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Simar - Chapter One: Return to Pawlosz

Oō - Sunday, Galici 6th -:- Grand Parade - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: You're only a few short miles from the battle camp. There are still a lot of scarred trees and stumps here, remnants of last year. And you can see the gigantic sheet of ice - larger than you remember it. It's covered in long spikes of icicles, some which look almost like columns
Simar: it's gotten bigger?
GM: yes. apparently the waterfall kept freezing on it this whole time, and now the river is almost totally blocked
Simar: I see
GM: Naur has the men stop and sends out a pair of scouts first. When they return and give an all clear he has the men camp in the temple's ruins. It doesn't take long to get things set up, but everyone is on edge in the dead remains of the Varial temple. You can see a few tattered ribbons and other favors strewn about, but none look very recent. Seems the people of Pawlosz have finally given up on the place.
GM: Garen has been fairly friendly to you since leaving ‹hraid, and you can see he's outgrown Harekk and his foolishness. Most of the men are still spoiling for a fight, but that's been tempered by the somber ruins.
GM: Being this close to the ice is still dreadful - you can remember your close escape from it, and remember that your father's body is still buried under it.
GM: Naur and the new acolytes will mark a perimeter around the camp, just in case of vengeful ghosts. You and two of the other men are assigned midnight watch.
Simar: oh joy. I will be watching for anything especially those freakin flying elves while getting set up and all
GM: You don't see any Elves, but that's all you hear about. Every conversation inevitably ends up with wondering about the faerie curse on this place. And, to make matters worse, there is nothing to eat but more trail rations. The hunters return empty handed, not even a berry.
Simar: I saw what those elves can do they give the willies for I am on edge
GM: You're still hungry when your watch comes up, but you just can't bring yourself to chew on any more damned dried deer meat. Being so near to your father's 'grave' makes you morose too; makes you remember the sword you've been keeping wrapped up and hidden.
GM: One of the other watchmen creeps into camp to make some tea. Everyone is edgy, on their toes and whispering, as if eyes and ears are all around.
Simar: golly isn't this wonderful whoopty freakin doooo I'm just a bundle of ugly right now then but I am also paranoid
GM: When he sloshes some water into his cup one of the lesser Acolytes jumps and stifles a cry, then grins and lies back down. GM: You blink a couple tears out of your eyes from a quick blast of cold wind, then peer out into the shattered woods to the east. Was that movement?
Simar: you know I'm looking twice [1 success - alertness(7)]
GM: You're probably up on your feet instantly
Simar: oh yeah
GM: You don't see it now, but you're sure you saw something shift out there - just at the edge of your visibility
Simar: I will stay up and looking in that direction
GM: You can feel your sword arm shake just a bit, and you realize you're gritting your teeth. There's a sharp double snap from behind you and to your left - a signal from one of the watchmen to be on your guard.
Simar: I am that's for sure
GM: Are you going to go and look, or would you rather stay close to the camp?
Simar: I will go out a little further but not so far to where I can't be heard if I have to raise an alarm
GM: Okay, you step out cautiously just to the edge of the ruins. You listen closely, straining for any sound but the soft clicking of bare branches in the wind.
Simar: [no successes - investigation(6)]
GM: It must have been the wind - all you can see now are the shadows of branches.
Simar: I will go back to my allotted post and keep a watchful eye open
GM: You turn to go back, seeing the moon frosted tomb of the falls, and you look down at your feet. You take a couple steps then stop. This is wrong - your shadow should be behind you.
GM: There is a light behind you, not even as strong as a candle. Just as you start to turn it snuffs out. You hear the double snap from camp again, and then once more.
Simar: ok can I signal one of the other guards?
GM: Yes. are you going to signal alert or do you want one to come? You can see that 2 more men have been brought around.
Simar: I am signaling alert
GM: k' you snap the alert signal. You can hear the camp waking up more, but everyone is still very hushed. Whatever that light was it's gone now.
Simar: [1 success - Investigation(7)]
GM: You take a cautious step into the edge of the woods and make a final sweep. It still seems clear - all too clear in fact: no animal tracks, or any tracks at all. Then you see the light start to fade in and you realize what it must have been - there's a faint aurora just building up beyond Pawlosz. You can hear an all clear signal from camp. A moment later there's a second.
Simar: I am heading back to tell them about the aurora
GM: Alright. Everyone seems a little relieved that it was all a false alarm, but it does nothing to unwind the tension.
* Garen smiles at you unconvincingly "Just the ghosts of battle, eh?" and he offers you his skin of vodkŠ. "I have watch after you - try to keep us clear tonight."
Simar: is Molo up?
GM: He's in his tent still.
GM: The aurora finally manages to pull together and bathes the woods in an eerie greenish-white glow.
Simar: everyone sees it right?
GM: Yes - it's normal, if uncommon. And it doesn't do a damn thing for morale either. Things were bad enough in the cold and quiet, but now you've got creepy ghost light over everything.
Simar: I will take a swig of that skin
GM: There is another false alarm on your watch, and it's just as quickly resolved - you're sure there will be some all night. Garen will sit with you for the last couple minutes of your watch and help you finish off the last remains of it.
Simar: shit I am spooked big time like I'm gonna sleep
Garen: "I doubt you will get any more sleep than I have. It was better when there were shadows to cover our fears."
GM: You can see one of the men has stuck some bits of meat to sharp sticks to heat in a last ditch effort to make them palatable. But it didn't seem to work because most are now just burnt to a crisp.
Simar: "I don't think I care much for this place ...too many ghosts "
GM: Garen lets you have the last of the vodkŠ, and nods towards the ice wall. "I wonder why the Elves wanted that great wall of ice. Ye'd think they would move it after using it in that battle. I just hope not to see any of them pointy eared devils tonight." He stands up and rubs his hands together. "I had better find my post, and you would be best asleep."
Simar: "sleep ....that's not going to be to easy"
GM: He claps you on the shoulder. "Not for any of us, my friend."
Simar: "ok.....I guess I will see you in the morning"
Simar: I will try to rest
GM: Even with the vodkŠ your tent is cold. You lie for a few minutes, trying to pretend sleep will come, but finally give up, knowing better. But once you have the furs warmed up it's at least nice to stretch out. You hear a couple men mumbling by the fire - complaining about the food, guessing about the meaning of the aurora, and the usual talk of Elves. Before long you're just starting to doze.
Simar: I am sleeping with my sword
GM: which - your Guardian sword or your father's sword? (they're basically the same size)
Simar: papas
GM: You start to see the first flashes of dream, mostly just images culled from the conversation and thoughts of your family, when you hear a faint rustling near your feet. The dream recedes to faint shreds, and you reach for the sword
immediately. The hilt throbs in your hand like a heartbeat - or maybe that's just more of the dream.
Simar: whoa.......
GM: You curl your legs up when you hear the rustling again, and then you see a slight bulge in the side of your tent, as if a child were leaning on the outside.
Simar: [1 success - Might(5)]
GM: The handle throbs again, and the sword jerks up suddenly, almost out of your grasp.
Simar: this has never happened before right?
GM: The bulge flattens out again, and there is another slight rustling.
GM: Nope. But you only rarely take it out, and mostly to look at.
GM: You hear another alert signal, this one far out to the south.
Simar: I am getting up now
GM: Now you are certain it's not a dream. The handle definitely seems to have a heartbeat, and it's getting more insistent. A moment after the alert is signaled you hear an all clear.
Simar: I am gonna check this damn blade out
GM: The blade is quivering slightly, in time with the heartbeat. Your sword arm picks up the rhythm, and soon your whole body does. You feel a slight rush as your body revs up, your blood pumping furiously as if you had just been exercising.
Simar: I am amazed at this but I will let this play out
GM: You hear someone shout "Hey!" from outside, and then there's an alarm whistle. Men start shouting, and you can hear a scuffle a few yards from your tent.
Simar: oh chit I am getting out of the tent
GM: You push the flap aside and you can see 3 men wrestling around on the ground, although it's hard to see what they're fighting. The sword throbs hard in your hand, and your vision nearly blackens for a moment. Then you're thrown backwards suddenly by an invisible force, something that squirms and flails against you, and your tent collapses in a tangle of cloth and furs.
Simar: whoa nelly!!!! its on baby!!
GM: Yes it is. First off I'll need a Might(5) roll to see how quick you get out of the tangle of tent.
Simar: [no successes]
GM: You kick and struggle, trying to loose yourself from the tent, but the figure on you is struggling just as hard and tying you up more. It's humanoid, short and stocky, and it's grunting and slobbering on you. You have a good grip on the sword though, and if you could just turn it right you may be able to cut yourself free. The increased bloodflow from whatever force is in the sword is making you a little light-headed, but it's a good feeling - makes you really want to fight.
Simar: [4 successes - might(5)]
GM: You push the struggling thing away and push up with the sword with a loud cry, ripping it to shreds. You look down and see a Goblin warrior, his greenish skin mottled from some sort of cloaking spell. It looks like a Goblin raiding party has taken over the camp, with half a dozen skirmishes all around. The Goblin has a dagger, and he steps back in a defensive posture, grinning his crooked yellow teeth at you.
GM: [Initiative]
GM: well, you've got first action, unless you want to wait for him.
Simar: no there are too many of them it seems.....I attack him
GM: The Goblin tries to keep out of your reach, but you're moving pretty fast.
Simar: [3 successes - Melee(5)]
GM: You swing once and he ducks, just under your blade, and then steps back further out of your reach. But then you step in and bring it back around for a second swipe.
Simar: [3 successes - Melee(5)]
GM: This bugger is fast! He weaves around your swings, getting just out of your reach.
GM: The rushing blood is starting to make you lose control. You can feel the sword wanting to cut this little bastard down. [New initiative round begins]
GM: Go for it.
Simar: I'm gonna cut this freak down
GM: The Goblin continues to grin at you, and he grunts something in his Gobbely tongue.
Simar: [3 successes - Melee(5)]
GM: You thrust and he jumps back, but not quite far enough; the thrust meant for his heart ends up slashing just across his upper arm. He keeps sidestepping to the left, maybe trying to flank you.
Simar: I have another attack right?
GM: [go ahead and make your 2nd strike. assume the D# is 5, unless you want to make any special moves or whatever]
Simar: nope just swinging [4 successes]
GM: After the first slash his grin falters. He keeps up his sidestep, but you've got his mark now. Still just another quick slash, this time higher up on his shoulder. His eyes darken, and you see him coiling for attack. [new init]
GM: The throbbing in the sword subsides for a moment, then returns to its manic pace. Your tunnel vision starts to clear, and for the first time you start to see the fighting around you. [your move]
Simar: swinging at him again [5 successes - Melee(5)]
GM: You step forward to catch him off guard, and you see the surprise on his face just as you connect. You realize your swing went much faster than you anticipated, the sword almost swinging itself. It throws you off a bit, and you end up slashing across his face, he goes low and tries to stab you under your guard. [you can try to parry at +2 D#, or dodge at +1 D# - or you can just take it and slash at him again]
Simar: yup I'll chance taking it. he just got a dagger right?
GM: [yep. soak 1 (oooOOOoooo)]
GM: His dagger sticks into the shoulder of your armor, then is pushed aside as you bring your sword around to strike [go for it]
Simar: [2 successes]
GM: You bring your sword down on him, hacking down through his shoulder, your blade crunching right through the bone. His blood sprays on your face, and you can feel the sword as the beat becomes a dull throb. The Goblin slumps, gurgling.
GM: One of your men, about 4 yards to your right, swings twice at a Goblin, who steps back and ducks out of reach, then tosses a dart that sticks in your man's sword arm. You put your heel on the Goblin's chest to push him off your blade, and you see the blood on the blade and hilt slowly run upwards, soaking into the blade.
Simar: I move to help....flanking the goblin if possible
GM: [k - Init, and add 3 to it]
GM: The adrenaline rush is still strong, and you can feel the sword urging you forward, waving back and forth deciding how to strike.
GM: k' You walk over the gurgling Goblin's body and around to catch the other from a blindside. He's drawing another dart, and you can see your man is having trouble holding his sword.
Simar: [4 successes - Melee(4)
GM: You stab the Goblin in the side, catching him by surprise. You stick your sword right through him, nearly giving your main a nasty cut. This sword takes some getting used to. Just as you start to pull the sword out, pushing against the Goblin's back, he brings the dart down on your arm. [Soak 2 - ignore armor]
GM: The dart just pricks you, drawing a slight but harmless scratch. [You use your second action pushing him off, unless you want to do something different]
Simar: no that's about right
GM: k' You push him forward, and the other guard brings his sword down on the back of his head, and losing the sword in the process. He grabs his arm and you can see he's in terrible pain. By now Molo Naur and the acolytes are roused, and you can hear thunder beginning to crackle at ground level. Two Goblins run to the south, and another, just as he turns to run, is struck down by a blue bolt of lightning.
GM: The sword jerks your arm, as if to make you follow the fleeing Goblins, but then there's a burning sensation, right at the scratch from the dart.
Simar: uh oh
GM: One of the watchmen is chasing them, and another looses a couple of arrows, though both miss. The others have been taken care of.
Simar: this other guardsman looking bad like he's poisoned?
GM: Yes. In fact, he's starting to turn white and he's looking panicked. Your arm starts to cramp, and you're having trouble holding onto the sword.
GM: You see Molo Naur is faltering, and two of the acolytes are helping him stand.
Simar: [2 successes - Resistance(7)] I'll set him down and see if I can find his wound.....maybe I can bleed him some
GM: [not bad - you take 2 Killing damage from the poison] You're having too much trouble yourself just now. The fire is racing up your arm with tremendous speed. You're starting to get short of breath, and you've dropped your sword. You can see the man is trying to call for help, but he's barely breathing. Garen is coming up to you, his armor slashed in several places and his off-shoulder bleeding a bit.
Simar: is it possible to get this sword under wraps again?
GM: not right this second, but you can try to lay on it to hide it.
Simar: yep
Garen: "Hey... Are you... oooookaaaaay???"
GM: Your vision is swimming, and you can see Garen waving for priests to come.
Simar: "poison "
GM: He kneels down and checks you for wounds, only finding the scratch. You almost choke the first time, but then finally manage to croak the word. When Naur's face appears in your fisheyed view the pain is so intense you are almost wishing you fall unconscious or die or anything to make it stop. The rushed heartbeat from before has become a panicked frenzy. Naur seems to look almost as bad as you feel, and he places a cool hand on your forehead. A moment later you are finally, blissfully out.
Oō - Foolsday, Galici 8th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: You'll go in and out of consciousness for a while, most of the time feeling like something is sitting on your chest. Finally you'll feel better and wake up in a cool sweat. One of the acolytes helps you up and gives you water.
Simar: where is my sword?!?!
GM: "Calm yourself, sir. You've been very ill."
Simar: I'll drink water
GM: The acolyte is a nervous young man, with wide grey-blue eyes. He'll pull the blanket back over you, then bring you a second cup. You're terribly thirsty.
Simar: I will drink
Simar: "what happened? ..........goblins ....."
Acolyte: "Master Naur says you will be fine. Poor Rudrhi will never be the same."
GM: You can see now that you're in one of the priest's tents. Your clothes are piled up beside the pile of furs that you're laying on. The hilt of your sword is poking out from underneath them. Your mask is laying atop the pile, it's got a wide crack on the right side.
Simar: was Rudrhi the one I tried to save?
GM: yep.
Simar: my mask is cracked? "how'd that happen?"
GM: The acolyte will bring you a third cup, this one filled with a thin, sour smelling tincture. "When you fell you hit your head."
Simar: drink this too, making a face
GM: The acolyte nods. "It will taste better once you're used to it."
Simar: "the many were there?"
GM: You can hear a few men outside - mostly exercise and cooking.
Simar: "is Molo ok?"
Acolyte: "We aren't sure - their invisible cloak made it hard to make out numbers. Couldn't have been more than half a dozen." He'll wring a cloth out in some cool water and mop your forehead with it. "You should lie down, the poison is only just coming out of your system."
Simar: I'll try to get up
GM: Your bladder feels like a rock.
Simar: like I gotta pee?
GM: horribly
Simar: I try and get up to go outside to go pee
GM: The acolyte will try to keep you lying down, but you can tell he's afraid to push it.
Acolyte: "You need to rest and finish the antidote."
Simar: I'll drink the rest of the antidote, then I'm gonna go outside
GM: He'll bring you a second cup of it. By now it isn't so bad, but adding liquid to your current condition is getting iffy.
Simar: I'll take this one with me
GM: As you go to the tent's opening he'll look down and blush slightly. "I'm afraid you're going to experience some... discomfort."
Simar: do I got clothes on?
GM: a loincloth
Simar: this'll be fun...........
GM: standing up only made it worse.
GM: Once you've gotten outside and spot a good tree you're nearly running, your bare feet slipping on the icy ground.
Simar: "gotta go gotta go"
GM: A couple men get out of your way, laughing a little.
Simar: grumble and get to the tree
GM: When you finally get out far enough and get ready you start to feel a slight burning sensation. Then, as the flow goes from yellow to a bright green it turns into a horrible fire - just as bad as the first onset of the poison. But it's too late to stop now, and you're in for a few minutes of burning agony.
GM: Finally, relief. You're surrounded by a haze of yellowish mist. There's a faint smoldering line on the tree. There's some laughter and applause from the camp.
Simar: a stream of colorful words come out of my mouth
GM: The acolyte is a few feet from you, totally embarrassed. He tries to hand you a cool cloth.
Simar: oh yes I now where that's going. "holy mother of pearl!!"
GM: Well, now at least you know what your mother was warning you about when she told you about 'loose girls.'
Simar: oh that was not fun .........but hey I'm alive
GM: A couple of the men will stop laughing when you come back into camp. Garen will step up from the fire and hand you some of the morning's broth.
Garen: "I hear they call that 'Gek's Revenge'."
Simar: look at him ...........not at all happy. I'll drink it though
GM: He'll put a skin over your shoulders and help you to the fire. You definitely don't want to sit just yet.
Garen: "Better than Rudrhi. Hear he nearly immolated himself in his sleep."
Simar: I'm still trying to put the fire out down below
* Garen will grin "You know, you've been out about 2 days. We were afraid we'd have to put a fire watch on you too."
Simar: "2 days?!?"
* Garen shrugs "Well, all of yesterday anyway, and it's near noon now."
GM: A scout will return, and his replacement leaves to the east.
Simar: I'll drink this broth down I'm still standing
GM: Finally the burning subsides enough for you to realize that your feet are ice cold. Fortunately there's the fire, and you can sit well enough now.
Simar: I'll warm up then. "any one else get hurt?"
Garen: "Alek nearly had an eye put out, and a few scrapes, but nothing bad." Then, in a lower voice, "I didn't realize that Master Naur was so old."
Simar: he wasn't that old was he?
GM: not much older than you, as you recall.
Simar: whoa he burning up fast
Simar: wait.........he worked on me huh
GM: you think so
Simar: oh man see now I feel bad
GM: And at the mention of his name you'll see Naur coming out of his tent, helped by one of the acolytes. He does look frail.
Simar: I'll watch him
GM: He'll let the acolyte lead him to the fire, then wave him off and limp to one of the logs beside yours. He gives you a half grin as he warms his hands. "Good to see you awake. I hope it wasn't too terrible for you."
Simar: "I am grateful for what you have done"
Simar: "I hope I wasn't too bad a patient"
* Molo chuckles "Oh no, not I young Guardsman." He leans forward a bit with a grimace, stirring the fire up a bit with a stick. "The acolyte I had left with you is an expert on poisons and other ailments."
Simar: look him over. "I hope you are well"
GM: The right side of his face looks a little slack, and both of his eyes have a slight milky sheen.
Naur: "I will be fine."
* Garen will stand and get a cup of broth for Naur. "I hope you will rest before we go into town."
Simar: nods ..agreeing with Garen
Simar: he looks worse than before right?
GM: a little, yes
* Naur takes the cup and sips carefully. "We cannot wait forever, and I doubt my condition will improve much in a week." he takes another sip, the cup trembling slightly. "But I can wait another day, if you're willing to work."
Simar: I will nod to Molo
Garen: "Of course."
* Naur finishes off the broth and tries to stand.
Simar: if no one help him I will
GM: You and Garen will stand at the same time to help him, and he'll smile gratefully.
Naur: "I must fulfill my promise and rebuild this temple. Charatt and Talia wish the statue of her son Deimuu to be remade and consecrated on the eve of Savarit."
Simar: guide him to his tent
* Garen gapes at him "You mean you want a gigantic statue made and consecrated by the end of the month?"
* Naur nods. "It is the will of the Father and Mother."
Garen: "Do you intend another miracle? That could kill you Master Naur."
* Naur just shakes his head. "You shall see. Now go and organize the men. Start clearing rubble." He'll hold your arm before you go to leave. "Come with me, young D'Vesku. I have questions."
Simar: how many men do we have?
GM: right now just short of a dozen in camp.
Simar: I go with him, help him to his tent
GM: and the temple that these are ruins of was very big.
Simar: huge if I remember
Simar: I'll help him to where ever he intends on sitting
GM: Inside you see the short traveling altar, with fat yellow candles lit and a squat dragon-head censer, smoke drifting from the nostrils. He'll sit heavily on a thick black cushion and motion for you to sit opposite him. The acolyte who helped him before is there, on his knees and chanting softly. Naur tells him to leave and help the men outside.
Simar: I'll sit
Naur: "That was some very impressive fighting I saw. I did not realize you had trained as a Storm Knight."
Simar: wrapping the skin Garen gave me around myself or is it warm in here
GM: It's warmer in here, yes, but you're still cold.
Naur: "And I cannot believe how quickly you've recovered. You have a strong spirit, D'Vesku."
Simar: "I take it as a good sign, I have always healed quickly.....even as a child"
GM: He coughs a bit, waving away a wisp of smoke. "Why do you play as a Guardsmen then, if you are a Storm Knight? You could reclaim your family name."
Simar: "time"
Molo: "Is this why you wished to return to Pawlosz?"
Simar: "I don't know why I came.......I wanted to make sure ......I don't know"
GM: He'll rustle through a pouch and take out a packet of loose powder, then open the censer with his bare hands and sprinkle some of it onto the hot coal. The faint musky odor of the room is masked by a quick burst of a sweet resinous wood.
Molo: "You will know, in time."
Simar: "maybe I am being led by fate"
Molo: "Most certainly. But who shall be the master, you or fate?"
Simar: "who am I to argue with fate"
GM: His smile glints in the candle-light. "Do not be a fool. You can be a master of your own destiny, here and now." He leans forward a bit. "The Gods favor those who are bold."
Simar: "please........I will do what I can I will not lay down and die, but I am not one to know what opportunity looks like. I am not like you goood sir"
Molo: "Tomorrow I will meet with men from Pawlosz. The tyrants keep the place under their thumb now, although this far up that means little." He coughs again. "I do not wish a war here. There are forces here beyond our knowledge, and it would be foolish to cause trouble."
Simar: nods......... "glad to hear that"
Molo: "We need to liberate Pawlosz, but not with swords. We need to make these people realize that their fate is truly in their own hands." He holds his hands out in an almost beatific gesture. "We must be an example of pride."
Simar: "you are a wise man ...if anyone can do this you can. I will stand by you ......I am at your command"
Molo: "I can only hope." he sits back and relaxes. "You should get yourself dressed and help the men. If you feel well enough, that is."
Simar: "I am well enough"
GM: He'll nod. "I thought as much."
Simar: I'll get up and look at him "thank you for your wisdom"
GM: Even with his frail body you can see a thread of strength through him - a powerful fire that seems to be slowly burning it's way through him.
Simar: I will bow and take my leave of him. go and get dressed and wrap my sword back up
GM: You are definitely glad to be back in your clothes, even with the mild itching aftereffect of the poison. Your arm is still a bit weak, but you tough it out and move rocks with the other men.
Simar: yup I am do what I don't know but hey I'm alive
GM: By the time it gets dark you're quite tired, but refreshed to have done something more than sit and wait, and the exercise has been great on your bunched up muscles.
Simar: good it also gave me time to think about what he said
GM: Scouts come and go all day, mostly with reports on men in Pawlosz. Some do finally manage to find some food - a deer, a couple of rabbits, some winter greens that could stand a good long boiling.
Simar: ill chow for sure I'm probably hungry
GM: It's wonderful finally having fresh meat - even if the rabbit is a bit gamy. Some of the men will sing, but it's stilted and quiet - everyone is still nervous being under the shadow of the falls.
Simar: how far are the scouts going?
GM: Most go to Pawlosz, which is about a day's journey. but at least one goes about halfway up the falls, and finds nothing more than creepy feelings
Simar: whoa so someone has been up the falls? scary
GM: not too far
GM: Nightwatches are doubled for tonight, and before the first watch goes on two of the acolytes will strengthen the circle around the camp.
Simar: that's probably a goood thing
GM: You'll get second watch again, and again the whole night is full of false alarms and all clears. But nothing untoward happens, and you manage to get a decent night's sleep (with a couple laborious pee breaks).

O) - Windsday, Galici 9th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: Next morning is mostly clear, and the air is crisp and clean. You will see a few men out at the perimeter, and the body of an extremely dead Goblin has been dragged into camp. The mood is much lighter, since the ward around the camp seems to have worked more than well. Garen sleeps in late since he had last watch, and you can see the acolytes are serving breakfast - seems that a nest of nightbirds was found, and there are plenty of eggs.
Simar: tasty  ;)
GM: The men are also stretching and getting ready for another day of heavy lifting. Molo Naur comes out about an hour after you do, dressed for travel.
Simar: oh that's right he's going into town huh who's going with him?
GM: Well, after he has a light breakfast he announces his escort, which will be you, one of the acolytes, and two of the other guardsmen. Your mask, incidentally, has been patched - the crack is still visible, but it is at least fixed for now.
Simar: right on I'll need that
GM: And, while you're putting it on, Molo Naur will tell you quietly "I do not recommend bringing that steel sword I saw you with. That could only cause trouble."
Simar: I'll give him that oh shit look, but nod in compliance
GM: The ride down to Pawlosz is easy at first, but once the sun climbs past noon the trails get brutal - blocked by fallen trees, icy enough to make it difficult for the horses, and while you're in the woods they seem almost constantly spooked. It takes hours to get there, and you only stop once to rest once you get out of the woods and you can see the smoke from the hearth fires in town. Naur will give everyone a quick blessing under the moon's light, and you will finally ride into town during their second watch.
GM: The whole town has been barricaded, and you can see that the barracks have been doubled in size. A man at the top of the gate hails you, and Naur will come forward and raise a hand to him.
Naur: "I have come in peace. We wish to meet with you, to talk of reparations we wish to make at the Temple."
GM: The guard spits down in the snow. "Heretic! Go now, or I shall have you chased like dogs."
* Naur holds his ground. "I have no quarrel with you or your people, I wish only to show them the gifts we can bring to them." he waves his arm back, indicating you and the others. "We have come to restore your pride."
Simar: look as proud as I can
GM: The guard just whistles down, and you can hear some men approaching the other side of the gate. "Get gone, or we'll have you tried and hung by morning's light." he says.
GM: Naur lowers his head and turns his horse around. "I come in peace tonight, my good man. Tomorrow night I may not feel so generous." And he spurs the horse on, leading you back to the camp at the edge of the woods.
Simar: I will keep an eye on the gate as we go, just in case
GM: The gate will open, and you'll see several men there at the gate, but they don't follow you.
GM: Naur will put a ward around the camp, with the acolyte's help. Then he'll go to his tent and tell you "I am not to be disturbed, under any circumstances. Tomorrow may be a difficult day."
Simar: "yes , as you wish"
Simar: I'll set up a watch with the other two guardsmen
GM: The night is mostly uneventful. You'll hear someone approach from the city, but they stop just within eyesight, wait a few minutes, then turn back.
Simar: well I certainly don't mind having an uneventful night
GM: By next morning the stiffness in your arm has subsided mostly, and it only really aches when you work it hard. (heal one level)

O) - Earthday, Galici 10th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: It's quite cold this morning, with a thick fog crystallizing frost on everything. Naur is awake before everyone, and you can see that his usual limp is almost gone. He's drinking water and staring into the fire, mesmerized
Simar: I'll watch him awhile
GM: You see him toss something into the fire, then make a sign in the air. When you sit for your breakfast you see he has a pair of small rubies at his feet, and there are three lying in the fire.
Naur: "We may have to fight today."
Simar: "I will do as you command" but I'm thinking,................ oh right ...........6 against a whole town
* Molo shakes his head. "We must be careful and not hurt them too badly. I am certain if we kill any of their men they will not listen." He sees the look on your face and smiles. "You doubt our chances?"
Simar: "what do you suggest sir?......kill them with kindness?
GM: He looks back into the fire and tosses in another ruby, making the sign with his fingers. You see a brief flash of fiery yellow from his eyes. "We are in no danger, except perhaps in doing too well."
Simar: "............forgive me sir I mean no insult. I will do what ever you say"
Simar: "I trust your wisdom Molo Naur......just like my father did"
GM: You see his face falls a bit when you say that, and he loses his concentration just a bit. "You should prepare yourself. We leave after breakfast." The other two men will eat their breakfast quietly, watching Naur nervously as he finishes his ritual with the rubies. When you're all ready to go he reaches into the fire and takes out the 5 stones, blackened from the coals, and puts them into a pouch.
Simar: I'll be ready by the time we head out. I wish I had my sword though
GM: It might get you into trouble here...
Simar: yeah I know
Simar: ok I trust Molo I have seen what he's capable of
GM: But at least you have your guardsmen's sword.
GM: You all mount up and make your way back to Pawlosz, but you're met by a group of 10 armed men about a half mile from the gates. Their leader, a long-haired man with the Tambreci crest on his shield, will call for you to halt. "How do you come, Heretics?"
* Naur will reach for his pouch, holding up his other hand. "We come in peace my good man, and we come bearing the gifts of Charatt."
GM: Several of the men will laugh. The leader will wave them to silence. "We want none of the dragon's gifts. Go home."
* Naur takes one of the rubies out and tosses it to the ground lightly, where it explodes in a bright shower of red sparks, booming like thunder.
Naur "I present a challenge." and he waves you and the other two guardsmen forward. "We come for peaceful parley and you show us your blades. Let us show you our strength."
Simar: move up
GM: Again the Tambran men laugh, some openly sneering.
Simar: [3 successes - Conviction(7) to resist the insults]
GM: Well... You maintain your cool very well, waiting for your chance to prove yourself.
* Naur motions for you to dismount while the leader starts to choose among his men.
Naur: "Oh no - don't be afraid. I insist that you all join the fray."
* Naur will smile down at you three and make a blessing sign over you. Then he and the acolyte lead your horses back a few feet while the Tambran men circle you.
GM: The man to your left doesn't seem convinced as you three circle with your backs together.
Simar:[2 successes - courage(6)]
GM: You're a bit nervous, considering your chances, but your faith in Naur is strong enough to hold you.
Simar: good
GM: The men around you shift around a bit - looking at you and at each other, waiting for someone to make the first move. They're obviously afraid of something.
Simar: I'll look as intimidating as possible. [no successes - Intimidation(8)]
GM: Hmmm... well they still hold their place, but you can tell they're starting to realize the odds here. The leader, who is just a few men away from you, is eyeing his men and you can tell he's signaled a couple of them.
Simar: I'm ready
GM: [init]
GM: Alrighty - half of these men are armed with steel broadswords, while the others have iron bastard swords. One of the broadsword bearing men will charge, going after the guardsman at your right. At that signal, two will come for you, one of each. [what's your action?]
Simar: I will do a wide cleave to slash at both of them I figure there is good swinging room right? [2 successes - melee(8) + Willpower]
GM: Right now yes, especially with the triangle formation you have.
GM: The man with the bastard sword comes in on your right, swinging high. The second man tries to parry your blade and succeeds in defending himself, but your blade slides off his and slashes into the man with the bastard sword. The bastard sword clangs from your armor's studs just as your blade slides along his arm, drawing a long cut.
GM: The two guardsmen with you keep a tight formation, and you three circle just a bit clockwise. You can hear clashing swords all around you, and you realize Naur's plan - there are so many of them they're getting in each other's way.
GM: [what's your next action?]
GM: The men in front of you try to back up a bit, but the one with the broadsword nearly backs into the leader, who is tangling now with the man to your right.
Simar: go for the broadsword guy (he's uninjured right?)
Simar: yup that's what I do unless I have to go to far from our formation then I will hold [2 successes - Melee(7)]
GM: yes, you only need to take a half step out.
GM: He raises his sword to block you, and you bind him up a bit before pushing him back. then the bugger with the bastard sword tries to come in under your guard. He makes what would be a solid blow against your chest, but as you
push his mate back you throw him off and he only manages a quick slash against the armor.
GM: One of the guardsmen follows you, keeping formation tight. You see the leader of the Tambrans stepping out of the fray and trying to maintain order, then he's smacked in the eye by one of his men drawing back to strike.
Simar: trying to keep tight formation as possible
GM: You can hear Molo laughing above the fight. "Fight together, good men. You see where your weakness is?"
GM: [keep the same initiative this turn, since you've got the formation so tight (and it's good anyway)]
GM: You can see that your men have realized Naur's strategy, and they seem to be following your lead. [go right ahead]
GM: You now have 3 men facing you, two with broadswords who are trying to muscle their way forward to get to you.
Simar: I'll do a big slash low this time see if I can get them all off balance [2 successes - melee(7)]
GM: The man with the bastard sword seems to be the only one smart enough to play defensive right now. Unfortunately that only makes him step right into your swing as you slash at his legs. the first broadsword man pushes his mate aside and off balance.
GM: [you may parry or dodge if you like]
Simar: I'll need my attacks so I'll take it. I'm gonna thrust at the off balanced one next [no successes - melee(6)]
GM: The broadsword man tries to stab for you, but again you're too close and he instead only pushes you back a bit, into the backs of your fellow Guardsmen. The off balance man tumbles backwards and out of your reach. You nearly step out of formation going after him, but then stop yourself
GM: The one with the bastard sword sees the opportunity and goes for a head shot. His sword hits your mask right where it was cracked, shattering it and slashing right up your cheek.
Simar: [1 success - self control(7) now that pisses you off]
GM: You turn and glare at the sonofabitch and he backs up a step. He almost got your eye
Simar: [1 success by willpower- melee(6)]
GM: You step forward, bringing your sword down on his and nearly driving him to his knees.
GM: There is a sharp whistle, and you can hear their leader calling for a halt. [which I believe you will soundly ignore this turn]
Simar: [no successes - self control(7)]
GM: [yes, I would call that an ignore.]
Simar: [no successes - melee(6) + willpower]
GM: You bring your sword down again on his, only driving him back a step. You raise your sword for another blow when you hear Naur's voice above the battle. "They've had enough!" and there is again the thundercrack of one of his gems.
Simar: I stop and step back
GM: You can see that the fight is really more of a stalemate, but they are impressed. The leader comes forward to see about the man you were on, who is looking at you with wide, frightened eyes.
Simar: I think I'll try to intimidate again [3 successes intimidation(5)]
GM: He'll take a full step back, dropping his sword. The leader also seems taken aback, and then he reaches out a hand. "You're... no, you couldn't be..."
* Naur will come up behind you and put a hand on your shoulder. "No, he isn't. You're imagining things." and he'll have one of the others give you their mask (which is, unfortunately, that of a lesser Guardsman)
Simar: I put it on
* Naur will then take his place beside the man, and start leading him to the gates. "This is the gift of Charatt, my friend. We are together because we wish to be, in brotherhood and in blood. We have come to be your brothers, to rebuild the temple in honor of Deimuu, and to make the river flow again."
GM: The acolyte, who is right behind Naur, tries to dab at the slash on your face, but succeeds only in making it sting more.
Simar: well these guys mean well but they just aren't making any brownie points with me. but I'll let him do his thing
GM: The Tambran man has the others surround you as an escort, and you're led into Pawlosz, given lodging and something to eat while Molo Naur goes to speak with the town's leaders. This also gives the acolyte a better chance to tend to your wound. He manages to get the bleeding to stop, and he rigs a bandage for it to keep the mask away from it.
Simar: that'll work
GM: You'll be guests of the city for a couple of days, though you almost never leave the confines of the small barn that they end up letting you lodge in. Naur will be with you during the nights, telling you that the city's men are skeptical but willing to listen to reason. Apparently they aren't exactly happy about the Tambran soldiers who are barracked here, and the town militia seems eager to be able to tend to their own business. The militia, BTW, includes the men you fought earlier.
Simar: I see .......well there not much to do now 'cept rest and wait on Molo
GM: After your couple of nights Molo will tell you that you must go back to the camp. He has to spend some time in consultation with the Gods to see how matters should be resolved. He doesn't look entirely hopeful. You'll leave late in the day, but before nightwatch, when the Tambran enforcers tend to take over. A few of the townspeople will see you
off - most of them seem tense and afraid, unsure of why you've come, but you can see a few hopeful faces.

O - Moonday, Galici 14th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: The trip back up the the camp is worse than on the way down, but when you finally make it it's a relief to be off of the horse and have a chance to truly rest. By this time you can see a definite change in the ruins - several of the larger columns have been moved to the side, and there is a group of men working on clearing out one if the underground storages.
Simar: how's Garen doing?
GM: Garen is currently resting, and you can see that he's tired from the heavy labor.
Simar: when I get the chance I'll fill him in
GM: There are a few new men as well - some you recognize from ‹hraid, including Denna and a couple of Harekk's cronies.
Simar: oh chit.............
* Garen will grin at you when he sees the mask. "Been demoted already?"
Simar: "guess so its probably cause of my new beauty mark" (show the cut on my face)
GM: He cringes when he sees. "Ouch!" then he'll wink at you. "I think I have good medicine for that..." and he proffers his skin, which is full again.
Simar: "I busted the other mask on some idiots sword" smirk at him
GM: Before you get a chance to see what he has, the acolyte who healed you is at your elbow. "Ummm.. Master Naur wishes to speak with you."
Simar: I get up and go
GM: He'll take you directly to the tent and hold the flap open for you. Molo is lying down, obviously tired from the hard ride. He'll sit up halfway, and give you a quizzical look. "What happened? I didn't want to ask in front of the other men."
Simar: he's talking about when they recognized me huh?
GM: well, you'll have to find out...
Simar: "what are you talking about sir?"
* Naur frowns. "The fight. I mean, near the end you certainly had something in you, but when the Goblins raided you fought like you had Mars' hand pushing you forward." He stops and considers a moment. "You are a Storm Knight, yes?" [funny, how he made that assumption...]
Simar: "goblins are one thing.........these were men.....I don't know what happened " (I am getting a little uneasy now I'm not sure how much to tell him)
Naur: "Hmmm... Well it's no matter. At least you maintained your cool long enough." and he lays back down. "I know how you feel about the oppressors, considering what they've done to your family."
Simar: "forgive me Molo Naur if I have failed you"
* Naur waves it away. "You haven't failed. I was just surprised, is all. Perhaps as surprised as you were." It takes a moment before you recognize the wave as one of the signs of the Shadow Lords. "And it is for the best. Perhaps if you had fought with all your fury those men would not have fared so well."
Simar: "promise your plans sir...what you are doing is most noble and if my being here has endangered it........"
Simar: oooops
GM: well that sign right there is one clue - it is unknown for any Storm Knight to become one of the Shadow Lords due to their fierce loyalty. If he's a Shadow Lord, and knows (or guesses) you are, then he knows you're likely not a true Storm Knight.
Simar: "I do not wish to compromise." that's what is was saying
GM: [although in truth, him thinking you were a Storm Knight was probably surprising in its own right]
GM: He'll dismiss you then, but leaving you with a strange puzzle indeed.
Simar: oh hell yes I am a little confuzzled about it
(O - Earthday, Galici 17th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: Naur will spend the next several days in deep meditation, and he seems to only leave his tent late at night, to wander a bit and gaze at the stars.  The men are troubled - after his original pronouncement of replacing the statue, and now realizing you have less than half a month to do it, it seems maybe Naur has lost his contact with the Gods. He rarely accepts a guard, but one night he does finally accept the necessity, after another Goblin party is spotted in the south. And, of course, he chooses you to be his guard, although he has no lack of volunteers, including Denna.
Simar: I'll gladly guard him. and now I gotta worry bout that and keep an eye on Denna too
GM: He'll wander a bit to the west, then along the trickle of the river towards the sheet of ice. Most of the time he keep his head craned back, looking at the stars and half-mumbling to himself in the holy tongue.
Simar: I will be completely on my toes and alert [4 successes - alertness(6)]
GM: It's the clearest night you've seen in some time - only the barest traces of cloud streaming from the cauldron, and the moon shines clearly in the star filled sky. And once you've neared the lake you are absolutely certain you're being followed. At first you thought it was perhaps remnants of the paranoia from before, then you thought maybe it was wishful thinking. Now you know it's Denna.
GM: The lake is totally iced over, one with the enormous wall of ice that reaches its icy fingers up the waterfall and into the frosted moonlight. Naur will step carefully onto the ice, testing his weight first, then taking careful and measured steps until he is a few feet out. He seems to be looking at the reflection of the stars in the ice.
Naur: "You know we're in danger here..." he mumbles quietly.
Simar: quietly..."yes I know"
* Molo takes another couple of steps, keeping his head down. "You are among the Shadows, yes?"
Simar: "yes"
GM: Now that your paranoia has truly been justified, you realize that Denna is not your only watcher - there is someone some distance up the mountainside, whose eyes you see a faint glimmer of before they step back into shadow.
GM: He'll gesture with his bad arm for you to come out with him. "Do you know who it is we fight?"
Simar: "there is someone on the mountain side"
* Molo nods. "This is why I brought you. I trust your eyes and your sword."
GM: [oh, and shame on me, by now you've healed a level]
Simar: " someone behind us.....Denna"
GM: When you get close he'll pull up the sleeve on his robe, showing you a black tattoo that curls over his shoulder and down his back - a sleek dragon. Where it's eyes are you see two small round scars, puncture marks. "This is what ails me, my friend."
Simar: look at it
GM: They're right at the top of his shoulder and closely spaced - bite marks.
Simar: have I seen anything like this before?
GM: Not exactly, but you can speculate, considering what happened at the end of the battle here.
Simar: oh mamma!! that dude!!!
Naur: "I was chosen for the High Priesthood, and I spent many weeks up the mountain." He lifts his head up, looking up the slopes of the Cauldron, and you can see the beginnings of tears. He laughs sadly. "A promising student, they said." He looks down again. "And I was so eager for it. Do you know what the Cauldron truly looks like; to look into the Primal Fire itself and see the will of Charatt?"
Simar: I will see where our lurkers have gotten to [3 successes - Investigation(7)]
Naur: "No, of course you don't." He'll take a few more steps out. "And then, just when I was certain of my faith, I saw them. The monsters that have infected our very soul."
GM: Denna is an idiot - not only is he still in the same place, but he hasn't even bothered to hide anything shiny, like his sword or his big forehead. He may as well be standing out in the open. The other one takes some time to find. You're certain their near the same spot, because you see another glint - they're climbing up.
* Naur turns to you. "Truly it is ironic - there is a heresy within the heresy, and it has spread like a disease. The High Priesthood is a sham, they're all slaves to the vampire masters."
Simar: I'm still listening to Molo too
Naur: "They must know what I know. I wait in fear for them to come for me, to stop me forever from speaking." he stops and bites his lip. "Or mayhaps they only wait for me to reveal others..."
Simar: "but you won't will you"
Naur: "I may already have." he starts to walk back to the lake's edge. "You are in danger, young D'Vesku. For you are your father's son, and I know there were plans for him."
Simar: "you are a strong man Molo Naur" uh oh now he's got my attention
* Molo laughs. "Strong? I used to work such miracles." he looks at his hands. "Such miracles. And such arrogance. 'The Temple-Smasher' they called me." He laughs again. "And now I cannot work even the slightest magick without nearly dying." And he gives you a very serious look after that. "Understand me when I say this - you cannot let me die. This life is my last chance to save my soul, because if I do die I will become something... terrible."
Simar: look at him
Molo: "You should be afraid."
Simar: "I gave you my word that I would protect you Molo Naur, and I shall"
GM: He'll turn and continue walking back towards the camp, heedless of Denna, who is just now retreating.
Simar: I'll follow close by him now
Naur: "You need to make me another promise. Should I die..." He hesitates, obviously uncomfortable with the subject. "Should I die, I insist that you have me burned immediately. Do not wait for the proper rising of the moon, do not wait for any rites."
Simar: "you have my word on it sir"
GM: You get closer to the camp, near enough to smell the campfire, and you see Denna is there at his watch post, pretending not to be looking at you.
Simar: was he close enough to hear us talking?
GM: You think he must have heard something. Molo got a little loud there near the end.
Simar: chit... hmmm this could get ugly real fast
GM: Naur will stop near the edge of camp to compose himself, then go to the fire to get a little bit to eat - the first time you've seen him eat since you got back. Then he will address the men there - "I have been considering things, and I have been watching the Stars for guidance. I may have an answer for you soon."
Simar: I am gonna stay by Molo more than I have been. work it out so I can keep and eye on him more
GM: That night there is a small skirmish with Goblins, but nothing bad enough to require more men. Denna seems to hang around near you and Molo's tent when he's not busy elsewhere. And before you go to sleep, one of the acolytes will help you move close to Naur's tent.
Simar: Denna gets nowhere near Molo's tent if I have anything to say about it
GM: that works

(O - Fireday, Galici 18th - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: The next morning you're awakened by alert signals, and when you get outside you see there is a messenger from Pawlosz. When he's told that Molo Naur cannot see him, he tells you and his acolyte the the leaders at Pawlosz have refused their offer. The acolyte just shakes his head and tells the men to let this man go home, then goes in to tell Naur the news.
Simar: this is not good
GM: And by that night everyone is preparing to break camp and go back, most likely to ‹hraid. Molo is very ill today, and he doesn't come out until very late, insistent on seeing the stars.
Simar: I will watch him like a hawk, and make sure Denna is nowhere near
GM: Denna will follow for some distance, but then be called back for his watch.
GM: Once you've gotten some distance out, Naur will stop. "They're fools, in Pawlosz, but we will show them the truth. The statue and the temple will be rebuilt, and they will see that we bring freedom." he sighs. "But the time for miracles is far from us."
Simar: "what are you suggesting sir"
Naur: "Simple - we must rebuild the temple from pure faith, and by hand. I will see about getting another statue made, and we will bring it down. As the gods have said, it must be consecrated on the eve of Savarit, only not this year."
Simar: I am still watching around us to make sure all is safe [2 successes - alertness(7)]
Simar: "do you think the town will make it another year sir?"
Naur: "Only, I had hoped to have a chance to see about the Elves, to know why they keep this place so secret. But now we cannot stay, or the Tambran men in Pawlosz are sure to flush us out."
GM: You're certain this time you aren't being watched.
Simar: k
* Molo will shrug "As long as the Empire wants it, it will stay. Even if the only ones there are soldiers of the Broken Sword."
Simar: "the elves?
Naur: "Aye - it is fear of the Elvish curse that keeps the men away, keeps them from rebuilding the temple. What do you suppose they want with this place?"
Simar: "if they control the river they control all that is downstream...maybe they intend to make this a new settlement "
GM: He just shrugs. "We had best get back. No sense in staying for another sunrise."
Simar: follow him back, as much as possible
ōO - Moonday, Galici 21st - Imperial Year 209 • Myth •
GM: The trip back to ‹hraid is tedious, but at least you don't have the storm to contend with. Once you're there, Molo will speak with the Lord and Lady Soredh about the statue's construction, and about the final liberation of Pawlosz. You will end up back with the city's Guardians, and settle into the old routines. Garen seems less interested in Harekk and his silly games, and he sticks with you mostly. And he shares your dislike of Denna.
GM: It's been a little more than a month since your return from Pawlosz. This winter has been very harsh, but spring is coming soon and you can feel the thaw beginning.
GM: Since you keep close to Molo Naur you will see the beginnings of the new statue's construction, the designs and some of the initial forms. This one looks like it will be simpler than the gilt and silver bauble that the Tambran oppressors placed - and perhaps that will please Deimuu. Naur's condition improves a little, and he seems at his best when the weather is the worst. But you can tell that he will never truly be well again.
GM: Denna keeps up his pathetic spy act for a while, but finally realizes you are on to him and gives up.
GM: Another small group of men is sent to Pawlosz, to clean up more and try to get a message through to those who might listen, but they return much earlier than intended, with no good news.
GM: Lord and Lady Soredh seem quite taken with the new project, and by now they have nearly the whole city working on it in one way or another. Lady Vela Soredh seems convinced that by next year Pawlosz will be another shining example of Ibarite spirit.
GM: You spend a lot of your time making sure Denna hasn't managed a new spy, and listening to Naur as he tells you about his horrible experiences at the Cauldron's mouth, and of the monsters who even now keep a tether on him.
Simar: (I'll pay close attention to what he tells me - it can only help me ....I figure)
GM: It's a dark morning, this Moonday - The Cauldron is filling the skies with heavy black clouds, giving out one last strong snowstorm before the final thaw and the arrival of Spring, and the month when Junon the Conqueror is at its peak.
GM: Your new mask still feels strange - the old one had been worn in just properly. Molo has left you a few scrolls, hoping you would further your education. All this month he has been restless, unsure of the omens in Sarvas' constellation.
* Simar reads and studies the scrolls
GM: A lot of this is things you've learned already, about how Charatt called forth the sun to warm his wives, and how Myth was a peaceful place before the coming of the warbringer and his people. It's rather boring, really, but you know you didn't pay enough attention to it before, so perhaps now is a good time to really learn it. By the time you've decided your mind is full enough there is a tapping at your door. It's Garen, and he has yet another new girl with him. He seems to want to get you married now.
Garen: "Good day to you!" he says through the door.
Simar: "good day Garen "
* Simar looks at his new girl
GM: This one is prettier than the last one, but she's quite skinny. Her hair is cut shorter than most keep it, and it is a full rich ebony. She smiles at you, a little demurely.
Garen: "Simar, I want you to meet Harra. Harra, this is one of our Guardsmen, and a fine warrior."
* Harra curtseys. "Good day.."
* Simar gives a polite bow "a pleasure"
Garen: "We were hoping you could take a break from Master Naur today and come with us."
Simar: "oh?"
Harra: "Oh yes! My father has left for Tayad'Ur, and I have his horses all to myself."
Simar: "you need a chaperone Garen?"
* Simar grins
Garen: "Not I, but you..." he steps back for you to come out. "Her father wants me to keep her well taken care of."
GM: you brace for the sales pitch
* Simar folds his arms over his chest
Garen: "He is a wealthy man, you know. No finer tailor than Stavo in ‹hraid, or mayhaps in Cybaria."
* Simar hears him out
Harra: "Come with us, it should be a fine day." and she winks at you. "We may even have the luck of the last storm of the year."
Garen: "What better blessing could you ask for? They say it always brings good strong children."
* Harra laughs.
Simar: "hmmm well you know my days are mostly taken up Garen.... not that a good ride wouldn't do me a world of good"
Garen: "I know, I know - your studies are important. You plan to take up the priesthood now?"
Simar: "just fill my head , you know how we brutes are"
* Harra's smile wilts just a bit. "A warrior and a priest. A fine catch you would make."
Simar: "you are too kind. alas I do not know if I can go"
* Garen gives you a disappointed pat on the shoulder. "Mayhaps tomorrow. Stavo will not be back until Earthday."
* Simar claps Garen on the back
Simar: "what in this world would I do without you looking out for me my goood friend?"
Garen: "You're hopeless!" and he'll lead Harra off. She seems very disappointed.
Simar: "may your day be pleasant "
GM: Harra <over her shoulder> "And yours as well, good Guardsman."
Simar: "do not take me as completely hopeless..I may be need saving later"
* Simar waves "be well"
GM: The wind starts to pick up a bit - bitter, and with the definite smell of snow.
Simar: (I'll go about my normal routine)
GM: Denna, Harekk and a few of his friends will come around a while later while you're exercising. Harekk will point and laugh - "Not even Charatt's wrath can stop that man."
GM: A couple of them will pick up swords and mark out a sparring circle, but they don't look too serious, and the rest will get bored quickly and leave them.
* Simar continues his exercising but will listen to them if possible [3 successes - Intuition(7)]
GM: Mostly the two men will complain about practicing in the cold and joke about women and the like. Denna is very quiet. Harekk laughs along with the jokes, but when he gets bored he'll leave with the other men, Denna not far behind. You're certain the only reason they came by was for Denna to get a look at you, and you're even more certain that one or both of these men are staying to keep an eye on you. Seems one of them, a stocky blond named Korg, has his eye on
Simar: ok I will finish up and get ready to go....and see what they do
GM: The two men sparring will keep going as long as you, trying to keep the banter up. When you finish and gather your things, they'll fight one more quick skirmish, and then begin gathering themselves as you start to leave.
Simar: this whole thing stinks........ where would Molo be about now?....maybe I should give him a quick check
GM: If he's not at the temple or resting he'll be checking on the statue's construction. He rarely goes to people now, they go to him, even Lord and Lady Soredh.
Simar: I'll go down the list then - are the two gonna try and follow? [2 successes - investigation(7)]
GM: The temple is mostly cleared now, just a couple moon acolytes tending to candles and scribing.
Simar: do the acolytes know where Molo went to?
GM: They assume he's resting.
GM: You'll lose your followers once you get beyond the commons and to the temple, but when you go around to see if Naur is resting, you'll see them casually standing by the fountain.
Simar: is it possible for me to check on him without disturbing him?
GM: He doesn't lock his door, so yes. [something scary about a man who knows he's in danger and still doesn't bother to lock his door...]
Simar: I'll do that
GM: You open the door carefully and peer in. He's lying down on the floor in a circle drawn in Dragon's Ink. He opens his eyes when you peek in. "Yes...?"
Simar: "how are you sir?"
Molo: "I am well. And you?" He closes his eyes again.
Simar: "well and good thank you....forgive me for intruding I just wanted to see if you needed anything?"
GM: The wind subsides a bit, and a couple icicles break free from the roof, shattering like glass on the cold stones.
* Naur smiles, a bit lopsided. "I wonder what you will do when you are finally rid of me, young D'Vesku."
Simar: "I will not be the same .......that I know"
Molo: "I fear I should have left you here, instead of taking you with me to Pawlosz. I may only hasten your doom. Come in, come in. Do not stay out in the cold."
Simar: [0 successes - alertness(6)]
* Simar goes in the room
GM: He motions just a bit for you to sit on the bed, the only real furniture in the room.
Molo: "Have you finished the scrolls I sent with you?"
Simar: "yes sir....well mostly.....I am grateful for all you have given me... and I do not regret our paths crossing again"
Naur: "Remember the truth in them, not the tale." He grumbles a bit, then clears his throat. "Even our hidden enemy cannot erase the great truth."
* Simar nods
GM: You can feel subtle waves coming from the circle, faint whisps of scents that are gone before you can truly grasp them.
Naur: "I have news for you." he says finally. "But you may not wish me to tell. What seems good may not truly be."
* Simar listens intently
Naur: "You are not the last of your house." He hesitates, the waves flicker around him a moment, like heat haze. "They have come to my dreams again, and they have found your sister."
* Simar stands "my sister?"
GM: His eyes open. "Wait! You must be careful."
Simar: "who is ..'they'?"
Molo: "Our most secret enemy - those who have woven their dark hearts into the highest circles of our cult." He takes a short breath and swallows. "Remember, I am your closest betrayer. Their grasp is always upon me. This may only be a trap."
* Simar gets a big ole knot in his gut
GM: Yes, she would only just be 17 by now - she should be married and perhaps have a child of her own now. You had given your family up for dead or worse, since the oppressors had razed your house.
Simar: "why would they do this? to get me?"
Molo: "I do not know. I only know they keep a watch on you and your House."
Simar: "you would not tell me this if you had not thought of some way or some kind of plan. please tell me what I should do."
* Molo shakes his head. "I shouldn't have told you."
* Simar paces back and forth some
Molo: "The dreams have become more vivid. I fear my time may be close. Too close."
Simar: "is there no way to find out?"
Molo: "I do not know. I can tell you she is well, and she mourns you for dead."
Simar: "I still pledge you my sword sir .....I have sworn to guard you ...I will not go back on my word"
GM: He smiles, but it is a sad one. "Your faith is boundless, and you serve the Shadow Lords well."
Simar: "in fact...just earlier ....Denna was acting like he was back to his old ways again"
* Molo raises up a bit. "Oh? I thought he had tired of his game."
Simar: " so did I but gut tells me otherwise"
GM: He pauses for a bit, listening. "We should be careful, then."
Simar: [1 success - alertness(6)]
GM: In the moment of quiet you'll hear footsteps, going back towards the commons.
Simar: is there a window?
GM: it's iced over
Simar: one set or more than one?
GM: just one - this is a small room.
* Molo will sit up, and the ink in the circle will start to spread a little, as if just freed from the bottle.
Simar: "what would you have me do sir?"
Molo: "I should check on the statue now - I believe we may have the head finished soon."
Simar: 'yes...I shall accompany you then"
GM: You'll have to help him up, but it's easier now than usual. He'll take his coarse brown tunic off, revealing his scarred and tattooed back, and then put on his heavier robe.
Simar: I've probably become accustom to helping him with his routines so I will get him ready
GM: Once you get to the construction yard you can see the enormous stone head is nearly done, just a bit more detail on the eyes and the ruff around the neck. Molo will limp around the place, looking at the rough sketchings of the arms and tail, and making remarks on the sigils for the chest and back that are just being roughed out in stone. Harekk is on watch here now, and he looks terribly bored.
Simar: would I have sufficient gear on (sword , armor etc.) or my exercise stuff?
GM: You should have your sword, and your armor is good for winter since it's a good windbreaker
Simar: coool
GM: Your exercise stuff (sword weights and a few other things) would be in the barracks tho
Simar: I am watching things as best as possible ....I don't like his telling me his time might be near
GM: A few minor nobles are here - 2 ladies from upper Kashlan have come to see the grand construction, and one of their husbands will watch as Molo sketches out a different arm placement, designed to show Deimuu's fickle nature.
Simar: I am trying not to be distracted but I am thinking bout my sister too, that I just can't help
GM: Once he gets going, Molo seems to find a good pace and he's running nearly all day. The head is finally finished but for polishing, and you see them starting a new block for the new right arm arrangement.
GM: It's hard to say whether it is good or bad, knowing your sister is alive. You remember when she was very little, and you were nearly five, just beginning to play with your father's sword and shield. She would cry and cry, all day. She was a sickly little girl, and your mother and father were always afraid she wouldn't make it.
Simar: that my only sib?
GM: You had an older brother, and as far as you know he was killed or imprisoned when the House was razed. But he was only a year and a half older, and somewhat distant.
Simar: k
GM: And you remember when you left for Pawlosz, gone as a knight to see your father, and how she was worried you wouldn't make it back from battle, and that she and Anton Jr. would have to take care of mother.
GM: Harekk will tap you out of your remiscence "You taking watch?" he grins at you with his yellow-brown teeth, a fat wad of chew in his lip.
Simar: if I have to I guess I will but if I don't I am going stick with Molo. do I have to?
GM: Tonight you'll have to take watch, but you can take midnight watch if you like
GM: Molo is showing the ladies how the head will be polished, and describing how it will look by moonlight.
Simar: "of course" I'll do the midnight one
* Harekk's grin doesn't slip a bit. "Good. Me'n Korg are gonna take our girls out for a moon watch. Try ta catch the last storm." he'll wink at you.
Simar: "you know what they say about the last storm......."
* Harekk nods, then spits just outside the yard in a nasty yellowed pile of ice.
* Molo makes his way around the bits of stone and pauses at the watch post. "Should be a cold night. I hope you men will be bundled up for the watch."
Harekk: "Definitely."
* Simar nods
Simar: is there any way I can find out if Denna has watch tonight or not?
GM: Easily - just ask the head Guardsman
GM: Molo will wait for the ladies to catch up with him, give you a brief nod, then lead them towards the temple. "We hope to have it placed and consecrated by the eve of Savarit..." The artists continue on with their work, some grumbling about the extra work for the new arm.
* Simar follow behind Molo and the ladies...
GM: He shows them around the temple, and introduces them to a few of the acolytes, who take them on more of a tour of the city later on.
Simar: I'm thinkin bout seeing if I can put Denna on a detail that I know will keep him busy for the night. do I have that kind of sway?
GM: not necessarily, but you can talk the head Guardsman into it.
Simar: if he's on my detail I could keep an eye on him
GM: yes. and if you can get him on caravan detail he would have to desert to pester you. but that would also put him way out of sight
Simar: I think I wanna keep him close.............I'll excuse my self and see if I can swing it
GM: The head Guardsman is a little grumpy, since the construction is always rearranging his schedule.
Simar: I will inform him of my choice of the midnight shift then see if I can get Denna with me
GM: He'll ignore you at first - he's eating. but finally he'll look over the records and tell you "Denna on your shift? Thought you didn't like him."
Simar: "what better way to work on our friendship"
* Simar grins
GM: He frowns at you. "I've heard that before..."
Simar: [0 successes - subterfuge]
GM: "Sounds like you're just spoiling for a fight." he scratches his chin. "Not that he don't deserve it..."
Simar: if I can't swing it I could always see if Garen would do me a favor
GM: [you can try the subterfuge again - it's an extended action]
* Simar look at the head guardsman
Simar: "I am trying to be a leader among my not fault me for that. how can I earn their respect?"[2 successes - subterfuge]
Head Guardsman: "Trying after my job, eh?" he'll crack a slight smile, but then go back to his customary grouch. He'll take the watch rings from the rack, moving Denna's over to the midnight slot.
Simar: heh
Head Guardsman: "And don't be late."
Simar: "yes sir"
GM: It is an awful night - wind blowing nearly all night, cold and icy, but not a speck of snow - just heavy black clouds boiling out. Denna seems a little surprised to be on your detail, but he doesn't complain. And he makes sure to stay in sight the whole time.
Simar: I do my best to stay warm and keep alert. and keep it business as usual
GM: You'll see Denna giving you dirty looks out of the corner of your eye, but he doesn't act up otherwise. And he makes a point not to try too hard to stay warm.
Simar: ?
GM: Trying to out-man you. In fact, he does some exercising in the worst of the wind, but then gives up when he can't control the sword well in the gale.
Simar: well......make the rounds.... if he freezes or gets frostbite that's just fine with me. I will stay loose I don't want to get stiff just in case he tries something
GM: He behaves all night, and makes sure to get in after you at the barracks when watch is changed.
Simar: what time is that?
GM: There are 3 night watches - first, midnight, then last, each about 4 hours long. although tonight they're long watches, due to the construction
Simar: I have no choice but to crash huh?
GM: You can stay up a bit, but you're probably very tired and quite cold. The barracks are toasty warm
Simar: I gotta stay sharp so I stay up for a bit but turn in hopefully making sure Denna does too. did Harekk and his friend ever show up?
GM: Harekk doesn't come back to the barracks, but his friend does, grumbling about some frigid bitch. Wonder who that could be...
Simar: heheee

[Simar - Chapter One: ‹hraid] [Log Index] [Simar - Chapter One: Dance of the Falcons]

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