Exodus

Session 27: It's MY sword...

We crest a ridge to see the ruins of an ancient city
Myan-inspired architecture, adrift in sand and salt
Khut rides at the head, leaading the caravan
Squee is playing with her gibbering mouther with a ball of yarn…
Vadim, and company, continue wrangling bees…
Rust tries, ineffectively, to get Ithunn to show him her tusks…
Elondyr tries to study…but gets distracted by the voices…
A dark-robed procession, dressed in the style of the sand-devils…
Mounted on giant slithers pass ahead of us…
Moving sedately…
Khut raises a hand to halt the caravan…
Khut, Vadim, and Arondyr sneak down to check them out…
30 in the process, 7 black-robed figures, 23 white…
Disparate, many different things, bound by culture…
Reminiscent of snake-like assassins from so long ago…
Common scaly theme…
Clearly a symbol-rich people…
Flowing snake-like script written on weapons…
Cursed blades bearing runes of…
eye-severing,
leg-cutting,
carapace breaking
Elondyr, Rust, Ado, and Squee go down to meet them…
Rust recalls an ancient civilization…
And fire and a tentacled destroyer…
Sorqutani crests the hill with the standard…
Team stealth is in, among them, ready…
AND Arondyr starts mooching weapons…
“Who’s sword did you steal?”
“It’s MY sword…”
She takes a snake-runed scimitar…
Vadim heads in among the female slithers…
AND steals some eggs…
goes shoulder-deep in a vent…
and has a single fertilized slither egg…
Elondyr orders Hundreds to rally the troops…
‘just in case’…
Squee and company ride up and make contact…
They step forward in equal number to our parley party…
A snake dude uncurls to his full 11-ft. height…
And very deliberately and elaborately veils his eyes…
The others follow suit wait stand silently…
Squee mimics them, donning a pink veil…
The head-snake lowers his head to greet her…
Squee proceeds to tell him her life story…
They ask her to convey their respects to her queen…
“We have not seen a messenger from her in some time”
“What brings an agent of destruction to our desert”
Ado asks for his name…which is a tongue roll…
Ithunn asks after Yaghuth…
They claim to have seen such traveling to the west…
Called, readied, armed for battle…
Ithunn seems concerned about them being armed…
Apparently they have a problem with an infestation…
The sands are infected…by old allies that are no longer…
“We are broken, but they are faded”…
They destroyed the city an age ago…
Nothing can be built there…
Tremors in the sand dry crawling…
They are there to watch the city…
Make sure it does not approach their enclaves…
Rust starts telepathicaly broadcasting images of our recent history…
Ithunn takes meditative pose and shares…
the destruction of the Remembrance of Yaghuth…
Rusts contact with his mind narrowly avoids madness…
“If you can possibly call a Void Sept warlock sane”
It feels “the patience one feels after one has bitten”
Apparently they are telling the truth…mostly…
Cities swallowed from below…no foundations possible…
Towers wrapped in tentacles and pulled beneath the surface…
Insects swarming from beneath the sands…
Cathedrals humming, buzzing with infestation…
Nothing built on the sands stands…
Civilizations lost and sunken beneath the salt sands…
Clearly NOT trying to think about enormous enclaves…
Somewhere warm, where reptiles can move faster…
Cities, sentinels, armies, herds, slaughterhouses…
But none on the sands…never again on the sands…
Recently there were large number of Yaghuth going west…
Ado promises that we WILL pass through the city…
And clear it…and asks if they would be willing to aid us…
They agree that they will “help” in an inspecific way…
They are charmers, slavers, take over your mind…
Hence the veiling of the eyes…
Ado asks the names of what spirits they know…
They seem confused…
Their spirits are silent, and patient, and old…
Squee: “Perhaps they should make younger ones”
Squee mixes some pigments to make nail-polish and sets to work…
And Squee begins painting the nails of a snake abomination…
In the middle of a salt desert…
It waits…and watches…and has no reaction…
Ithunn and Rust make mental contact…
He is hollow, empty…truly an acolyte of the Void Sept…
The Yaghuth rage sits just on the other side of the Void…
The emptiness serves to keep the rage at bay…
Helps him to “remembering”…
She recognizes HER Yaghuth in the images of the travelers.
The snakes meeting the Yaghuth on the road…
The Yaghuth drive forward, passively…
Droning a song…a Yaghuth warsong…
They remain Yaghuth…
The sound of Yaghuth marching to WAR
Clearly not the only caravan…
All moving the same direction…
With the same purpose…

WE rally the army and head for the city…
Vadim fills his yurt with saltpeter and explosives…
Pulled by scrub warbeasts…
Khut and team-stealth go up the side of an old, leaning tower…
Everything made of strange black granite…
The city seems uninhabited…
THEN the ground bursts…and a death worm comes up…
Smashing the tip of the tower and sending us flying…
Khut fires an arrow down its gullet…then goes down himself…
Hangs on a tooth…and whistles for Littlewing…
Ithunn goes nuts! It ate Khut!
Ithunn leaps off the tower and dives strait at it…
AND goes strait down the hatch…
AND starts giving it major indigestion…
Littlewing dives and tears its lungs out…
Causing it to projectile vomit Khut and Ithunn…
They go flying, Khut lands, with Ithunn on top of him…
Coughs up blood…and wakes up…
Elondyr blasts the thing with lightning…which it eats…
Electricity crackles around its teeth…
AND it breaths back…
sending lightning arcing back at the party…
Sorqutani launches a flaming sphere down its throat…
Iron-dear dives in with her shiny new scimitar of carapace cracking…
And it just cannot get through…
Ado leaps and glides right into Khut…
giving him an extra dose of heroism..
Barruk charges in on Sparky…
hits the worm with a thunderous golf-swing…
heaving the worm up out of the hole…and again…
Rust sends forth an imperative to “Remember your Rage”
AND a hasted and blessed Khadagan leaps on the writhing worm…
starting at the top and clawing all the way to the bottom…
A swarm of Ankheg burst from the ground…
AND get torn limp from limb by the party…

Meanwhile, our army is having a bad, bad day…
The cavalry run into a swarm of borers…
The Malik champions respond by dropping explosives down the holes…
Then they hit a big hole and disappear…
The Nohai scouts step in to clean up the mess…
Because borers are delicious…
A swarm of ankhegs then attack the cavalry down below…
Sorq, Squee, and Vadim dive in after them…
Beating back a small horde of Ankhegs…
Ado manages to fight them to a stand-still then the Hive Queen comes out…
We’re in a massive underground cavern, our infantry forcing them back…
Khut lets fly an arrow, punching through her shield wings…
Barruk rushes in and beats her silly with his flaming hammer…
The Hive Queen rushes Khadagan, clawing and stinging like crazy…
He retaliates with great fury…
his rusted claws leaving massive smears as they tear in…
Ithunn comes through the ceiling riding the corpse of a beetle
and punches the queen in the teeth…
AND an arrow from Khut takes her between the eyes…
The rest of the bugs keep coming…
Ankhegs swarm in again and murder the snake-folk…
Then tear through both the infantry and cavalry…
Forcing the cavalry to withdraw from the field..
Then the Ankhegs are sucked into the spire and destroyed
The warblers rain death on the hive mystics…
Rust turns himself into a small thunderbird…
unleashing lightning against the flyers…
Khut whistles for Littlewing to join him…
Between two thunderbirds, the flying swarm is wiped out…
Vadim conjures hallucinatory terrain, drawing the borers into a trap…
Where the archers can rein death down…
Then Clouds of Fog and Walls of Fire divide the field…
And Hoargrim marches in side-by-side with Khadagan…
and finishes the borers off…
Squee leaps into the center of the warblers, healing them…
And Hoargrim stands his ground against the last Ankheg swarm…
And the last Ankheg is torn in two by Khadagan…

AND we start carving the giant pile of dead bugs up for meat!

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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Session 26: Happy Anniversary Hundreds
Hello, would you like to help me burn people?

CARDS:
Deja Vu: Semek
Zhuan Zhu — old empire plenipetentiary who we had tea with
Hundred of Dust

Khut comes riding back from leading the Void Sept on a merry chase…
With a void-sept Yaghuth in tow…
To find everyone else camped out mid-battle…
In a freak blizzard…
Some spirits from the verge inform us that there
is war in the verge, and the queen of the moon
is under attack…by three of her generals…
Apparently we have a forge-spirit named Cinderella…
with a mechanical teddy-bear…

Everyone seems a little put off by the mouth-sewn Yaghuth…
He brings word that the VOid Sept have fully thwaked Ahura Mazhda
And talks in riddlish…telepathically…nonsense…
Lots of talk of blood and “Oblivion” to come…
Some new septs involved…
East is Nihil, West is Lief…

We are standing around a forge…the world shifts…
From Verge to Fade…do not pass Present…do not collect $200
There are voices…weird things…sewn together from the deep fade…
And old-empire soldiers: a knight, a scholar…
There is a forge, licking with fire…surrounded by mud and snow…
Breaks like Wind conjures a wall of fire around us…
then Squee turns the knight bright pink…
We all start bleeding out of our eyes, nose, under the nails…
The knight flickers and thwaks the yaghuth with a sword…
Then gets his ass thrown back through the wall of fire…
Khadagan vaults wall and starts slashing away at the scholar…
Ithunn looks at the knight on the wrong side of the wall…
Looks at Khut…Khut whistles…
She leaps into the air…
then she and Littlewing tear the knight to shreds…
AND Khut drops the scholar with an arrow through the eye…
Some little guy that Khut doesn’t know puts two arrows in the fleshy orb..
And then his bones start warping and poking out of his body…
Apparently he made it mad…
Its friends also get mad…whispring horrible things in Khut’s mind…
Vadim, Breaks, and Ellen-Dear bring the lightning…
Except the fleshy things seem to be healing…and getting bigger…
Khadagan jams some cancerous spores into one of them…
It dies, flowers, and spews an abundance of spores…
Which Khadagan collects…yeah…
Sorq brings the PIXIES!
Then the Yaghuth hauls out a big sword…which rusts…and burns…
And its clear that he remembers…and that he knows the gods…
AND does an un-Godly amount of damage…
yet it lives…
Squee casts dissonant whispers…
and has a nice little chat…
with the crazy, gibbering mound of flesh…
and makes it her FRIEND
AND Ado banishes the big one…tentacles surround him, embrace him…
Vadim calls for Thumper and Littlefoot to haul the forge…
Putting it directly underneath of where the thing will reappear…
The fleshy blob drops into the forge…
AND Cinderella the forge spirit breaks free…and looks angry…
BUT it’s friends with Sorqutani…of course…
Sorq: “Hello, would you like to help me burn people?”
They ascend to the Verge…then Squee dumps them into the Cusp…
Where our troops are dug into the snow facing the old empire..
AND there is a wall of fire in front of them…
AND Squee drops a shatter-mortar in teh middle…
And things do not look well for the Old Empire zombies…
Ado invokes Ormazd Bay to oversee the forging of the pact…
AND Cinderella becomes Squee and Sorq’s special friend…
AND Ormazd passes a warning…
“It has already started, in HIM there is no darkness at all”
But, of course, the forge spirit is in the wrong world now…
Leaving us with the giant fleshy orb to kill…
Khut nails it with his bow and drives it through the wall of fire…
Ellen-Dear blows parts of its away with a barrage of force bolts…
Iron-Dear misty steps onto its head and starts stabbing…
The little Forest Troll fires a barrage of arrows through the Verge…
into the Fade with a flash of blinding light…
Then the fleshy ball tries to banish Ado into the Deep Fade…but fails…
And Khadagan tears at it…
The Yaguth polymorphs the fleshy-blob into an…APPLE TREE (oh shit)…
Then Breaks polymorphs into a bee and collects the pollen…
[28 doses of fleshy-blob apple tree pollen)
THEN the tree twists, animates and starts beating on Ado…
The bombardment from Ellen-Dear continues…
Meanwhile, in the Verge, Ithunn spin-kicks Ormazd Bay…
punting him through the fire…and kicking Ado’s crest off…
in the Cusp, the sky lights up from horizon to horizon…
Sorqutani’s pixies love that it turns out…
A zombie explodes…lighting up another…and another…and another…
Iron-Dear blasts the tree with a ray of frost…and freezes it to the roots…
AND, back in the Verge, there is a dead blackened tree…
AND we’re all there…

Meanwhile back at the war…
An Old Empire timelord shows up, backed by imperial dragoons with grapeshot
But our Malik cavalry get the drop on them and crush their infantry…
Then the Spire is hauled onto the field by Thumper and Littlefoot…
And the Malik cavalry crush the Timelord…
AND seeing the Spire…they flee…
Skyscraper-sized tentacles burst up from the salt flats…
Hauling their bodies down into the depths…
AND some Old Empire lizard riders turn and join our ranks…

Dawn happens for real finally…
Ado leads us off to find a cash of food that the Zhuan Zhu left for us…
But something else found it first…and bred in it…and its swarming…
BIG bugs…big, delicious-looking bugs…
The ground breaks in big chunks…breaking the party in two as well…
And the giant bugs pile on…
Sorq, Ellen, Iron, Ado, and Khut find themselves facing five…
Sorq leads off with a Fireball…
Ado plays dead…and they nose all over him, but can’t decide…
So they don’t bite him…then he rails one with some sacred flame…
Then Ellen-Dear leaps in and blows them off with a Thunderwave…
AND Sorq’a pixies show up…
AND Arandyr knifes and finishes off one…
They spew acid all over us…it kindof hurt…a little…
Sorq and Ellen retaliate with fire, making them quite toasty…
AND Iron-dear guts another one…
They spew more acid…and knock out Ado…
Khut skewers one with an arrow…
AND Ellen-Dear caremalizes them with a Thunderwave…
From the other side of the world, the Yaghuth informs us they have EGGS!
And he brings one of them back as a pet…
Khut leads out the Nohai, gathers the bones from the battle, and makes broth…
[ -1d4 on a single enemy mass combat check from fear of our cannibalism ]
Ellen-Dear has a vision…
Heads to Semek at the forge…
And tells him that he is going to make a Masterpiece…
A gorgon head-dress for Hundreds of Dust as a mark of prestige…
Which acts as a CRYSTAL BALL
Khut: “Happy aniversary honey!”
Sorqutani goes up to the Gray Lady and “heals” her…and wakes her up…
Khut brings her some “broth” and brandy…
Iron-Dear and Hundreds of Dust gather up the Blades of Earth Nohai…
And go out scouting to show Hundreds leadership capabilities…
And Iron-Dear plays secret police and ganks the disobedient…
Forestroll gives Semek a whole slither as a present…
Semek seems pretty interested in the bones and the chitin..
Vadim casts “Locate Queen Bee”…
“Tut-tut it looks like rain”
BIG bees show up…chasing Breaks…looking for the pollen…
Khut asks his wife to use her anniversary present to find Ma’chek…
Hundreds informs us that Ma’check is behind much of our current problems…
Ma’check and Gormak have “sided with the dark ones”…
They are deeply faded…
The Yaghuth, hereafter named “Rust”, starts proselytizing around the camp…
Telepathically projecting his ideas of creation’s need for a Creator…
He sews the seeds of doubt (and wrath) in Ellen-Dear’s mind…
Cinderella seems to really like what he’s preaching…
AND takes up residence in Rust’s sword…
Breaks Like Wind starts trying to get Rust involved in village life…
…trying hard to get him laid by some cowgirl…
And…something else enters the tribe…belief in something else…
And our tribe grows by 5%…
AND Breaks Like Wind is infected with the “Spirit of Life”
[ All breeding-related actions have a +1 bonus ]

The battlefield is empty…and snows begin to melt…we are in the salt-flats…
To the northwest we see the towers of a city where one should not be…
To the west, beyond the the ruined city, is a volcano…
To the northeast is The Hive…and there there are bees…
We decide to take the Spire to the volcano…via the ruined city…
The caravan at least…
Vadim and Khadagan lead a raiding part to go collect some bees…
The Yaghuth and the Gray Lady try to talk us out of going any further west…
Khut takes lead of the caravan…
and convinces the Yaguth that they heading due north…
while leading them towards the city…
The Gray Lady seems genuinely fearful of what might be in the Volcano…
And refers to the city as the “Cursed City”…
Khut, Ado, Iron-Dear, and Sorq out-vote them and we turn the caravan NW…

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The Splintered Reed

It was the pungent scent of burning herbs that Khadagan noticed first. Normally, he might be able to identify exactly what ingredients comprised such a concoction, but his thoughts were slippery and ephemeral, refusing to coalesce in a useful manner. He opened his eyes and found himself laying on his side in a yert not his own.

The barbarian was not in his own clothing, but instead wore a simple linen tunic that was clearly made for a smaller figure. His gear did not appear to be in the structure, which made him uncomfortable. Khadagan had gotten so used to wearing his claws and the Sabreclaw skin that he felt naked with out them.

Kill them bear-handed

Where was he? Judging by the lack of obscure and occultish knick-knacks, it didn’t appear to be his wife’s residence. Uh oh. Had he done something indiscreet? Worse, had he gotten caught? That didn’t seem right, but then again, Khadagan was no stranger to mind-altering substances. It was not outside the realm of possibility to try something that lead to poor decision-making.

What would Hundred say if she found him here like this? Not like he could tell, he thought wryly, though he was sure it would sound angry – like everything else she said in the guttural, growling tongue of the Nohai.

Khadagan started to sit up, only to find that his hands and feet had been bound – the former behind his body – with manacles of … wood? The barbarian flexed his muscles only to discover that the restraints were surprisingly strong. Ironwood. His ironwood … ? As far as he knew, his were the only specimens of the unusual plant, one of the prizes from his encounter with the golden khan.

Make them pay

Questions flooded the hermits groggy skull. Had he been taken prisoner? Khadagan tried to still his mind and experience his surroundings on a deeper, more intangible level. He was no shaman (though it never stopped him from trying to engage the spirits), but this didn’t feel like hostile place. It certainly didn’t look like the enemy encampment they had found themselves in after their journey into the deep fade, riding stolen bodies as easily as Khut and Vadim would ride a stolen mount … Vadim. A sudden thought bloomed amid the slowly dissipating fog in his mind.

Betrayal!

The barbarian pulled his knees in close to his chest and eased his wrists over his ankles. In the dim light of the small brazier next to him, he inspected the unusual restraints. The wood had not been worked – there were no cuts or scratches, seems or pins. This wood had been shaped.

Kill him

As if in answer to his question, the skins hanging across the opening of the yert were pulled back and several figures entered: Hundred of Dust stalked in, her glittering eyes inscrutable. She was followed by Vadim and Sorqutani – their presence eliciting a quiet sigh of relief. Finally Ithun took up position by the opening; the tusks she carried held in a stance she’d once described as ‘relaxed ready.’ Voices outside told him that Barruk, Adu and the twins were flanking the other side of the entrance. Were they standing there to keep people out of the yert … or to keep him in it?

Lure them in, tear out their throats

“Khadagan?” Vadim asked, he voice carefully even, “How do you feel?” Sorq began to translate for Hundred, though the barbarian knew there was another reason or two she was included in this conversation.

“Why am I bound?” Khadagan asked, “Am I a prisoner?”

“No! No, uh … that’s for protection.”

“Whose?”

“Everyone’s. Mine. Yours … The caravan’s.”

Smell the fear, the weakness

“What are you talking about? Why would I hurt the caravan?”

Vadim crouched down so that he was level with the large barbarian, but stayed carefully out of reach. “Khad, what’s the last thing you remember?”

“I …


Khadagan grunted as he pushed through the snow drift, clearing the road once more for the wagons. The last thing he had anticipated as the caravan marched north into the salt flats was a blizzard. It never occurred to him that the cooling weather was the coming low season – they had been so preoccupied with the their flight-turned-military campaign, first into the West, now to the North. And now winter was here and they were fighting to keep the garden and – by extension – themselves, alive.

Blight had wiped out a promising crop of oca despite the nearly four score gardeners they’d added to their number. Morale was in short supply and the barbarian sensed some animosity towards the new arrivals, despite their contributions to the garden’s upkeep. Some people would rather starve than eat something from the soil.

Let them, he thought in a moment of bitterness.

Khadagan stretched and looked out across the empty white void of the salt flats. After being attacked by the sand devils, he couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Though, to be honest, lately it felt as though there were just as much scrutiny coming from within the caravan – possibly within the party – as without.

Khadagan turned and began to walk back along the line of dirt-bearing wagons. He passed the wagon on which was perched the glass-walled structure that they hoped would help keep them alive during the cold weather by protecting the edible plants from blight as well as allow some of his more fragile specimens to survive the cold. It was a marriage of artifice and nature that, in his mind, proved that the spirits could coexist in a mutually beneficial state.

A little further down the line, he came across a couple of the new Malik farmers having a discussion in front of a wagon. They were speaking in their local dialect, though the barbarian guessed from their gesturing that they were talking about the wagons’ slow progress through the powdery snow.

The wheels were sunk further into the snow than the other wagons. Looking at the payload, Khadagan saw that this particular wagon was carrying the precious few – and relatively heavy – ironwood trees. Interspersed between them were from Firestarter Bushes. It made sense to keep them together on the same wagon, since ironwood would not burn.
Khadagan looked back to the Malik just in time to see one of them attempt to light a small torch by the forward wheels. Even in the low season, a single spark was enough to set the bushes – and wagon – alight. While the ironwood might not burn, the caravan couldn’t afford to loose even a single wagon.

“No!” Khadagan cried out as he rushed forward, reaching for the flint.

Startled, the Malik began to stand and turn towards the incoming barbarian, one of his horns caught him across the cheek.

Red fog.

An eyeless face.

Darkness.


Khadagan’s large shoulders slumped. “Is … is he okay?”

Vadim shook his head, “You butchered him – were completely covered in his blood. Squee’s off cleaning your gear now. We buried what little was left according to their traditions,” Hundred stiffled a growl when Sorqutani translated this last part.

“Did anyone else get hurt? How did it end?”

Vadim sighed, “The other Malik tried to pull you off, one of them hit you with a hoe and caused you to turn on them. That’s when the kids arrived.”

Khadagan’s eyes opened wide in horror, “Oh no. Are they … ?”

“The young one, I forget her name, she called up the Gardner. It held you down until we arrived and, uh, calmed you down.”

The barbarian put his face in his hands.

“So … the Malik are pretty much terrified of you now, and the kids are … upset. Adu’s been trying to smooth things over, but this isn’t going away overnight. It’s probably best to keep you separated for a while.”

“What about you? What do you think?” Khadagan looked up, first at Vadim, then Sorqutani and Hundred. “She was right, you know,” he continued before they could respond, “The green woman? I thought she was talking about the spirits of life and artifice, but that’s not what she was talking about.”

Puzzled looks were his reply.

“I seek to foster life, to grow and sustain it. The plants, sure, but our people, as well. Ever since the deep fade, though, there’s something else. Inside. I hear it. Feel it.”

“What?”

Khadagan shook his head, “You’ll think I’m crazy.”

“I already think you’re crazy.”

“What’s the one thing that can’t reconcile with life? That ends growth – ends potential?”

“Death.” Sorqutani replied. Khadagan looked past Vadim at the sorceress.

One of her eyes was completely black.
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Session 25; How to make friends and influence people.....

Aaaaaa hunting we will go ahunting we will go, Semek’s wife steps up and gets boosted by the party like nobodies business.
Speaking of no bodies, we save 38 malik townsfolk from certain zombification by a very disturbing old empire patriarch. After being beaten, banished, reappearing, beaten and banished again, he just gives up and stays gone, likely to return and kick our butts at a later date.
Speaking of dates, we seem to have just had the best tea party ever thrown. A group of 7 emissaries from the old empire inquire as to our intentions. It would seem the tea leaves of the divining tea sorq and aran made for them actually gave him more info than even our words could. We seem to have made friends out of certain annihilation.
Speaking of annihilation, boy those purple worms get big, lighting, fire, claws, and mocking go round and round, worm turns from purple to pink and a whoopin commences, till squee gets eaten. But Khadagan saves the day in a maddened rage like I’ve never seen and squee is pulled out covered in goop. Off in the distance we all seem to hear dinner bells… and find eggs… Muahahhhahahhhahahahah

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Planting Seeds

Wood creaked as a handful of empty wagons were pulled into position behind the others. Khadagan inspected the empty beds, the pungent odor of Stinkcrow and Bull Nettle wafting up in his nostrils. The gaps had been filled with the fibrous, sticky paste as he had instructed; a few hours out in the sun and they would be ready.

The barbarian turned away to clear his nose and found himself staring across the expanse of their caravan – if such a word could still be used to describe the mass of people that now travelled with them. A city’s worth of refugees, freed slaves, and adopted men-at-arms surrounded his rolling garden. Many of those people, he knew, were looking to that garden for their next meal.

Making his way to the central part of this smaller, internal caravan, Khadagan inspected the dirt-filled beds containing the sourgrass, oca, and goodberry bushes. He couldn’t grow enough food fast enough to keep everyone fed. Everyone who wasn’t strictly carnivorous, he amended. He sighed heavily and looked at the two wagons that carried his most treasured specimens – would he have to give them up only to produce more food?

_ It’s not fair._

Khadagan wasn’t sure where the thought came from, but … it was right, wasn’t it? A handful of them were out there risking their lives – no giving – their lives and these vagrants, these …

_ … parasites …_

Yes, parasites, were expecting a handout on top of it all? Like a swarm of locusts, only they traveled with the swarm, and added to it every chance they got. So many mouths to feed. The problem wasn’t his garden, it wasn’t his ability to grow food, it was them, out there.

_ Fix it, make less to feed._

Something felt off, he wasn’t really thinking this was he?

_ So easy_ … the sensation of drawing a blade across a throat. The smell of blood …

“No!” Khadagan hissed, “Stop it.” He shook his head, as if the darkness within could be so easily cast out.

“We was just lookin’. Honest.” The hermit’s eyes snapped open to find a scrawny young man standing before him, flanked by a couple of girls.

“I … what?”

Kill!

It suddenly took a great deal of effort to stand perfectly still.

“My sister, Cirinia,” the boy indicated an equally scrawny girl to his left, “she likes your flowers.”

“The glowing ones,” Cirinia whispered, looking down.

“I like the purple ones,” said the other girl, “They’re the prettiest.”

“That’s Maa,” said the boy, rolling his eyes, “She’s always followin’ us around.”

“Am not, Jelme! I came by myself to see the colors. You just happened to be here.”

Khadagan felt the stirring within him subside, “Those?” He nodded to the lotuses, “They are pretty. And dangerous. Be careful around them.”

“How could a flower be dangerous?” said the boy – Jelme.

“You’d be surprised.” said the barbarian. “This one,” he pointed at a green lotus, “can paralyze. The purple one makes you sick.”

“What about the black one?” said Maa.

“That one kills,” whispered Cirinia.

“That’s right,” said Khadagan, “How’d you know that?”

Cirinia shrugged and looked at her feet, “Just seemed like it.”

“If those can kill, why raise any of the others?” asked Jelme, “Use ‘em on the beast men that run us off.”

“Eventually,” sighed Khadagan, “But right now, there are more important things to grow.”

“Like what?” said Maa.

“Like food.” said Cirinia.

“Well, sure, but food ain’t pretty.” was Maa’s reply.

“Pretty and important rarely ride together.” said Khadagan, weighing an idea. And for once it didn’t have to do with killing. “Have you seen the Gardner?”

“Uh, ain’t you the gardner?” asked Jelme.

Khadagan snorted. “Yes, but I meant the spirit that helps me tend this garden.”

“We heard about a rock monster that pops up from time to time, but we ain’t seen it.”

“Would you like to?”

“Uh, is it dangerous?” asked Jelme.

The barbarian rubbed the stubble on his large jaw, “I guess he could be, if someone tried to hurt our garden.” He looked at the kids.

“Oh, we wouldn’t do that. We love it here! It makes forget about being away from home.” said Maa.

“Okay, give me a moment.”

Khadagan closed his eyes and tried to still his mind. It was getting harder to contact the spirits ever since their trip into the deep fade. Something had descended upon him there in the deepest darkness and bored into his spirit. The last time he had spoken to the Gardner – the sentient embodiment of rock and soil that helped his garden produce far beyond what it might normally be capable of producing – it had been unexpectedly difficult to make contact. Not like it had been before. He briefly regretted not chewing on some yokeleaf first, just in case he needed a boost.

The hermit visualized his mind extending down, around the shadow in his heart, and down from the soles of his feet into the ground, seeking that spark of nature and life that made things grow. Slowly, distantly, he felt a reply – like the waking of a far off giant. A soft vibration become a moderate (albeit localize) tremor as an empty patch of ground between the wagons speared upwards and settled into the vague approximation of Steppefolk.

The kids gasped, caught somewhere between fear and delight, drawing the Gardener’s attention. Despite lacking any discernible facial features, Khadagan could almost feel the look of puzzlement as the spirit turned towards him. “This is Maa, Jelme, and Cirinia,” he said, indicating each in turn, “They were admiring your handiwork.”

The gardner turned back towards the trio.

“Oh, we love your flowers!” said Maa.

“Um, thanks for the food.” said Jelme.

Cirinia, who had hidden behind her brother initially, appeared to be enthralled with the entity looming over them. She took a hesitant step forward, then another, and raised a small hand. The Gardner regarded this curiously, then extended an appendage of rock and dirt. Green tendrils sprouted from the end, curling in like pliant fingers – all but one, which extended towards the youngest child. They touched.

Khadagan found himself holding his breath. Most of the party had encountered the spirits at some point since their long journey began, but this was the first time he’d witnessed an interaction like this.

Then, like a sprout breaking up through the soil, an idea presented itself.

“Would you kids be interested in helping us with the garden?” he looked at the Gardner, whose massive moss covered shoulders appeared to shrug in reply.

“Really?” Nervous excitement was written on their faces.

“I could teach you what you need to know, and you can take care of things when I’m away. The Gardner can help, too.” he turned to Cirinia, “It looks like you’ve got a … feeling for this.”

“Even the lotuses?” asked Jelme.

“Let’s start with food and ironwood, we’ll work up to the more delicate plants as you learn more.”

“When can we start?” asked Maa.

“Right now.”

View
Session 24: Would You Believe
We put a woman on the moon

Albino Manbeast approaches, wonders why we haven’t joined at the council. We join the council, and try to stir the pots between the Void and Oblivion sept. They have sensed a fulfillment of their plan, and want to know what we were doing right. They have asked us what were doing right to summon the gods. There are two groups in the tent, Steppefolk Voidsept with their eyes woven shut and some hat and haughty Manbeasts, headed by

“The fish sees the bait not the hook”

Vadim tells them that they cut down seven men, but the eighth lived and escaped before the ritual could be completed. Sorq notices whispers between Void and Oblivion. Void offers to take the city and convert it. Elondir whispers council to Vadim and he orders a charge south, after the eighth man. The host follows, and the party goes into the city.

The voidsept leader approaches them in the street and begins a conversation with Vadim, clearly seeing who he is. He tells them what septs face them if they head north.

Vadim tells him “The distance between heaven and earth is no greater than one thought” He weeps through the stitching.

Khut rides Arrow in the dark, and the entire Oblivion Sept follows after him.

They are greeted by clockwork sleep-army on their way into the city. Then Nohai scouts take them to Hundreds (or MY WIFE! depending on who you are)

View
Session 23: The Answers to Your Prayers

Deck: Oblivion Sept…
Machek…
Disease…Krokodile…
But Ado puts the kibosh on the plague…

We are dead…
Looking at the spire, spinning above a pyramid…
Squee is here…faded…skin black…eyes deep purple…
Flickering in and out of existence like an old TV set…
Gray Lady is etching runes around the base of the pyramid…
The inner circle of rings are magical…but indecipherable…
The base of the pyramid starts dissolving away…
Accompanied by a gnawing noise…
As the dirt falls away, floats free, into the abyss…
She writes “do not bury us” in a circle around the monolith
Again and again…
Khadagan starts collecting samples of the cancerous growths…
He finds lots of interesting stuff growing at the boundary…
Tiny white pustules…
Scab-like lichen growing over everything else…
Tumor-like mushrooms the size of four men…
Large…mushroom cloud shaped…rippling surfaces…
They break open with large writhing tendrils…
Active feeders…like flytraps…

The big shrooms move…Khadagan shouts a warning…
Khut shoots one…shoots it again…Khadagan assassinates it…
And they keep coming…because NYAAAAAA!
Ithunn leaps in, kicking one into the air, and delivers some beatings…
It grows new tentacles and roots as it tries to reach the ground…
Lands hard…
And Khadagan leaps on it…claws rusting over…rusty scar burning…
AND there is much raging…and much assassination…
“If I can find an awkward place to pray, I’m going to do it…”
Sorqutani burns it with a dark, almost black flame…but not much…
The shroom vanishes…folding itself into the fade…
And appears next to Khut…it swings, misses…
And reality crumbles around Khut’s feet…
Ado leaps behind Khut and thorn-yanks it into the hole…
It goes screaming into the abyss…grabbing reality…
Which fractures around it…to more gnawing noises…
Khut shoots the next one…
Squee goes on a tirade about how she hasn’t washed her hair in ages…
And how the mushrooms are too bland…AND they all turn PINK!
AND two of them launch into the air and swarm Khadagan…
One engulfs him…
Vadim reaches out a hand…and burns it to dust and blows it away…
Khadagan: “You! Stay out of my garden!”
Vadim: “You have to learn how to make mulch!”
Another goes for Ado…beating him a bit…
A third swings at Ithunn…slips…and takes a twisted claw to the teeth…
Ithunn follows up and kicks it into the abyss…
To more creepy chewing noises as it exits reality…
Then she runs up and kicks the last one just for sport…
Sorqutani summons some pixies…flaming pixies of DOOM!
and the pixies start harvesting pieces of the thing…they swarm its orifices…
a pixie emerges clamering out of its mouth holding some strange organ…
The enraged mushroom engulfs ithunn…
AND there is some grease…and it starts sliding towards the abysss…
Squee and Ado viciously mock it…
Khadagan leaps in slashing wildly…becoming more frenzied by the moment…
Vadim lights some calming incense to try to bring him out of it…
Ithunn punches her way out just before it topples over the edge…
A fist comes out…with a victorious pixie standing atop it…
She kicks it into the abyss…pushing off to land barely on the edge…
Khut rushes in and immediately begins applying poultices…
Khadagan snaps out of his frenzy just in time…
He becomes focused on the fancy herbs that Vadim lit up…
They might help next time…
Pixies fly back bearing various lumpy things to present to Khadagan…
3 collections of Lifeline Cancer spores…
Can drain residual life energy from undead…
Heal/spawn by the spark of life that is lightning…
TIME TO MOVE!
Reality is crumbling and we’re trying to pull a skyscraper along with us…
We wrap a steel cable around the spire…
Khut and Khadagan dig in and start hauling…with Bull’s Strength!
The spire shifts…turns…begins to drift uphill…
Vadim summons an octet of hornbeasts and starts lashing them to the cable…
Khut…nat 20…Khadagan…nat 20…Vadim…nat 20…
Sorq calls in a phantom steed and ties it on…
Squee harnesses her imaginary unicorn-chinchilla-bunny-thing…
They pull together…and we loose one on reality…
Vadim dangles some cheese in front of the hornbeasts and they start straining…
Khut goads Khadagan who frenzies and starts reaching for Khut’s back…
Straining enough to make progress…
Ithunn leaps into the air and punches the spire to make it move…
AND it shifts…
Squee runs…grabs the cable…polymorphs herself into…
an enormous…Pink…charging…HOLY MOUNTAIN BEAST…with purple polka-dots…
accompanied by swirling rainbows and poofs of pink sparkly pixie dust…
AND PULLS
Khadagan’s claws dig into Khut’s back…
He sees an image of an eyeless, oblong face…
Vadim slaps him…Ado starts playing some muzak…
Khadagan claws Khut again…then snaps out of it…
with a feeling like a razor’s cut across his chest…
We haul it up to the rim…
The Gray Lady sits there with two pots…gleaming gold and black iron…
She says we have to lay down and die before we get out of here…
Sorqutani looks at the iron pot…she smells apples…
Ado: “How you like them apples?”
Sorq senses crushing depression…
but is not particularly bothered by it…
out of the blackness she sees the armies of the old empire…
preparing for battle…
Ado looks at the gold pot…
He transforms into a scaled golden-eyed thing…
“What am I doing here?” it asks…
It shifts tonality so that Ado’s voice can come through…
Party: "What am I called?
It: “Jean…” FUUUUUUUUUCK!
Ado: “When did we pray last?”
Ado realizes that its funnier to use him as an answer to prayer
than to destroy him utterly…
Vadim drinks from the golden pot…
We hear whispers…“Come to us…”
Khut, Ithunn, Khadagan, Squee, and Ado wake up…
Covered with bloody gashes across their chest…
In the body of steppefolk and warbler refugees…
Two empty circle priests stand over them…
…Sorqutani and Vadim…yep…PRIESTS

A warbler…her feathers black…her mouth sewn shut…says “I am pink!”
There is a spread of glorious rainbows…AND she’s a peacock…
Vadim: “Who’s Khut? Everyone who is not Khut raise their hand…”
Khut, looking at the wound “I’m Cut…”
Vadim, who is a centaur, looks out of the tent…and sees chaos…

Firemane has rallied our troops…
We (the party) are in the middle of an Oblivion Sept camp…
The Old Empire is trying to drive the caravan before them…
The dwarves and the Gond Salar are to the south in the city…
Hoargrim kisses the mammoth and tries to lead everyone into the city for a free-for-all…
AND crashes into the Dwarves…
Chinua’s scouts face off against a Bronze Dragoneer…
Then the Gray Lady enters the field, but is locked by the enemy sappers…
And gets mauled by the Dragoneers…
A brass behemoth shows up…and gets jumped by some Oblivion Sept outriders (the party)…

Meanwhile…back in the camp…the party jumps some Oblivion sept scouts…we need weapons…
We ride with them…slaves and whippers…ahead we see the behemoth break from the wall…
Ithunn, now a hot black-clad steppefolk…jumps one, fists flying…
Knocking him to the ground…where Khut grabs the bow off his back…
And Khut gets shot by two more of them…
More arrows rain down…missing Ithunn and Squee…
One pegs Ado…with a poof of feathers…who plays dead…
Squee turns the bad-guys pink…
Vadim (a centaur priest) tosses a sacrificial dagger to Khadagan…
Who rages…and finds himself holding a pair of rusting strait-razors…
And becomes the sexy, shoeless god of war…the wound re-opening on his chest…
AND assassinates and GUTS one of the pink centaurs who has not yet acted…
Vadim charges and skewers one with a pike…
Sorqutani (also a centaur) glares at them – “Idiots! Why are you shooting at me!”
AND unleashes a handful of fire at the lead one…torching him top to bottom…
AND she sucks the life out of everyone…killing two of them…
And there is the plague witch…deep in the Fade…kicking ass…
Ado drops a Hypnotic Pattern on a pair of them…
Ithunn continues beating the one she knocked down…and his little friend…
Squee and Khut hold back…doing respectable but not lethal damage…
There is another volley of arrows…tagging Ado…and Khut…
Then one charges Sorqutani, hitting her HARD…but she takes it…
A frenzied Khadagan charges the nearest pink one…
Lockjaw and Badpenny tear pinky open…but don’t get the job done…
Meanwhile the Brass Behemoth is wading through the lines, spewing steam, and laying waste…
Vadim hastes the railgun (i.e. Khut)…who wipes a scout and injures his friend…
Sorqutani blows another EC Scout into his component atoms…
Leaving only three…that are busy watching Ado’s light show…
One of which is viciously mocked by Squee…
And then jumped and shish-kababed by Khadagan…
And the Behemoth wanders close enough for us to smell the steam…
Vadim “Treat it like a beast, let’s corral this thing!”
He whips it, pulling it towards the empty circle lines…
Sorqutani rails the Behemoth with arcs of lightning…
Khut and Ithunn wipe out the second to last scout…
And Khut puts an extra arrow in the last one for good measure…
AND Khadagan eviscerates him…
Squee drops a shatter into the Oblivion Sept lines…stirring the pot…
Ado banishes the golem…the life-rune goes dark…giving us a second…
Vadim shouts to the slaves “It’s been deactivated…haul it back to camp!”
“In Exodus campaign the horses ride in the trojan human!”
Sorqutani and Ado chime in, rallying the workers…
with magical Suggestions on the Oblivion Sept commander…
but Ado stops concentrating on the banishment…
SO it wakes up…
Khut grabs Squee and disappears at full, hasted speed…Meep Meep!
Khadagan tries to sneak away…but is raging, frenzying, wrathful…
And leaps, frothing at Sorqutani…but whiffs…
Vadim pulls Ado up…trots by…shaking his tail at Khadagan…

Meanwhile…back at the fight…
The Bronze Dragoons fire on our infantry…with grapeshot…
But get railed by Chinua’s Scouts instead…
They maneuver…mountains…forests…deserts…grass…
And their gunners keep pelting Petrana’s infantry…who soak it up…
We maneuver towards the plateaus…the krokodile rain hell on the dragoons…
But the terra cotta infantry suck it up…
And things look very bad for our heros…
The Iron Rhinos charge…but…Hoargrim pulls a switcheroo…
And Chinua’s scouts wipe the floor with the terra cotta army…
Then the krokodile go for the dragoons…but the mechanicals hold firm…
The Iron Rhinos recharge…while the krokodile aim for the dwarven general…
And the Rhinos plow into the krokodile and our infantry at full steam…
Another volley from the krokodile finishes off the dragoons…
AND Hoargrim now has ranged superiority…
Their general withdraws…
The Rhinos charge…and get mowed down…
Their last ditch sappers come from below…and stab Chinua’s troops…
Then withdraw…

The Gray Lady is out for the next six fights…but alive…

View
Session 22: Take me out into the black...

We are in the badlands, having just smashed the Void Sept
We head into the city…
Heading strait for the spire…
Khut is in the lead…because everyone says he is…

We sneak in, Ado on my shoulder…
Ado makes a quiet whistle…we find and disable some deadfalls…
Then there is a loud rumble…cracking sounds…
And the roof collapses…
Smearing Vadim, Squee, and Breaks like Wind…
Apparenty there is a fight over out heads…
They peer down, but don’t see us…
We’re under the walls…
Looks like the Gonds are fighting House Surin
Surin and the Smiths are trying to breach the wall…
And let teh EC in…Fuck them…
Ithunn apparent brought some Pasht assassins with us…
She challenges to see who can kill the most people…

Vadim, still pinned under rubble, calls to Odqan Talaqan and drops a Wall of Fire…
On the north side of the hole…protecting the Gonds…
Khut and Ithunn jump in and start trying to dig the casters out of the rubble…
Khut pries squee out…Ithunn smashes through a beam over Breaks…
Ado ties a metal cable to the rubble…an arrow on the other end…
Fires the arrow…Khut whistles…
AND rubble goes flying into the air…
Lightning coruscates through the House Surin ranks…
And Vadim is free…and everyone goes WTF just happened?!
Four big, burly Malik Steers jump in the hole and go for Ithunn…
And another hammers into Sorqutani with a jagged chunk of rebar…
AND she bursts into fire…because her mother is displeased…
Accompanied by Sorq’s maniacal laughter…
Squee drops her Crown of Madness on the captain of the House Surin archers…
But only serves to piss him off…
He retaliates with great vigor…and great javalins…
But his archers just suck…seriously…
Breaks drops another Wall of Fire up topside, sandwiching the Surin troops…
Khadagan comes rushing out of nowhere…covered in limestone dust…
And tears into one of the malik steer…
AND Barruk knocks one of them out of the park…
Vadim yells…and a bunch of cackles dive from the rooftops at the archers…
One archer goes down devoured by cackles…two more fall down into the pit…
One of which finds the whole situation ridiculous thanks to Squee…
Khut runs up out of the pit…charging the archers…
dives into them, daggers flashing…and kicks two strait into the fire…
Ithunn clambers up, slipping on the rubble…
Ado hops up, climbing over Ithunn’s head…
And thorn-whips the remaining archer into the hole…
Where he lands with a snap of his neck…
Sorq calls up her flaming pixies…“Bring me their tongues!”
The Malik charge in…
only to have pixies tear all of thier piercings out…
Then they start beating on Sorq and Ithunn…poorly as usual…
The archer Captain goes for Khut with a big sword…which is laughable…
and Breaks tags him with a Ray of Sickness…and he pukes on Khuts shoes…
Khadagan guts a Malik…but apparently they don’t feel pain…
They’re doped up on something hard-core…Khad takes a sample…
Then Barruk brings the Thunder(ous smite)…
AND sends a steer flying, crushed and impaled on the rebar…
The last archer shoots ado…and kills him hard…or at least it looks that way…
Then he is eaten from the inside out by pixies…
And Ado stands up and dusts himself off…
Vadim climbs up, trying to help Khut…fails to whip the captain into the fire…
Then the cackles pile on the captain…and kick him into the wall of fire…
The Gonds have fallen back, taken up ranged positions…
And are wiping the floor with the House Surin troops…
Sorq and Ado bring more fire…incinerating another steer…
The remaining two charge Khadagan and Ado…to similarly little effect…
Except Ado plays dead again…
Squee summons up a cloud of daggers, shredding another Malik…
AND Khadagan rips the remaining one in half…
AND tears open his bowels to investigate the contents…

We head deeper into the tunnels…the sounds of battle raging overhead…
Khut takes point…everyone else follows…as stealthily as possible…
Khut draws things off, keeping the path clear…
We make it to the cavern of the Spire unseen…
And…of course…there is a big metal golem in the way…
A massive statue of a dwarven councilor with burning eyes…
Armed with hammer and shield…
On seeing the spire…the Gray Lady is very very pleased…
The golem sees us…ITS ON…
Ado curses it…
It responds by pulling out the burning brazier of its left eye…
And hurling it at Barruk, Vadim, and Khut…
Vadim and Khut are a little singed…
Barruk sidesteps…and retaliates with fire of his own…
Barruk misty steps to the top of its head…and brings the thunder again…
And nearly takes its head off with his opening salvo…
“For 105 points of Barruk to the head damage!”
Then Ithunn is flying in and punching it like crazy…
Knocks a leg to the side…lands on a knee…slams into its hip…
But it stays standing…
Break’s skeleton pulls a lever…
and a massive caulron of metal starts hurtling towards Khut…
Khut leaps, grabs the chains and rides along with the cauldron…
Squee whisper sweet damaging nothings in the golems ear (equivalents)…
Khadagan (moving very fast thanks to Vadim) body checks it…
Then Khut and Breaks slam the cauldron into the things head…
Spilling molten metal all over the thing…filling it…
We dip some weapons in the molten silver to coat them…

Ado…“That was THE guardian?”…looks around…
Vadim leads the way into the spire…
With Breaks scrying like crazy…
Then we start trying to figure out how to get this through the walls…
Khadagan pushes it…and sees (w/ See Invisibility)…
A pyramidal basalt base…
The Gray Lady suggests that we take the whole thing into the Deep Fade…
Khadagan and Vadim get the drugs ready…
Ado invokes Ormazd Bay…
There is a tiny glimmering of light…a tiny firefly…very faint…
Where we’re going is not Ormazd Bay’s country…
Khad and Khut lead them into the Spire…find the life rune they carved…
We sit down…light up…
Breaks looks awesome…starlight eyes…dark aura…
Squee is sick…pale…faded…
Gray Lady is beautiful…sharp teeth, sharp eyes, pure white…
A mass of twisting vines have grown over the throne room…
Among the vines is a faint, maggotfolk-like bird spirit…
Khut says “You are here” in the speech from last time…
It stands with a flex of its wings, “This is strange” it says…
Ado offers it his pants…
Vadim starts talking to it about love, lust, come with us…
Squee asks “What color is your castle?”
“Tell the little coureous one my castle is of silver and obsidian…”
It says, in no language spoken in this world…
Squee gives the strange being directions to her castle…
Khadagan listens for the voices…they are all wrong…
He is struck with overwhelming vertigo…a sense of falling…
Far away the sound of the world breaking…
Sorqutani: “Dear one, what can you tell us?”
Khut: “What’s your name?”
Being: “Anariel”
We chat for a bit, trying to get around lack of a shared framework…
Khut has to muzzle Vadim when he starts to wax mammoth-kissing…
Sorq: “Who do you serve?”
Anariel: “The King”
“What King”
“The King of Kings”
Khut: “Like this?” he says holding up the Solde of the Altan Ordu
Anariel: “Almost…almost…”
Vadim conjures Hallucinatory Terrain…a garden…
We walk into the garden…not away from the spire…
Around it…near it…deeper into the fade…
The roses growing darker…red…purple…black…withered…
The further we get from Anariel…he gets no smaller, no less bright…
We’ve gone no further than thirty feet from the spire…
Gray Lady says we have to make the world forget…
Before we can change our orientation in space…
Things get darker…paths twist…trees die…
Vadim says we should kill things…we’re all confused…
A black ripclaw with a pirate accent appears…
“Go no fartherrrrr…” it says perching on a withered tree…
There is a clicking sound…very far away…
Like insects discussing their doctoral disertations…
Khut, because it can’t get worse, smokes some more…
Vadim lays down some spike growth along the path…
A tall, elegant looking malik walks up…
His intricately carved horns glowing…
Carrying a black-polished staff with a skull up top…
Blue fire burns deep in the skull…
Beside him paces a strange, six-legged leopard-lizard…
Sorq makes some greetings…
“Anaros of the Dreamer’s Guild”…
He seems a little thrown off by us being there in flesh…
To say the least…
He’s a member of the necro guild…
not friends with Ormazd Bay fire magisters…
known for their poisons and narcotic dusts…
thought to be death-obsessed necrophiles…
really in love with memories of the Fade…
they readily interact with beings that are “dead now”.
He warns us that “they can smell you if you’re really here”
He’s looking for some shrooms that grow here…
Khut leaps into a tree and goes in search of shrooms…
Khut finds a long-forgotten dream of madness…
A pool of non-reflective still, black water…
Three perfect black mushrooms…
Growing through the eye sockets of skulls…
Whispering to each other in Old Imperial…
Something about warehouses and measures…
And a massive…40-ft figure…
Wading through the trees…
Reaching down to pluck and inspect trees…
White beard that glitters in starlight…
Blade edged with lightning…
Khut swings down, says hi to the skulls…
Plucks the shrooms…makes them happy…
They tell Khut he needs to clear a warehouse…
Prince Te’Wang would like it they say…
We can hear the sniffing of something hunting…
Khut swings back and hide everyone…like good…
A whole caravan of ghasts comes by…
Everyone but Khut is horribly ill…
From the stench of death…
Past the lifeline…
They walk past us…ignore us…
We march on…towards the life-line…
Khut takes point…tells Ithunn to stay put…
Squee falls asleep on her chinchilla…
The place is old…memories…temples…then gone…
The obsidian fulcrum for the spire is at the top of the hill…
At the bottom of the hill is an obsidian-marked road…
In the distance are differences of darkness…
Pitch black, dead black, but a deeper darkness…
The black on black silouette of a city in the distance…
A cave at the base…two statues stretched across the road…
Encrusting cancerous growths on everything…
The Gray Lady suggests we rock some rituals rather than just walking…
So we can cross briefly…we need blood…
She opens an eight-foot chinese scroll…
Khut puts a knife to his wrist and opens a vein…
she writes the death characters in blood on his chest…
We take one step forward…
AND
PLANE SHIFT
Squee, Ithunn, and Khadagan stay behind…holding a slack rope.

We are in a crater…there is a mushroom cloud…
Wind howls up out of the crater…
Bits and pieces of burning white rock fall from the sky…
Khut checks his pulse…there is none…opens a vein…empty…
The runes burn on his chest…
A thing begins to uncurl itself from around the pyramidal meteor…
A massive world-serpenty winged lizard…breath death, all that jazz…
Wrapped around the pyramid…over itself, under itself…oroboros style…
One eye opens…a thin purple line of bright flame glowing under the lid…
Vadim starts to call lightning…Khut muffles him again…
Breaks has a chat with it…
Apparently it is paid to keep the story of this place from being remembered.
Vadim gets unmuzzled and drops a few more lightning bolts…why?!
Khut walks up to the spire…its shiny and new and covered with angel carvings
The bottom has broken off and its balanced on it…
The spirits of the dead hold it in the air and spin it…
Khut walks up to the spirits and says Hi…
Vadim drops some halucinatory terrain to make it look like the steppes…
The dragon seems a little grumpy…
its concerned that the memory grows in us…
“If it gets out they might begin to believe…”
Breaks: “Do you believe there is a god?”
Dragon: “Believe?”
Ado: “How would you hide it?”
Dragon: “Be refusing to answer prayers!”
Ado: “Spirits are doing the lords work”
DM to Breaks: “You don’t get Cosmic truth on an insight roll”
Breaks: “I get cosmic truth when we’re in the deep nasty”

Meanwhile back in the not-so-deep-fade…
Khadagan rages out and walks forward…
Barruk dives…grabs him…and they both join us past the life line…

AND the dragon exhales a cone of shadowy fire right at Vadim…
Khut returns fire…plowing all his rage into the shot…
The arrow glows cling through him…leaving a trace of crimson
But the dragon is clearly not entirely substantial…
Khadagan leaps in raging…and…praying?
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what I’m praying to…”
“…but I want to know!”
A jagged, rusty cut appears on his shoulder, tracing down his chest…
His claws are also covered with rust…
AND he leaps on it and aligator-wrestles its mouth closed…
Breaks like Wind points out exactly where NOT to hit the spire…
Because it would be so easy to drop it on the dragon…
But that would be bad…
AND drops protection from wiggins on Barruk…
Barruk, hasted by Vadim, starts wailing away with the hammer…
Sorq sends Alev to cast light on it…
It twists away as from the light as from death itself…
The dragon tries to bite, but can’t open its mouth…
But gets its claws into Barruk…Then gets grounded…
Khut puts another arrow clean through the thing…
Khadagan hangs on, stabbing away while holding its mouth closed…
AND he goes completely, murderously insane…possessed by WRATH
His claws leave deep smears of rust-red through its face…
Then Ado reams it with a Guiding Bolt…
Breaks drops some grease in its path…and Vadim knocks it right in…
Then Barruk is all over it again with his radiant, flaming, smiting hammer…
The light from the tip of the hammer spreads through its system…
It sighs “At least I got to see the sun again…”
AND IT EXPLODES
We cut it up…
LOOT FROM THE FADE:
* Left Eye: Cube of Force
* Right Eye: Ioun Stone (awareness)
* Carapace: +1 Chain Shirt

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Session 21: The Adding of the Five-Thousand...
oops...I mean 7000...mouths to feed...

We gather in the Gray Lady’s tent for war council
She’s all gussied up for Ellen-Dear…
Blue-green hair, sea-green eyes…
Vadim suggests that we leave the Old Empire behind us
Like a landshark in the desert…
But instead they are baring our way…
Firemane barges in and says “we’re dead in the water”
with at least two armies out there…
We could probably break through the Old Empire…
IF we move now and head north…
We have an intelligence advantage…
They are still gathering their legions…
Gray Lady says we need to go south…
Can’t leave the spire in Empty Circle hands…
Vadim says South…and lead the Old Empire there…
Give the Old Empire control of the dwarven city…
Firemane points out that two Septs of the EC are in play
Oblivion (who were besieging the city)
Heavy horse archers from Vohu Mana…
Void (who chased us through landsharks…and hate us)
The creepy, cursed-arrow, mouth-sewing folks…
Vadim…then it sounds like running West is the Best…
Firemane: “Through Worm infested salt flats?”
Ithunn: “Are the worms edible?”
Khut: “Of course!”
Ithunn: “Then we’re fine…”
Khut (under breath): “And this is why I’m in love…”
Gray Lady: “If we leave the artifact behind us…”
Vadim: “Wait! Did you just say we, meaning you and me?!”
Ellen-Dear: “She still doesn’t want to breed with you…”
The Old Empire are the enemys of our enemy…
Therefore we want them to be our friends…
Ellen-Dear: “We want them to tolerate us”
Khut: “Tollerance is the core of friendship”
Ellen-Dear (looks at Sqee): “Yeah, you’re right…”
There are like 8 armies out there…
Us…
Old Empire…
Gonds…
Hellhorns…
Axeteeth…
Void…
Oblivion…
Dwarves and Golems…

We decide to gather some data before making a decision…
Ellen-Dear bribes Decoy with some booze to go scout…
Decoy says there is an armed encampment of
steppefolk on the edge of the salt-flats…
Presumably Hell-Horns?
Then sits down to chat about strategy with Firemane…
Iron-Deer escorts Firemane to go make nice with Hellhorns…
We ride in…mostly stealthed…
Vadim hears a clicking/popping noise…
Then a corrosive geyser goes off…
Which is apparently normal for the badlands…
Then we hear a black-44 shaman’s death curse…

AND its on…
Khut: “Haven’t you always wanted to fly?”
Ithunn: “Yeah, but…”
Khut whistles and Littlewing grabs them…
From above they see a 300-ft. long deathworm…
Mauling some Hellhorns Shai-Hulud style…
Ellen-Dear grabs Squee and charges his warbeast up the slope…
Squee tries to make the worm laugh hideously…
Hey…its intelligent…and might have a sense of humor
Vadim hastes Iron-Deer and she rushes in like lightning…
She shoots, but it bounces harmlessly off its body plates
The tail stinger bursts out and stabs at Vadim…
Splintering his shield…
Sorq and Khadagan charge!
A tail segment bursts out of the ground…
Sinking their beast, but they leap free…
Breaks Like Wind picks up Ado and runs!
The Worm rears and unleashes a spew of…
Salt…blood…stomach acid…half-digested bodies…
Littlewing drops Khut and Ithunn towards the worm’s head…
Khut nails it with an arrow mid-fall, right in the gullet…
Drawing its ire…and a tail shot…
Which sends him flying 80 feet through the air…
Ithunn lands right on its back…beating with her tusks…
Caving in its exoskeleton and driving it towards the ground
Ellen-Dear unleashes a lightning bolt…
arcing through the sand…scorching it like OW!
to shouts of “Lick it” from Squee…
Squee meanwhile tells some more jokes, which fall flat…
The worm tries to wipe Ithunn and Iron-Dear…but whiffs…
then twists and dives, sounding beneath the sand…
Clearly regrouping…not fleeing…
AND Sorqutani drops a flaming sphere right down the hole…
AND somehow Sorq gets…younger…
Khut leaps in the hole, spits on some dust…
AND smears the worm with some Green Lotus paste…
Breaks Like Wind runs and hurls Ado at the worm…
who claws up its back…
Then Breaks tags it with a ray of sickness
Barruk finally shows up…and beats the worm with his hammer…
The worm wraps itself in a knot and bursts from the sand…
Towering above everyone…very scary…
Then it vomits its filth down on everyone…
AND Barruk goes down…
Littlewing swoops down grabs Ithunn…
Khut plants an arrow in its face…it turns…
AND then Ithunn in 70 feet in the air with her tusks out…
Then head falls…collapsing segment by segment…
right at Khut’s feet with Ithunn standing on its head
There is a tick of a geyser about to go off…
And Khut leaps and yanks Ithunn out of the way…
And enjoys a brief cuddle…
and applies some healing…
We patch everyone up…

Then Firemane rides down the hill…
Hair flaming…ground shaking under his mounts hooves…
The hills light up in flames behind him…
Riding through an alley of exploding geysers…
Because we know how to make an entrance…
Breaks Like Wind slips off to check on his fellow shamans…
One is badly wounded…one dead…
Khut slips a potion to Sorq and she joins the chat…
They prepare a worm-pyre for the dead shaman…
Have a bit of an a-political guild-centric chat…
Apparently “Mutsatseg” is the Black-Hand powerbroker…
She has some history with Firemane…
Firemane rides in with Squee and Ado…
Nergui Axetooth seems surprised to see him…
Some intimidation happens…weapons come out…
Mutsatseg confirms that Hoargrim is no illusion…
We try to talk Hoargrim into taking command…
But he seems really hesitant to do it…
AND then he just takes Nergui’s head off…
Who was apparently his son by Musatseg…
AND then Hoargrim starts booming about how awesome he is…
And he implies that we alone could kill their camp…
AND he promises to find Musatseg some longevity…

Barruk wanders out into the desert and communes with the spirits…
Calling for a steed…
He comes back with an enormous Chinchilla…
…Bunny…unicorn…thing…
“Squeeeeeeeeeeee!”
He tries again…
And comes back with…Sparky the Gorgon…
Blue-steel…and burned with lightning in the womb…
Wafting with the smell of ozone…
The gorgon shows up and…
POOF! the chinchilla loses all its fur…
Vadim goes and digs up some land-shark eggs…
And uses them to accelerate the aging of some HMBs…
Khadagan calls up the gardener…with some Plant Growth from Vadim…
AND makes more Spuds…because…food…
Ado starts taking time to cleanse the 5000+ steppefolk coming in…
Curing diseases, patching wounds…
[+3 on next check to stave off the plague]
Khut and Ithunn start carving up the worm…
Semek churns out several suits of solid chitin armor…
Khut finds a half-formed child inside…
The skin perfect and pliable…
They make REALLY nice gloves…
Infused with the rage of the worm…
Sorqutani goes and prays to the fire mother some more…
And the fire mother’s love for Sorq burns hotter and hotter…

THEN we turn south…
We ride into a cluster-fuck…
Old Empire…Void…Oblivion…Gond…Dwarves…
Breaks scries them with Decoy…
We scream, leap, jump the Void with surprise…
They lead with fire arrows…lighting up the Steppes…
And our Malik Cavalry ride in from the flank and flatten them…
They march in endless lines of slaves from the East…
The party leap in on some Holy Mountain Beasts…
Aiming for the slave drivers…
Who are thirteen-foot tall bone beasts…
Breaks: “It’s a date night. We found a fight where
both Drowned River and Dust will be happy…”
We charge the Bone-Slavers…
Ithunn, Squee, and Iron-Deer lead…to no apparent effect…
Ellen-Dear barrages one with bolts of force…
Khadagan sneaks in, hidden among the refugees…
And leaps on one…climbing up its back with his claws…
The thing retaliates…but is distracted by Ado…
The other goes for Ithunn…but is distracted by Breaks…
Because…sucks to be them…
Sorq conjures up a cloud of swarming fire pixies…
Which seem to ignore both the party and the slaves…
Sorq: “Because clearly I am good and not evil…”
Khut: BURSTS OUT LAUGHING
She manages to reign the homicidal pixies in…
Then they swarm the bone-slavers burning them alive…
AND the pixies set the Holy Mountain Beast farts on fire…
Khut leaps from one HMB to another to line up his shot…
AND hammers one of the bone-slavers with an arrow…
Knocking it into the line of fart-fire…
Barruk charges in on Sparky…
who knocks a bone-slaver down…and stomps it…
Thus spake Ithunn…“I remember!”
And she slashes like crazy at the downed one…
but can’t finish the job…
And Breaks waves…and the one in the fire…
gets coated in unusually-liquid HMB shit…
causing it to slide and fall on its ass…
on fire…and covered in shit…
AND Ellen-Dear blasts it with some lightning…
AND Iron-Deer appears by its head…
and drives a sword right through its left eye…
AND Khadagan rips the lungs out of the second…
AND Yet…it tries to retaliate…
But there are Ado and Ellen-Dear…and it hits air…
Then Sorq’s black flaming unicorn reappears…
AND the bone-slaver is utterly annihilated by…
Unicorns and Pixies…

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The slaves join up with our Infantry…
And Hoargrim enters the field to take command…
AND walks over their Cavalry…
THEN their general comes out and savrifices their scouts…
to decimate our cavalry…
AND Hoarrim wipes the remainder out and captures their general…

SO…we rescue thousands of refugees…
AND decidedly CRUSH the void-sept…

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Session 20: Do you breed?

Cards: Drowned River Thunderbird
Chaos
Plague among the Warblers

We surface out of a long-used-up mine shaft into the city
Followed by hordes of frightened dwarven women and children
Vadim flashes some House Surrin markers to some merchants
We head towards the north gate (out and west)
There is a Riot and a political gang-fight…
Reds (fight the EC) vs. Blacks (open the gates and surrender)
Breaks Like Wind scrys the Exarch’s discussions…
They realize they’d been conned hard-core…
They begin mobilizing the golems to pursue us…

Khadagan charges out of the caves into a pile of Reds…
Pitches them into a slimy beast-trough with a big timber…
Then whirlwinds as they close in…
Khut finds a granary and decides to loot it…
He swings up to the second floor…
From his vantage he spots some female Pasht assassins on the roof…
Ithunn starts giving him advice on how to hit on cats
“Be confident, chicks love that…”
But, with his deepest love talking to him he goes catatonic
Ellen-Dear runs in and starts leading the dwarf refugees into the granary
Squee organizes them to grab hay-bales…
Loading them onto wagons…
and the kids building forts out of the hay-bales…
Ithunn stealths up and leaps over to chat with Pasht…
Breaks Like Wind (still stoned) comes running in behind…
Is stuffed unceremoniously into a wagon…
THEN Sorqutani sets fire to the granary…
Ado illusions up a horde of EC troops in the city…
the riot stands in stunned silence…
AND we kick open the doors of the granary and roll out of there…

THEN

WE SPLIT THE PARTY
Ithun, Barruk, Ado, Ellen-Dear, and Khadagan lead the dworcs out of town

Khut, Sorq, Breaks, Vadim, Squee, and Iron-Dear head to the mercantile quarter
Squee chews out the guard lieutenant and demands they open the gates…
Khut makes the House Surrin markers appear in her back pocket…
AND she flashes them…
“What do we care what House Surrin says, the city is about to fall…”
“We’re going to run and save everyone we can…you should come along”
They double-march lead us to the warehouses…
We debate what to loot first…
THEN a big palanquin hauled by flesh golems shows up…
The Golems put the palanquin down and charge…
Khut shoots the curtains off the palanquin…
Sorq blasts flame at the golems…and lights them up…
One swings wildly at her, to no avail…
One starts sniffing around for Iron-Dear…but sucks…
the other two maul Vadim…
knock him through a window…into a burning building…
Iron-Dear lights another one up…
Khut rails the necromancer…
the palanquin goes up in a gout of shadow and flame…
Sorq and Iron-Dear light up the others…
Breaks spots the invisible necromancer…
and duels him mano-a-magical-mano…
countering his spells and blasting his ass…
Vadim pulls out his reflective shield and sword…
and stalks up to the necromancer…and misses…
the necromancer blasts him…
AND it bounces back and he kills himself…
Squee drops a cloud of daggers on one…
Khut blows the rune off and kills it very-very-dead…
Sorq burns one down to its component atoms…
Iron-Dear cuts the rune off the third burning golem…
Vadim thorn-whips the last one into a burning building…
Which collapses on him…
The golem stands up…
AND gets shot in the rune by Khut…
We steal the beasts…
Khut and Iron-Dear smash and grab the mages’ guild…
each comes out with two big bags of shinies…
Cloak of Elvenkind
Wand of the Warmage

We run for the gates…
with 10 Blood War-beasts, pulling wagons…full of food!
AND Khut is riding a ???
AND makes himself scarce…
We reach the north gate to kind Ithunn playing soccer with a golem’s head…
The rest of the golem hangs from the portculis, upside down, headless…
AND everyone else playing pinata with it…
AND Khadagan is now wielding a portculis…
Apparently they told the Northern Gond that they would hold the gate…
and sent the Northern Gond to the square to get reinforcements…
AND the gonds in the square take control of the city…

AND we head out, booking it for the salt flats…
Malik lead the way in the vanguard…
Nohai scouts circle us….
Blood warbeasts and holy mountain beasts in the center…
The Gray Lady and the maggot-folk follow near the center…
The core forming a tight academic community…
Trying to assemble a portable replica of the golemworks…
The warblers are sick…their eggs shells are brittle…
Khadagan moves in and starts nursing them back to health…with vigor…

AS WE TRAVEL
Breaks dedicates himself to the mirrors…
Watching for threats from the Fade…
Which are clearly bleeding into reality through a nasty hole…
Squee runs for Hulagu, finding supplies, apportioning rations…
Helping the refugees get acclimated to life in the Ordu…
Ithunn starts a witch-hunt for possible assassins…
Finds some funny-dressed steppefolk and joins them for dinner…
Vadim almost hits on them…
Apparently he bathes in mares-milk…
Iron-Dear points out their yellow eyes…totally NOT steppefolk…
AND Ithunn and the Pasht start some kung-fu cat-fighting…
Khut, lurking, is terribly turned-on…
The rest of the cats fall asleep by the fire…
The Catgirl leader introduces herself as Mrin of the Mountain…
AND Squee appears out of nowhere “It’s a kitty!”
Vadim works with Broketooth and Gormak to mount fireworks on spears…
Giving some anti-archer capability to our infantry…
We all go talk to the Gray Lady to tell her about the skystone…
Vadim tries to hook her up with Ellen-Dear…
Khut, scorched, offers to smuggle her in to see the skystone…
Vadim “Why are you on her side, she can’t even breed!”
Ellen-Dear “Oh, she can breed!”
Khut explains the encounter in the skystone…asks to see her library…
Also, he looks very very burned…
And his yurt starts skittering away…
He runs back to catch it…or what he his in there…
Ado asks about invoking Ohrmazd Bay…
She suggests talking to the Malik Magi…
Khadagan chats with her about herbalism…
He offers her some black lotus…she accelerates the potato harvest…
Ellen-Dear starts discussing golem-craft with the Dworcs…
Barruk and Gan’baatar starts breaking the Malik up into squads of 25…
Training them in group-combat (non-Champion) tactics…
With Gan’baatar training them to incorporate Holy Mountain Beasts…
Which makes Hoargrim Whiteman really happy…
He nicknames them “The Iron Gorgons”…
Because Malik on Blood Warbeasts charging as a unit is awesome…
Iron-Dear takes some time getting to know the caravan…
Then goes scouting with the Nohai…
Whoever is out there is exremely good…but she has their number…
As the rocks change to salt-flats…
There is something out there…
And its not just heat-shimmer…That ground is moving…
Ado removes all adornments…cakes himself in mud and dust…
Sits outside the camp with a broken warbler egg…
And entreats the Lord of Light and Life (Ohrmazd Bay)…
Going so far as to mortify himself with a cursed arrow…
“Against evil from outside and to secure victory in war”
The desert heat bakes down…
All he can see is the searing white light…
As he passes out…
He realizes he can see a patch of blackness against the sand…
Then realizes that he is looking at something pure white…
And the sand is made black…
He has caught the attention of a spirit of pure white light…

Iron-Dear comes back into the camp…
with a tattered bedraggled warbler…cradling a dead baby…
and they both say “LOOK UP!”
AND it’s the biggest thunderbird we’ve ever seen…
Khut quick-shoots it and pushes it away from the herds…
Sorqutani calls on the fire mother and blasts it with a witch bolt…
drawing its attention…
It dives and grabs Khut…
The thing…was clearly a thunderbird…at one point…
But has black feathers and stiched-shut eyes like an EC Warbler…
Khut stabs it in the foot…It drops him…
And he is snagged out of the air by a Juvenile Thunderbird…
HIS NEW FRIEND
Ithunn leaps 60 feet into the air…
grabs Khut’s ankles…gets flipped towards the bird…
grabs a wing and wrenches, causing it to lose serious altitude…
and proceeds to beat it out of the sky with her tusks…
WHERE Vadim ropes it with a steel cable…and lashes him to a wagon…
Barruk leaps on an exploding outhouse…
Onto the head of the blackcrow-thunderbird…
And SMITES it…and SMITES it again…with the sound of rolling thunder…
Ellen-Dear fires an acid arrow strait in its teeth…
Melting the bindings holding its mouth and eyes shut…
And its eyes are completely black lifeless pools…
Khadagan leaps in with the claws…and tears its lungs off…
And Squee viciously mocks it…
Breaks tells everyone not to kill it…
Then looks more carefully…
points out that it is not undead…just soul-less…
Decides that its not a thunderbird…
Touches its forehead…and kills it…

Khut flies back to his yurt and tucks in his little friend (Littlewing)…
Then walks back to the downed Fade-Bird, cuts off a chunk, and chows down…
Ellen-Dear starts researching turning it into a Golem…
Hundreds of Dust marks the bird as unclean to keep the nohai off…
AND she and Khadagan return to their tent to get it on…

We have a long chat about whether or not to head into the salt flats…

We head north into the salt-flats to meet the Fade-turned Old Empirers…
Everyone vanishes [Nat-20 Stealth plus Pass without Trade]…
Ripclaws (and Littlewing) circling silently overhead…
Except Barruk…who walks alone through the desert…
Bearing the standard of the West†
† golden pole topped with a double-headed ripclaw…
We come upon a crater…
In which there is a black Gith…with shining black teeth…
Emanating a miasma of darkness…bearing a sword of liquid starlight…
Barruk plants the standard and faces him…alone?
The Gith greets him in clipped, cultured, High Malik…
Barruk makes…confused…complicated introductions…
He introduces himself as “The Fifth Blade of Shan-yu”
Well known as the general who won the greatest, most mismatched battles of all of military history. Beating armies of 200K with an army of only 30K. Burried another alive. More than 2000 years ago.
Apparently he is digging up the burried army…
The ground around him is swarming with salt-zombies…
And there are a lot more just on the other side in the fade…
Vadim stands up out of the sand…covered in fur…and asks…
“Do you breed?”
Nope…they are “Faded”…they are gone…
But their memory can still impact this world…
Squee appears and asks “Can I have a tooth?!”
Khut presents the Sulde of the Altan Ordu…
Which apparently hurts his brain…an empty place in his mind…
We negotiate…and offer them the city of Ahura Mazda in exchange for their salt
The Gray Lady (who came with us)…switches to old imperial…
And asks for the opportunity to discuss philosophy with them…
Offering the knowledge of an ancient kingdom
To trade for knowledge “that your folk alone possessed”
Vadim – “I’m glad I hit the shit-house and not the library last night”
Squee, convinced the Gith cannot see or hear her, scrambled up him…
Trying to steal a tooth…
Iron-Dear tries to grab her…fails…
Breaks cuts a mirror off the top of his hat and presents it to her…
She refuses…
Iron-Dear tries to put her to sleep…fails…
She climbs him, trying as hard as she can to extract his teeth…
But it just doesn’t work…
She bangs on his head…and he doesn’t even notice…
THEN she steals his sword…or tries…
She touches it…grips it for a moment…
But knows that if she unsheathed it…she would have no future…
The sword apparently severs you from the Verge…
And she goes back to desperately trying to pry a tooth out…
AND We’ve offered them a city…

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