Exodus

Session 44: There's a river right there

My missing dignity

CARDS
Vadim’s seven coins
Betrayal
Hoargrim Firemane
Human Relations Series #11: Accepting and Respecting Authority

The scene opens…
Ithunn, Katcha, and Squee are visiting Aradyr’s tent…
The warblers complain about missing feathers…
Drifts of grated golden dust drift through the camp, chased by Squee…
There may be pillow fights involved…
Khut was definitely not watching…as far as anyone knows…
Squee runs up and asks his favorite colour…
“Damnit, that’s what she said, except the other way around.”
Ado shows up a bit angry on finding some feathers missing…
He had apparently been chatting with Hoargrim’s old love – Munkhtsetseg Blackhand…
She seems less than pleased by the Nailer’s “abominations”…
She is using all her art to keep the vanguard families from dying of Blackmaw…
He demands that in exchange for the feather, Arandyr needs to steal something for him…
He wants Aradyr to swipe the sun-flower from Khadagan to make her young again…
Arandyr swipes the flower…Vadim magically cultivates it…
AND Ado feeds the potion of longevity to Munkhtsetseg…
Ellen-Dear starts teaching the youngsters about Hoargrim’s glorious history as a leader…
“What kind of history would bind twelve tribes that have nothing to do with each other?”

Somewhere in the Cusp…Sorqutani’s skin is on fire, crackling, inhabited by a fire spirit…
She stands in a circle — a bonfire — filled with burning white blossoms…
A bed of coals around here feet, ramped up to her waist…
the rich sent of farmland and fruit wafts by…
Around her stand several black-cloaked steppefolk, their heads pressed to the ground…
Blood is scattered around them in semicircular arcs, forming a double-loop pattern…
Among the old-mothers circling her is Munkhtsetseg Blackhand…
She warns her that ‘the stitching may fray’…
There is some confusion over how much of Sorq and how much of Odqan lives in there…
With Munkhtsetseg’s youthening and Sorqutani’s return…the old mothers are feeling pumped…

Khadagan has been the “guest” of Jurgen, Skald of the Vittebjorn…treated with the utmost care…
Unsurprisingly he heads strait for their gardens…beds of kelp tended by the Skalds…
Tended by people diving off the sides of Galeons into black, freezing water…
They are, of course, overwhelmingly solicitous about their ships…almost holy reverence…
Also holy reverence for islands that they never refer to…another place, not here…
Their reason for being here is to sink anything that leaves the shore…
Their smiths are churning out massive, massive armor — huge plates of metal…
They fight with huge, acid-etched metal claws handed down from generation to generation…
Khadagan gets into some serious discussions of “claw-craft”…
“There are precious to the spirits. Why do your claws not speak of what they’ve done?”
“It’s an awkward conversation…”
Scene fades with the sound of sizzling…acid etching Khadagan’s deeds into his claws…
Steppefolk claws, dipped in dwarf silver, etched by the Vittebjorn…

Khut heads out to scout Vargrbjorg…
The raiders are out on the river, they clearly know we’re coming…
There is something in the water with them…something huge…under the boats…
And the motion of drowned, undead troops along the river-bottom…
Protecting all water approaches to the city…
And the present of a very powerful water spirit controlling the drowned…
The ulfeddin routinely sacrifice and drown their prisoners and slaves…
And Drowned River informs us that the spirit of this river is vicious and violent…
Corrupted by the regular blood sacrifices…
The walls are thick, rune-etched to be resistant to magic, and plastered with blood sacrifices…
Steppefolk wearing heavy iron colars man the walls…
The colars are etched with runes of fire and blood…

Khut returns from his scouting mission…walking through camp…
Ithunn stalks him…
Squee and Ellen-Dear hijack his brain and haul him off somewhere…
Where he gets cleaned, perfumed, and…decorated…
Meanwhile Arandyr ambush-decorates the camp with gold-dust paint, streamers, and glitter…
Katcha and the pasht round up a swarm of scramblers…and roasted with apples…and cakes…
A huge tent is set up with three large fire pits…
At one end of the tent stands Breaks…dressed in an apron with gems from all our journeys…
And, for a moment, all three worlds come into convergence…in sacred space…
With Dust and Drowned River looming over…
Yaghuth priests line the walls, similarly adorned by Squee…
And Semek calls the party to order with the ringing sound of a hammer…
And Ithunn and Khut SERIOUSLY get the blessings of the spirit…
Khut, mid-ceremony, still dazed from his hijacking, tells them about his scouting results…

Drowned River explains about the plight of her sister-river…Time to go talk to her…
Drowned River walks to the edge of the river, slices off the tip of her finger and tosses it in…
Katcha sees a glimmer on the water…bats at it…and falls in…
The fog roils up from the river, deep and thick…
Ten drowned corpses with glowing blue eyes start to climb out of the water onto the docks…
Ithunn clings to Khut and feels no fear…
The Spirit speaks through the corpses…“I thiiiiiiiiirst”
Katcha – “There’s a river right there…”
“Blooooooooooood”
Khut cuts his hand and offers a few drops…
Ado tries to make friends…
The spirit steps forward, clearly of two minds, one of which agrees with us…
The other of which is a deep blood-rage…

The dock collapses…we all fall in…the shit hits the fan…
Khut shoves Ithunn up onto the surface…where she stands…
Squee: “Ooooh, glowing eyes, will they still glow if we take them out?”
Khut: “Just call me Boo!”
Khut deftly cuts an eye out of one, flipps it to Squee, the cuts its head off…
Ithunn works one over with her tusks, burning it to cinders, and sending it spinning off a pylon…
Khadagan’s shiny etched claws come out…and assassinates one…tearing it in half…
The spirit-thing that used to be Sorqutani unleashes some fire…
Then unleashes a bunch of tiny fireballs…
Katcha notices that the undead are slow, mechanical…clearly controlled by some other intelligence…
Probably hiding underwater…she dives in after it…stealthily…
Sitting on the river-bottom, she finds a blue-eyed creepy sitting meditating…
It looks up at her…she screams for help…she swallows river water…
AND she feels the blood-plague burning into her lungs…
Ellen-Dear summons up some tentacles…
And Arandyr takes out the legs of one grabbed by a tentacle…
Khut opens his third eye, releasing a torrent of clear, clean water out around him…
He whistles for Littlewing…who airdrops Ithunn, knife-diving strait down over the drowning cat…
She shoves the cat above water, and starts punching…missing a lot…
It opens its mouth and unleashes a disgusting cloud of black, coagulated blood…
Khadagan takes a step back and starts praying…
A preternatural rage seems to be drawn out of him…out of the air around him…
And his claws begin to glow red…
“Mighty Altan Yadasun,
Who protects his faithful from the Black Maw,
Who delivered this humble seeker from the mindless rage
of the eyeless visage
Whose golden light turned away a rolling
wave of darkeness that threatened to engulf your followers
We call upon you, mighty one
To free our unseen adversary from the rage which poisons its mind
as you did with me
To cleanse us of the venom coursing through our veins
Let these lost be found and brought in to your fold
Let the godless behold your mercy and believe
and let the faithless behold your power and tremble”
Ado prays too…for the FOLLOW SPOT OF DOOM!
And there is a break in the clouds…and a bolt of bright sunlight descends…
Scorching the big bad…and blinding it…
“Put your vileness up to a mirror and
weep. Your stream-water may look clean,
but there’s unstirred matter on the
bottom. Your Sheikh can dig a side
channel that will drain that waste off.
Trust your wound to a Teacher’s surgery.
The wound is the place
where the light enters you.”
Arandyr and Sorq finish off the zombies held by the tentacles…leaving four…
But more come…
Big creepy lashes out at Ithunn and tries to make her sick…and fails…
Then slams her with a rotting fist…and she starts to rot too…
AND…Khut is there…and the bugger being is in lots of tiny, tiny pieces…
And he puts an arm around Ithunn and bolts for the surface…
AND there is some cinematic smooching…
Ithunn immediately swims back down and decapitates a draugr with her flaming tusks…
And That-which-was-Sorq drops a wall of fire all over the zombies…
The river goes up in a giant gout of steam…and three melt into little puddles…
Then the remaining ones get pelted with flaming meteors…because she does that…
And there was one…
AND Khadagan happened to it…

In the middle of the night…in the middle of the dark water…amidst all the chaos…
Katcha notices a small, blackened heart floating down the river, still beating…
And she dives after and snatches it…
and tells us that stronger undead can come back from that…
Ado casts Purify Food and Drink on the heart…YUM YUM!
DM – “What you find inside the heart…”
Katcha – “My missing dignity!”
Lootings happened:
Potion of Vitality (blood from the right atrium of the heart)
Nolzur’s Marvelous Pigments (paint with the blood from the right ventricle)
Left-Atrium Blood-clot (as Amulet of the Planes – Fade only)
Left-Ventricle Bloom Ruby (20,000gp)
And that eyeball…acts as a Wand of the Warmage +3…
Vadim turns into a reef shark…
and smells that there is tons of blood pouring into the water upstream…
Ado reminds us that some part of the River Spirit wants us to go free it…

Vadim calls up a bunch of pixies…and turns everyone but Khut and Ithunn into manatees…
We head upstream…everyone tries to act like a manatee as much as possible…
We reach the walls of Vargrborg…the river is thick with blood…
The bottom of the river is an interwoven carpet of bones…
We end in the ‘Drowning Pool’…the wall leans out over a blood-soaked lagoon…
There is a head the size of a volkswagon bus…
It breaks the surface of the water spewing blood in every direction…

Khut interposes a knife in its path…stabbing it in the head…
It grabs him…he breaks free…it grabs him again…it tries to swallow him…
Ado appears by its head…
“Hey Cousin! Cousin! How’s it been?…”
And it fails to swallow Khut…and much laughings happen…
Ithunn and Arandyr and Katcha and Khadagan start murdering it…
there is very much blood…sooooooo much blood…but its not dead yet…
Ellen-Dear and That-which-was-Sorq suck the fight into the Fades…
The thing twists…the world falls away…
And we find ourselves being sucked to the bottom of a whirlpool of blood and bones…
And see an enormous bulk…the head of a screaming child surrounded by tentacles…

TO BE CONTINUED



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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