Time to write, I have not, nor can I find a voice, so these Exodus posts shall henceforth just be my notes for each session, hard to read as they may be. Perhaps it will give the reader some insight into how my mind organizes information before it is turned into my broken prose, or perhaps not. Perhaps you may even find some of it possible to follow.
Session 5: Bright Colors Means its Poisonous
Altan is raging, Ganbaataar is taking all the beasts
Vadim hooks up with some maggotfolk merchants
they make some nails/bolts to fix the wagons
Breaks Like Wind calls some unseen servants to lash the wagons together
Khut and another of the maggotfolk go hunting
Bring down a wild hornbeast
Notice strange weather -- heat waves in the air
Find Semek's wife in the bushes...
Follow her...staring happens...
She runs for me...I panic...
She vaults over me and runs for camp...
We get back to camp, things are chaotic...
Breaks Like Wind summons "Decoy 9" a thoroughly disreputable bird
Ithunn "handles" Decoy and gets seriously cussed out,
until she chokes him
Breaks sends Decoy to scout out the Black Crow tribe
and tell them "with only 1 insult"
that firebirds are coming at the head of an army of beastmen
Breaks includes a note to be given to the Shaman
telling them drowned river is pulling up and moving out
Decoy flies off narrowly missing a "flying hornbeast"
part of the herd that is forming up outside the camp
floating 30 feet over the ground
everyone runs like crazy to catch it
Ithunn (a maggotfolk girl) runs really-really fast
Khut decides that Semek's wife has nothing on her
Breaks like wind stares at the floating hornbeast through shard of a mirror
reflects himself and the world around him
but over his shoulder in the distance, things grow very very dim,
his reflection mouths the words "They are coming", he shouts it
Khut chases the flying hornbeast on a warbeast and lassos it, snags a leg
Ithunn leaps, grabs the rope, and climbs up
Khut goes up the rope after her
Up close we can see that it looks lacerated along its sides
with "ropes" wrapped around it suckling at the wounds
Vadim ties the rope off to the horn of his saddle
tries to drag the flying hornbeast down,
gets dragged along instead
Squee climbs up (or rides her imaginary pink dragon)
she gets up and screams something about
"IT'S GOT TENTACLES"
Breaks casts grease on the Flying Hornbeast
The hornbeast swings dangerously loose in the air
Then we see 3 massive, bloated, floating spore-like things
with nests of tentacles and horned beaks like flying man-o-wars
They have wrapped all of their tentacles around the beast,
desperately trying to keep it from slipping away
Ithunn gets snagged by a sharp-spined tentacle
It bites Khut, who just laughs it off
Breaks tags it with a firebolt, lightning it up
and it is covered in grease, so its on FIRE
Ithunn whips out a three-section staff, wraps
it through the tentacles, and then kicks
the thing -- grabbing it and kicking the crap
out of it, rather like a warbler
Khut wraps his legs around the rope, swings down
and shoots it, blowing it sideways away
Vadim blows a horn to alert Ganbaatar and co.
Squee whispers "you are not my friend" to one of the
tentacle-things holding the hornbeast, which releases its prey
and runs like hell
The other begins to sink under the weight of the hornbeast
It drifts closer to Squee who, pointing at her pink hair, informs it
"You know bright colors means its poisonous!"
The one holding Ithunn clenches with its tentacles,
then gets a beakful of staff
Breaks burns it again, and it finally begins to drift downward...
Ithunn wriggles free, leaps for the rope, misses
her ankle snagged in its tentacle again
Khut kicks the rope swinging, still upside down,
swings over, severs the tentacle with a knife
and grabs Ithunn trapeze-style
Vadim does a sperm-whale call with the horn,
spooking the other two and turning them bright pink
Chinua barks orders and nohai arrows are buried in one of them
Squee viciously mocks the one she'd previously whispered
it rushes her and bites
gets stabbed, and bites some more
Khut slides down and deposits Ithunn on the ground
The nohai continue to hammer them with arrows
Ithunn tosses a torch at the one eating Squee
Khut has no sympathy for the small pink thing that
insists on calling him "cutie" and shoots the one not biting her
The Nohai bring the one eating Squee down with arrows anyways
The other one comes down like a jelly-fish in a barrel
Khut finally runs over and bandages up the gnome
Vadim saves the hornbeast, with a healing potion,
which apparently belonged to Hulagu
who is incredibly greatful
250gp worth of supplies release to our use
Contract for 1000 warbler-fletched arrows
4 Healing Potions
Vadim extracts the venom and puts it in a sheath for Ithunn
Breaks makes a couple of whips from the tentacles
Ma'Chek and Ganbaatar congratulate us, ask where to go
We aim for Tradestone, but discuss the best way to get them to move...
Squee goes to talk to Altan,
proposes that Ganbaatar might give him back the herd
and that if they can get to Tradestone they will be rich
beyond the dreams of avarice thanks to the Panic
"4-legs are assets, 2-legs are liabilities"
We book it at nightfall heading west by southwest
100 steppefolk and 40 Krokodil warblers
Outriding, Khut spots campfires due west
We flow like the night over the steppes
find a Nohai camp, proper nohai, minimal teepees
tribe at least as big as the drowned-river clan
...it's the Dust
Khut lays a false nohai scent trail as they come in
then circles and lays a herdbeast scent trail due west
Vadim and Breaks ride back to convince Ganbaatar to avoid them
Ganbaatar decides that we should strike Dust
when they are otherwise engaged with the Black Crows...
We travel through the night and sleep
Khut sleeps in the saddle
Ithunn rides with the young Warblers,
talk about coming from the Akilabator nest,
who live down near the jungle and nest in the trees (what's that?)
there is much insulting of steppefolk speech
they discuss potentially heading South for safety instead of West
but wanting to stay ahead of the "badly hatched" or "rehatched"
(warblers who do not sing and attack single-mindedly like crows)
Vadim sleeps in his delapidated yurt, and snores LOUDLY
which is stuffed with straw, tunneled out, and filled with warblers,
Squee sleeps curled up on a warbeast's nose like a cat
Breaks is one of the few mortals able to withstand Vadim's snoring,
finds that Vadim is smuggling someone who also snores
and farts a lot in their sleep
We get some sleep and head into tradestone
"Raggar One-eye" -- beast-trader in tradestone,
primary contact with the great trade road caravans, cosmopolitan
Tradestone has a well-armed, armored, and drilled militia
We talk about what to steal, who to make friends with
An elf and a pink-haired gnome walk into an Orc bar...
Gormak -- bartender, a hefty, jowly orc with horns
refers to the drowned river clan as "thieving bastards"
Squee slaps Gormak and hugs him, for no reason
Rumors of war to the east, a shattered caravan in town
Road closed, Yaghuth confiscating everything,
The bar gathers around as Breaks casts some illusions
and tells the tale of the army, the beast-man,
the walking dead nohai
Thin, scarred steppefolk slides in across from Ithunn
asks about "demon hunters", Squee appears in his lap (for no reason),
"Guun" -- hunter, saw some things in the Yaghuth Remembrance
doesn't know what a demon is,
but the thing he saw "comes pretty close" --
gets real dark, screams from far away,
things reaching for you from out of the ground...
yaghuth are scared...
down south yaghuth not trading, closed the gates,
land is shuddering,
We find the maggotfolk outside of town to the west,
just north of the great trade road,
set up bazaar offloading exotic goods
Khut spots an old lady who is clearly the caravan master,
Ithunn passes her a bag of shiny things
Squee had previously lifted from her possession
We chat -- they've seen a lot,
Khut tells the truth, trades stories,
they agree to travel "close to us" but
will not trust the safety of her 12 remaining kinfolk to "scruffy horsethieves"
Breaks asks if they have books...
She leads them to a fancy wagon, all the dirt falls off of them,
Breaks touches the book
finds it to be an advanced medical treatise written in cuneiform
Breaks offers to trade "the book that matters"
she says he can "come visit" but she can't trade the books
Breaks seizes, passes out, and when he wakes up suggests that we light a back-fire