Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Exodus: Session 8

The caravan is moving determinedly to the west
    well supplied with bolts and wood,
    Altan and Ganbaatar finally pacified by gifts of beasts

Hundreds of Dust plies us with fermented diabetic warbeast blood
        asks about integrating the tribes (Dust & Drowned River)
    Clearly she thinks helping each other is a "filthy" practice
        Hors'deouvre (chatty gnome working for Gray Lady) buts in confusingly
            "Warren" racist gnome who can't discarn 'big-folk' genders,
                kicked out for not being able to use the right gendered pronouns
    There is a long, convoluted discussing about "trade" (sex)
        how to strengthen the pack
        the proper place of the nohai in the pack
    We dispatch three nohai hunting parties one "howl" to the east, west, and NW
        Giggles leads the group to the East
    Hundreds says she will "make herself useful",
        by which we think she will try to supplant a member of the heirarchy
        She heads out and jumps Ma'Chek...
            Khut flags to Ma'Chek that she should bare the throat...
            Ado hits the crowd with Calm Emotions...
            Sorq stuns Ganbaatar before he interferes...
    Hundreds of Dust becomes our new mayor (very charismatic at that)...
        She warns Khadagan that he should be careful of her mate...
            Khut and Khad follow up to learn that Chinua is now her mate...
    Warren the gnome hits the downed Ma'Chek with a Charm Person...
        and get hauled off to a tent to "trade"...forcibly...
    Ado goes out and tries to get the DR folk to calm down about the change...
            Kicks Ma'Chek's power base out from under her...

We wake up to the sound of Hundreds howling...
    to a strange crystalline awareness...the world is phosphorescent...
    Hundreds of Dust is seated in the very center of the camp,
        in the middle of an ornate sand drawing...
    The Moon splits, divides in three (silver, rose, dark)...
    The symbol on the ground glows the same rose colour as the third moon...
        clearly we have touched the 'Spirit Realm'...
        three separate distinct worlds...
            "The Verge" -- the near almost-future
                the moment in the split second before the 'world comes into being'
                before a thing happens...before reality crystalizes...
            "The Cusp" -- the moment that is
                a place where it is almost impossible to exist unless very Zen...
            The "Near Verge"
                where you can slip between the Verge and "the Cusp"
            Part of "The Fade" is infringing...
                part of what happens after we are done with the present moment...
                the Past in a creepy, unchanging, dead kind of way...
    Figures moving around cast three different shadows...
        one real, one faint, one disintegrating...
        portraying three different actions...
    Squee suddenly screams "ITS THE MOON PEOPLE"...
    Ado steps out and echos the sound of an angry, imminent thunderbird...
    Khut reaches into his pants and pulls out his second-most prized possession...
        his third knife...the cold-forged iron one...
        the kind that you stick between the shoulder-blades of spellcasters
        because they deserve it...
    A spiked, brutal THING appears...
        woven from Sorqutani's fear of the future...
        fears of starvation, fear of being driven out, fear of oppression...
        fear of the journey west...
        it looks scared of Khut's iron...
    Ithunn bears her broken tusks (which are surrounded by burning black flames)
        says "I Remember", and jumps the thing...
        the weapons pass right through it almost as if it weren't there...
    Khad swings at it...
        somehow only the trailing edge of the blade contacts it...
    Khut jams his blackened blade in the thing's back and rakes...
        getting its attention...and gets clawed a bunch for his efforts...
            he didn't need that kidney anyways...
    Ado takes the distraction and puts the arrow strait into its rib-cage...
    Warren lets his batshit crazy mind race...
        all of his crazy postulations somehow appear and attack the thing...
            making it jump strait into Khad's axe...
            an illusory Warren hits it with a pie...
        AND...the thing suddenly bursts out laughing...
    Sorq paralyzes it and bends it into a pretzel staring at its own ass...
        And Ithunn, Khut, and Khad tear his lungs out...
        AND Ado jumps up and plants his iron foot-spurs strait into its eyes...
            and Sorq roasts them in a fire...



And then, we appear to be sitting around a campfire
    the strange pungent smell of something burning in the fire...
    Ado sticks his hand in the fire and is not burned...
        pulling forth five fire opals (which are continuously warm to the touch)...
    Hundreds of Dust is there, with an elaborate sand-painting around the fire
        and a lot of psychotropic shrooms burning in it...
    Dawn breaks so we get to sleep...
   
Late in the day,
    Khad wakes up and goes to bug Semek for some armor,
        and to ask what he thinks about the events of yesterday...
    Everyone else jumps in with orders:
        armor for Ado,
        Yaghuth-tusk holder belt thing for Ithunn,
        razorclaw spine-mounted bracers for Sorqutani...
    Khut, not on Semek's good side, keeps his distance.

We get moving...moving west...
    With Shield Breakers as vanguard
    Dust hunting-parties running watch
The krockodile split up...
    ripclaw breeders stay with the caravan...
    Ado takes fletchers to join the Gray Lady's caravan...

The Maggotfolk wagons are brightly-painted gypsy caravans
        covered with Maggot warding-sigils warding against "The Fade"...
        accompanied by about a hundred hired mercenaries
        and lots of Tradestone refugees...
    We meet the Gray Lady and her sister (who has bright green hair)...
        Khut stares at the sister and gets a staff to the head from Ithunn...
            who is apparently a little annoyed with his wanna-be philandering...
        We debate their needs for food vs. our ability to provide...
            and the opportunity to travel together...
        She tells us about the Empty Circle worshipping some
            "monstrous power from beyond space who is immensely strong
            and powerful and somehow allows evil to exist" -- Balderdash
        She informs us that the Yaghuth follows in our wake...
            and are probably too scared to approach...
            but they have a Holy Mountain Beast
            Khut wonders how they can get hold of the HMB for their herd...


        We ask about news from the west,
            she replies saying that there is little news from the West
                (emphazised capital, more like 'Sunset', obviously a Place)...
            "The far west I would not worry about too deeply...
                there are few who reach 'The Land Beyond the Sun'"...

Ado talks Gray Lady into letting us into her rolling library
    asks her to read selected passages...
    Ado gets hold of an atlas...
        Steppes lead to Deserts,
        Deserts lead to the ziggurats of a decadent Malik empire...
        circumventing the Desert north or south would take us off the map...
            We should probably do that...
    Khadagan gets some education in western medicine and herbalism...
    Khut watches over her shoulder trying to learn the language
        the "Old Imperial" language
            cased, gendered, stratified, honorific, and extremely complex...
        text translated from a deeply individualist, unstratified language
            with ~18 different temporal modes...
        WTF, he could never learn to read this shit