cow. Indeed the gouges in the Blue Boar Fort sacred stone were probably the pieces at Red Cow. There was some aborted discussion about returning the Red Cow stones that was quickly silenced by Jinna. As the discussion continued, the boys (Brant and Orlav) decided to head up to the roof of the Palace to explore the stone. Brant felt the stone storred great power, somewhat like a power storage crystal. He also felt that it was a sacred site to Yavor Lightning. Brant decided that he'd like to try out the power and he aimed a lightning bolt at the Angel like Daimones. A bolt of extremely powerful energy leapt from his hand and completely took the Daimone out. As an oncore he took out the other one in the same way, draining the stone to only a third of the energy store remaining.
As the Rain Blossom and Lunar guards poured out of the building Kimmel and Turruk decided it was time to become scarce. Purdyn showed up and led them to a wine cellar that he had opened. The two men and the Alynx went past the wine and up some stairs. There was a long empty corridoor ahead of them which they preceded down. Off in a room to the left, Kimmel was distracted as he saw six dancing girls perfoming around a fat man. Although he was tempted he didn't go in and they continued on. A little further on they heard the sounds of some Rain Blossom guards around the corner that Purdyn indicated is where Barak was being held. After an initial hesistation Turruk went round the corner and spoke Lunar to the guards who obviously didn't understand it. He then spoke in broken Sartarite to the guards "Lagistus wants the boy now he has finished with the girl." He was insistant and eventually they went and got another guard who fetched Barak. Turruk spoke to Barak in Lunar and told him not to react to him. They headed around the corner the opposite way they'd come in. Kimmel slipped past the guarded corridor with Purdyn and came up behind the guard.
On the roof meanwhile Brant used his Storm Voice to challenge the Rain Blossom tribe. They responded by firing arrows, but most missed in a flash that blinded most people. One however hit Brant in the chest as he went round the other side of the Palace roof with Orlav. Brant decided to go back round and throw a ball lightning at the assembled guards below and got peppered by three arrows in response. He ducked back around the back of the stone and decided to perform a tactical withdrawl. However being Brant he had to do it in style and rode the Lightning he created from the power store back down to the Ernalda temple. A number of Elmal warriors started to appear from their temple so Brant created a flash to cover his escape down the tunnel back to the "Strangers Place". There he waited for a while before heading up to the roof of Viella's hideout to check out what was happening on the roof.
On the roof meanwhile Orlav discovered that there were a number of warriors climbing up on the roof to attack him. He took off, barging one of the warriors out of the way, to fly out of arrow range and decided to lecture the betraying heortlings on their lack of faith to Orlanth and where they should look to their salvation. To further keep their attention he dropped javelins on the Rain Blossom warriors.
Inside the Palace Turruk told his son in Lunar to count to five, but just after having done so Barak clasped his hands over his ears claiming that the music was hurting them. The guard thought he was playing up and kicked him. Just as he did Kimmel did a great pounch and knocked the guard down with his claws. He then did a paralysing bite that casused the guard to quickly go stiff. With a little gagging he was then dragged into a neighboruing room and bound. The room was a music room and contained musical instruments. Barak complained about the bad music interrupting the good music. Then Turruk using his communication affinity asked him where the stone was and he nodded to the upper level. They headed out of the music room and discovered a group of people in the corridor room the corner. They briefly discussed what to do, before deciding to risk heading off down the way Purdyn indicated to the "little stairs". The people talking ignored the group as they headed off round the stairs into an upper kitchen. There Kimmel turned the charm on the fat cook Maisie who really took a shine to him whilst the others slipped through the kitchen to a long corridor. Barak (now no longer holding his hands over his head lead them to a door at the far end of the corridor. Turruk and Kimmel listened at the door and discovered Lagistus and his assistant were talking about magical theory about the stone. His assistant told Lagistus they should be getting back to the party or the King would be missing them.
The group hid in the opposite room and debated trying to kill the Lunar mage, but ultimately decided their priority was to get the stone rather than a bit of revenge against the Lunars. After the Lunars had gone they entered the room and recovered the stone along with some gems and 5 Lunar books on magic. They considered using the bed sheets to escape out the window, but upon hearing men climbing up the building outside they changed the plan. Instead they headed back down the stairs and tried to sneak past the corridor with the guards.
Unfortunately they were spotted and the guards chased them down to the wine cellar. They grabbed a wine bottle in the hope of jamming the cellar door closed behind them. They were glad to find Viella and Jinna waiting for them. Viella and Turruk moved a water barrell over the door. Then she used a Pavic feat to open the outer wall and let the fugitives out of the fort. By now it had stopped raining and a mist was starting to come down as they headed away from the fort. Barak told them he'd heard the stone singing bad things and he'd come here as he wanted to check if the big stone was the same. He wanted to go north to a place he knew that could wash the stone clean.
|Fire Day, Death Week
In the early hours of the morning Brant took his stuff from the inn and went back to Viella's house where he tied up the bedsheets to use to climb over the wall. He headed to the tunnel entrance hid whilst some Donander players relieved themselves at the wall. When they had gone off he headed down the tunnel and opened the plate at the other end a crack. There were a number of women dressed in green with axes at the other end who were preparing to head out after the others. They were threatening to take revenge on the infidels who had damaged the stone. After a little while they group departed and Brant sneaked out through the statue and made his way to the wall. There he hooked the sheets at the top of the wall and began to climb. About three-quarters of the way to the top the sheet ripped and he fell back down, spraining his ankle. Determined to get over the wall he used his knives to climb over the wall and slip over the other side. Then using the fog as cover he headed west until he found a copse where he sat down and rested.
Meanwhile the rest of the group fled east for about an hour before taking a brief rest. There they had a quick chat to Barak. He was asked why he took the stone and he told them that it was because the stone was singing badly to him. He was asked why he didn't tell anyone about it, and he said that no one would have believed him. He was asked where he was going with it and said that he was going north to try and cleanse the stone. He had gone to the Fort to check whether the main stone was similarly affected. He was asked what he was going to do with the stone, and he said that he was going to clean it. The spirits of the river had told him of a shrine in a lake to the north where this might be possible. The decision was that Jinna should check the stone before they voted whether to go north or go back south to the clan. Jinna checked the stone and sensed a faint taint of chaos in the stone that normally she might have missed unless she was looking for it. They voted to go north except Orlav who believed that they had a mandate to take the boy and the stone back south. Kimmel volonteered to head back to the city and find Brant.
Kimmel followed the trail back in what he believed was parallel. At one point he saw a number of people to the south of him on what he believed was their original trail. There seemed to be about a half dozen dressed in green. Kimmel avoided them and headed around the edge of the fort. looking for any tracks. He picked up Brant's trail on the far side of the fort and followed it for a while until he came to a woodland. There he called out for Brant who came out and met up with him. They exchanged news and decided to headed back to catch up with the others.
The others meanwhile saw a fire up ahead of them through the fog. Orlav approached and found a naked Heortling with blue tattooes who greeted him in the ritual way. It turned out that the Heortling was a worshipper of Varanorlanth (Orlanth the Wild) called Gulldoran. He'd been living wild for sometime and he didn't have much to do with the fort and the traitors within anymore. Orlav and Gulldoran got on quite well and he suggested the others approach as well. Gulldoran offered to share his meal of rabbits with them as he was introduced to the others. Just then a little way off the group heard a sound of screaming women approaching. Guldorran's camp was in a hollow, so Turruk, Jinna, Orlav and Barak headed out around the side. Orlav soon took off and spotted a bunch of 7 broo approaching from the other direction. The group started to scramble to the side as the two groups started attacking each other. Orlav swooped down and attacked one of the broo killing it in three blows. The others became split and the head broo seized Barak. Turruk seeing his son taken went to face the broo who was carrying a strange sword that was moving around like a strange puzzle. Turruk's arrows were crushed within the sword, and the broo seized Barak and put the sword to his throat. Turruk drew his weapon and advanced cautiously. The broo demanded the stone in exchange for the boy's life. Turruk did not have the stone and said as much to the Broo. Meanwhile Orlav flew to Jinna and started leading her to safety. Turruk tried to use all his skill to persuade the broo to let his son go, but the broo would have none of it. Turruk prepared for the worst when Gulldoran stabbed the broo from behind, knocking him from his grasp on Barak. Turruk immediately attacked and the two of them finished it off. Gulldoran told Turruk and his son they should head north to a shrine.
They headed away from the battle, with the Babestor Gor women just having the upper hand. With the fog still swirling around they travelled as fast as they could to get away from the two groups. Orlav flying behind them cirlced back and spoke to the Babestor Gor women from above. They told him that Barak had abused the sacred stone and had damaged it. They, the Sisterhood of the Frenzied Axe then demanded that Orlav and the group returned Barak to them to face justice and be tried for his crime. Orlav did not disagree with them as he flew off.
Brant and Kimmel found the camp sometime later with three dead women of Babestor Gor and seven dead broo littered the battlefield. They looked and the strange sword and decided to leave it where it was. They did however take the rabbits, one of which was a little overcooked on the fire. As they moved north following the trail they spotted a smoking tree to the side of the path. They went over to it and Brant read a message in part of the bark that had not burnt. It said "Don't forget, Elmal made me whole again." It was obviously a message for Brant, and as a holy sign he prayed over the tree before continuing.
As Turruk and the others headed north Orlav told them he would go away for a while and return when he was needed. Shortly afterwards Barak complained of feeling weak in the muscles before falling unconscious. Turruk picked up his son as Gulldoran led them to a hill shrine to Varanorlanth where he said they would be safe. Jinna asked for hot water and cloth to look at Barak. After some time she announced that he had caught muscle fever from the broo and that she had done what she could for him.
Orlav received a warning that there was an inavder in his Orchard in the God plane. He headed back there to find Barak sat there looking frightened. Barak asked him what Orlav had got against him. Orlav told the kid that he was a Lunar and a traitor and he had already corrupted three holy objects - the stone, the Blossom Clan stone and his orchard and he wanted Barak out of his orachard. Looking forlorn Barak wandered away and Orlav told his guard to keep Barak away from his sacred apples.
Kimmel and Brant followed the trail to the hill fort and met with the others exchanging news. Kimmel headed out and followed the trail of the two remaining Babestor Gor warriors. The trail soon split and one headed off a ways. The other trail led to a campsite where the warrior was camped.
Kimmel decided to go and talk to the Babestor Gor warrior later on in the day after they'd had some rest. Brant decided that he would go along as well. Kimmel tried to negotiate with the warrior such that they could do what they must do with the stone, before coming back so that they could deliver Barak to his justice. As this was not acceptable to the woman, Varga, he offered for her to go along with them. She suspected that he would lead her to an ambush and refused the offer stating that he must come to justice. Seemingly fed up with this Brant told Varga that Barak would come with them and that was how it would be. He continued goading her until she drew her axe and told him he would not threaten her in her own lands. Brant seeing a fight coming used his lightning strike feat to hit at her first, before nearly finishing her off with his third blow ripping open her stomach. Kimmel decided to try and save Varga and she was taken to Jinna to try and heal her. Jinna however said that the Babestor Gor worshipper was beyond even Ernalda's healing powers. Jinna helped her passing and she was buried at the bottom of the shrine.
The group decided to make a litter for Barak and head north quickly before the other Babestor Gor warrior returned from the fort with re-inforcements. Orlav returned soon after and they all travelled north until Gulldoran announced that they were at the borders of the Rain Blossom Clan lands and approaching the Heron Clan lands. He continued by saying that he was already in trouble here now for helping them, so he may as well accompany them north.
They headed for some way further and shared what they knew of the Heron Clan and of the lake to the north of it until it started to get dark. They made a camp and tried to make the fire smokeless. Kimmel and Turruk went out hunting and Kimmel brought back a rabbit and a deer.
Meanwhile back in the camp Brant spoke to Gulldoran about the recent history of the Rain Blossom Clan. He related about the death of King Tremaine and the treachery of Dagmar Hearthstone who became King after him (see Gulldoran's Tale). When the hunters returned they related the tale to them and they discussed trying to rescue Gochbadun from the Red Moon. Jinna doubted that Gochbadun was there and told the others that numerous attempts had been made to locate and rescue him. Brant and Orlav cooked up a plan to create a Heroquest to gain a new Great Auroch, but was short on much of the fine detail.
Turruk had a communication stone that let Daranor and him communicate. Daranor contacted him and told him what he had learnt of the stone's history (see Ernalda and the stones). Turruk appraised Daranor on what had occurred so far and Daranor told Turruk that they should not go back through Rain Blossom lands. Turruk related the tale to the others and Brant asked Jinna why they didn't know this. JInna responded by saying that this tale had been lost to the tribe and she was delighted it had been re-found. They group decided that the strange Chaos God and the Broo were linked and that they were after the stones.
|Wild Day, Death Week
After a cold night of watching, Jinna announced that Barak was getting weaker and may not last the day. There was little she could do for him as his spirit was trapped in the God Plane. Only a Heroquest or a God Talker could go there and rescue him. Orlav was asked (against his better judgement) to go and try and recover the boy. Kimmel went off hunting whilst the others took the stretcher north-west towards the river. Whilst following a trail Kimmel was spotted by a band of a dozen warriors from the Heron Clan. The lead warrior greeted Kimmel in ritual Heortling fashion, but did so in a wry joking manner. He introduced himself as Helgorath Five-Pints (which it transpired was because he could only take five pints of beer) and said that he would take Kimmel across the Clan lands. When he found out there were others he got Kimmel to lead them to him. Helgorath was introduced to the others and he made a point of kissing Jinna's hand and trying to flatter her. They explained that Turruk son Barak was ill and requested that a Clan healer look at him. Helgorath agreed but said that the Healer would require payment. Brant seemed more interested in sampling the beer with Helgorath. Since they were supposed to meet Orlav at the lake, Kimmel said that he would go on to meet him. Helgorath assigned four warriors to lead Kimmel across the Clan lands.
Orlav meanwhile entered the God Plane and headed to his orchard. He found that there were a couple of bad apples on the trees. After pruning the bad apples from the trees and blaming Barak, Orlav was going to start heading back to the mortal plane when he heard the voice of Orlanth boom around the valley saying "I need that one too!" Orlav knowing the word of Orlanth felt obliged to obey despite his distate for the task. On the hill on the far horizon Orlav spotted a huge snake with Barak in its coils. He went over slowly and spoke to the snake that decided Orlav's spirit would be a much tastier snack that the small morsel it already had. A battle ensued whereby Orlav injured the snake and it started to slink off. He chased and killed it before slowly returning to Barak. He evicted Barak's spirit back into the Mortal Plane before returning himself.
As the others approached Herongreen with its lake of Herons next to the stead, Jinna announced that Barak's breathing had improved and it looked like he was starting to recover. Helgorath brought them to the Clan Chief Kargon Zadrist who wore a headress of Heron feathers. It seemed that Helgorath was the head of one of the bloodlines here, but took pride in making fun of the Clan Chief. The Clan Chief put up with it to an extent but warned Helgorath not to go too far. He then told Helgorath that since he had offered these strangers hospitality that he would provide it for them.
As it got dark Helgorath invited them into his tent and produced the promised beer that they made called Honey Beer. It was a bit sweet but quite nice and Brant got Helgorath talking. It seemed that the Clan was fairly traditional, but some of them had embraced some of the Lunar religeons during the occupation. It seemed that Busurian had been popular here as it had an element of foretelling that fit well with the guardians of the sacred Herons.
Kimmel was led north west to the border by Self Inflicted Mychim who it transpired was the brother of Helgorath Five-Pints. He chatted to Catyana I-Nose (the only female of the group) and found that she was a bit of a little miss know it all and a bit of a tom-boy to book. He reached the border and started to say farewell to Helgorath's kin.
Orlav flew back north west looking for the others. His first pass did not reveal them, but on a second pass he saw Kimmel. Having been re-united they travelled back to Herongreen and joined the others in Helgorath's longhouse for a few beers. Orlav went to check on Barak to see if he was awake and capable of being harranged. Orlav warned the clansmen about Barak the corruptor. Turruk paid the healer a quarter of a cow in coin and thanked her for helping his son. Whilst Kimmel was getting aquainted with a woman named Gwellem, Brant was trying his luck with a Catyana. He got talking with her and discovered her love of cows and he began talking with her about it, learning a thing or two on the way. When he suggested they go and see the cows, this is what they did. Catyana talking more about cows until Brant decided to try putting his arm around her. She told him that if he wanted a formal courtship he should approach her father! Brant decided to give up and head back where he carried on drinking andf carousing with Five-Pints till the early hours.
|Gods Day, Death Week
Next morning they awoke to the sounds of shouts outside. Upon investigation it seemed that one of the Heron's had been found dead. Barak was now awake and Orlav suspected that Barak's spirit had wittingly or unwittingly attacked the herons. If the herons are mystical then interference with their link to the god plane may have been enough to kill one. Orlav chose not to do more than hint of this as he did want to get into conflict with the Heron clan. The keepers of the sacred Heron's decided to perform an rite on the bird to determine the fates from its entrails. Eventually one of the keepers headed to the Clan Cheif's hut and told Kargon what they had discovered. Helgorath eventually informed the group that it was a portent of war and that they were free to go on their way. They were led to the border of the Heron Clan land before bidding farewell to Helgorath and his relatives.
They continued on into the Borehead Clan lands with Kimmel doing a bit of hunting. They were lucky that they didn't run into any of the Borehead Clan and they reached the lake by noon. On the nearside of the lake was a fisherman's hut, and in the centre of the lake was a small island with a temple in a delapidated state.
The hut was occupied with a fisherman and his wife with a young son who seemed to have a problem with the Newtlings who lived across the lake. In exchange for some meat he agreed to row the group across the lake in two trips.
On the Island an old white haired and partially deaf Priest came out to greet the group. He introduced himself as a Priest of Donalf the river God. The Priest spoke of his sorrow that the shrine was no longer visited and was in poor condition. He said the Clansmen no longer visited and he needed to find an apprentice before he died. He saw that Barak had an affinity for water and wondered whether the lad was his apprentice. Orlav tried to encourage this, probably to get rid of him. Barak was asked to commune with the water spirits and he needed to get closer to the water to do so. Meanwhile the Priest told tales of Donalf from Godtime, including a time when he caused a great flood to come down the river to wash away an unnamed Chaos God from the land.
After a while Barak surfaced and announced that he had spoken with the water spirits and they told him that below the lake was a river flowing from end to end called the "Null River" that could wash magic away. It seemed that it was a protrusion from the Gods Plane and the "Null River" washed away all magic into the Gods plane. This they realised would also wash Ernalda's magic on the stone away as well. They therefore had to decided whether to do this or return to Red Cow with the corrupted stone. Brant asked Jinna's opinion on what they should do, and she said that she didn't really favour either option. As a result Turruk was asked to contact Daranor and offer them another alternative. Daranor offered to use an affinity to find how they could cleanse the stone of Chaos. He responded by describing his vision of a cave with diamonds on the ceiling and hot lava on the floor. In the centre of the cave is a plinth. When this was described to Jinna she named it as Lodril's Forge in the Dragonspine mountains. Brant then pressured Turruk into asking Daranor about a Heroquest to recover Gochbadun.
With this new information they determined to head west to cleanse the stone before returning home. The Priest announced that Barak was not his apprentice but had a great affinity for water. Perhaps he was destined for another Water God? Before they left the Priest looked at Brant strangely and said that he and Barak had a connection. It transpired that both had strange birthmarks that Turruk said tied them into a prophecy to defend the King of Sartar. Brant said that the symbol of a comet (that he had mentioned several times in the past) was a sign of favour from Yavor Lightning.
The group got the fisherman to take them to the far shore and they travelled until it got dark when the camped and kept watch overnight.
|Freeze Day, Fertility Week
Next morning the group awoke and had breakfast. Gulldoran announced that he would not be travelling with the group as he had had a previous run in with the Humakti at Sword Hill and had no wish to meet them again. Instead he decided he would head to the Borehead Clan and see if he could find the apprentice the Old Water priest was looking for.
The group travelled and talked to Barak as he was now able to walk by himself. Brant tried to find out more about the connection between chaos and the stone from Barak.
After some time the group spied Sword Hill in the distance with it's huge black sword like stones surrounding the hill in three rings and a single grey stone off to some side. Jinna spoke to Kimmel and told him that he might want to go to Sword hill as this was the last place she knew him to have been. He had come here years ago with Brin Torkenson to look at the books for evidence of the location of Yinkin's mirror. Brin had returned alone without Kimmel's father some time later with an Alynx called Ferl. She knew little else as she had been only 11 at the time.
Kimmel decided to go to Sword Hill and see if he could find out what had happened to his father. The others decided to continue on and let Kimmel catch up. As he approached the grey Sword monument Kimmel noticed a group of Humakti coming down the hill. The stone he noted had the words "Avbrec Paswyn. Friend of Brin Torkenson. Friend to the Sword. Honoured here." Kimmel spoke to the tall Humakti called Debron Strongmane who upon hearing that Kimmel was Avbrec son told him that he could guess why he had come and bid him join them in the shrine. Most of those that had taken place in the battle here were now with Humakt in his halls, and so he could not tell him what had happened here. However Pellon Brightsword had been here at the time and could relate what had happened.
Pellon was an old man with one leg and many war wounds. Kimmel found him sharpening a sword on a wheel. The old man told him that his father had come here to look at the campaign diaries here as he believed that there was a reference to Yinkin's mirror in them. However before he could go and see the records the fort was attacked by Dragonewts - seemingly out of nowhere. Brin and Avbrec fought hard and well to defend the fort, but Avbrec was taken down by a bunch of Dragonewts who quickly carried him off. As he was being bundled away Avbrec instructed a young Alynx named Ferl to look after Brin. Once the fight was over Brin determined to go after the Dragonewts and try and get his friend back. Kimmel thanked Pellon for the information and left to catch up with the others.
Meanwhile as the others were travelling Orlav got an alarm from his guard dog at the orchard and he headed up there to find the apples being attacked by a hoarde of wasps and locusts. Orlav summoned up a huge wind to blow the insects away, disloging many apples in the process. These were mostly the ones that had been attacked the most by the insects. To prevent the insects coming back Orlav built some nests in the hope of attracting mythical birds who would protect the apples against the insects. Then he decided that there was nothing else he could do, so he headed back to the others.
As they continued onwards past the rugged hills of the Dragonewt lands they came across a stone plinth. Unsure of the symbology on the plinth they got closer, only to find a number of Dragonewt warriors starting to come out of the plinth. The Dragonewts angrily warned them off and the group backed off. Brant decided to experiment and talk to them, but they drew weapons and he was forced to back off. The Dragonewts did not pursue him far and seemed to be guarding the plinth, so at the end of the day they decided to leave the area. Kimmel decided against asking them about his father.
They continued onwards towards the river tributary until it started getting dark. Barak started to clutch his ears and complian about the bad noise of the stone. The group could not see any enemies, but Brant upon closer examination of the river sensed a presence there. A hideous Walktapi rose out of the water and sprayed poison gas in Brant's face. Brant snatched a breath and managed to avoid the worst affects of the gas. The group tried to fight the Walktapus as it advanced on them, but the tough skin of the beast pushed aside their weaponary as Brant was forced to defend against the tentacles. Eventually the group made a tactical withdrawl and headed further down the main river where they made a camp a little way away from the river.
|Water Day, Fertility Week
During the first watch Turruk saw a boat in the distance going down the river. Using the common magic farsee he was able to determine that it was a Lunar boat with up to ten men on it. He decided to let it continue without further issue. When he awoke Orlav for the second watch and told him about the boat, Orlav questioned why he had not woken everyone. The rest of the night passed without incident.
After breakfast the group travelled on towards the village and discussed the stone. Brant reasoned that if the stone could detect chaos and if Barak had heard the "bad song" before in the stead, then perhaps they should take it back to Red Cow and try and root out the chaos there. When questioned Jinna said that they did not believe that the chaos was part of the stone, and certainly it did not infect the others. She did not know when it would have been infected as it was only Barak who could detect it. The Uroxi, like Skye, certainly had not detected it, which she thought was strange. Turruk decided to try and detect where the magic was from in the stone. He got a definite answer - Ernalda and Narshan. Narshan was a name he'd heard before and almost certainly related to the Chaos God mentioned in the Ernalda myth. The group (after some debate) eventually decided to continue onwards to Lodril's forge before heading quickly home.
As the group reached the small village known as Silent Trading Post, the group spotted the Lunar boat moored up on the side of the river with one Lunar guard on the front. They decided to enter the village boldly - despite warnings from Turruk to try not to start anything. At the enterance to a large Geo's Inn there suddenly came a man flying backward out of the door cursing Lunars and all who deal with them. Brant rolled up his sleeves and decided to go in. There was a Lunar guard in front of him, as well as three Lunars at the bar menacing the poor innkeeper. "This place is closed for harbouring sedition" the lead Lunar started "Get out now!" Brant responded by telling them to kiss his hairy butt and by doing at Lightning fast strike at the Lunar in front of him. A fight soon started with all the group getting involved. Barak even tried to hit the Lunar who Brant had crippled earlier, but was fairly ineffective at doing damage. Orlav revealed the full glory of his woad and during the fight got a warning from his guard dog that there was an intruder in the orchard. Kimmel cat leaped across the room and fired his bow at the Lunars, whilst Turruk invisibly snuck around the bar and stabbed the head Lunar. The fight did not last long and they ended up with 3 dead Lunars and one captured one. The captured one was reluctant to talk, but upon a little persuasion being applied he revealed that they were here to collect taxes from the village and that there was only one more of them on the boat.
Brant called the other Lunar into the bar, saying there was trouble going on in here. The Lunar entered the bar and soon realised that he was outnumbered and turned to run. He was cut down swiftly from behind. Brant and Orlav went to search the ship and did not find much to their satisfaction. Whilst the barmaid was cleaning up, the barman gave the heroes a free drink or two. Brant then demanded the barrell. Not having much to do with the Lunar, Brant slit his throat and suggested the barman dispose of his body as well. The barman told them that if they wanted to get across the river they would need to use the chain ferry as they would be given a token that would allow them to pass through the Mostali gate and through their lands. The Mostali did not take kindly to people just wandering through their land and would shoot first and ask questions later. Turruk went and checked the boat and found orders from General Maxentius Reygold (his wife's ex-husband) for the men to come to the village and collect taxes.
The Lunar's scimitars and money pouches were collected up and were used in part trade for some more clothes for Orlav, some three days rations, a new Javelin for Brant and a couple of other bits and pieces.
Having availed themselves of a barrel of beer from the landlord the group decided to move on and head into Dwarven territory.
The group met a Grazer Centaur called Rhana Glowfeather who claimed she was returning home to her husband after a successful trading expedition. They torched the Lunar boat and crossed into Dwarf territory over the chain ferry. Orlav dissappeared off to his Orchard in the God Plane and returned to tell the group that he had met a member of the council there who was perplexed why they had not yet returned. He took the news back to the council and said he would return with their decision as soon as possible.
The group crossed Dwarven lands and the Dwarves were not very chatty (in fact almost rude). By evening they had passed through their lands and ended up on the outskirts of some woods. Rhana said she knew of a place to camp by a stream and Turruk put up some protective spells there. Brant, Barrak and Kimmel went to sleep whilst Turruk took the first watch. Orlav was called off into the God Plane about midnight and when he came back they awoke Jinna to tell her of the council's decision.
The council have decided 4-3 that they should return immediately, and that the stone should be passed back to the tribe via the God Plane tonight. Jinna objected to this saying that they should ignore the Council's wishes and do what is right. He also mentioned that representatives of the Dinacoli tribe had arrived and demanded recompense for the death of the Clanswoman. They have been given hospitality until the council can tell the truth of their claims.
Turruk agreed with her, but Orlav stated they should respect the wishes of the council. Jinna was nervous about disobeying the council without backing so thedecision was to wake Kimmel and Orlav and get their view.
Jinna made the following speech after the group was awoken.
"The council has decided that we should return the stone now before we have had a chance to cleanse it, but I believe that they really do not comprehend the danger. They do not have a Priestess of Ernalda there to advise them and cannot understand the wrongness in the stone. Lodril's Forge is only a day and a half away - we should be able get it cleansed soon and returned to the Clan via the Godplane then. I implore you to back me - but am fearful of the consequences of disobeying the council. I cannot demand that you do this and will understand if you choose loyalty to the Council. I am risking exile and you should know this before you commit to any course of action."
The group discussed after the speech and Kimmel and Brant were inclined to follow Jinna. Inded a plan was hatched to send back a note to the council from Jinna giving them more information than they had when they made their original decision. It was stressed to Orlav that he must get the Council representative to read the note and must not try and cast doubt on its veracity. Orlav promised he would get the representative to read the note.
When Orlav returned he said that the representative of the council had been angry that they had refused to give up the stone and said that there would be consequences. He said that he would return with the Council's decision tomorrow.
Clay Day, Fertility Week Honoring Day [Ernalda]
Next morning the group continued west. Brant spoke to Jinna about who she suspected voted for and against her. He also spoke to Barak about his future decisions, indicating that he should start thinking about joining a cult. Brant told Barak a story about Orlanth, and Barak said that he he heard other such stories of Issaries from his father. Barak wanted to learn how to use a sword but Brant refused to teach him at the moment. As they were discussing this both Orlav and Barak noticed some slyphs (air elementals) above calling out looking for a Wind Child called Fafaiella. Brant twigged that Barak could see more than one type of spirit and asked what others he could see. It transpired he could see earth elemntals as well and Jinna and Brant speculated that he would be able to see darkness and fire elementals and spirits as well. Brant re-iterated that he should concerntrate on working out his path in life especially with these unique abilities.
About mid morning Orlav received a message that someone was waiting in the God Plane for him. He departed and when he did not come back for some time Kimmel went of hunting. He found some strange tracks of a panther and followed them until he came across a black panther savaging a young blond haired Wind Child. Kimmel fired his bow with multimissile hitting the panther several times and scaring it off. Kimmel partially healed it and carried the Wind Child back to the camp. Jinna used a feat to further heal the Wind Child. Orlav returned shortly afterwards and carried Brant up into the air where he did a GREAT SHOUT to attract the attention of the other Wind Children. They arrived after about 10 minutes and spoke broken Sartarite to the group, thanking them for rescueing their child. Attempts at conversation were difficult and eventually they gave up and let the Wind Children fly away.
Orlav reported that the Council had responded by saying that they were shocked at Jinna's refusal to return the stone and that if she did not instantly, then she would be thrown off her position from the inner council. The new Inner Council would then decide what further action to take against her. Jinna said that if she didn't give the stone back the consequences would rebound on them all and she couldn't live with that even though she knew she was right. She agreed to hand the stone back to Orlav to give back to the Council. When Orlav touched it he strongly felt the wrong in it, and claimed that Jinna couldn't be much of a Priestess if she couldn't feel it. Jinna said that she could only feel it with powerful Earth magics from Ernalda. Orlav then returned the stone as Jinna cursed Verle Hillstemmer for being a scheming bitch. Brant concluded that politics were at work here.
The group said goodbye to Rhana Glowfeather and headed back the way they had come. They crossed Dwarven lands with as much witty chat and repartee as before and ended up in the village of Silent Trade Landing in the early afternoon. The village was desserted (with signs up saying "Closed by Order of the Lunar Empire") and the group took the opportunity to liberate supplies. They headed down the southern road towards Dragon's Eye and made a camp as evening drew on. Kimmel took the first watch and heard something off in the bushes. Using his nightsight he spotted the young barmaid Ayesha from the bar. He persuaded her to the fire and awoke the others. When questioned she told them that the Lunars had come in force (maybe 30) and had taken away those from the village that had not been able to run. They had come in vengeance for the loss of their troops. With no relatives Brant said that she could either come back to Red Cow with them or go her own way. She was undecided and did not know what to do, so Brant gave her until morning to decide.
When Kimmel eventually went to sleep he dreamed of Dragonewts and awoke around 4 in the morning.
|Winds Day, Fertility Week
Before breakfast Aeysha decided to come back with them to Red Cow and started to make herself useful by making the breakfast herself. Kimmel noticed that Jinna had dissappeared off so he went to find her. After having talked with her he came back saying that she would be back shortly. In about 5 minutes she returned with red eyes and announced that she wanted to visit the Clan Chieftain Harauthi of the Rainbow Clan. She was a Priestess of Ernalda and may be able to help her with the cleansing ritual of the stone. Brant was asked by Turruk about what he was talking to Barak about. Barak sulkily told him that Brant had been telling him stories about Orlanth like Turruk had told him when he was young about Issaries.
The group discussed ideas ranging from going to the city of Dragon's Eye to rescue Kimmel's father to rustling cows from the Rain Blossom Clan. Nothing was concluded although it was decided that it was best to skirt round to the south of Dragon's Eye as they got closer to it.
As they got closer to the city however Kimmel spotted a drain in the grassland off to the side. As they investigated it they realised that it was a prison in the ground, and it's only occupant was a dragonewt. They were just preparing to leave when the Dragonewt spoke Kimmel's name. It turned out that the Dragonewt had somehow gained forbidden knowledge and had thus angered the Inhuman King. He named himself "Tainted by Forbidden Magics" and said that the Inhuman King had left him here to die as he had dabbled in magics that he should not. Kimmel asked what he would do if he was released and he said he would go and find Smiles without Grace. He said that Smiles was a unique Dragonewt and that he would either bring greatness or disaster to the Dragonewts. This is why the Inhuman King fears him. He told the group that Smiles was unique in that he was left handed. Further he suggested that Kimmel not go near the Inhuman King in Dragon's Eye as he saw him as dangerous as his father in that he was looking for the same thing. Turruk asked him what he was called before he was captured and he said "Inquisitive to a Point".
The group debated rescuing the Dragonewt (there was some natural resistance to Dragonewt strangeness), and decided to rescue it. Kimmel created Alynx claws and dug a hole in the side of the pit. Then after they'd pulled the Dragonewt out, Jinna recovered the pit using her Earth magic. They decided to remane the Dragonewt "Rescued from a Pit" and he advised them to skirt to the north of Dragon's Eye rather than to the south.
As the group walked along they spoke to "Rescued from a Pit" and suggested that they could show him where they'd last seen "Smiles without Grace". They also discussed rustling cattle again (although most of this seemed to come from Brant).
They crossed the river in the evening, with Purdyn again insisting upon being carried over by Orlav. Remembering the last time they camped near the river they decided to continue on a way until they found a good place to camp.
|Fire Day, Fertility Week
That night Kimmel dreamed of his father. He was awoken by Brant to do his guard duty and later was annoyed to discover that Orlav had dissappeared off. So he woke up Barak and gave him a short short and told him that it was time to take responsibility and do his share.
In the morning they all awoke to the smell of breakfast and found that Barak and not Aeysha was cooking it. Orlav returned and from the air spotted several Rainbow Clan warriors sneaking up on them. Orlav greeted the troops and the ritual Orlanthi greeting was exchanged. It was explained that the Priestess Jinna wanted to talk with Clan Chieftain Harauthi. As Captain Esharn knew the group they agreed to take them to the Clan stead.
Jinna went off with Clan Chief Harauthi, so Brant decided to mix with the locals and enjoy their beer (though it was obviously not as good as the stuff at Red Cow). Meanwhile Kimmel went off to find the woman who he saw when he was here before who looked like him. He found out her name was Islyn and that she was getting water at the well, so he went off to be friendly. His half sister seemed to have a chip on her shoulder about their father who had left before she got to know him. She was taunted about this when she was young and despite Kimmel trying to convince her of the worth of an Alynx marriage she was embittered about it. She was 26 and still unmarried and she blamed her father for this. Kimmel tried to explain about the benefits of Yinkin, but she told him she was an Ernalda worshipper and would have nothing to do with it. Eventually Kimmel gave up on his half sister. Orlav tried to speak with her also, but was not much more successful with his attempts to persuade her to become a Vingan met with short shift.
Turruk and Brant spoke with "Rescued from a Pit" who said he could tell that Brant and Barak were of the three. When asked Rescued said that they were of different threes. He then related a Dragonewt propechy about the Three to them, which met with the response that it was typical Dragonewt gibberish.
Then Turruk was called by Daranor on the communication device and Daranor told him all he had learned about Lodril's Forge and the ritual. Turruk told him that they were coming back and that the stone had been passed back to the Clan already. This Daranor did not think was good. Turruk explained about Brant's plan to get a new Red Auroch with a Heroquest and asked if Daranor could find any myths in the libarary. Daranor said that the tribe was most likely to have all the myths about Gochbadun themselves. Finally Turruk explained about Kimmel and his father, and asked Daranor if he could research into the artefact Yinkin's mirror. Daranor said he would do his best.
In the evening Jinna returned from her discussions with the Clan Chief. She had been initiated into the Belveren subcult of Ernalda the Healer and Clan Chief Harauthi has taught her the purge chaos ritual. She asked Kimmel if he could look for some herbs for her afer she got back as she had been told they might help her survive the fire portion of the ritual. Just then Islyn came back to the group with an Alynx ather heels. She angrily accused Kimmel of having sent the Alynx to her, but Purdyn revealed to him that the Alynx Maia was his sister and had been sent to guard her. Kimmel tried to get her to see that this was a blessing from Yinkin, but she wasn't having anything of it.
The remainder of the evening Brant hit the barrel and decided to try chatting up Islyn. However after having spoken to her for a while and discovered that she was an Initiate of the Ernaldan subcult of Kev the Visionary he decided against pursuing matters further. Bored Brant spotted "Rescued from a Pit" floating just above the ground and meditating. He decided to have some fun and set light to the Dragonewts feet. The surprised Dragonewt jumped up and stormed off.
Kimmel found himself a nice young cottar to share a bed with however.
|Wild Day, Fertility Week
Next morning Aeysha announced that she had also got aquainted last night and would like to stay in the Stead. This was no problem to the rest of the group. They also noticed that the Dragonewt had headed off south and no one seemed upset at that. The group were escorted by a friendly group off the Rainbow Clan lands.
From there the group crossed the river and decided to do a little bit of cattle rustling in the lands of the Dolutha Clan. They quickly came across the large herd of Dolutha cows that were heavily guarded and even a bit of sneaking around only resulted in the gain of one cow. Later as they were hiding in the late evening they heard a group of Dolutha warriors passing and let their prize go to avoid being captured.
On the way back to their Clan lands Purdyn smelt another cow and on folowing the trail they found a pregnant cow stuck in the mud (who had changed hands many times) and her calf. With great skill Brant pulled the cow out and herded their prize back to the Clan lands.
Just inside their lands they were greated by a group of Red Cow warriors. They informed Brant that they would have to take Barak back to the Clan Chiefs longhouse where he was to remain until his trial. Orlav was informed that his wife was gravely ill and he went off with Jinna to see her. Kimmel went looking for Brin Torkenson and when he discovered that Brin was with Clan Chief Tarkal Marjammer. The Clan Chief greeted them and told Brant that there were three members of the Rain Blossom Clan of the Dinacoli here who had brought a complaint that Brant had killed one of their Sacred band of Babestor Gor warriors on their lands and they had come demanding justice. Tarkal wanted to know what had happened from Brant so that he could formulate an appropriate response. After having cast aspertions on the prowess of the so called warrior he recounted what had happened. With Alia Garmund (the Grey Sage) and Brin Torkenson (Humakt) there Brant was careful not to lie but also put his side of the story over. Brant warned Tarkal that the Rain Blossom Clan were a bunch of Lunar lovers and they had a load of Lunars there. Tarkal promised he would put on extra patrols to the north. Brant was not to leave the Clan lands until this was resolved. He was asked exactly when the incident occurred so that Alia Garmund could attempt to see the past on the event.
He told Turruk that Brant would have his trial in two days time and in the mean time he would remain in his longhouse. Brant seeing the Chief's son Hengel and his mates decided to head off and find the ale barrell.
Meanwhile Orlav and Jinna went to see his wife. She was unconsious as she had caught a fever from having gone out with few clothes in a rainstorm about a week ago. Attempts to heal her had so far failed. Orlav's sisters-in-law were hanging around and talking to Jinna. It seemed that since Orlav had gone away she had lost heart and was waiting to die. Jinna did what she could for her, but she told Orlav that he needed to show her he loved her. Orlav was adamant that he had as he had two kids. He had given her love before he left. Jinna tried her best to make him understand, but ultimately she gave up on him. She began talking to Orlav's scheming aunts when Turruk came in. He waited patiently until Jinna had finished and then approached her questioning her about the stone. It had apparantly been taken to the Ernalda temple where it was being kept. Turruk then went home to tell his wife what had happened to Barak and then to catch up with each other.
Brant's drinking with Vengel and his mates went on into the night. Brant told the tale of his journey (in his own style) and Vengel told him that his father on hearing that the stone was infected with chaos ordered the other stones be dig up and inspected. Verle Hillstemmer supervised the digging herself. Garrel mentioned there had been a raid by the Telmori a few days ago but they had beaten them back. Early in the morning Brant staggered back to his bloodline longhouse only to find his father Alwyck waiting for him. Alwyck warned his son that he might not be protected by the people he thought of as friends if it was necessary to sacrifice him. He did however offer his son his support and reminded him that his potential bride was here and would see him tomorrow.
Kimmel meanwhile snagged Brin Torkenson after he left the meeting with the Clan Chief. Kimmel asked Brin about his father, and Brin told him that they were good friends and that he missed him. Kimmel asked if he'd looked for his father and Brin replied that he had spent much time looking for him, even in Dragon's Eye but had found no trace. The Dragonewts had taken Avbrec through one of their plinths and could have taken him anywhere. Brin said that Avbrec had been looking for Yinkin's mirror as he was looking for Gochbadun. The mirror it was said could grant access to secret places by recursive reflection. Brin said that after the current troubles were over if Kimmel wanted to look for his father he would go too.
|Gods Day, Fertility Week
Next morning Brant awoke and decided to go to go and talk to Barak. On his way to the Chief's longhouse he failed to avoid meeting his father with his intended bride Triassa and her father. Brant hastily excused himself saying he had urgent business with the Chief, but promised to take Triassa for a walk that evening. Triassa simpered and accepted.
Shortly after Brant began to talk to Barak, Turruk appeared. They questioned Barak as to whether he could hear the stone "singing". He replied that he could faintly in a good way. He couldn't hear the other stones as they were in the stone circle some way from the stead. He asked Brant if he'd come to teach him to use a sword, but Brant told him that wasn't what he'd said.
Meanwhile outside Kimmel saw his Grandfather limping across the stead. He went over to see him and discovered that he had been set upon from behind by a bunch of "Orlanthi" who had not seen the funny side of a joke whereby he had made the Chief's hut look like it was on fire. Kimmel promised to find out who would attack an old man in this way.
Orlav meanwhile went to see Jinna and found her in her longhouse arguing with her husband. He was regalling her for the fact that in ten years marriage she still hadn't produced him and heir. When she noticed Orlav she turned and walked out with tears at the edge of her eyes. Orlav wanted to know where her wife's spirit was. She told him that it was between the God's plane and the mortal plane, but if he didn't hurry it would cross over to Ernalda's stead soon.
Jinna headed off to cry only to be faced by Kimmel who also wanted to talk to her. Kimmel wanted to know about why the if the tribe had another Priestess who had gone off to learn the ritual why they shouldn't let her do it. Jinna explained that Hetiga (Verle's young protigee) was a member of Ernalda the Queen and not Ernalda the Healer and so would stand much less chance of succeeding at the ritual and that might mean the stone would be destoryed. Jinna asked that Kimmel have a word with Orlav and get him to try and save his wife and also head off to find the plants she needed tomorrow for the ritual.
Brant went to talk with Alia Garmund to ask her about Barak and his unique abilities. She told him that she knew he was special as she had performed a divination when they first arrived which had indicated he would be of benefit to the tribe. She had therefore voted for the mission to bring him back and she confirmed those who had sided with Jinna to get the stone fixed at Lodril's forge. She had not heard of the Dragonewt prophecy of the three, threes but was interested in it. She told Brant that the three Guardians of Prince Argarth were already in place and she was puzzled why they may be more with the same mark.
Meanwhile Kimmel had spoken with Orlav and he had decided to go and get his wife back. He travelled along her lifepath and found her suggesting that she could have a divorce if she wanted one. She said that if he didn't love her her life was no longer worth living, but he persuaded her that she should not abandon their children, and she reluctantly agreed to cling on for the sake of the kids.
The healers around her confirmed that her breathing was stronger and although she was unconscious she was looking much better.
Turruk decided to contact Daranor and ask him about the prophecy of the three, threes. He had never heard of it before but was interested even in it was probably just Dragonewt twaddle. He offered Turruk some advice on Barak's defense as he was not going to be able to get back from Boldhome in time.
Brant meanwhile learns that tonight he would face his accusors from the Rain Blossom Clan, and so he decided to get some advice on the legality of challenging them to a combat over the issue. Having done that he decided to try and see his accusors. The guard didn't want to let him in, and only did so with an escort to prevent any violence. After all they had been given hospitality by the tribe. The three did not want to talk with Brant and told him that they would give their accusations formerly later that night.
Orlav was asked what was wrong with the Clan Wyter as they had been hearing rumours that it had been behaving strangely. He decided to seek out the Clan Wyter and find out for himself. The Clan Wyter was ranting, complaining of an attack and indicating that it would come from the north. Eventually fed up with the ranting Orlav decided to do a little ranting of his own and eventually quietened the Wyter down.
Turruk meanwhile was accosted by Jinna and the younger Priestess called Bronwyn who was looking for Brant. Turruk heard Brant's dulcet tones drinking with Orlav in one of the longhouses. Jinna introduced Bronwyn who then told them that Vengel (who was courting her) had told her that Tarkal would use this to get revenge on Brant's father Alwyck who would and avoid a potential Clan war. Brant asked her how he should defend himself against a rigged jury, to which Browyn replied that he should boast and make his feats seem greater. He needed to magnify them so that he seemed like an Orlanthi hero so that the Rain Blossom Clan would either have to withdraw their allegations or back Brant's incredible claims. With that kind of popular support Tarkal could hardly rule against him.
Having spoken to Brant, Bronwyn reminded Jinna that she had to go and check on old Mother Kelda's knee. Jinna dashed off and Bronwyn waited until she'd gone before speaking. She then said that Jinna too was in danger as she'd been put in a position that either she performed the ritual and died or seem like a failure. She told them that a long time ago Tarkal and Verle were married but disagreed and divorced. Recently they had met and reached some kind of agreement, but Bronwyn did not know the details. When Tarkal had come to power five years ago he had ensured that Verle was not elected to the council and that a young inexperienced Priestess (Jinna) was promoted. Bronwyn thought that he wanted to reduce the power of the Ernaldan women in the tribe and that was why he promoted Jinna. Bronwyn said although Jinna is her friend and one of the most kind-hearted women in the tribe she was not an effective politician. That she had disobeyed the will of the Council was exceptional, but also will have enraged Tarkal. Bronwyn was worried about Jinna and wanted Orlav, Brant and Turruk to do all they could to help her.
Orlav was approached by the young Weaponthane Orvyk who wanted his support in the Clan council when they came to Barak's trial. He wanted to see Barak punished and killed just like his mother. Orlav said that he agreed and that he would be proposing that Orlanth decide his fate by dropping Barak from a height in the test of Vanganth. Orvyk agreed that this would be a good way of getting rid of the troublesome youth and stayed for a while to listen to Orlav's sermon.
Turruk left to go and talk with Alia Garmund, but she was busy doing a divination, so instead he went to see Brant's father Alwyck in the brewery. Brant's father told him that Tarkal would try and get revenge on him through his son. If Brant is found guilty then it is he who would pay the most weregild thus weaking his bloodline in the Clan. Punishment for another former member of the Clan council. He asked Turruk to do what he could for his son.
Just before the Clan meet the guard who let Brant see the strangers came to see him. He said that the Humakti Braslor Borlatson had given him a note to give to Brant. It said that he wanted to meet with Brant after the Clan meet. Brant sent a note back saying that he would meet him at midnight.
The Clan council settled down after the evening meal to hear the accusation that the strangers brought concerning Brant Reaver. The Elaml spokesmen for the strangers called Lorst was bid step forward and put the case against Brant. They used the Humakti Braslor to verify that Brant had assisted in the escape of Barak after he had desecrated their holy object to Ernalda. Timitahl confirmed that their sacred band had been sent to arrest the desecrator and that when the had caught up with them that Brant slew their Priestess Varga. Timitahl explained that they had performed a divination and had determined that Brant had struck at their Priestess and killed her.
Brant began to strike back by questioning Braslor, getting him to confirm that they harbour lunars in the fort, that he reactivated the Yavor Lightning shrine, and killed Lunar Daimones. He then question the head of the Sisterhood of the Frenzied Axe about the fierceness and toughness of their members and how difficult it would be to kill one. He then got Jinna to attest that the Babestor Gor warrior was beyond her powers to heal and that he hadnt a scratch on him. Now given that they Rain Blossom Clan hadn't given them hospitality, had made them pay for their beer, and kept them in a walled prison. This was not the behaviour of proper Heortling Clan. Only a hero could have done such things and the more the crowd cheered for Brant the less likely that Tarkal and the council could rule that he was guilty. He eventually stopped the proceedings and declared that the case was not proven and that the strangers should depart back to their clan. Lorst told Tarkal he was making a big mistake and that he felt that the Rain Blossom Clan would determine if there would be war over this.
The clan began celebrating and the beer started to flow. Brant tried to stick with the crowd so that he could avoid his intended who was looking for him as he had promised her a walk. Unfortunately having a crowd around him gave him away and Alwyck located him. Brant took his father aside and admitted that he did not want to marry Triassa. Alwyck told him that he was being silly as she had a dowry of 100 cows and she was good looking. Besides he'd made most of the arrangements. Brant told him that he did not love her and did not want an airhead for a wife. Alwyck told him he was being ungrateful and that his brother would have married her if he'd been here. He'd have to put Triassa off and make sure that her and her father did not want the match.
Brant was forced to walk with Triassa and tried making boring smalltalk to try and put her off. Unfortunatley she was pretty boring as well. His statements that he'd be away from the stead a lot of the time she accepted as part of being Heortling life. After he'd finished the walk he tried a holding a spitting contest with Garrel but this didn't seem to put Triassa's father off. He was really going to have to work harder at this.
Meanwhile Kimmel was spending an all nighter to go and get the herbs Jinna needed. He headed into Telmori lands and was looking for the herb when he noticed a large group of Telmori tracks heading towards a clearing. He carried on looking for herbs and had to hide when three more Telmori went past. After finding a few more of the herbs he followed the Telmori to the clearing where he spotted some three dozen of the Wolfmen gathered. HE estimated that this was three clans meeting together. Then a balding man in a blue cloak with a staff whose end was twisted in a chaotic way entered the clearing. Kimmel did not speak Telmori so was unable to hear what was being said, but the guy was certaintly exciting the crowd. Kimmel decided that he'd have to get back to the stead quickly and warn them.
Turruk went to talk with Alia Garmund about Barak. She told him that one of the aspects of Orlanth is as a thief and that in Orlanthi law it is the intent of the action that is judged and not the action. If he can prove that the intent of the action was for good then Barak should not be guilty under Heortling law. He therefore asked her if she could detect whether Barak infected the stone with chaos. She said she would do it, but would not have much time to ask Lhankor Mhy further questions. Turruk then contacted Daranor and asked him if he could determine whether Barak had ever infected anything with chaos. Daranor was a little grumpy as Turruk woke him up.
|Freeze Day, Stasis Week
The morning afterwards Orlav was engaged in a divorce negotiations when Kimmel returned. He went to see Jinna and give her the herbs, then told her about the Telmori. She told him that Tarkal and his son were away seeing the Rain Blossom Clan members off Red Cow land. He would be best to tell Brin Torkenson of what he had seen. Kimmel went to see Brin and related what he had seen. Brin said that the Weaponthnaes would need to know, and they would need to organise increased security on the eastern frontier. He told Kimmel to go and find Brant and warn him that they'd need him to help guard the frontier. He'd be relieved before the trial tonight.
Brant had gone to see Barak where he found Turruk already talking to his son. As usual Barak was in a sulky mood, but graceously accepted Brant's advice that he act with a bit more dignaty that evening. Turruk meanwhile questioned his son to make sure that he would receive the right answers that evening.
Kimmel found Brant picking flowers by the river. He greeted Brant and noted that he was collecting "herbs". Brant slightly embarressed agreed as Kimmel told him about the Telmori preparing for a raid. Brant said that he'd help out on the border as soon as he'd run a little errand. Moving quickly back to the village he went to Bronwyn's longhouse and left the flowers with a note with a stylized lightning symbol on it. He then went out and watched the border.
Turruk went to see Alia Garmund at midday and got her to tell him about her divination. She had divined very definitely that Barak had not infected the stone with chaos. Turruk then contacted Daranor and asked him about the divination he had performed. Daranor said that he'd had an ambiguous answer in that asking whether Barak had ever infected anything with chaos, the answer was maybe. He wasn't really sure how to interpret this and that it was possible he'd read the signs wrong.
Orlav spent the afternoon training his two apprentices to fly in preparation for the Orlanthi Holy day that he'd divined would occur a week hence. Whilst he was training them (and instructing them to give up sex and drink for a week) he detected that an Orlanthi storm was coming in and would cause a real downpour tonight.
Kimmel awoke from his sleep to find Purdyn gone. He searched around and found his little alynx talking to Ferl. Kimmel decided to leave him to it and get ready for the meet that night.
After the meal that night Tarkal opened the trial and handed over to Verle Hillstemmer to put forward the case for the prosecution. She presented evidence showing the the stone was stolen and that it was Barak who had stolen it. She got Alia Garmund to confirm that she had performed a divination that determined that Barak had taken the stone. She also got Brant to confirm that Barak went straight to the Rain Blossom Clan (a Clan now known to be in league with the Lunars) and got Kimmel to confirm that they had recovered it from the possession of a Lunar Sorcerer. She got Barak to confirm that he had desecrated the large stone in the Rain Blossom Clan and got Orlav to confim other apparent crimes such as the invitation of chaos into the Mystical orchard, and the death of some sacred herons at the Heron Clan stead.
Turruk then began the case for the defense. He stated that Orlanth had a thief aspect also and that in Orlanthi law it was not the theft that was a crime, but the intent. He intended to show that it was Barak's intent to fix the stone. Since there were Humakti and Lhankor Mhy present here they'd be able to detect a lie. Barak told them that he took the stone as it was singing badly to him. He'd spoken to the water spirits and they had told him where to go to cleanse the stone. Why had he then gone to the Rain Blossom fort? He told them he had gone there as he wanted to check out if the master stone was corrupted as well. He told them he had not corrupted it. Turruk asked Alia Garmund to verify this which she did. Further she said that she checked in another divination when it had been infected, and she told the gathering that it had been infected for at least 20 years. Turruk seized on this and said how could a child of 13 infect a stone 20 years ago. Orlav told the audience that there was much more to Barak than meets the eye - he had many strange powers and that Orlanth had instructed him that he needed Barak. He suggested that to show that Orlanth needed him they do the test of Orlanth on Barak. If Orlanth really did need Barak then he would save him. Several calls of approval can from those that thought this would kill Barak. Turruk protested against this, but was stopped short by Tarkal who said this was an excellent idea and that they would put it to the vote. Tarkal would hear no more of it and started the vote. Only a handful of people voted against the test of Orlanth and the motion was passed by a large majority.
Tarkal then stood up and declared that now that they had dealt with one miscreant they would deal with another who had disobeyed the Council. Jinna Ferlansdotter who was sent on the mission to recover the stone acted against the wishes of the council and now would answer for herself.
Tarkal asked Brin to outline the case against Jinna. He suggested that Jinna was sent on a mission to recover the stone and Barak, but having done so did not come straight back. After having caught Barak at the Blue Boar fort she did not return, but instead fled on a wild goose chase. Brant said that the route was just to avoid the people in the Rain Blossom Clan, but Brin pointed out that they had even crossed a river and went across Dwarven lands. Brant said that Jinna had a chance of cleansing the stone and she had to try and do it, but Brin stated that she did not know the ritual at the time and could not have done it. Jinna was forced to agree, but said in her defence that they were waiting for Daranor to provide them with further information.
Brin told the group that he had gone to the god plane to find out what had happened to the mission and eventually found Orlav there. Orlav had told him what had happened to the mission and he promised to take the information to the council to allow them to make a decision. When he returned with the decision of the council that they should give him back the stone to take back to the council. Jinna's vote was counted that she should continue but the council ruled against her. Brin stated that when Orlav returned he did not have the stone but had a note from Jinna proclaiming that the council did not have all the facts. However Orlav confirmed that he had already told Brin that the stone was contaminated with chaos. Orlav said that Jinna was a very nice person but an incompetant leader and was not capable of making good decisions. He said that she was a weak leader. Bronwyn stated that she should never have been appointed to the Inner council. Brant, Turruk and Kimmel defended Jinna, but several people in the crowd shouted them down.
Discussion turned to who should perform the ritual to purify the stone. Bronwyn stated that Jinna should not do it as she was too inexperienced and that Hetiga should do it. Brant questioned why Verle should not do it as senior Ernaldan Priestess, but was told that she was too old and not fit enough to do this energetic ritual. Hetiga would be back in two days time and would be able to perform the ceremony. Tarkal said that there were two issues here that should be separated. Whether Jinna should be on the High Council and who should do the ritual. He said that he thought the ritual was the business of the Ernaldan cult and should be left to them to decide.
First of all the full council voted on Jinna and only 5 people voted that she should remain. Verle Hillstemmer was elected in her place against only token opposition. Then virtually everyone on the council agreed that the ritual should be left to the cultof Ernalda.
Brant went to see Bronwyn after the result only to find that she was arguing with Jinna. Jinna accused Bronwyn of betraying her, and Bronwyn was saying that she didn't understand what was going on here. Brant tried to interupt, but Bronwyn said to him "not now, later". Jinna stomped off. Bronwyn confessed to having made a mistake earlier in the evening, but hoped she'd put it right.
Kimmel was spotted by the merry widow Tilyss Hearthside who saw Jinna depart and commented that she was frigid when she was young. She wanted Kimmel to go and keep her company tonight. He said he wanted to go and check the border but would return in a couple of hours. He did a quick inspection of the border, but found no signs of Telmori before heading back to a warm bed.
Brant went back to drinking and intoduced Orlav to Triassa. Orlav began to relate about Brant's habits with his boy chums to Triassa, but she wasn't getting the reference. Orlav continued to try and put Triassa off Brant, but it took some time before Orlav was unsubtle enough to get the message through to Triassa.
Turruk went to visit Barak whom he found chatting to air spirits about air currents and flying. When he had finished Turruk asked him if he understood what would happen to him. Barak said that it was something about a holy ceremony. Turruk explained that Orlav would be giving him a test in which he would be dropped from a great height and if he didn't die he would be favoured of Orlanth. Turruk told him not to be afraid and to keep talking to the spirits.
Turruk went back home and told his wife what had happened before going to bed. In the middle of the night he awoke having dreamt of a voice telling him repeatedly to go to the cirlce. He woke his wife who advised to to fetch someone he trusted from the tribe (not Orlav). He went and found Brant drinking still and explained about his dream. Brant went with him to the circle which was bathed in a golden light. Turruk detected that the light had hints of chaos in it. Turruk wanted to go back to the tribe and get others, but Brant would not wait and eventually went into the circle. There he found a tall (10ft) warrior spirit in the centre of the circle. The warrior spoke to him in Sartarite and said that he had summoned Turruk and would talk with him.
Brant nipped out and persuaded Turruk to come with him back into the circle. The warrior spoke to Turruk and told him that the cirlce had been contaminated and that Narshan was preparing to conduct a ceremony here to bring himself to the mortal world and that it must be prevented at all costs. The spirit would not say who he was and did not know when this was to occur other than it would occur soon. He had heard Narshan boasting in the Netherworld and he wanted to stop Narshan at all costs. He could not hold this link long and warned that they must stop the ceremony at all costs.
|Water Day, Stasis Week
Next morning Orlav went to tutor his sons and Barak in the ways of Orlanth. Barak seemed attentive, listening to the stories of Orlanth that Orlav told him. Orlav even praised Barak, which was perhaps the strangest thing that happened all day.
Kimmel went out early to scout the Telmori again. He asked Purdyn what he was talking to Ferl about. Purdyn said they were looking for the last one. Meanwhile Kimmel sensed some Telmori scouts ahead and when they sensed him he sprinted back to Red Cow lands. He decided to try and go back, improvising a feat to hide his scent. Unfortunately Yinkin was not with him and his scent was still strong. Luckily Purdyn warned him in time and they were able to run back to Red Cow lands avoiding the Telmori again.
Turruk and Brant went to tell Brin about the figure and what it had told them the night before. Brin decided to post guards around the stone circle so that they would be prewarned if chaos tried to get to the circle. He was able to confirm that the spirit was dressed as an Orlanthi, but new nothing more about it and certainly did not recognise it.
Brant then went to inform Jinna about the figure. She too had not heard of it and suggested that they go and talk to Turruk again as he said that he had encountered it before. Brant tried to talk to Turruk but he refused to name the spirit fearing it would bring him trouble.
Kimmel decided to get some sleep as it did not appear that the Telmori would attack yet and he wanted to be refreshed when they did come.
Orlav gave more lessons to his Initiates as he waited for any news of the attack. Brant decided to go out and patrol, and whilst he was out he found a bunch of five sick cows. He sent one of the men with him to fetches Thanelda Bullhorn who studied the cows and told Brant that they had brain fever. This was a filthy chaos illness and they must be separated from the others as soon as possibe. Brant and the men killed the cows and burnt their corpses. Additionally they checked the rest of the herd to ensure that they too were not infected. Finally they men moved the herd away from the area into protected pens. Whilst they are working Thanelda tells him that they had finished choosing the Priestess to do the ritual. They have decided that Jinna should do it as she is the senior Priestess of Ernalda the Healer.
Daranor returned to the Clan and was greeted by Turruk who had many questions for him. He said that he would answer Turruk's questions after he had eaten, so Turruk took him back to his Longhouse for tea. After he'd eaten Daranor told him about what he had learned about the three groups of three. He said he had found out that their were three separate legends about the three and that they seem to have got mixed up. There was the legend about the three guardians of the True King that they already knew from Pavis. In addition there was a legend about three Ernaldan who were guardians of the Earth. Finally there was a vague legend about three who would journey into realms where no one has been before. But Daranor said it all semmed to be mixed up and Barak who was supposed to be one of the guardians of the True King was not. Also it seemed one of the three guarding the King now was a Vingan woman. He then also told Daranor about the propeties of Yinkin's mirror, but that he could not find out where it was. It seemed the mirror could get you to places you could not normally go, could show things as they truly are and also show the myths of Yinkin in it.
Back in town the kids are enjoying pelting the captured Lunar messanger with rotten food. Kimmel is awoken by the noise and goes to investigate. Similarly Orlav returning from his training and Brant coming back from dealing with the cows find out about the Lunar and decide to visit the pit he has been left in to bleed to death. Kimmel speaks to the messenger in Lunar and finds out that he was only here to take a message to Tarelyss. Brant decided to go and talk to Tarkal and ask him about this. He was allowed entry and Tarkal explained that the men caught a Lunar spy and that they had dealt with him. After some time it was revealed that the spy had come to send a message to Tarelyss but had refused to give them the message even though they had tried to persuade him with alternative means. Tarelyss explained that the message was from the only other Priestess of the White Moon in Carmania and she had said told her how the mystical temple in the Godplane could be restored. Tarkal said that he wished he could act against her but that she had been given sanctuary by his predecesor.
Brant then went to talk to Brin as he was a little apprehensive about the Chief killing a messanger. Brin said that the Clan must react against Lunar spies as they could take the information on numbers back to the Lunars. Brant pointed out that the Rain Blossom Clan Lunar lovers could have done that also and that killing this messanger was pointless. Brin agreed that perhaps Tarkal had not handled things as well as he could have.
The beacon goes up in the evening and people rush to respond. Orlav tries to fly with Brant but drops him and continues flying on to the fight. Kimmel and Turruk head to the clearing of the stone cirlces, but find nothing there. Brant then headed further down the river anticipating a diversionary attack, but the Telmori weren't there. Orlav fought with the Telmori including being attacked by spirits called the hollow dogs. He eventually overcame the Telmori after going into a Sword Combat fury. Then another watchfire to the south went up.
Brant grabbed a number of other warriors on his way to the other watchtower and gave them a rousing speech that the seemed a bit non-plussed about. Meanwhile Orlav left the original combat to start flying south. As he approached the combat he threw a couple of javelins and then he started casting a number of spells to prepare himself for battle. He charged in attacking the lead Telmori who was in wolf form. Things were pretty much even until Brant arrived with re-enforcements. Eventually as the huge Wolf began to run they killed it between them and further bands of Red Cow warriors arrived lead by Brin Torkenson and Tarkal Marjammer. All the Telmori were killed and their bodies were piled up and burnt. Nine had died in the fighting and the Ernalda healers began working on the injured. Bronwyn went first to Orlav who had been badly injured in the battles. Brant and some of the others returned from chasing and killing the remaining Telmori and he tried to attract Bronwyn's attention.
Turruk and Kimmel went back to the Stead and pressed Daranor to attempt to locate the Telmori, but by the time they had it was too late. Turruk checked on the Lunar messenger who was by now nearly dead. Turruk went to see Barak and asked him if he could sense any Chaos. His son replied that he could not, but would like to join in the fighting. Turruk spoke at length to his son about fighting not being the answer and got him to promise not to pester for weapons training.
The warriors came back to drink and celebrate victory, but Brendan Tevish dampened their celebrations slightly by honouring the fallen with tales of their bravery to take them to Orlanths halls. Brant tried to sneak in to talk to Bronwyn in Ernalda's hall whilst she was tending the wounded, but she was too busy for him and told him that now was not a good time.
|Clay Day, Stasis Week
Next morning Hetiga returned only to find that Jinna had been selected to do the ritual. Brant headed off to patrol and Kimmel to scout into Telmori lands. Neither saw any Telmori, but Brant sorted out a number of pretty looking flowers that had been in the way. On his way back to the Stead he dropped them at the door of Bronwyn's Longhouse.
Meanwhile Orlav had been teaching Barak stories about Orlanth and Turruk questioning Daranor about the location of Yinkin's Mirror. Daranor said that the last time Lhankor Mhy had seen it was in the Green Age. Having failed to find out any more he headed to talk to Barak and spotted Orlav leaving. He asked about what Barak had been talking about and he just said stories. He asks Barak if he's seen any Water spirits which his son replies he hasn't. He assures Barak that there will be lots of rain on Orlanth's Holy day that will help him!
As Orlav leaves the Chief's Longhouse he spotted Jinna arguing with her husband again. She told him that she wasn't the only woman around who'd had trouble conceiving. Then scouts came in reporting that they'd found a body. It was that of the old Eurmal fool. Kimmel rushed out to where his Granfather lay and found there were two sword thrusts in his chest. There were a large number of tracks around where the warriors had marched yesterday and he wasn't able to get just one set of prints as the assailant. Kimmel went to see Brin and told him what had happened. Brin said that if it was murder as it seemed it was up to the Bloodline to file a complaint. Kimmel went to see his half brother Brynn and just got abuse from him and no co-operation. So Kimmel headed off to see Daranor and ask him if he could "See Past Events" on what happened. After Daranor had performed the feat he told him that Tarkal's group of warriors had passed round Garyn and one of them had stabbed him, but he could not see who in the group. Kimmel went back to Brin and told him what he had learnt. Brin vowed to persue the matter himself and that he would get the truth out of all the warriors who were with Tarkal. After that the rumour went around the Stead that Brin would be lodging a complaint the next evening before the ritual.
Brant meanwhile was snagged by his father who told him that Triassa and her father had gone home. Somehow she had got the impression that Brant preferred men to women. Brant shrugged it off and was asked by his father if he had anyone in mind. Brant replied that he might have and father and son went and shared a beer or two. He then popped out to see Jinna and cheer her up as she seemed in a depressed mood. However Brant's chirpy opimism just irritated her and she told him to get out whilst she prepared the paste for the ritual the next day.
|Winds Day, Stasis Week
The day of the ritual started with the clouds becoming more overcast and gloomy. Early in the morning Orlav felt a summoning from Orlanth. He headed into the God Plane and saught out the Halls of Orlanth where the Great Damoines of Orlanth guarded the enterance. They bid him welcome and took him unto the Great Hall where Orlanth sat. Mighty Orlanth spoke unto Orlav and bid that he must protect the Priestess of the Earth mother at all costs tonight and that he should not abandon her not matter what. Then Mighty Orlanth presented Orlav with a Sheild of Clouds as a gift but he told him that it would only last four days.
Alia Garmund saw Turruk and asked him if he could find Kimmel for her as she needed to talk to him. Before he went she told Turruk that she had done as he'd asked and performed a Divination of how to find the mirror. She said that she would have to consult with Daranor on the exact meaning but that the "correct" Dragonewt will lead them to the mirror.
Turruk eventually found Kimmel, who was mystified as to what Alia Garmund would want with him. She ushered him in and said that she had something to tell him about his family. The person whom he thought of as his Grandfather was not actually. When he had first come here he had told her that he had lived in a Clan of the Princeros tribe to the north and had found his father as a foundchild near the village and raised him as his own. After Kimmel's father had grown and joined Yinkin, he had got a wandersome spirit and Garyn agreed to go with him. Kimmel asked why she had said nothing about this before, and Alia replied that whilst Garyn was alive it was not her place to do so.
The village was disturbed by Brynn Torkenson dragging a rather bemused warrior into the middle of the Stead. The warrior was Gultor Brightstone, who was a Humakti who hero worshipped Brynn. Brynn put Gultor into the custody of two of the other warriors and told them to guard him as he would deal with him later.
Brant and Orlav decided to go off and find Bronwyn, although when they found her she would not respond to any of Brant's advances. Brant told her about the spirit Ordja Oathbreaker and she asked Orlav and Brant to try and ensure that they could get Barak to the ritual that evening as he would be able to detect when chaos came near.
Orlav and Brant went to see Tarkal Marjammer and told him that Barak must be sent tonight to witness the end of the chaos that he infected as a punishment. Tarkal readily agreed to this seeing that his punishment might be brought forward somewhat.
That evening Orlav and Brant led Barak to the ritual circle. There Brynn formally challenged Gultor with the Death of Garyn. Both Alia and Bryn were there to ensure that Gultor was telling the truth as he told what happened. It seemed that he was near the back of the group that Tarkal was leading when suddenly he saw a Telmori in front of him and he reacted quickly and stabbed at it twice, killing it. When it fell he realised that he'd made a mistake and that he had in fact killed the old man. He was so ashamed that he couldn't tell anyone. Brynn's rage was somewhat muted at this point, and he said that there was more going on here than meets the eye. Kimmel asked why would the old man sneak up on a group of warriors and make an illusion that he was a Telmori. Brant said that they should question the old man's apprentice.
Jinna started the ritual, immersing herself in first darkness, then in air, and next in water. As she emerged from the water, the alarm went off to the east signalling that the Telmori were attacking. Tarkal rushed off with the warriors to see off the threat, but Brant managed to persuade Brynn to stay with 15 warriors. Just as Jinna was preparing for the next phase of the attack Barak clutched his head and fell down complaining of much bad singing.
The warriors surrounded the stone circle to protect Jinna as Broos began attacking from both sides. Kimmel and Turruk fired their bows as the Orlav and Brant prepared themselves for battle. As the broos approached Kimmel cat leapt across the water and Brant commanded his men to throw their Javelins. Orlav took off to survey the battle and spotted the Chaos Priest bringing up the rear of battle to his strange twisting staff. He flew over to engage the Priest whilst Brant encouraged the other warriors in the face of poor odds. The Chaos Priest fired his staff at a warrior who dissappeared. He was aiming again when Orlav came to take him on. They two traded blows with each other whilst Kimmel leapt back across the river and prepared to do a paralysing bite on the chaos priest. Orlav desperately parried the staff only to find his sword broken. Kimmel's paralysing bite missed as the Chaos Priest started to aim his staff at Jinna. Then seeing something else in the distance he began to cast another evil chaotic magic as Orlav was forced to back away and prepare another line of attack. As Orlav began to fly fast towards the chaos mage, Brant launched another rallying cry to the men around him. Kimmel had launched a second bite attack on the Chaos mage, but the mage had shaken him off. The mage was now casting a second evil spell, slowly forming a hex of evil twisted chaos at arms length around him. Orlav flew into the hex, shield up, bursting through it with Orlanth's might. This opened a hole for Turruk to shoot multimissiled arrows at it.
Meanwhile the first spell the Chaos mage was becoming clear. He had perverted the will of the two Earth Elementals and they now had a sickly green glow and began attacking the warriors of the clan. It took both the Earth Priestesses to dismiss the Elementals and prevent more carnage. Brynn and Brant led the warriors on either side in hacking down the filthy Broo with a red splotch on the side of their face. Kimmel began attacking some of the Broo from the rear to try and aid the warriors of the tribe.
Meanwhile in the main battle Orlav grappled the Chaos Priest and took off. The Priest sank four gruesome tentacles into Orlav and started to inject him with poison. Orlav began flying upwards and spotted a rock formation across the river. As he got the the top the Priest started to aim his staff below him and Orlav swung around to make him miss his mark. Then as the remaining Broo started to run below Orlav began to fly down very fast towards the rocks. The Priest struggled in his grasp, but Orlav managed to ensure that the Priest was mostly on the bottom. The Priest and the rock dissappear on impact with the helix, but Orlav was saved by landing on Orlanth's shield.
Brant and Kimmel saw off the remaining Broo whilst the Earth Priestesses saw to the wounds of the warriors. Still 4 did not survive the fight. The Earth elemental (hastily summoned) moved the filthy Broo off the Red Cow lands. Jinna emerged from the earth stage of the ritual and began rmoving her clothes to prepare the salve for the fire part of the ritual. Jinna began the final part, but the salve soon burned away as she continued to chant. Barak commented to his father that their were many fire spirits around and Turruk asked him to ask that they help Jinna. After a minute he replied that they would only help if they had something else to consume. Not wanting to burn a filthy Broo body in the ritual, tehy burnt one of the fallen warriors to save Jinna. She completed the ritual and announced that she had succesfully removed the taint. The stone was handed to Orlav to check that the chaos taint was removed before Hetiga did a ritual to re-bury the stone.
Tarkal arrived back with the other warriors announcing that the attack was a fake and that they had wasted their time. He was pleased that the Broo were defeated and that the stone had been cleansed and they all decided to head back to the Stead to celebrate. Brant decided to try and show off in front of Bronwyn.
Meanwhile Barak spoke to his father saying that the bad noise was much worse this time sounding like a cacophony. Turruk went to get Daranor's advice on this, and he said that it could either be because there was more chaos or because the problem was larger than thought. Barak was not convinced that the time before when five Broo attacked was that different to when they'd encountered the Walktapus.
Brant's drinkling continued into the night whilst the head of the Uroxi, Kheldone Nevrane accused Orlav of potentially being infected with chaos (whilst congratluating him on killing it). He insisted that Orlav be checked for signs of chaos, but Orlav evaded him and flew away. Kheldone threatened Orlav as he departed that he knew where he lived. Orlav fled into the Orchard in the God Plane. There he noted that the apples had not improved and he did some pruning before he slept.
Brant meanwhile started to feel stomach cramps and went to see Bronwyn. She made him take his shirt off and admired his brithmark. She said that she wasn't going to show him hers. It transpires that he had caught gut rot from the Broo and so Bronwyn went to make a foul brew to drink to help cure it. To his credit Brant kept it down without throwing up. Bronwyn quizzed him about the people who'd been in contact with the Broo and then headed off to go and check them out.
Kimmel meanwhile slinked off to find Haelyn for a bit of after combat comfort.
|Fire Day, Stasis Week
Next morning Turruk went to see in son in the chief's longhouse. Whilst there Tarkal came in bellowing for his son to awaken after his night of drinking. After getting no response he tried to roughly awaken him. Still getting no response he turned him over only to find him blue in the face. Tarkal immediately bellowed for the guards and started to blame Barak for killing his son. One of the Earth Priestesses could not tell what had happened so they went to fetch Jinna. Jinna examined Vengel and declared that he'd been poisoned by a rare slow acting poison found out to the hills to the east. Tarkal ordered that they find the culprit at once. Turruk sent Kimmel to go and talk to Daranor about finding out who'd done this, but Daranor refused to tread on Alia Garmund's toes in this.
Orlav just returning heard the commotion and found out what was going on. He then went to find Skye who was practicing her weapons again and asked her to check him out. She decided to do it by punching him on his still tender forearms. Declaring him clean from the infection of chaos she congratulated him by punching him on the other arm.
It was not until later that Brant began to feel better. He saw Bronwyn and they reminiced about Vengel. Bronwyn said he was a nice boy, but that he had not yet fulfilled his purpose as a source of information. Brant and Bronwyn flirted a bit and Brant asked her about her mark. She told him that she thinks they are all meant to go and find the Red Cow together - Brant, Barak and her.
Kimmel meanwhile began his investigations into the death of Vengel by examining the body. He got a sniff of the poison that Vengel had been given in his cup. Purdyn also got and sniff and indicated he wanted to talk. Outside he told Kimmel that Vengel was the last one - Ferl's one. Kimmel asked him to be a bit more precise and Purdyn said that they'd been looking for Ferl's ward for some time and that they'd missed Vengel before, but it was clear that he was Kimmel's half brother now. Kimmel was even more determined to find the killer and tried to track the poisoner but could not get the trail. He asked Purdyn to go and check out all the hearths.
Purdyn came back a while later and said he'd got the scent of the poison in the Mistami longhouse. He lead Kimmel to the furs of the culprit and Kimmel got his scent. He then followed it out to the west of the Red Cow lands where he found Torvald Mistami with two other Cottars. Torvald looked dazed and unresponsive and when Kimmel asked to take him back to the Stead they didn't object as he'd been useless all morning. Kimmel lead the unresisting Torvald back to the stead and noticed that he had a green dart in the back of his neck. On taking it out he noted it had an intricate design - and he recognised it as belonging to Dragonewts. He went back and told Alia Garmund what he'd found out in confidence, and she ordered Torvald to be held. Alia promised not to reveal the secret of Vengel's fatherhood.
Next when Brin came back Kimmel when and told him what he'd learnt.
That evening a Clan council was held whereby Tarkal demanded Torvald's death. Kimmel and the others argued for mercy as he was under the influence of hallucinagenic drugs at the time, but Tarkal would have nothing of it, demading his death for his son. Janerra Mistami argued for mercy for her nephew. Orlav suggested the test of Orlanth be applied in this case and others argued in the favour of this. So a vote of the full council was held on Torvald's punishment, which voted against the Clan Chief and for a test of Orlanth.
So it was that Orlav rose up to a height of 200 metres in the sky with Torvald still under the influence of drugs and dropped him. Torvald was not able to fly and fell to his death. Tarkal roared with delight at the sight of his son's killer on the ground.
|Wild Day, Stasis Week
||Preparations were well underway for the Orlanth Holy day and everyone was busy with their individual preparations. Kimmel decided to head off and track the Dragonewt tracks. He found that the headed north across the river and then north-west towards the Rainbow Clan lands. Realising that they must be heading towards his half sister Islyn he decided to try and warn her. He approached carefully detecting that there were Dragonewt tracks in the area. Fearing for his sister he made himself known to the guards and asked to see her. They asked him to be quiet and led him to a side hut where he waited to meet his sister. She told him that a deputation had arrived from the Blue Boar Fort that were trying to persuade the Clan to muster for the tribe in their dispute with the Red Cow Clan. She told Kimmel that they'd probably try to stall for a while. Kimmel meanwhile told his half sister to beware of the Dragonewts and their agents who may act under the influence of a drug. Kimmel had Purdyn sniff out the hearths and talk to Islyn's alynx to ensure she was well guarded before returning to the Red Cow stead. There he told the others of the designs of the Rain Blossom Clan.
|Gods Day, Stasis Week
||Preparations for the Holy day continued as the weather became more blustery.
Freeze Day, Movement Week
Orlanth Holy Day
The day of the High Holy day of Orlanth was windy, rainy and perfect as the first main storm of the season. Tarkal ensured that Barak's hands were tied to try and ensure that his chances of survival were minimised. Turruk had one last word with his son, advising him to talk to the spirits. Orlav took Barak way above the clouds and up to a height of 400 metres into the cold and called out to Orlanth before he dropped him. Barak headed down towards his death, but was caught on the way down by air daimoines who guided him safely down to earth. Turruk and Brant went over to Barak and Brant asked the Daimoines why they'd saved him. They replied in a whisper that he would help bridge the divide with the lost one and bring him back into the fold. Brant pressed them for the name of the lost one, but they would or could not reveal it. After that he went to collect his and Orlav's winnings on the bet they'd had on Barak's survival. At 10-1 odds they'd made a handsome profit!
Brant went round trying to collect his winnings. One fellow said that he would pay once he had collected from the others who had bet against Barak. The other was strangely missing and Brant went round to demand of the Bloodline that the rascal pay his debt by the next day.
Meanwhile Turruk prepared his familly and Daranor to leave the Clan. He had already been given permission to leave, so he did so with all speed. The guards who encountered them on the western borders of the Red Cow lands could not wait for them to leave and came back to the vilage to report it. Talk was of the buring of their house and Orlav did not disuade them of this deed. Bronwyn tried to persuade Brant that they would have need of Barak and that he should go and get them back. Kimmel and Orlav were not completely convinced however that the prophecy of the three would have anything to do with them, and instead they sought to send an emissary to Dangerford to try and raise the Cinsina tribe in defense from the attack of the Dinacoli tribe.
Brant decided to go off and talk to the dryad. Amongst talk of the ways of Aldrya, he discovered that the Dryads tree was still disturbed by tainted soil. Further questioning showed that the threat of Chaos had not been completely lifted. Jinna was summoned to the circle and checked each of the stones. The one that had been purified in the ritual was still cleansed, but the other six were all infected with chaos. Jinna could not complete the ritual without Barak's help and she said that they would need him back. Brant came back to talk with the others and this time persuaded them that they needed to persuade Turruk to bring his son back.
Turruk meanwhile stopped by at Dangerford and spoke to Ivar Quickstep whom he had known some time in trading. He warned Ivar that there might be some cattle raiding following the loses in bets of various people in the Red Cow tribe and told him that he was going back to Pavis. After going north across the bridge he saw a warrior approaching from the West. This turned out to be Cormac whom Turruk was surprised and delighted to see. Turruk told him all that had happened in the Red Cow Clan since he'd left and why they were currently leaving. Cormac said that he gone to kill the Necromancer in the swamp but that he would not meet him. His minions had attacked him constantly and he had been forced to withdraw. Then he'd heard of the Kingdom of War to the West (which was in a constant state of War) and he had gone to fight against it. He would still have been there had he not encountered the Dragonewt Perfect Master who had come to give a warning to Barak and Turruk. They should not trust the Dragonewts but they should trust the Dragonewts. Perfect Master urged Cormac to go west and tell Turruk that it was time for the return and that Barak and the Red Cow Clan should do it. Now Cormac did not trust the Dragonewts either, but felt that he had to come and tell his friend this.
Meanwhile back in the village they sought Alia Garmund to get her to locate Turruk. They found that he was north of the village across the river. Orlav could fly Kimmel across the river and they could catch up with them before the end of the night. Before they left Orlav told Skye that the Lunar Priestes no longer had the protection of the tribe and was out there to the north of the river somewhere. Skye departed hastily after that as Kimmel and Orlav continued to debate on their way forward before finally flying across the river.
Kimmel coughed as he approached Turruk and started to try and persuade him. Orlav however was not helping the negotiations and at one point it nearly got to blows with Turruk aiming an arrow at Orlav. As a consequence Orlav headed off up to the Godplane for a while, where he discovered that the condition of the apples had not improved. As they talked Barak began talking to the fire spirits. Once he'd finished Turruk persuaded Daranor to take Kimmel on a walk, talking to him about his theories of the three. Meanwhile Turruk spoke to Barak about what the fire spirits had said. They had told him that he must go back to the Stead, but they did not say why. Turruk told him that if they went back he must obey him at all times, but after that he would be free to do as he wanted.
Turruk made several stipulations in coming to agreement with the Red Cow Clan. Brin must swear an Oath to protect Turruk and his son whilst in the Clan. They must have a boat ferry them across and his familly was to be provided for whilst they stayed in between the fork of the river. Finally Orlav was not to be near the ceremony when Barak did his stuff.
Kimmel went to find Brin, and found him in his cups at the wake after Vengel's funeral. He got him to promise that he would protect Turruk and Barak when they came back to the Clan. Then he went to find Jinna and eventually located her with the other Earth Priestesses. They seemed to have been having some kind of debate about Tarkal whom it seemed had been behaving quite strangely at Vengel's funeral, ranting at people randomly. Kimmel asked whether they could do the ritual en masse, and Jinna replied that they would need to do each stone individually.
Meanwhile Orlav went to see the boatman to get him to prepare one of the rafts for the next morning.
|Water Day, Movement Week
Next morning Taryliss told Turruk that she had had a dream from the White Goddess. She said that she had told her that a new Priestess of the White Goddess would be born to an "Earth Priestess of the Red". She also told her to see the missing gold leaf from the temple in the Godplane as the moon would never turn until it was recovered. They needed to seek it in the place that you cannot go.
Turruk then gave his son a lesson in sword play before heading to the river. Orlav had brought the raft downstream as promised and Brin was ferried across where he promised that he would kill anyone who interfered with them whilst they were with the Clan.
There was no sign of Tarkal all day and meanwhile the Priestesses prepared for the ceremony. That night the ceremony was performed with Orlav and Kimmel keeping a watch out for any chaos incursions. Orlav also started keeping an eye out for Skye too as he was expecting her to turn up looking for Taryliss. The ceremony when well and the newly cleansed stone was reburied in position.
|Clay Day, Movement Week
Next morning Tarkal finally emerged and began ranting against chaos and the Lunars. It was generally felt that he would settle down soon after his had got over the grief.
Orlav decided that he would head off to Dangerford to go an try and elicit support against the Rain Blossom Clan. On his way he met a delegation led by a man called Gourion who was going to present a ransom demand for Skye who had insulted several members of the Dolutha Clan calling them Lunar loving bastards.
When getting to Dangerford Orlav was taken to Ivar Quickstep and he soon discovered that Ivar did not like Tarkal much. Vague promises of support were given, but nothing specific. Orlav was then insulted by being offered water for his journey back to the Red Cow Clan.
|Winds Day, Movement Week
Brant decided to ask around about what had happened twenty years ago to try and see if he could find an event that might give them a clue to who had betrayed the Clan. However all he got was a lot of very ancient gossip. Jinna was busy preparing for the next ritual and did not have time to talk with him.
Brin went off to go to Dangerford with a bunch of cows in tow to get back his wayward daughter Skye and Orlav went off in the God Plane.
Talking of cows Brant recovered the 50 cows from one of his debtors, the other one was still mysteriously missing.
That evening the second ceremony went off without hitch.
|Fire Day, Movement Week
Brant's attempts to get the remaining cows he was owed from his betting took him to see the head of the man's bloodline. He grudgingly gave the cows to Brant and told him that his nephew had been expelled from the bloodline as a result of his behaviour, and asked Brant to tell them if he saw the man again.
Tarkal gradually emerged and seemed better than he was if somewhat quiet. Rumours abounded that his wife had drugged him to clam him down. Other rumours suggested that he had withdrawn within himself as a result of his son's death. Whatever the truth it was good to see him somewhat recovered.
That evening the third ceremony went off without a hitch.
|Wild Day, Movement Week
||Little happened during the day and the fourth ceremony was completed successfully that evening.
|Gods Day, Movement Week
During the day Turruk announced that he and his familly wished to travel south through the Clan's lands and he sought permission to do so. Still requiring his help the Clan had little choice but to agree to his request.
The fifth cleansing ritual was completed without problem.
|Freeze Day, Illusion Week
The sixth ritual was completed early evening and Orlav returned announcing that the Apple Orchard was now starting to recover. A celebration started that night in the Stead which Brant partook with gusto.
Turruk announced that he and his familly were leaving straight away and Daranor got a small green metallic spider out of his bag and they started to follow it. Inquisitive Kimmel walked alongside and asked Daranor about it. He told Kimmel that Cormac had received it from a Dragonewt that he had known in the past and was told to give it to Turruk. Where it would lead them he did not know, but he and his familly kept on walking all night to get out of Red Cow lands.
Meanwhile the Red Cow folks were celebrating the ridding of the chaos infection. Orlav decided try and talk to the Uroxi to see if the could sense any chaos in any of the tribe, however after the Uroxi he talked to wasn't particually bright or particually helpful. Jinna had been celebrating and was very drunk after her success. She came up to Kimmel and slurringly propositioned him. Against character Kimmel decided to lead her back to the Ernalda temple and put her to bed. He then went off and found the merry widow for more excitement. Meanwhile Brant sought out Bronwyn who was studying people at the celebration. They talked about who was responsible for the chaos infection, but neither yet had a good idea how to root them out.
|Water Day, Illusion Week
The next day Brant went to see Alia Garmund to try and see whether they could determine the time the infection was made on the remaining stones or who had made it. It was discovered that Verle Hillstemmer dug the stones up on Tarkal's orders and after they were checked by Verle in public they were taken to Tarkal's Longhouse for 3 days where they were put into a strongbox. Alia was certain that Tarkal had a key but was not sure who else did. She said she would ask Lhankor Mhy a divintaion as to who was the first person to open the chest after the stones were put in there.
Orlav checked that the Ernaldan Priestesses were doing more to protect the stones by talking to Hetiga. She said that they had set Earth elementals to protect the stones on top of the three guards. Orlav asked if there was any more they could do and Hetiga said that they could ask the stones what they felt. It would not be a particually human's perspective, but they might get something. Orstalla the Hearth mistress performed the ritual which showed that after it was dug up and put in the box it was later taken out.
Going back to Alia Garmund they waited for her to finish before asking what she had found. She said that she had seen a figure who she described as the key master. Brant asked about who had made the trunk, and Alia confirmed that it had been the Blacksmith Guldulfosson. They went to talk to Tarkal who confirmed that he and his wife had a key to the trunk. Brant decided to go fetch the Brin to listen to the answers. Brin was preparing a cattle raid on the Dolutha to get the cows back he lost when he had to get his daughter back, but he said he could spare a little time. Guldulfosson said that he couldn't exactly remember everything, but thought he'd made only two keys as it was what he would normally have done. One went to Tarkal and one to his wife. Tarkal confirmed that this was the case although later Brin said that Tarkal was holding something back.
After the chat in Tarkal's hut Kimmel saw Jinna coming towards him slightly hung over. She said she wanted to talk to him about last night. She apologised for her behaviour last night and said she could understand why Kimmel wouldn't want to be with a dryed up woman like her. WIth that she walked away sadly.
Meanwhile after a morning's rest Turruk and his familly continued on following the beatle until they got to a cave with three armed Dragonewts outside it. After a brief discussion with Cormac (who favoured the direct approach) it was decided that Daranor would go in and try to draw one of them away with a story about seeing "Rescued from a Pit" still walking. The Dragonewts merely ignored him, meaning that Turruk was forced to resort to plan Cormac. Turruk and Cormac attacked, killing their Dragonewts whilst Taryliss meanwhile harmonized the other one. Cormac told Turruk that the remaining Dragonewt was under his protection and was to be tied up. Meanwhile Turruk saw that behind a reddish magical barrier was another Dragonewt. He correctly identified it as "Smiles without Grace" and persuaded him to lower the barrier. They went inside and spoke to the Dragonewt who told them that the other Dragonewts were after him as he was born right handed - he had been born wrong and they were afraid of him. When asked if there was anyone else in the cave "Smiles" said there was only himself in there with him. He also showed Turruk and Daranor a painting at the back of the cave with some writing underneath. The painting was of a villa (called Wrymghost) with a Dragon over the top of it flaming the humans underneath. The writing said "And they did great evil for which they were made to pay - so the knowledge was hidden from them and all was wiped from Glorantha and sent to the place that was not." Turruk questioned Smiles further and Smiles related his story to Daranor, Cormac, Turruk and his family.
Meanwhile back in the Red Cow stead Orlav, Kimmel and Brant were debating what to do about flushing out the chaos traitor. It was suggested that they get everyone in the village to line up and state they did not do it with the truth cultists watching over, but various people in the village including Brin Torkenson felt that they would not stand for this as this was tantamount to being accused of being chaotic. Bronwyn came over then and slapped Brant in the face. She exclaimed "Why didn't you tell me about Vengel!". Brant looked perplexed and Bronwyn went on to explained that Jinna talked in her sleep and had blurted out that she'd seen Kimmel's father with Tarkal's wife. She'd questioned her next morning and found out the full truth of the matter. Brant said that he hadn't known about it and proceeded to ask her if she would let him court her. She said he would have to ask her father's permission first. Getting back together with the others Bronwyn said that they could use this to get at Tarkal and needle him. Bronwyn seemed to have something unspecified against Tarkal and seemed to think this was a good suggestion. Brant was in favour as well. Kimmel was nervous how Tarkal would react when he heard and felt he should be well clear of Tarkal's rage.
Orlav felt it was a silly suggestion that would not achieve anything except causing pain to Tarkal. He decided that if they were going to put this plan into action he would head off up to the Godplane. Whilst he was there tidying up the Orchard he saw a spectral Dragon who spoke to him in riddles. Orlav had said to it "Can you talk" and the Dragon had replied "Can you?" It became clear that it was talking about speaking Draconic which was no longer possible. The Dragon said to him that soon this limit might be overcome.
Back at the Red Cow Brant decided to go and talk with Bronwyn's father. The old man was in his sixties and artheritic. Brant asked him if he could court his daughter and the old man said that as long as Bronwyn had no objections he was free to do so. Brant decided to try starting the rumour of Vengel's parentage with Bronwyn's father. He said he wasn't surprised as he thought that Tarkal was a nasty piece of work who had been systematically self promoting himself for many years. He also said that Tarkal had had a number of foreign visitors over the years that he kept much to himself. Brant got the impression that Bronwyn's father shared the family dislike of Tarkal, but also suffered from a poor memory. So just to be certain he spread the gossip a bit further to ensure that it got out. A little later the gossip had got back to Tarkal and he came out and threatened he would kill anyone who repeated it.
When Orlav came back, he and Kimmel decided that they would head off the next morning to see if they could find the Dragonewt "Smiles without Grace" as he would lead them to Yinkin's mirror. They decided to go south to look for him.
Meanwhile back in the cave to the South Turruk began thinking that he needed to find where the three parts of the key were. He asked Smiles if he new where the key was. Smiles said that he could tell that one part was here, but to trace the other parts he would need to cast a ritual. Smiles performed a strange ritual dance that ended up with him walking in a peculiar way to the north west - back towards the Red Cow clan. As they nearer Red Cow lands Turruk decided that enough was enough and they needed to stop Smiles. Cormac lifted Smiles up, but his legs kept moving. Tarelyss then offered to cast a mind calming spell that she thought might work. On completion of the spell Smiles came out of the trance. As it was late Turruk decided to camp there and try looking for the third part of the key next morning.
|Clay Day, Illusion Week
Next morning Turruk got Smiles to look for the third part of the key and found that Smiles was heading for the Red Cow village again. He decided to triangulate and went east further and got Smiles to try again. Yet again Smiles headed for the Red Cow Clan. Turruk had a sinking feeling about it all and started to head east towards the ruins. Smiles told him to beware as without the key people approaching the villa would be killed by Ghostly Dragons.
Orlav and Kimmel tracked south and spotted Turruk's group from the air. They approached and started talking. It was clear that although both groups needed each other there was a great deal of distrust. Turruk said that he needed to talk to Brant and Orlav promised that he would go back and fetch him.
Back in the Stead Brant decided that he would try and find Tarkal's wife. He was told she'd headed off to the river with some washing so he went where he was indicated, but only found an empty basket of washing. So he headed back to the village and got a scout to go look for her. The scout reported back that he couldn't find her either and would report this. Orlav flew in and asked Brant to go with him to see Turruk. Brant said there was one thing he had to do before he left and he nipped off to ask Bronwyn for a date before he left. She agreed to an evening walk the night after.
Orlav led Brant back to where Turruk and his group were waiting. The group discussed their comon goals and spent much more time discussing there differences and motivations for going to the Wyrmghost ruins. It was eventually agreed that Turruk and Barak would meet the group back here with the other two parts of the key two days hence (as Brant didn't want to break his date - but not tell Turruk why).
Turruk was suspicious of why Brant would not go now and spoke to his wife about his distrust. She suggested that Cormac, Daranor and her took the children to Duke Jonas Wulf where she thought they would be safe. If Turruk kept the communication device he could talk to Daranor and call for help if they were being betrayed. Turruk made sure that Barak knew how to use it in case he was killed. He then walked part way to Stonewall with his family to ensure they were not attacked by Telmori.
Kimmel meanwhile decided to avoid the Stead and went scouting Telmori lands with Purdyn. It seemed that Telmori scouts were out and about still, but there were not large groups around.
Orlav and Brant went back to the village. The remaining Inner council were meeting to discuss Alia Gramund's vision of Tarkal's wife. They came out of conclave some 15 minutes later and Brin told Orlav and Brant they suspected she was dead as her spirit was no longer in he mortal world. Orlav pointed out that this could be for several reasons and not necessarily as she was dead. Brant sent off a more competant scout to find her and guards were placed on Tarkal's longhouse as a precaution. The scout returned sometime later to say that he hd found the body and dragged it a way back up river. It looked like she had drowned. Brant went to collect the body and confirmed that it had died of drowning. By the time he got back Alia Garmund had performed a "See Past Events" and confirmed she had committed suicide.
That evening at the wake for Tarkal's wife, Tarkal was noticably absent. The atmosphere was muted as the death was not an honourable one, and the party was not going with a swing. Not wishing to leave it alone Brant went to see Tarkal and found him in a trance by his bed. Takal failed to respond to all of Brant's promptings and pep talks, and finally Brant said he'd leave him a beer and left. He told the guards to let no one else in there.
Worried about Tarkal he found Orlav and suggested that he talk to the Clan Wyter and get him to check if the Chief's spirit was still there. They headed out to the stone circle and Orlav contacted the Clan Wyter (who had by now regained his faculties). The Clan Wyter went to check Tarkal and returned to say that he was dead. Going back to the village Brant was immediately suspect number one as he had told the guards to let no one else in. Brin asked him not to leave the village until this was cleared up and announced that there would need to be a special council tonight to elect a new member of the Inner Clan Council and a new Clan Chief.
Brant was cleared of killing Tarkal (who had his sword in his guts) after Alia Garmund did another "See Past Events". It seemed that the death of his son and his wife had finally pushed Tarkal over the edge and rumours started of a curse on the Mahjammer family.
At the Clan Council Brin Torkenson took charge and asked for candidates to be nominated. Orlav was nominated first, followed by Brant's father Alwyck Reaver. Then the old Clan Chief Pietre Bullhorn was nominated and finally an old embittered Orlanthi warrior named Loricon Ulanor. Each made empassioned speeches and then the full Clan council voted. Orlav was elected by a small margin from Alwyck (who had offered free beer) with Loricon and Pietre getting a much smaller share of the vote.
Orlav was congratulated on his election and then then the Inner Council went into private session to discuss who would be the new Clan Chief. Orlav announced that he would need to go to the Godplane to listen to the will of Orlanth before he would decide. When he came back he announced that he saw growth, new life and a fish coming out of the water, thus he would be voting for the Elmal worshipper Taldon Salmonleaper. The vote was close betwenn Taldon and Brin, with Taldon winning 4-3.
After the election Orlav had various Clansmen come up to him with issues they wanted his help in solving.
|Winds Day, Illusion Week
Next morning Orlav had several young ladies and their fathers at his door. He was newly divorced and as a member of the Inner Clan ring was now a good catch for a political marriage. As such he was all of a sudden quite popular.
Brant was himself busy preparing for his date that night. He decided to go and tell Skye Torkenson that he was no longer available. She was not devastated, saying that she would not want him anyway. Brant also considered having a bath in the river.
That night Brant took Bronwyn on a long walk where they kissed and showed each other their tatooes.
|Fire Day, Illusion Week
Next morning Brant, Bronwyn an Orlav headed out to meet Turruk and Kimmel. Brant advised Kimmel on what had happened in the village whilst he was gone. They were somewhat surprised to see only Turruk, Barak and Smiles waiting for them. Cormac, Daranor and Turruk's family were strangely absent. Turruk said he was expecting a number of warriors from the village. Kimmel said they were expecting Cormac. Brant assured them that he would be able to handle anything that came against them.
It did not take long for this to be demonstrated as the group soon spotted a group of ten tailed Priest Dragonewts riding demi birds coming their way. They hid Barak and Smiles in the bullrushes by the river. As Brant and Orlav when up to talk to the lead Dragonewt they fanned out around the group. The lead Dragonewt demanded that they hand over Smiles with Grace to them so that they could kill him. Orlav in return said that they might do a deal on it. The Dragonewts to release Kimmel's father in return for them giving the Dragonewts Smiles without Grace to do with as they will. Turruk protested that they might still need Smiles, but the deal was done anyway. The lead Dragonewt created a cloud around his head and appeared to be communicating with someone. Then after he had finished he said "It is done". The Dragonewts began heading for the river as Smiles jumped into the river. The two nearest jumped off their Demi-birds and cleaved Smiles in two.
The group continued to follow the river up into the hills when up ahead Purdyn and Kimmel spotted a group of 6 Telmori washing blood off their fur in the river. As Brant got closer he spotted that one of the Telmori had a trinket around his neck. Brant knew that trinket well. It had belonged to his brother. "That one's mine" he shouted as he charged forward. Orlav flew swiftly to try and keep up and the others fired arrows. Brant ended up facing three Telmori and Orlav faced two (Bronwyn's first arrow killed one of them). Brant struggled in the face of superior numbers and he then eventually went down. He gave as good as he got and most of the Telmori were wounded. By the time Brant went down Turruk and Orlav arrived to finish the other two off. The third remaining Telmori was felled by the substance that Bronwyn used to coat her arrows. After Bronwyn healed Brant, he went and tortured the Telmori. Unable to speak to each other he had no luck in finding out what happened to his brother, so he just took his brother circlet and a few trophies to show his father.
The group then continued on until they got to an area which was littered with rubble. Ahead of them Kimmel could spot a ruin in the darkness. Directly in the way was an odd shaped stone with three holes. Kimmel went and caught a lot of game which they cooked and ate for supper. Then they set watch overnight (in case the bats that flew over got Orlav).
|Wilds Day, Illusion Week
Next morning they tried investigating the stone. Turruk confirmed that it was the key. They tried putting the three's body parts into the various holes, but each combination they tried did not seem to work. Orlav could still sense through powerful Dragon spirits over towards the mansion.
After several attempts (including one that involved bloodletting) the group worked out that they needed to put magic into the stone as the put their birthmarks into the hole to turn the lock. A flash of light went into the sky and Orlav sensed that the Dragons were now gone. Brant headed in to the villa only to be confronted by a powerful spirit that nearly annihilated him. His insistance on walking out rather than running was nearly a fatal decision. Bronwyn volonteered to go in and take on the spirit as a Priestess she was magically powerful. Bronwyn beat down the spirit and they decided to rest for a while as Brant was nervous about encountering another spirit.
Cautiously the group entered the courtyard where they saw a fountain in the centre still spurting water into the air. There were a number of doors, but the group decided to head into the large double doors ahead of them. The room was old and dusty and had a large painting of a semi Dragonewt / semi human opposite. There were two chaise-longues, one of which had a skeliton on it. In the right corner was a spider's web with a very large spider on it. The group decided to withdraw and planned to draw it out and attack it outside. Brant went forward and had the forsight to look up as it went to the door. There was the spider sitting above the door. Brant went back. A new plan was formed to smoke it out, and several flaming arrows were sent into the room to burn up the chaise-longue. The smoke meant that they could not see a thing in the room.
The group decided to explore the remainder of the villa. All of it was old and dusty. Many of the rooms were falling apart. The library had a number of books that crumbled in their hand. There were three bedrooms with old decrepid beds. One had a female skeliton on it that Brant claimed the ring from it's finger. Turruk confirmed that it was magical, but could not say what type of magic it was. The kitchen contained little but moldy food and a cauldron, and the conservatory had a load of very dangerous plants as Bronwyn confirmed. The final room contained a large oak table with a silver candlestick on it, mirror and chairs and had five pictures in it. These showed a city scene, a scene of a ship loading spices, a Dragon in flight, an Angel like figure touching a man, and a battle scene between some dark skinned barbarians and the city like folk. Turruk tried detecting magic on everything in there but was no magic present there.
The group decided to go an investigate the room with the spider in it only to find that the spider had gone and that the room was now empty. A search of the room revealed nothing special and everyone was at a loss as they had not found the mirror of Yinkin as expected.
After thinking for a while they decided to investigate the fountain and could not find anything about it, until they did a detect magic and found concealing magic on it. Bronwyn did a dispel magic and they found a lever that enabled the fountain to lift and move sideways (the fountain stopped as it moved).
The group decided to rest up again overnight in case they met any more spirits down under the fountain, and they rested up in the room with the table. Kimmel and Purdyn tracked the spider a long way into the forest and he concluded that they were probably safe.
|Gods Day, Illusion Week
Next day the group cautiously went down the spiral steps into the darkness. Kimmel (who put up his Cat's eyes feat) went first and found a room with statues and lots of doors. The remainder of the group followed with crudely made torches and they decided to explore a room to the north first. This had ten rooms that could not be opened that looked like cells, and two rooms at the end with beds in them.
The room to the west contained a sulphurous beast rune in a circle and a dias with a book on it. The book was written in Draconic and so could not be read but had several pages ripped out. There was a skelital body in the corner that had a set of keys on it.
The group decided to check the other doors out first before trying the keys. They found an old disgusting privy, a long corridoor and a large room with another large long table in it with strange pointed structures in the centre. The room had four paintings in it. One was a battle between the city folk and some trolls, one was of Orlanth slaying Yelm with Death, one was of Yinkin as Tol seducing Tarhelera, and the final one was of a city that was identified underneath as Salor. There were four statues of dragonewts in the room but to the groups relief none of them animated.
The group then decided to open the "cell doors". Many of them were empty, but one contained the skeliton of a dead human, one the skeliton of a deformed Dragonewt, one the skeliton of a double headed creature that could have been chaotic. The final one contained the still living body of a half human / dragonewt that was in some kind of suspended animation. The group decided to come back later to this and explore the rest of the complex.
The group found a huge temple with a statue to Orlanth Draconis and several statues to humans and Dragonewts. The shrine area had two waterfalls going down to the statue. Orlav mentioned that the shrine had not been despoiled and so Brant prayed at it that they would get the Red Cow back.
The rooms on the other side were all servants quarters with straw pallets on the floor and a broom cupboard with some candles in that they used to light their way. There were three rooms that used to be bathing rooms, followed by a weapons training room. Next was some kind of magical lab with all the equipment smashed in and lots of liquids on the floor. Tuuruk decided to go in and see how long he could last in that room.
Next door to this was some kind of seminar room with a series of stone steps that could be sat on, a 10 foot pit and a raised lecture area. On the other side was a circular room completely covered by mirrors. Turruk checked but could find no magic in the room. The final room was a messy study area with some bookcases. There were 5 books of interest in there that Brant decided to take. Their titles were "History of Dragon Pass", "On the Invisible God", "Musings of the Third Council", "Heresies of the God Learners", and a book of accounts. Through a door in that room was a well appointed but messy bedchamber.
Since they could find nothing else of interest they decided to see if they could wake up the sleeper in the cells. Brant and Orlav were ready with weapons in case it turned nasty as Bronwyn cast a dispel magic. The sleeper slowly awoke and when asked answered in a strange accent that it's name was Klum. It had been imprisoned here by the "master" Sangor whom was cruel to him and had said that he was a "failure" and "not perfect". They asked him to confirm that it was Sangor's body in the summoning room and he said that he thought it was. They asked him if he knew of the mirror of Yinkin and he Klum said that the mster had mentioned a mirror as one of his treasures that he kept in his secret vault. He was going to use the mirror on Klum if he had been what he was expecting. As a failure though the master had cast a spell on Klum and that was the last thing that he remebered.
The group decided that Sangor's secret vault must have been close to his study and began searching. Eventually Turruk found a secret catch behind one of the mirrors in the circular mirror room and prepared to investigate further.
Upon opening the catch they found a small anti-chamber with a vault. The vault had a dial with a number of runes carved on it. Turruk said that in his experience of such things in Pavis these things usually had a combination of 3 or 4 symbols. Orlav then correctly guessed the sequence as Dargonewt, Man, Beast, EWF first time and unlocked the vault door. Inside the group found a hoard of treasure. The treasure contained an iron tipped Javelin, a necklace with four coloured stones, a diamond pendant, three klanths, 380 gold EWF coins, a gold crown, a chain link belt, 12 scrolls written in Draconic, a box, a mirror and a bag of seeds. Brant and Orlav started to divide up the loot whilst Turruk did some detect magics on it.
Brant discussed with the other Orlanthi about leaving Turruk behind as they could not trust his motives for going to the Netherworld. However none of them was certain that they would not need him there so decided against forcing the issue now.
Kimmel began experimenting with the mirror, first of all trying to see other things in it, then he tried putting magic points in it. Finally he tried seeing the Red Cow in the mirror reflected in Yinkin's mirror. He did this and saw that they brought back the Red Cow, but that he was carrying Purdyn's corpse. He also saw himself becoming a cult hero, but his remaining familly all being killed. Finally he saw his father being rescued from the Dragonewts, but that he was never able to find true love. He went and had a talk with Purdyn about it.Purdyn said that he was not scared of death and that it would happen to them all eventually, besides what he sw in the mirror might not be true. Kimmel suggested that Purdyn not come with him to try to avoid it coming true. Purdyn said that he would go and try and find Kimmel's father now that he had been freed by the Dragonewts.
Then the others tried looking in the mirrors in the same way. Orlav saw him coming back with the others with the Red Cow, but felt that he had lost his Godtalker powers. Looking again he saw himself returning the lost member of the Orlanthi pantheon to the world, but his children had died. Lastly he saw himself able to speak to Dragonewts but that he was thrown off the Clan council and out of the Clan for his betraytal.
Turruk saw himself returning with the gold leaf but he was defending himself from the spirits of reprisal from Issaries. He also looked further and saw himself heading the restoration of Pavis but slowly going mad. He also saw himself recovering the lost art of speaking Draconic, but his familly were captured by the Lunars and tortured. Turruk looked at what would happen if he returned with the Red Cow and he also saw the death of Barak. Finally he looked at what would happen if he completed his transformation and he saw himself as a half human, half Dragon but that his wife and familly had left him.
Brant saw himself coming back with the Red Cow, but he was crippled and captured by the Lunars much later in a battle. He saw himself becoming leader of the Clan, but that Bronwyn died during the course of his rise to power. He also saw himself as a Hero of Yavor Lightning, but that he was exiled from the Clan. He also decided to look for what would happen if he came back with the Gold leaf, and he saw the Red Cow clan accepting and allowing the worship of the White Moon Goddess.
Both Barak and Bronwyn also looked into the mirror and saw things that shocked them. Turruk took Barak aside and spoke to him about what he had seen. Brant decided against asking her in detail about what she had seen, but when asked she confirmed that one line she had seen contained Brant's death.
They decided to also get Klum to look into the mirror and asked him what he saw. He said that he saw himself leading a great army of humans and Dragonewts. The group decided it was best if he did not go through the mirror with him and asked him to wait there at least a day for their return.
They decided to rest up for 6 hours to recover their magic before using the mirror.
On going through the mirror Brant, Bronwyn, Orlav, and Kimmel all decided to think of recovering the Red Cow. Turruk and Barak both thought of recovering the gold leaf. The group appeared in a totally black void and were falling. Kimmel had the presence of mind to cast his cats eyes as he went through and he could see Barak falling in the distance. He manouvered over towards him then called out to him calming him down. Orlav fell and to his dismay found that he could not fly or call upon his God nor like the others except Kimmel could he see.
Similarly Brant could not do any of his feats and continued falling until he landed on a piece of land that Bronwyn had created using her magic. She was struggling to keep it going as she had to concerntrate hard. Brant explored the land (as well as Bronwyn) finding that it was Bronwyn's time of the cycle and that the land was made of black grass and that you could easily fall off it.
Barak also discovered how to make land with his mind and Kimmel and he landed safely on it. Several failed attempts later and Kimmel worked out how to use Yinkin's mirror to give him a true path to Bronwyn. He then guided Barak as Barak moved the land along the path until they docked their land with Brant's. They then agreed to go and look for Orlav using the same method with Barak and Bronwyn taking turns to move the land towards Orlav.
Orlav meanwhile was having problems of his own. A gravelly voice in the darkness called out to him saying that he would be taking him to the master. Orlav told the thing he could not see where he was going and drew his sword. He tried chopping at a tentacle that came towards him, but just found that his sword was now a bit lighter.
Kimmel and the group approached him, but could never quite close the distance on him. So Brant got some rope from Turruk and lowered it down for Orlav shouting at the top of his voice so that Orlav would cling onto the rope. They pulled him up, out of the way from the void creature. They moved away from the creature as quickly as they could. Kimmel decided to get a trail direct to the Red Cow. However Barak had an idea of his own and said that he was taking them to a friend. A debate ensued as they were chased by the Void creature, and then ahead of them they could see a bright land with five towers on it. Barak was heading straight for it and the debate around him concluded that it was probably better than the creature behind them. A bright being came out from the land and attacked the void creature that fled before it.
Barak piloted the land to dock at the bright land. The group were escorted in by the bright being that called itself Valmai. Inside the stockade were five towers representing the 5 elements. Valmai led them to the central tower representing the earth where the God Ordja had made his home. Ordja explained that he had been here in the Netherworld ever since the compromise of time. He had not participated in it, being far to busy in his studies and as a result was flund from the world into the Netherworld with Narshan. He was looking for a way to get back to the world, but to prevent Narshan from achieving the same thing.
He was asked about the Red Cow and he told them that it along with all the other valuable things here was probably in Narshan's fortress. Brant wanted to know about it and so Ordja sketched them a diagram. He said that Narshan had many hundred void creatures and vastly outnumbered him, but his power was lessened the further away from the fortress. Narshan had so far stopped short of attacking him here as he was uncertain about victory. Narshan was stronger than Ordja and he was loathe to attack him, but for a chance to use the mirror to escape from here he was willing to try to allow them to get in and get the Red Cow.
Ordja asked Orlav whether he as a Godtalker would intercede with Orlanth for him to try and allow him back. Orlav agreed to do this and Ordja fixed his sword for him. The group agreed that if Ordja would take on Narshan so that they could sneak the Red Cow out of Narshan's fortress then Kimmel would return later to help free Ordja from the Netherworld. Ordja gave the group Valmai to guide them as a light source as they would not be able to see otherwise. He also told them more about the magic items that they had brought with them from the villa.
Later as the others were resting up, Turruk talked with Barak and then they both went to talk to Ordja. An agreement seemed to be made and then a little while later Ordja did something to Turruk that caused him to cry out in pain for some 5 minutes.
The others meanwhile discussed their plans together.
Brant suggested that perhaps Ordja could create a copy of the Mirror. Ordja said that to fool Narshan he would have to create something that was as powerful and he would therefore need something magical to create it. They suugested using the necklace that Turruk had, to which Turruk objected. He said that they should really divide the treasure up fairly and then an argument ensued about how the treasure should be divided. Eventually it was decided to use the scrolls to power the fake mirror. It took three scrolls before Ordja was satisfied and meanwhile Barak spoke to Orlav about his intentions. He told Orlav about his intention to become the Priest of Ordja and asked for Orlav's help. Orlav said he would help, but advised Barak not to rush into things as much could happen between now and getting back to the mortal plane.
Before they left Brant asked Ordja if he would bless their waepons and armour which he said he would do.
Brant's plan was for Ordja to torment and provoke Narshan to a confrontation and for Valmai to light their way into a secret enterance that the mirror would find. They checked how far Ordja could detect the Mirror at and decided they would wait a bit further away than that from Narshan's fortress. An enquiry for more of Ordja's servants was rejected as Ordja told them he would need every resource he could get to survive Narshan's attack.
They could not hear what occurred between Narshan and Ordja, but Narshan's exit from the fortress was plain enough to Kimmel who could see in the dark still. The mirror led them up towards the top of the fortress where they could see the dark liquid coming spurting out of a pipe wide enough for someone to crawl through. The mirror indicated for them to go throught the pipe, and so when the flow stopped they crawled through the pipe trying their best to get as little of the liquid on themselves as possible.
They came out into a large funnel that at it's top led up to the overflow pipe. The room had three exits through shimmering black oily doors. Brant decided to lead the way through one of them recklessly and found himself in a dark room. The others were more cautious and decided to go through hand in hand. They appeared in a completely different room to Brant although he had gone through the same exit. Brant tried going back through the door to the others but appeared somwhere else. Still in the dark he started going through random doors and was saved from various nasty fates by his dangersense.
The others meanwhile found a stairway going down. Kimmel said that the mirror pointed down the staircase and that they should go down there. Bronwyn protested and said that they should go back and look for Brant. Orlav said that he would catch up and that he would not have waited for any of the others. Kimmel carried on down the steps and the step caught his foot and crushed it. Eventually a vote was taken on what they should do and they decided to go back up the stairs to the room at the top. They randomly chose a door and Kimmel went through on a rope. Amazingly he chose the right way and found Brant in a room in some danger. He pulled Brant back through into the room with the staircase, just as one of the Void creatures came through one of the other doorways. Brant charged in without thinking and began to attack the creature. It did not seem particularly affected by his attacks and he took back several blows from the creature before Orlav charged in as well (having cast several magics). Barak also charged in bravely and hit the creature, but not without having been hurt as well. Turruk came to step in front of his son and prevent him from getting hit. Eventually the combined assault killed it as Bronwyn tried to use the box to capture it. Bronwyn wanted to preserve her magic in case they met a spirit, so Barak used some of his to heal Brant. Orlav and himself.
The group then followed the trail in the mirror down the stairs. Kimmel tried to warn them of the trapped stair, but Orlav got caught in the one after though took little damage. Members of the group were hit by several stair traps as they descended but as they became increasingly conscious of them they began to get adept at avoidng them.
At the bottom they went through an ante chamber into a corridoor and found another void creature coming towards them. They attacked it in concert and Bronwyn used the box to capture the creature this time. The bottom contained a maze, but Kimmel confidently navigated them through it using the mirror. They came to a diamond shaped room with four exits that several of the group sensed danger in. Knowing it was a trap they went in anyway and found the four doors closed on them and a gas started to pour in through holes in the walls. The group tried blocking up the holes, before coming up with the idea if trying to force open one of the doors enough to allow Kimmel to slink through a narrow gap using a feat. Kimmel then found the release mechanism and let them out. Kimmel confidently led them down one corridor to a cliff edge with a path leading either wya at the bottom. Sensing the way ahead was up the cliff they sent Valmai up there to see what was up there.
Valmai came back to tell them what he had seen ....
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