Exodus

Session 43: Imbessaries

We need to make a braid line!

CARDS
Human Relations #7: Tonsilectomy, Learning to deal with confusion and fear
Semek
Mongolian Death Worm
Human Relations #4: Accepting and sharing responsibility through an open-ended children’s story

We are back in camp, with the entirety of the Void Sept parked on our flank…
Ellen-Dear starts forging a national identity, telling the story of the Altan Ordu…
Focusing mainly on a largely secular founding legend, usable by any religion…
The Nohai scouts report back that the wild Ulfeddin are leaping from the trees to catch stars…
Vargrborg is a huge slaver city with few friends…but they still send an emissary…
We received an emissary of a people we’ve not met before…pointy ears and horns…
Many of their people have been enslaved and they’re looking for help…
“Glaistig”…Barruk speaks of them as terrifying raiders from NW Gaavshahar…
Powerful warriors, but terrible armies…kilted, clannish forest-dwellers…
Recountings of Malik generals of them lining up, bare-chested, frothing…
We’ve had to set up ambassadorial quarters for all of the emissaries…
Khut spends a lot of time hanging out with Breaks Like Wind studying the Yassa…
Most specifically, that it has no provision for marriage…
Khut and Breaks seek out Semek and work out a new Yassa…
Marriages shall henceforth only be recognized if witnessed before a Blacksmith…
We sit down for a bit with the Vittebjorn ambassador…“Jurgen”…a Skald who studies the law…
Nice tent, too warm from giant braziers, ornate armor made for an 18-ft. tall bear in one corner…
The usual questions come out: ‘Do you remember?’ ‘Do you breed?’
“I remember for us. We do not remember as the Yaghuth remember, but I lie in the dark
with a stone upon my chest.”
“You ask Do you Breed. I have learned something during my time here among you, and I imagine
the question is more than proforma…it is complicated, we come to learn, not just for
trade…”
Apparently they have a battle-fleet near Kaupmadr, which they think can repel the Nihil Sept…
Squee pets the big, fuzzy, live teddy-bear…
The tent door is torn open and an enraged Moon-Moon rages in…
“Where’s my Squee!?”
Ithunn leaps across the room and muzzles him…
Arandyr grabs Squee off the bear and teleport-puts her in Moon-Moon’s arms…
Vadim keeps the conversation going…with the confused-looking giant white bear…
“It may be possible that we can help one another. But it is also true that blood has been
spilt and laws have been broken. Our laws call for the payment of weregild.”
They will cooperate in defense of the river once honor is satisfied and deals are struck…
Unfortunately the “breeding” of their “river-beasts” (boats) is a closely held secret…
The only road to the West is through their waters…
If we set foot on their sacred lands and that would be cause for war…
If we turn to felling forests to build boats, there would be war…
They don’t mind the destruction of forests…just the building of war ships…
We can build barges…but they can sink barges from ‘near the horizon’…
As a boon they would like us to gather or destroy the wild Ulfeddin tribes…
He refers to Ithunn as ‘uncorrupted’…apparently the local variety drinks blood…
“You are from the Yaghuth forests, far from here, perhaps the corruption has not
reached so far.”
And, on showing him her tusks, she gets a giant bear-hug…
The forests to the west are ruled by the Meliai, blood-drinkers…
To make a military alliance, they need a hostages of unmatched value…
We give them Khadagan and Hundreds of Dust…
In exchange they bring in the boats to move out whole camp north of Vargrborg…
A Pasht spy (Katja) comes in and informs us that Vargrborg is working with the Nihil Sept…
They’re the ones who sent the fire spirits downriver to burn our cable…
They apparently expect us to attack and have called in their allies from North, West, South…
North — from the very large city of Tvennrstad…
South — into Thaabanite territory where they often capture and trade slaves…
West — Ulfeddin, Glaistig, other races they enslave…
Forming legions of armed slaves…noncombatant slaves being sent in caravan west…
If the caravan reaches the west, we will spill much more blood around Vargrborg…
Apparently their trying to make an alliance with the Meliai…

The vittebjorn load us on their ships and, slowly, relocate the whole caravan across the river…
We land just north of Vargrborg…Moon Moon and his ulfeddin leap ashore and establish a beachhead…
We careen our longship, the Fenrir, and cover it with a cairn…
It is a big, walled, well-armed city…
and a huge caravan is heading up into the mountains to the west…
Seeing the slave caravan, we circle out and around to cut them off…
Ithunn, disguised as a Meliai, heads strait into the caravan…
YOUR Imbasarries left me alone in the woods!” and she proceeds to chew them out…
She yells that the sacrifices are insufficient…
They seem, unsurprisingly surprised to find her there…
“We have sent them nine at a time as you requested.”
She threatens to eat them…
“Without a tree can you feed? Nevermind, we’ll bring you blood…”
They seem very surprised that one would get that close to their campfires…
Ithunn — “Dim that down…”
And they proceed to pour water over the fires…
AND they start avoiding the surrounding trees like the plague…
With Khut, Vadim, Arandyr, Ellen-Dear, Squee, and Katya following in stealth mode…
Vadim and the elves start thumping on the ground…trying to provoke a worm…
Meanwhile Squee and…something…are having some kind of weird slumber party…
It’s a gnome…with mis-matched eyes…and a BADGER
Arandyr and Katja sneak up close to keep an eye on Ithunn…
There are at least a thousand slaves, with perhaps a hundred ulfeddin guards…
They start bringing Ithunn her nine slaves to eat…
Ithunn nicks slave number one and paints her lips with blood…
While Arandyr and Katja absconds with them…
Ithunn steps out of the dark and freaks the Ulfeddin the fuck out…
Khut and Vadim sneak in and start busting open slave cages…
Meanwhile, Squee and Rute scarmble up a tree, and tell it to move…
And a massive black-barked oak tree steps up behind Ithunn…
“You think my people are afraid of fire? I am the exception!”
She steps out of the dark, there is a whistle…
…a flash of lightning…and her tusks are in her hands…

Squee, from the top of a walking tree, drops a cloud of daggers down on the ulfeddin…
“Calling all GNOMES!” and things begin to get strange as two more trees uproot themselves…
Ithunn wades into the ulfeddin and just kills four of them…
Khut smashes a third cage open, releasing a mob of sand-devils fleeing into the woods…
Vadim blasts a gust of wind towards the trees…sending a rain of blood-red leaves into the glade…
We bust open the last cage and unleash a pile of steppe-folk and Malik…
“Third Gond form up!” – two-hundred and fifty POWs lost in the thaabanite war…
A cloud of arrows rain down from the ulfeddin…Vadim blocks with his shield…
And the malik go charging, past horns lowered…
Ellen-Dear drops Black Tentacles…roots erupt from the ground and kill more than a dozen ulfeddin…
Arrows rain down on everyone…and hit nothing but air…everywhere…
Katya and Arandyr appear out of the trees and start knifing things…
The forest on the northern edge breaks and two massive trees stride forward…
Leaves blood red…bodies hanging from ropes like gibbets…their eyes open and staring…
A chorus of fishy screams rises from the north and the bloody leaves start to spread…
Spores start spraying out from the gallows zombies…
And the zombies swarm over Aradyr, bouncing like marionettes, as they swing on their ropes…
And the tree starts waling on everyone…and snatches up Vadim…
Squee makes everything pink…so pink…
Khut and Ithunn, both now up in the tree, start cutting their way through to each other…
AND…the tree bleeds…and Ithunn kicks it to the ground…
Ellen-Dear sends in his swarm of action-figures…tiny copies of the party…
Daggers and tentacles and the Gond happen…and more than half of the ulfeddin are dead…
Arrows rain down…zombies go swinging…spores burst…trees bash…
The tree crushes inward on Khut more and more branches, more and more pointy…
Squee drops the Negasonic Squeenage Warhead again…and the zombies explode into pink sparkles…
The tree wobbles, staggered…
Khut leaps on it…and carves a giant heart in it with his dagger…
spraying Ithunn in tree-blood…and carves “K + I” inside it…
Ithunn – “I forgive you!” (for stealing her kill)

We round up the slaves…and come face to face with Squee’s gnome friend…Rute…
Who lives in a walking tree…has a window…has a tri-corne hat…and a ship’s wheel…
Vadim flips a gold coin up in the air towards the gnome…
The tree catches it and hands it to the gnome…
We start chatting with the trees, gathered around…
And the trees pick us up…where we see the eyes of a number of gnomes…
Eyes that flicker like fire-flies, constantly changing colours…
And Arandyr and Katja suddenly have gnomes perched on their shoulders…
And their hair is being braided…
Vadim and Khut try to convince the trees to carry the refugees out of the forest…
But Squee interjects…“We need to make a braid line!”
Khut and Ellen-Dear run down to the shore, dig out the boat, and start making rafts…
We swing towards the shore as fast as we can…but the trees become sluggish…
We pass the gnome a potato…and tell them to go round up their friends…
Squee gives them one ‘moon’ before we come to start some forest fires…
Ithunn and Khut guide the rafts down-river…

We ride the rafts out into a lake…where we see the Vittebjorn fleet…
And barges full of amalgam, swarming out to build breastworks and establish our new colony…



And the author said, “This is good, this thing I have done.” And he went for lunch and a drink. And it was good!

- From the ramblings of Khut

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