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Chapter Two: Changing Faces

  O - Moonday Junori 14th - Imperial Year 211 • Myth •
* Jalya is beyond sad
* Jalya is beyond misery
GM: Josilyn just lays there next to you, panting. You can barely move from exhaustion and misery. All around you are moaning men, lying beached on the damp yellowy sand.
Jalya: Great... bet they all eventually think that Jos and I are breeding stock.
GM: You'll see Ivan sit up, and he looks out at sea, shading his eyes with his palm. Then he'll turn to you, give you an ugly look, and then start limping inland.
Jalya: we're stuck here
Josilyn: "Are you alright sis?"
* Jalya sobs bitterly.
Jalya: "No..."
* Josilyn seems to have fared a bit better than you. She'll sit up and wipe some wet sand from your face.
Jalya: (crying.) "hug me..?"
* Josilyn looks away. "I told you I was a jinx..."
* Jalya straightens up "Man droppings."
* Jalya reaches out and hugs Jos anyway
GM: She has an ugly scrape on her cheek, and you can see she tore some fingernails in the chaos of the ship's disintegration. She'll hold on to you, sobbing lightly.
Josilyn: "I never wanted this to happen..."
Jalya: "I know... I really do."
GM: She'll stop and push back a bit. "Where is Ivan going?"
Jalya: "I don't know, but we best get him..."
* Jalya turns and starts half walking towards Ivan
* Jalya calls out "Ivan?"
GM: Josilyn will put an arm over your shoulder and help you up to the drier sand. You see Ivan's tracks go into the trees, but once you get there they disappear in the rocky undergrowth.
Josilyn: "IVAN!"
GM: There is a heady, perfumey smell here, and there are pink, purple and bright yellow blooms everywhere.
* Jalya looks for his trail [1 success - Investigation(8)]
GM: It's cooler under the trees, and a ways out you will see some broken branches from his passage. He's going to the north-east.
Josilyn: "Why would he leave...?"
Jalya: "C'mon... he went this way... He gave me a bitter look. I think he blames me for something."
* Jalya goes North East
GM: You'll go a ways further, but then his trail crosses a rushing rocky stream and you lose it.
Jalya: [2 successes - Alertness(7)]
GM: There is a new smell now of cooked meat, but it's at least a day old. There must be some sort of camp or maybe small village nearby.
Jalya: hmm...
* Jalya follows her nose
GM: [you have your cloak, your eating knife, and your divination runes]
Jalya: ok
* Josilyn follows close behind as you cross the stream and round a large rocky outcropping, where you'll find the remains of a camp.
Jalya: any clue who may have been there? goblins? Tambrans? Ibars?[0 successes - Investigation(7)]
GM: This far out to sea it's unlikely to be Ibarites or Goblins, but that's all you can tell. It's a small camp - 2-3 people max.
Jalya: hmm
* Josilyn kneels down, sifting the ashes. "Must be humans. No Faerie would leave a fire like this to burn itself out."
Jalya: "That's not necessarily good.
GM: She'll stand and look around. "Must have been a hunting party..." she points out a flat space. "See, no tents."
Jalya: "Hmm... I see."
* Jalya decides to Soothsay out where Ivan may be
* Josilyn perches on the rock, sniffing at the air.
* Jalya pulls a rune [2 successes - Soothsay]
GM: You untie your rune pouch, still dripping from your abrupt swim, and it falls to the ground. One rune - Mann - falls out. Ivan is not alone.
Jalya: hmm "Where should we go now, Sis?"
Josilyn: "Someone is coming..."
* Josilyn hops down from the rock and when she lands she is a lynx. She starts dragging her clothes behind the rock.
Jalya: when I see Jos change, I do the same. But I have the sense to go behind some shrubbery first
Jalya: =^. .^=
* Jalya helps Jos w/ the rest of her clothes
GM: It amazes you that you didn't hear them coming, and when you've gotten yourself hidden you'll see a pair of men walk out of the trees to the east.
* Jalya watches them intently
GM: The taller one, a blond man with a long scar across his forehead, walks ahead, looking around like a scout. The second one, with ratty, gingery hair and leaning on a gnarled staff, mutters quietly to himself. They walk silently.
Blond: "I thought I heard someone here."
* Jalya skitters across the road
GM: The other looks around and sniffs, then he kneels and pokes a finger at the tracks you and Josilyn left. "Must be more survivors from the wreck. Damn Mer-men will have plenty of slaves this month."
Jalya: !
GM: The blond man will jump when you come out, then draw a short sword. He grins when he sees you're just a cat and lowers his blade.
Jalya: [1 success - Alertness(7)]
GM: When he raises the sword you'll see a symbol similar to one on Simar's sword etched on the blade, only it's had a line scratched through it.
* Jalya thinks he's an Ibarite
GM: The shorter man will reach a hand out, as if offering a treat. "How odd. They must have been transporting pets across to Alanth."
* Josilyn will step back a bit. *Don't trust him...*
* Jalya raises the fur on the back of her neck and takes a half step back
Jalya: *Can you hear me?*
GM: The blond man will chuckle, and the shorter man raises himself up on his staff.
Blond: "I suppose they'll grow wild here now, if the boars don't get 'em."
* Jalya turns and darts back into the brush behind Jos.
Josilyn: *Yes, for now. I never know how long this will last.* She steps back into the bushes.
GM: The two men will shake their heads and laugh, then walk on towards the beach, their steps as silent as fog.
Jalya: *Must be because we're in Lynx form*
Josilyn: *It's lucky I smelled them. I think they've enchanted their steps.*
Jalya: *I think they were Ibarites.
* Josilyn nods. *So do I. Only they didn't have that same southern accent.* She steps back into the clearing, sniffing at their tracks.
Jalya: *Should we follow them?*
Josilyn: *No. I didn't like the smell of that man. Do you think there are heretics in Alanth too?*
Jalya: *Could be. I've no way of knowing. I thought it was just because he needed a bath.*
Josilyn: *I think Ivan did come by here. I can smell him...*
Jalya: *Let's stay like this for a while... seems to help us investigate.*
* Jalya smells for Ivan [2 successes - Investigation(7)]
GM: There is a vast array of scents here, what with the emerging spring. It's hard to fix on any one.
Jalya: (Good thing cats don't cry, or I'd be bawling right now.)
GM: You and Josilyn will follow the other mens' path for a bit, then Ivan's scent veers off to the left. You can hear more men now - it must be a village.
Josilyn: *Wow, this place must have been kept secret for years.*
Jalya: *Yeah. Let's get a closer look*
GM: When you come up to the top of a rise you'll see a sizable camp below, surrounded by a wall made of sharp-tipped logs. Ivan must be in there, somewhere.
Josilyn: *Do you think he's their prisoner?*
Jalya: *I think this is an Ibarite camp*
GM: A few men will come up to the gate and call up to the guards, who let them in.
Jalya: *Makes sense... he walked right to it. We weren't too far behind.*
Josilyn: *I don't know if I want to go in there...*
Jalya: do I recognize the armor?
GM: They're not wearing armor, just light tunics. But you do recognize the symbol, and it's definitely Ibarite.
Jalya: *We have to.*
Josilyn: *okay, if we...* and then the connection breaks.
Jalya: *We need to know what he's up to.*
Jalya: Fye... I'll try to re-establish it
GM: An annoyed look crosses her face, her tail nub twitching. Then she starts down towards the camp.
* Jalya follows [2 successes - Climb(6)]
GM: Okay, it's not too bad on the way down - a little slippery on some loose sand. When you get closer you see the camp is quite a bit larger than you thought, at least enough for a hundred men or more
Jalya: wow. is there a way into the camp that I can see from here? [0 successes - Investigation(7)]
GM: It won't be easy, since the camp is well fortified. But you're sure they're guarding for larger opponents.
GM: Josilyn will sniff around the edges of the wall along with you, and after some time you'll find no way to get in. Some of the guards will point and laugh when they see you.
* Jalya will ignore them
Jalya: [1 success - Alertness(5)]
* Jalya is distraught
GM: When you and Josilyn sit to think up a new plan you'll hear Ivan's voice over the noise. He seems to be following a chant, or maybe swearing an oath.
Jalya: can we climb the walls? and do I understand him?
Ivan: "... The eye and claw of Charatt are upon us ... I bear the blood of our vengeance ... The eye and claw of Charatt are upon us ... "
GM: Shouldn't be too hard, but the guards may object to that.
* Jalya looks at Jos, then looks up at the wall, then backs up for a running jump.
* Jalya runs and jumps, still ignoring the guards [2 successes - Athletics(5)]
* Josilyn will crouch down, waiting.
GM: k - You run and jump, making it about 2/3 of the way up and catching onto the wall with your claws. This amuses the guards to no end and they laugh heartily. You see a couple of them laying bets with thin silver coins.
* Josilyn will jump up and start climbing
* Jalya climbs
GM: When you get a couple feet from the top you see one notch an arrow and take aim.
Jalya: !
* Jalya hurries over the top [4 successes - climb(6)]
* Jalya hopes he wasn't aiming for Jos
GM: 2 more men will notch arrows and take aim. You scramble to the top, one arrow whizzing past your ears. The first man to draw will fumble his bow, the string snapping against his ear. When you get over the wall you'll hear a wail, then a sickening thud.
Jalya: !
GM: One of the men reaches down and pats you on the head, giving you a gap-toothed grin. "Now there's a right quick kitty." and he scoops a small pile of silver into a pouch.
* Jalya looks back over the wall
GM: other men will lean over, and the money is distributed. When you look over you'll see Josilyn limp into the trees, an arrow in her side.
Jalya: NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* Jalya runs - no direction in particular [2 successes - self-control(7) w/WP]
* Jalya will get her senses about her and try to get back to Jos
GM: alright, you run from the men, crashing into the table and sending some coins flying. When you get clear of them you'll get to the top of the wall, leaning down trying to scramble as carefully as you can. One of the men follows.
Guard: "'Ey! I wanted that one - She's a winner"
* Jalya ignores him
* Jalya runs to get to Jos
GM: He grabs for you, but you start down just as he gets to you.
Jalya: [0 successes - Athletics(8)]
GM: [soak 2]
Jalya: [0 successes]
GM: With the man after you, and your panic, you'll lose your grip and fall to the sandy ground.
* Jalya runs like hell to get to Josilyn
GM: you land on your feet, but your back left leg twists under you from the awkward fall. You'll limp painfully into the trees, with the men cheering behind you.
* Jalya follows Jos's scent
* Josilyn is lying under a tree in her mannish form, the arrow sticking in her side. Her breathing is labored, but you see her tracing symbols on her chest and forehead in blood.
Josilyn: "No... I'll be fine.." she coughs, spitting up blood. "Find him..."
* Jalya changes back
Jalya: "No you won't. Let me help you. He's not going anywhere."
* Jalya looks for some leaves or something to stop the bleeding
* Josilyn will push you away. "I can heal this..." she finishes marking herself, then yanks the arrow out. "AAAAhhhh!"
* Jalya looks around anyway
GM: There are plenty of leaves around.
* Jalya looks for some with medicinal value [0 successes - Healing(7) w/WP]
GM: You'll search around and find some, but when you pick the leaves off and see the milky sap you know it couldn't be right. When you get back to Josilyn you see the bleeding has stopped, and the glyphs she's marked on herself are glowing faintly.
Josilyn: "I'll be okay, Jaley. I can handle this..."
* Jalya starts crying
Jalya: "I'm sorry Jos....."
* Josilyn shakes her head. "You'll believe me eventually - I'm a jinx, sis." she laughs, but it becomes a short fit of coughing.
Jalya: "You're still my sister...." >sniff, *wipes tears away*< "and I couldn't bear to lose you."
Josilyn: "I'm just lucky I'm a natural with the Primal Arts, or I might not have made it this long."
* Jalya sits and starts massaging her hurt leg
GM: It was twisted really hard, but it's not quite a sprain.
Josilyn: "Are you alright?"
Jalya: "I wrenched my leg going down the wall."
* Josilyn rolls her eyes. "I think we'd better get our clothes and make our own camp. No good going at this with no plan."
Jalya: "Yeah... I forgot how cruel they can be. Simar was - err.. is - different. I can't figure him out."
* Josilyn will sit up, squinting her eyes in pain. The wound has closed up, but it still looks awful.
Josilyn: "If what those men said is true, then I think Simar is still alive. And maybe Zalith too." She leans against the tree. "Mer-folk can keep others alive under water if they need to."
Jalya: "I hope so..."
* Jalya cries
* Josilyn finally gets on her feet and helps you up. "I'm sure of it."
* Jalya wipes her tears away with a leaf and stands up
* Jalya half-giggles
Jalya: "Now you're the one assuring me about the uncertain."
* Jalya holds out her arm to help Jos
GM: You'll make your way back to the stream and find your clothes, cold and damp from being under the rock.
* Jalya puts them on
Josilyn: "I think we need to rest and think before we tackle that camp. What do you think Ivan is up to?"
Jalya: "I don't care. To the Cauldron with him."
* Josilyn shrugs
Jalya: "He may still owe me his life, but it isn't worth losing yours over."
Josilyn: "I'm sure we can find a good place to hide somewhere." she looks around, sniffing. "But we'll have to be careful, since we can't hear them."
GM: Josilyn will take you upstream, keeping in the stream to make sure you don't leave tracks. After some time you'll find a small cave - not soon enough for you, since your ankle is killing you.
Jalya: thank the gods
Josilyn: "You had better get off of that and let me tend it."
* Jalya takes off her cloak, folds it up and sits on it.
Jalya: "I won't argue with that."
* Jalya plops on the cloak
Jalya: "Ow… How are you doing?"
GM: When you sit Josilyn will take your injured foot on her lap, stroking it gently. She takes some of the drying blood from her wound and makes a circle where the pain is strongest.
Josilyn: "I'll be fine, I'm sure."
* Jalya watches intently
Jalya: (gently, meekly) "Sis..? level with me..."
GM: As she strokes it you'll feel the pain intensify a moment, then it's as if she has hooked it and pulls it out. She rocks your foot gently on the ankle, rotating it and stretching the ligaments. [heal 2]
Jalya: "AAAIIIggghhh!!!!"
Jalya: "ahh... thank you."
Josilyn: "Yes...?"
Jalya: "How sure are you that Zalith is alive?"
* Jalya looks her in the eye
Josilyn: "Hard to say..." She doesn't look away this time. "But I don't think they see many lynxes down there, so I'm sure the Mer-folk would save him if they could." Then she looks down. "Of course, they may want to keep him..."
Jalya: "He'll get back to me, if he's alive..."
* Jalya looks at her pouch
* Jalya mutters "I'm almost afraid to do this..."
* Jalya reaches in and concentrates on Zalith
* Jalya pulls her hand out of her pouch [1 success - Divination(7)]
* Jalya pulls a rune
GM: You draw Peorth, but it's reversed. Exposure... doesn't bode well
* Jalya shudders, tears streaming down her face.
Josilyn: "No... It couldn't be that bad..." She looks over your shoulder at the rune, but she doesn't seem to understand it.
* Jalya explains that while it's not definite, but that it's grim, and starts to cry again
Jalya: "I don't think I'll ever see him again, Jos..." <sobbing>
* Josilyn pats you on the back. "There there... We'll find him." She sits next to you. "We'll just leave Ivan with his Ibarite friends and go get Zalith."
Jalya: "That bastard is going to help us. He still owes me his life."
Josilyn: "Okay then, we'll have Ivan tomorrow, and he'll swim to get Zalith for us."
Jalya: "He's an Ibarite, and if Simar told us the truth, then I can demand Ivan's servitude."
* Jalya half-laughs "That sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?"
Jalya: "If it sounds that ridiculous in the morning, then we'll have to do it. We'll have to get him."
Josilyn: "It's not your fault. It's been a rough day." She cups some water from the spring and drinks.
Jalya: "I should have gone below and checked on him as soon as I heard the hull start to give... it is my fault..."
Josilyn: "Don't blame yourself, there is no way you could have gone below deck while that sea weed was attacking."
Jalya: "Why not? I should have at least tried..."
Josilyn: "Should have, could have, would have..." she sits back across from you. "What is important is what we do now."
Jalya: "I guess you're right... I'm going to sleep now. Wake me when you want me to take watch."
* Josilyn nods.
Jalya: "but Jos... please... don't leave me."
Josilyn: "Of course not, silly."
* Jalya hugs Josilyn
* Josilyn kisses you on the cheek.
Jalya: =)
* Jalya curls up on her cloak, and lets the depression knock her unconscious.

GM: Simar will startle himself awake, struggling against an endless wall of waving, grasping vines. He's lying panting on the damp floor of a gloomy cave.
* Simar looks around wide eyed
GM: The room is lit a pale greenish-blue by phosphorescent moss on the walls. At the far end you'll see fish swimming in midair - or perhaps on the other side of a glass wall. You'll hear moans, and you'll realize you're not alone.
* Simar looks around for the moaning....and not ruling out that fact that he's dead
GM: You'll see Budro sitting up, a couple of the deck hands, and a frail old man, who is lying still.
* Simar goes over to Budro
* Budro starts shaking the water out of his ears. "Now that was strange..."
Simar: "Budro... what's going on? What is this place?"
* Simar checks the other people too..... including the old man
* Budro looks around. "Well, from the looks of it, we're in one of the Mer-folk's places."
GM: Everyone seems fine, if a bit bruised and battered. When you get to the old man you'll realize with a shock that it's Sir Oricil.
Simar: "Mer-folk .......... Merfolk?!?!? ..............(to Budro) by my teeth it's sir Oricil "
Budro: "I should have known when those weeds started sucking up all the mana." he shakes his head, clicking his teeth. "Typical Mer-man trap."
* Sir Oricil will come around a bit, his eyes opening just the slightest. "Wha..?"
Simar: <looking at Budro> "Merfolk did this .........WHY?"
* Simar holds down Oricil......."rest sir"
* Budro shrugs "They want slaves, I suppose." he grins. "They'll like you. They don't get many heretics this way."
* Oricil will struggle to get up. "No... No rest..." his eyes glaze a bit, then focus on you. "Get away from me you savage!"
Simar: "sir is I Simar ...Budro is here too"
* Simar looks at Budro thinking ...."MAN!!...does everybody know???"
Budro: "It's the accent." He laughs. "Besides, Quiel talks in his sleep."
* Simar rolls his eyes....and has to work on that
* Sir Oricil will lie back down. "Where are we...?"
* Budro leans over him. "We'll be fine, Sir Oricil. Just rest and we'll take care of everything."
* Simar looks at Budro...
Simar: "sounds like you have a plan?"
* Budro shrugs. "No. But these things work themselves out."
* Oricil will close his eyes.
* Simar thinks this Budro guy is way to optimistic
GM: Budro will lean back against the wall, his luminous blue eyes darting here and there. The rest of the men will gather at the cave's entrance, watching the fish swim by.
* Simar checks out the place
GM: It's bigger than the cell you had at Castle Tambrect, and it's chilly and damp. The phosphorescent moss gives off an acrid odor. When you get to the entrance you'll see jellyfish floating by, and off in the distance the tangled mess of waterweed. There are forms swimming around it, shadowy man-shapes with long webbed feet.
* Simar goes back to Budro
Budro: "I hope you can swim..."
Simar: "I will learn real fast"
* Budro grins. "Well, I think if we play good slave a while, we can make a break for it."
Simar: "I can do that "
* Simar grins
Budro: "Good. Best to get rested before they come and find you're the pick of the litter."
* Simar isn't to thrilled to hear that
Simar: "ok"
GM: The other men will tire of the sights and take Budro's advice as well. You'll nod off after a bit and sleep for an unknown time, awakening when Budro shakes you.
Budro: "I think it's time..."
* Simar sits up looking around
GM: 3 shadowy shapes are hovering at the cave's entrance, one a bit smaller than the others. They'll step through the membrane that keeps the water out, their long feet slapping wetly on the cave's floor.
* Simar stands
GM: They look like a family - a pale green-skinned father and his thin wife, and a small web-footed little girl. The girl has Zalith in her arms, and he doesn't look very happy - he's soaked to the skin, and looks almost like a drowned rat.
Wife: "Are you sure this is okay? I don't want you to get into any trouble."
Husband: "Don't be silly. It's her birthday, she can have any one she wants."
GM: The little girl pads forward, but her mother holds her back, a frightened look on her face. Her father will step up and look at the men, peering into their eyes, looking over their muscles - it's a strange watery repeat of the auction in Gávan.
* Simar looks at Zalith
GM: Zalith's ears are flattened back, but you see he's looking at the various men. You're almost certain he's scheming something.
Simar: "I see you found Zalith........"
* Simar looks at the little girl
GM: The father will frown at you, but the little girl squeals in delight. "Yes isn't he wonderful!" and she runs right up to you.
Simar: "he does not look to happy"
GM: The father will come up behind her and push her back a bit. "Quiet, you."
* Simar looks this guy in the eye
GM: The little girl looks up at him. "I want this one! I think kitty-Zalith wants him too." and she holds Zalith up to her face, getting nose-to-nose with him. "Don't you kitty-Zalith, yes you do!"
* Zalith does not look at all pleased.
Simar: but what wet cat does
GM: He stares back unflinching with his watery yellow eyes. "I think this one is too much for you, Polari. Wouldn't you rather have this nice dark one here?" motioning towards Budro.
* Budro shakes his head just the slightest.
* The little girl stamps her flat feet, spraying your legs with salt water. "NO NO NO NONONONONO! I want THIS one!" pointing at your navel.
* Simar grins
GM: Her father just sighs. "Fine... But if he gives us any trouble we'll have to take him back."
* Simar looks back at Budro seeing if I can see anything in his eyes
* Budro will grin and nod.
* Simar turns to grin at Zalith
* Zalith looks at you, then at the little girl. He still seems very annoyed.
Simar: "pooor Zalith .....I hope you don't catch a cold"
GM: The father will wave for you to come with them, leading the little girl back to her mother, who looks positively terrified of you.
* Simar will try to look at pleasant as possible
Father: "I think he's worth the fifteen we're paying, don't you?" he grins. "Besides, he can help in your garden too."
* Simar follows the father
GM: When you get to the entrance, you'll see there is a pair of Mer-men there, one with a long and wickedly barbed trident. He looks you over, then nods to the father.
Father: "You had better hold my hand, human, or you may not enjoy your trip long." and he reaches out to you.
* Simar does as he is told
GM: His hand feels like grabbing a fresh trout, and he leads you beyond the bubble barrier and into the sea. You hold your breath and panic at first, then when you can stand it no longer you'll realize you can breathe. It feels strange at first, almost fizzy.
* Simar is mildly freaked at first...but soon is thrilled with this new found experience

GM: Jalya - It takes some time to get to sleep, and for some time it's just the usual faint impressions and dreamy images of Reverie... But then the misty remembrances start to get sharper, more intense, and you'll feel as if you're surrounded on all sides. You can hear Zalith's voice, howling in the darkness, as if he's in terrible pain.
* Jalya tosses & turns a it
GM: You'll reach out to get to Zalith, but the dream stuff keeps holding you back, entangling your arms and trying to tear you apart. Then you see him, being held under water by thick and thorny vines, and he wails in terror and agony. You'll see Josilyn, suspended over him, wrapped in a green and writhing cocoon, and above them you'll see the pale drained corpses of Ivan, Simar, the family you met in the trade town near Ityrre.
* Jalya cries out in her dreams "NO!!!!!!!!"
GM: You finally tear free of the twisting vines, floating or running or flying to the scene of horror. But when you get there it's too late - Zalith is nothing but bones and sinew, and Josilyn is rotting before your eyes. Then you wake up, sweating and eyes bulging.
* Jalya wakes screaming

GM: <Simar> It's a long swim, up and around the underwater hill, then over what looks like a seaweed farm, and finally to a small village of stone buildings
* Simar gets his bearings as best as possible
* Simar looks deep are we? [0 successes - Academics(6)]
GM: You've never been this far underwater, and with the strangeness of breathing water you're totally disoriented.
Simar: swell
GM: When you get to their home - a rather stately looking place, notwithstanding the rough-hewn stone - you'll be shown to a small room with a bubble of air. There is a stone slab covered in soft spongy material, and a fat leafy plant in the corner.
* Simar thinks...."how quaint"
GM: The father will watch you at the door as you settle yourself, then say: "I will be your master now. You will keep watch over my daughter Polari, and see that she is entertained."
Simar: "yes sir.....I shall..."
GM: The little girl comes up behind him and places Zalith carefully on the floor. "Watch my kitty, please..."
* Simar grins at the girl
Simar: "you have my word on it"
GM: The father will give you a nod, pat his daughter on the head and say to her. "Let him rest, he's had a strange day."
* Simar looks at poor ole Zalith
Simar: "Goood night Polari"
* Simar grins
* Zalith will shake water off, then look at you.
* Polari will wave and grin her pearly teeth at you, then her father will drag her off.
GM: After a bit, Zalith will start to lick himself, then stop and look back at the watery wall. He comes up to you and sits at your feet, a strangely resigned look on his face.
* Simar looks at Zalith
GM: He doesn't look like a drowned rat anymore, but his fur is sticking out all over like porcupine quills. He's a sad sight indeed.
Simar: "Alright....I know you can understand me so lets get that clear."
* Zalith nods
* Simar can't help but laugh a little at Zalith
Simar: "you look a sight. do you know what happened to Jalya and Josilyn, or Ivan?"
* Zalith will shake his head slowly from side to side, then hop up in your lap.
GM: You'll hear sounds about the house, muffled by the deep sea. There is a light, almost bubbly singing, which must be the mother.
Simar: "poor little guy... this must be your private little realm of the damned"
GM: He'll curl up, soaking your already wet lap, and look up at you. Then his ears flatten, and you'll see Polari at the door.
* Simar looks at the door
Polari: <nervously> "hi..."
* Simar grins
Simar: "hello little one"
Polari: "Ummm..." and she shuffles her feet a bit. "Are you mad at daddy-Eldon?"
Simar: "well I would not say I am mad....just a little confused"
* Polari looks down at her feet, and you can see a small silvery bubble is caught in her hair.
Polari: "I only picked you because I knew it would make him mad."
Simar: "now that any way to treat your father?"
GM: She'll look at you, an angry flash in her bright blue eyes. "HE'S...!" then she stops, looks around, then pokes her head through the membrane into your room and whispers, "He's not my father."
GM: You'll hear her mother call, "Polari! Polari what are you up to?"
* Simar winks at her..........."you best not get into trouble........ you better go....we can talk later"
GM: She'll wink back. "Okay..."
Zalith: "Mew!"
GM: She'll stop, turn back and say. "Oh yeah, Zalith says he's sorry for thinking about spraying your food that one night." and she giggles.
* Simar gets all big eyed.....
Simar: "Zalith you did what?!?!?"
GM: Polari will swim away. "Coming mum!"
* Zalith looks at you, his whiskers twitching.
Simar: "oh not too happy with the big mannish guy huh?"
GM: He hops down on the floor and curls up, still looking at you.
Simar: "listen .....I think no matter what..... we are gonna have to work together... if we wanna get outta here"
* Zalith nods
Simar: "Budro says to play their game until the opportunity presents itself"
* Zalith yawns, as if to say that was obvious
*Simar looks at Zalith
Simar: "and ..truth be not so bad for a cat "
* Zalith grins.
GM: You'll see Polari's father Eldon standing a few feet from the door, apparently listening in.
* Simar gives him a pleasant grin
Simar: "could it be possible sir to get some food?"
GM: He frowns at you, then walks on. "In due time."
* Simar gets up and walks to the door
* Zalith makes an odd sniffing sound, like a half sneeze.
* Simar wonders how long fish face was standing there
Simar: how well can I see outside?
GM: There is a small window, but with the bulging effect of the bubble membrane it fisheyes everything to near uselessness.
Simar: k
* Simar may as well get some rest then

O - Foolsday Junori 15th - Imperial Year 211 • Myth •
GM: The meal isn't exactly appetizing - raw fish, rubbery seaweed, flat water. And the next morning it's more of the same
* Zalith seems happy to have any of the fish you don't want
* Simar thinks of it as something to fill his belly to keep him strong...and will probably share a good amount of the fish with him (eeeeew...raw fish)
GM: Yes, it's quite slimy. but the next morning it seems to be much nicer. Eldon will serve you - seems his wife is too afraid to confront you still. Then, once you've managed to swallow all of the fish you can, and you're considering the work of chewing the seaweed, you'll hear Eldon saying his goodbyes. Within minutes Polari will be at your doorway, a long strand of seaweed hanging from her mouth.
* Simar grins at her
Simar: "hulooo little one"
GM: Zalith will stop eating and walk up to the door. She'll lean down to pick him up, but he stays just out of her reach until she pouts.
Polari: "Daddy-Eldon thinks you'd be better off as a mule. What's a mule?"
Simar: "it is a stubborn land creature that does hard work and gets kick a lot. it is furry and walks on four legs"
* Polari laughs. "Like Zalith?"
* Zalith doesn't seem to see the humor in that
Simar: "yup but is large like me and makes a funny sound like this......."
* Simar brays like a mule
GM: That seems to delight her more than anything, and she'll let Zalith drop to the floor so she can clap. She'll step through the membrane and into the room.
Polari: "Daddy-Eldon doesn't like you, an' that suits me fine." she sits and pets on Zalith, who is finally starting to look almost dry.
* Simar stays seated and will take a piece of seaweed and chew on it ... looking at Polari
GM: Zalith looks at her intently and she laughs, then looks at you.
Polari: "Zalith wants to know why you keep following Jalya. He says you don't have to."
* Simar looks at her
Simar: "so you can talk to Zalith?"
* Polari nods
Simar: "you must be a goood girl then....cause Zalith only talks to good girls"
GM: She stops and puts an ear on Zalith's head, as if listening intently. "He says that Jalya likes you, for a hairy-tick."
* Simar snickers
Polari: "Who's Jalya? Zalith likes her a lot."
Simar: "Jalya was....IS a good friend of ours ...but Zalith knows her better than I do"
Simar: "they have been friends forever"
* Polari nods sadly. "Zalith misses her. Do you miss her too?"
Simar: "I do...."
* Simar takes another bite of the seaweed and gives a funny look
GM: The seaweed tastes okay, much better than the fish, but the chewing is laborious.
Simar: "I guess I am going to have to get used to this"
GM: Polari listens to Zalith's head a moment more and giggles. Zalith gives her an irritated look.
Polari: "You're gonna try an' excape, huh?"
* Simar looks at her grinnin......" if you missed your friends a lot would you stay?"
GM: Now that you've sat and watched her, you get this strange sensation - you realize that when she speaks, the words don't follow the movements of her mouth.
Polari: "I don't have any friends. I don't like it here."
* Simar looks at her surprised
Simar: "no friends?!?!...a girl like you?? ...I find that hard to believe. I would have thought you would have lots of friends"
* Simar looks her in the eyes
* Polari shakes her head. "Nope, not since Daddy-Eldon took mommy and me and brought us to this ugly place."
Simar: "Polari?...if a may ask what happened to your real daddy? don't have to tell me if you don't want to...but I just wonder why he would leave you and your gooood mother"
GM: She looks at you like you're an idiot. "Daddy-Eldon killed him. That's how come he has me an' mum. He won her."
* Zalith has a rather surprised expression on his face
* Simar is a little shocked at her answer
* Polari shrugs. "Anyway, I'm gonna run away when my fins come in. Daddy-Eldon can just dry up."
* Simar looks at her
Simar: "my father is dead too..... and I know how it feels to be somewhere you don't want to be. heheee.....maybe we can run away together"
Polari: "Did your mum have to move when she was won?"
Simar: "well things didn't happen exactly like what happened to you and your mom. but my father was killed and I do not know what has become of my mother"
Polari: "That's sad. And now you're stuck down here with my rotten Daddy-Eldon and my half-dead mum."
* Polari looks down at Zalith, then says. "Ohh... So you're looking for Jalya's mum... Is that why you follow her?"
* Simar grins
Simar: "yes little one... Jalya saved my life....and for that I am indebted to her....I was doing what was right and trying to repay her for what she did for me"
Polari: "I can help you. If you take me with you." she stops and thinks. "But I'm afraid to go out of the water."
Simar: "have you gone above water before little one?"
* Polari shakes her head
Simar: " I would take you with me for sure and I would promise to watch over you and you know what?...Jalya likes children too. I am sure she would love to meet you then you Zalith and Jalya could chat away. what do you say to that?"
Polari: "I'll have to think about it."
GM: Polari's mother calls from in the house "Polari! I need you over here. Stop playing with that slave!"
Simar: "yes.....I would have to think about it tooo.... "
* Zalith will curl around her legs when she stands.
Simar: "you go and we will talk later"
Polari: "I think my mum is afraid of you." she grins. "I guess she's right."
Zalith: "Mew!"
Simar: "I mean her no harm I just want to go home"
Polari: "Oh, Zalith says he knows where your blade is." She smiles. "I'll come and talk to you later."
Simar: "be well little one"
* Simar looks at Zalith
* Zalith looks at you
Simar: "you know where my blade is?"
* Zalith nods
* Simar goes over... picks him up and gives him a big kiss on the face
Simar: "you amaze me Zalith you really do"
* Simar puts him down
* Zalith shakes himself off, giving you an irritated look, then he mews, almost cheerfully.

GM: <Jalya> When you wake Josilyn will daub your forehead with a cool cloth. You still see afterimages of the dream - faint glowing images of grasping watery tendrils.
* Jalya shudders
Jalya: <whispers sadly> "Jos..."
Josilyn: "What is it?" she resoaks the rag and wrings it out.
Jalya: "I had a vicious nightmare."
* Josilyn shakes her head and puts the cloth back to your head.
Josilyn: "Don't worry about it. The Reverie always has a cold touch."
Jalya: "I've never had a dream like that... you were dead... everyone was dead..."
* Jalya shudders again
Josilyn: "We'll just have to prove it wrong, is all." she stands and stretches.
GM: There is a heavy mist at the small cave's entrance. It's a chilly morning.
Jalya: "I hope you are right. What should we do about Ivan?"
Josilyn: "I heard the men again. I think they're looking for Simar."
Jalya: "Really?"
Josilyn: "They said they were expecting someone to come with Ivan. I think they have an oracle here."
Jalya: "Do you trust their oracles after what they did to you?"
Josilyn: "That was just mannish foolishness." she laughs, but it's a hollow one. "Sport, they call it."
* Josilyn cups some water from the spring and drinks.
Josilyn: "But I didn't mean to seek the oracle here. I only meant that they were expecting Ivan, and Simar too I think."
* Jalya stands by her sister
Jalya: "How could they be expecting them if they didn't know we were coming?"
Josilyn: "Exactly."
Jalya: "I think we have to go back to the camp..."
Josilyn: "But we had best be careful." She hands you half of a pulpy fruit. "Considering their sport."
* Jalya takes the fruit, taking a bite without tasting it.
* Josilyn sets to peeling another of the fruit.
Jalya: "Well, this time I think I should go alone, and not as a lynx."
* Jalya wipes a tear from her face, hoping Jos didn't see it.
Josilyn: "Something strange is going on here, sister." She tosses the peels back into the cave. "Finding Ivan seems to be very important to them, and not finding Simar has them in a quandary." she takes a bite of her fruit, spitting out a couple seeds. "You should have heard them argue."
Jalya: "hmm. Interesting...."
Josilyn: "They're planning something." she spits out another seed. "Something big."
* Jalya sighs
Jalya: "I hate wars."
* Jalya takes another tasteless bite of the fruit.
Josilyn: "Are you sure you want to go alone? You don't look too well rested after that nightmare."
Jalya: "I can't ask you to go... not after last time..."
* Jalya sniffs
Josilyn: "I'm not sure you'll be safe, especially after what happened. I don't think Ivan trusts us anymore."
Jalya: "me either... but we need to know what's going on."
Josilyn: "Maybe if we find Simar for them..."
* Jalya sighs, exasperated: "Oh... yeah... that's easy... shall we just walk into the ocean and ask the Mermen to give him up?"
* Josilyn shrugs. "I've never met one."
Jalya: "Me either... probably just myths. like dragons."
Jalya: "Budro would know... too bad he's not here."
* Josilyn raises a hand. "Shh..." and she sniffs at the air.
* Jalya listens intently
GM: You don't hear anything above the waves and wind.
* Josilyn grins. "And speaking of..." she goes to the cave's entrance. "I smell him."
* Jalya whispers "Who? Budro?"
* Josilyn nods.
GM: You'll see a shadow pass out in the mist.
* Jalya follows Jos
Josilyn: <hissing> "Hey! ... Budro!"
* Jalya puts her hand on her knife
GM: The shadow will drift back, then you'll see Budro hovering just above the ground as he comes out of the mist. He's dripping wet, but still has his grin in place.
Budro: "What a surprise to find you two ladies..."
Josilyn: "I thought you got dragged overboard."
Jalya: "Me too."
Budro: "That doesn't mean I couldn't escape."
Jalya: "What happened?"
* Jalya motions to the cave
Budro: "The Mer-Folk set up that trap to capture slaves." He'll follow you two into the cave, settling onto the ground only when he's a few feet in. "Seems that they have trouble keeping them for long."
Jalya: "Hmm... did you see Simar down there?"
Budro: "Yes, but not for long. He was bought."
* Jalya gulps.
Josilyn: "You mean he's a slave now?" she slumps a bit. "Great."
Budro: "I think he already has plans for escape."
* Jalya stammers: "What about... about Zalith?"
* Jalya closes her eyes
* Budro grins. "Safe and sound, with the girl that bought Simar."
Josilyn: "Why didn't you help him escape?"
Budro: "I had trouble just getting myself out of there."
* Jalya looks up, tears streaming down her face "Thank all the Blessed Gods. Is there anything we could do to help them?"
Josilyn: "Yeah, we can't just leave him down there without any help at all."
Jalya: [2 successes - rapport(9)]
GM: Budro isn't telling you everything
Budro: "Actually, now that I have you two I think we may have half a chance."
Josilyn: "See sis. Now we can find Simar and we won't have to worry about Ivan so much."
Jalya: "We could use his help too. Besides, he owes me his life."
Jalya: to Jos: *He's holding back something.*
* Josilyn frowns at you
Jalya: *trust me... I can tell.*
Budro: "Not many managed to escape the weeds. They managed quite a bounty."
Jalya: "What do you think we should do, Budro?"
Budro: "I'm not totally sure. None of us can survive too long underwater without an ally among the Mer-Folk."
Josilyn: *I'm only ... bits ...*
* Jalya thinks >he< has an ally among the Mer-Folk
Josilyn: "So then how did you escape?"
* Jalya frowns at Jos
* Budro grins. "Blind luck, as usual."
Jalya: "How so?"
Budro: "It is a gift of my kind." he shrugs. "I cannot know the vagaries of fate."
Jalya: "I see."
Jalya: *He's hiding something. I can tell.*
Josilyn: "So now we're back to where we started..."
Budro: "Not necessarily. Let me take a look around, and when I return we can make plans."
Jalya: "Ok."
* Budro will make a half bow, then step out of the cave. You see his shadowy form do a short jig, and then he rises up in the air.
Jalya: "Good luck."
Josilyn: <when Budro is out of earshot> "What is it you wanted to say?"
Jalya: "he's hiding something about his escape. I can feel it. well... at least he didn't tell us the fullness of the story."
Josilyn: "His story doesn't exactly set well with me either."
Jalya: "I think he knows one of them... one of the Merfolk."
Josilyn: "Hmmm..."
Jalya: "Think he could have set up the attack with them somehow?"
Josilyn: "I hope not."
* Jalya mutters "and you said they were 'fun'."
Josilyn: "I've never met a treacherous one..." she stops, then says: "Of course, I've only met two others."
Jalya: "Hmm... "
* Jalya twirls her hair.
Jalya: "I wish I hadn't lost my bow."
Josilyn: "So if he did set up the attack somehow, he wouldn't want to help us find Simar, would he?"
Jalya: "unless he has a reason to want to find him... perhaps he's begun to worship Charrat."
* Josilyn shrugs
Jalya: "..well... you never know..."
* Jalya will lay down for a short bit
Jalya: "Guess we wait."
Josilyn "If Ivan knew what we suspect..."
Jalya: "Hmm?"
Josilyn: "Think about it. If Budro really did set us up, then Simar being lost wasn't our fault." she grins. "And if Budro is telling the truth, then Simar isn't lost at all."
Jalya: "So how does Ivan fit into this... you think he knew we were set up?"
* Josilyn shrugs. "I think he blamed us. Or me, I think he really blamed me."
Jalya: "hmm..."
* Jalya thinks a bit
* Josilyn twirls her hair
Jalya: "When Budro gets back, we'll have to go fetch Ivan."
Josilyn: "And I don't think Ivan went to those people in the camp. I think they got him."
Jalya: "yeah, that makes sense."
* Jalya sits up
Josilyn: "It's all so strange."
Jalya: "it is. but when Budro gets back, you two will follow me to the camp. I'll try to get Ivan's scrawny ass handed over to me."
Josilyn: "You just be careful."
* Jalya just smiles and winks.
Jalya: "I'll get him."
* Jalya thinks "I hope"
GM: Budro doesn't return for another couple hours, and by then the mist is nearly gone. He's still wet from being underwater and flying through the mist.
Jalya: "Welcome back."
Budro: "Yes, this is definitely a Mer-Folk trap. I don't know why we didn't know it when we saw it."
* Jalya looks at Jos
Jalya: "how did you come to that conclusion?"
Budro: "From high up it's the perfect place for it."
Josilyn: "Hmmm... well, we've already come up with our plan."
Jalya: "I'm going to acquire Ivan."
Budro: "And where is Ivan?"
Jalya: "He's in an Ibarite camp that's here. I need you two to hide and cover me, in case they get cocky."
* Jalya watches Budro's reaction very carefully. [0 successes - rapport(8)]
Budro: "Hmmm... I saw the camp. Yes, I suppose that is where he should go."
Jalya: ">Should< go?"
Budro: "Ivan is an Ibarite, yes?" grinning
Jalya: "Yes."
* Budro nods. "So he should go to his own."
Josilyn: "Only he may not feel so friendly towards us, since he thinks Simar is dead."
Jalya: "Leave that to me."
* Jalya pauses, thinks, and nods
Jalya: "but I don't think he knew they were here."
Budro: "How do you gather that, Jalya?"
Jalya: "just a feeling."
Budro: "Hmmm..."
Jalya: "a woman's intuition, you know."
Josilyn: "How close did you get to the camp, Budro?"
Budro: "Not close at all. Too dangerous."
* Jalya sighs "Yeah... we found that out."
Josilyn: "Shall we go now, or should we wait for moonlight?"
Jalya: to Jos: *He doesn't tell us everything, we don't tell him everything.*
Jalya: "Let's wait."
* Budro nods. "We may get more respect that way."
Jalya: "..and it gives me time to fathom how I'm going to do it."
* Jalya lays down and thinks of something
GM: Josilyn will sit against the wall and watch Budro, who just sits cross legged and waits patiently.
* Jalya hums softly to herself
GM: As the day goes on and cools the mist will return, thicker than in the morning and curling into the cave's entrance. When the moon finally rises, it lends a strange glow to everything, making trees and rocks almost leap out at you as you approach them.
Jalya: "Time to go... I think you two should quietly get in front of me, and hide using my approach as cover for any sounds that might tip them off."
GM: When you get to the drop, Josilyn will go to her lynx form and take cover. Budro will do a swan dive from the drop, then float up towards the blurry disc of the moon.
* Jalya walks calmly and coolly to the gates.
GM: You can only see faint flickers of the torches, and you can hear the nervous chatter of the guards.
Jalya: cloak's hood up, BTW
* Jalya heads that way
GM: When you get close enough to be seen, which is awfully close considering the fog, One of the guards will hail you.
Guard: "Who goes there?"
Jalya: "I seek Ivan, who owes me his life."
* Jalya stops
GM: The guard will pass the message along.
* Jalya will wait
Guard: "How will he know you?"
* Jalya takes off her hood
Jalya: "By the ears."
GM: You'll hear the messenger return, and there is some whispering.
Jalya: [3 successes - Alertness(7)]
GM: "... He still waits in mourning ... I think this may be the faerie he spoke of ... What of the other one? ... "
GM: The guard will call down to you: "He cannot come to you. He is in mourning."
Jalya: "Simar's alive. I need Ivan's help to retrieve him. Besides, I saved his life. Charrat says that Ivan owes me his."
GM: The guard laughs. "You do not know the will of Charatt. He gives no life to another."
GM: The messenger goes back with the new message, but this time it doesn't sound too promising. But a few minutes later you'll hear Ivan, and the gates will open. He's standing there, flanked by armed men, and he gives you a sour look.
Ivan: "I won't hear your lies, Jalya. You and your sister are nothing but ill luck. I am among my own here, and you would do best to go among your own."
Jalya: "Simar's alive. He needs you."
Ivan: "For how long, Jalya? If he does indeed live, he is a slave of the undersea men. Kin to YOU!"
Jalya: "your own god commands that your life is indebted to me. Do this, and the debt will be resolved. I won't let you make this into a Fae vs. Mannish issue. It isn't one."
* Ivan laughs. "You claim again that you know the will of Charatt. You know nothing. I am here by the will of Charatt. I work the will of Charatt."
Jalya: "and you dishonor him by your refusal. Ask your oracle... he will know I am right."
* Ivan turns away. "Go while you still can, Jalya."
GM: You hear a commotion in the camp.
* Jalya gets pissy, storms up to him and turns him around and stares at him in the eyes
Jalya: "You dishonor Charrat. And you dishonor Simar, fathom? You OWE us this."
GM: The commotion gets furious, and you'll hear someone cry out "The egg! They've stolen the egg!"
GM: when Ivan hears this, his frown turns into a scowl of pure hatred. "I knew it was a trick!" The guards on either side will raise their weapons, and you can hear arrows being loosed into the air. Alarm bells are being rung.
* Jalya grabs at his throat
GM: [initiative]
GM: Ivan will step back behind his two guards, and you hear men coming to flank you. You're nearly surrounded.
* Jalya remains intent on snapping Ivan's scrawny neck
GM: you have to step past 2 guards to get to him. if you do, they're likely to skewer you
Ivan: "Killing Simar wasn't enough, now you have to steal our last hope."
GM: You're now surrounded by 6 armed men, who are closing in on you. Ivan will tell them: "If her friends have any loyalty, they may trade her for the egg."
Jalya: "Listen to me, dammit."
GM: The men are herding you further in, and the gate shuts.
* Jalya starts weeping.
Jalya: "I've never lied to you, Ivan... please... if you honor Simar, you shouldn't give up on him so easily. I know he's alive, Ivan..."
Ivan: "You say I have given up." He holds a door open for the men to herd you in. "But I shall find him, and together we will return the glory of Charatt to Myth."
Jalya: "I know where he is, Ivan. He's been enslaved by the Merfolk."
GM: The men will secure the door, and Ivan will look in once more.
Ivan: "He will not be a slave much longer, I assure you. One way or another, he will be free."
* Jalya looks him in the eye. "Please hear me" (tearfully)
Ivan: "I don't have time now. I have to find your friend who stole our egg." and he leaves.
Jalya: "what egg?"
Jalya: <shouting> "If Molo were alive, he'd know I was telling the truth."
GM: The cell is really just a bare spot of dirt walled in. Once Ivan has gone you're left with your anger and the last shreds of despair from the dream.
Jalya: in about 2 minutes, I'll wrestle my trembles to rages and bust down that damn door.
GM: You don't hear a guard outside the door - only a lot of noise and running around. Seems that whoever stole the egg (and I'm sure you have your ideas) also set a few fires and created some other chaos.
* Jalya charges the door [5 successes - might(8) w/WP]
GM: You stand, nearly hyperventilating from rage, then run forward, drop your shoulder, and slam the door open, smacking one man as he runs past, knocking him out cold. You see a few rocks floating around in the camp, smacking Ibarites and sending them sprawling.
Jalya: [2 successes - Alertness(7)]
GM: You see Josilyn running into the camp through one of the fallen walls. She dodges around a pair of men being chased by a flying stone, then slows, looking around.
* Jalya runs up to Jos
* Jalya has her hand on her knife
* Josilyn will revert to her mannish shape when she sees you, but she'll grab your shoulder and run you back towards your cell. "We were right. Budro has been playing us all along."
Jalya: "Bastard... let's get outta here..."
* Jalya thinks "Hmm... I am really pretty naked."
GM: Josilyn will run up to the wall and squeeze between the logs there, which have been loosened from the flying rocks. The rocks are slowing now, and some have landed inert on the ground.
* Jalya slips thru the wall
Jalya: "Want my cloak, Sis?"
* Josilyn wave is away "I think I know what he wanted."
Jalya: "That egg?"
* Josilyn nods. "Yes. A dragon egg. And we're to take the blame for it."
Jalya: "Not if I can help it. We're going to get that egg."
Josilyn: "I think it's too late. I saw him fly out with it, but with this thick fog we'll never be able to find him." She slows as you get to the trees. "Besides, he's a master of Wayfare."
Jalya: "Fine... screw Ivan."
* Jalya runs
Jalya: "We need to find Simar. Hope he isn't doing something stupid."
GM: You'll run out some distance into the trees before you're sure you're safe enough. You can still hear men shouting, mostly about the lost egg.
Jalya: I assume we fetched Jos's clothes.
GM: nope, Jos is now nekkid indefinitely
Jalya: "Want my cloak, Jos?"
Josilyn: "Yeah." she pants a little and grins. "I almost forgot it was cold."
* Jalya wraps it around her
Jalya: "We need to find Simar, and tell him about this."
* Jalya heads towards the beach
GM: There is an abrupt stillness, and then the fog parts around you, forming a circle of whirling whiteness around you. Josilyn starts to look around, startled. You hear this husky voice from all around: "Unlucky child... Willful faerie... You have lied in my name..." The mist starts to swirl faster, and you see the moon is centered above you in a clear circle of sky. A face forms there, and then the body shimmers in around it - tall, with dark black hair bound behind a strange ivory disk on the back of her head. Her dress is pure silver, trimmed in black and sigils of the moon.
Jalya: oh shit.
GM: The woman floats down in front of you, and Josilyn cowers, her back up against a tree. The woman points at you, grinning her white teeth against dark red lips. "I am the goddess, not the sham you portray, and by my right I could take you."
Jalya: "I meant no offense.."
* Jalya backs away
Jalya: "...your majesty."
GM: The goddess reaches back to touch the strange disc on the back of her head, but hesitates. "Or perhaps I will let my better nature rise to the occasion." then she shakes her head and pulls the disc over her head, turning as she does so. You see it's some sort of mask, and when she turns around, you see another face there - an entirely different woman.
Jalya: "I am honestly sorry, Talia... I meant no harm"
GM: This face is much crueler - framed in wispy white hair. The eyes are a hard dark black, and the robes are a deep impenetrable black trimmed in blinding white.
Talia: "How dare you claim to know my husband's will? To impugn the good faith of my chosen one?"
* Josilyn faints dead away.
Jalya: "from the way Simar behaves, it would seem that it would be the Great Dragon's will. I am only mortal, and may have misinterpreted it."
* Jalya is still backing away.
* Jalya glances at Jos
* Talia reaches up to touch the mask, which is now pure black, but then stays her hand. "Should I spare you for your mistakes?"
Jalya: "Please do... Simar is an example of honor, and serves your husband well. I believe Ivan can learn from him. I need to save Simar. Simar would do that for Ivan."
GM: When you get to the edge of the circle created by the mist you feel a solid glassy wall. Talia has trapped you here with her.
Jalya: "Does that not seem like it would be your husbands will? at least to me?"
* Talia will turn the mask over, pirouetting around to show the kinder face. "Young D'Vesku does indeed need saving, but not in the way you imagine..." you see her hand reaching up to touch the mask again.
Jalya: "how must I save him?"
GM: Her hand hesitates, one finger touching the mask. "He is his own to save. If I am to spare you..." you see her tugging at the mask lightly "I may spare you..."
Jalya: "I know you can fathom my heart. You know I mean no disrespect. If you decide to spare me, do tell. if not, do away with me."
GM: She tugs the mask roughly over her face, but doesn't turn. You hear the high-pitched grate of the crueler face say: "Oh no, you shall not die. Not today. Death is not our purview." she takes a step towards the misty wall, touching it with a black lacquered nail and drawing a drop of moisture from it.
Jalya: "So tell me how to save Simar."
* Talia turns to you, flicking the moisture into your face. "The one you love is ill, Jalya. That may be payment enough. And betrayal at the hand of your own kind. Indeed, payment enough. Can you endure more?" and she laughs, a high cackle like a bird.
* Jalya gasps "Zalith..."
* Jalya bends down and checks Josilyn
GM: Josilyn is fine, but definitely out for the count. Then you hear the huskier voice of the kinder face.
* Jalya looks up
Talia: "You are lucky I come to meet you on a bright night. Dark skies make me feel..." and her hand reaches up again. "... vengeful..."
* Jalya faints

GM: Simar - The constant damp isn't doing much for you, and you feel yourself starting to catch a chill. [resistance(7)]
Simar: [6 successes]
GM: [of course, Simar could probably bathe in sewage and come out in perfect health...]
GM: Zalith, however, isn't faring quite as well as you, and you can tell that the surrounding water isn't good for his nerves.
* Simar will do his best to make it good for Zalith
GM: Zalith is in a very bad mood, his ears flattened back and his fur matted. But he feels very hot, and you can tell he's weakening.
* Simar will share his food with him and try to keep him as comfortable as possible
GM: Eldon will check on you from time to time, saying nothing but always giving you a disapproving look. His wife never shows her face in the doorway. Late in the day, while Zalith is dozing, Polari will come in, smiling brightly.
Polari: "I get to go out to find moonstones tonight, and you will need to guard me."
* Simar grins at Polari
Simar: "moonstones?....sounds like fun"
* Polari will pet on Zalith, and her grin fades. "What's wrong, kitty-Zalith?"
Simar: "he isn't liking this life style. cats and vast amounts of water do not go well together. he is getting sick Polari"
Polari: "Oh no!..." she lays an ear on Zalith, as if listening to his heartbeat. "We have to get him out here then."
Simar: "yes...we must"
Polari: "We can bring him when we look for moonstones."
* Simar leans in close to Polari
Simar: "then we are not planning on returning are we?"
Polari: "I dunno..." she looks to make sure you're not being watched. "I'm afraid."
Simar: "I can not make you do what you do not want to do....but Zalith will not last long I fear. I must get him out of here"
* Polari looks over her shoulder again. "Well..." and she bites at her lip. "I don't want to stay here any more..." and she picks Zalith up.
Simar: " must be sure....once we go we can not come back"
Polari: "Daddy-Eldon won't let you carry any weapons." she reaches out a hand. "But I think Zalith can tell us where the prettiest moonstones are."
Simar: "I need Zalith to tell me where my sword is too"
* Polari grins.
GM: You hold your breath when Polari leads you through the bubble, but then you get that strange, almost fizzy sensation and remember that somehow they make you able to breathe. Her mother is waiting at the door with a small basket and she fusses over Polari for several minutes, giving you several disapproving glances.
Polari: "Don't worry, mum. I have my new guard to keep me safe from sharks an' all that."
GM: Her mother shakes her head. "I still don't think you should go without your father. Can't you wait until next time?"
* Simar thinks ....oh man....sharks
Polari: "Tonight is the last night, and I'll have to wait a whole month!"
Simar: "if there is anything more precious it is a child.... I shall protect the young one with my life ..on this you have my word"
GM: Her mother will finally relent, watching from the door as Polari leads you away. "Don't forget to be home before the moon passes its zenith! Your father will be angry if you're not home tonight."
* Polari mutters "He's not my father."
Polari: "Zalith says your sword is just a ways past these rocks, by where the bind weed is."
Simar: "is there a way to avoid the bind weed?"
Polari: "It's safe down here. Besides, it won't touch me."
* Simar grins at Polari
Simar: "then lets go get it"
GM: Once you get to the rocks Polari tells you that you'll have to swim. [athletics(6)]
Polari: "I just hope there really aren't sharks around here."
Simar: [botch]
GM: You swim a little at first, but you've never seen an ocean, much less swam in one, and this is far deeper under water than you've ever been. Within a matter of minutes, Polari has outdistanced you, and you feel the strange magick she uses to sustain you start to fade.
Simar: "POLARI!!"
* Simar is going to try and keep swimming
GM: You shout, thrashing at the water, then when you try to shout again it's nothing but a bubbling gurgle. You see Polari turn, and her smile turns to a look of shock. She swims back to you furiously, grasping your hand just as your vision starts to black out.
Polari: "I'm so sorry! I thought you could swim!"
* Simar is hoping the breathing abilities returns before he starts crying like a girl
GM: When you finally catch your breath again, Polari has her head in your lap, crying. "I didn't mean to let you drown!"
* Simar strokes her head gently
Polari: "We can walk, if you want to..."
* Zalith looks terrible.
Simar: "well I should learn to swim.....maybe you can teach me"
* Polari grins "If you're lucky, you won't ever need to learn." and she'll lead you around the rocks, taking care to stay to clearer paths.
GM: Going this way takes nearly 2 hours, since moving under water still feels very strange to you, and by the time you get to the edge of the bind weed patch you've managed to pick up some of the swimming technique. As you float to the rocky ground you'll see your sword, sticking up in what looks like a mound of white clay.
* Simar head for the sword
GM: When you get to it, you'll see that the clay mound is actually a body - Derro's to be exact. His face is stretched taught over his skull, and you can see every bone in his body. His skin is pale white, and his face has a horrific look of pure pain twisted on it.
Simar: "well I can't say it's a shame to see you...poor Derro"
Polari: "Oh no! Daddy-Eldon followed us!"
* Simar grabs the sword
GM: When your hand touches the hilt there is an electric tingle, then an abrupt shock. You feel a momentary dizziness. [Endurance(7) and lose 2 mana]
Simar: [3 successes]
GM: The dizziness passes quickly, and in its place you'll feel the thrumming. The sword pulses steadily in your hand, and you feel that surge of energy and power throughout your body, only this time, instead of building slowly, it's a quick slam into high gear.
* Simar heads over by Polari
GM: You turn, seeing Eldon and a pair of Mer-Man warriors armed with tridents, and you can only grin. [initiative, add 4]
GM: well, I daresay you have the upper hand. got a plan while these 3 fish men are charging you?
* Simar makes sure they don't get Polari
* Eldon swims ahead, trident pointed right at your throat. "How dare you kidnap my child!"
GM: if you don't want to slash Eldon you need to make a self-control roll
Simar: [0 successes - self-control(6)]
GM: The sword doesn't like you being threatened, and it steps you forward to attack.
Simar: I am going to let the sword do the talking [3 successes - melee(7)/dazing blow]
GM: You expect to feel much more resistance under the water, but the sword seems to glide right through it. The sword smacks right against his face, sending him sprawling into the bind weeds, the trident floating down out of his hands. The other two men slow a bit, widening their attack to flank you.
GM: you got another move on them - you're moving inhumanly fast
Simar: am I able to attack one of the guards?
GM: you can wait for them and get them both in one attack, or leap at one
* Simar waits
GM: They hesitate only a moment, then one nods and they charge at you, one going for your legs while the other aims for your sword arm. They seem unaware that you're very prepared.
* Simar takes the one trying for the sword arm first ...hoping to continue his swing through to the other one [0 successes - melee(7)]
GM: You whirl around, but in trying to make a full circle of the swing you concentrated too hard on the second man, and your sword clangs off the first one's trident. You slide the sword around, losing some momentum, swinging it around to the second. The merman drops his trident from the force of your blow.
Simar: [3 successes - melee(8) w/WP]
GM: The sword slices through the water and down into the second man's arm, just as he stabs you in the thigh with his trident. [soak 2K]
Simar: [soaks 1]
GM: When you regain your footing you see Polari struggling with a large stone. Zalith is lying on the muddy floor.
GM: [new init]
Simar: (still +4?)
GM: [yep]
GM: The first Merman is retrieving his trident, while the second one braces for a second attack. [your go]
* Simar is swinging on the one with the trident [2 successes - Melee(7)]
GM: He starts to duck low, to avoid the blow, but you're on him far too fast. This strike cuts through his trident, nearly slicing the bridge of his nose. There is a wet thudding sound behind you.
* Simar turns to see where the thud came from
GM: You turn to see, just in time as the other Merman stabs at your back with his trident.
* Simar dodges [1 success - athletics(7)]
GM: You'll kick back, but the water slows you, and his trident stabs at your side [soak 1K]
GM: The trident tangles a bit in the ragged cloth of your shirt. You see Polari lift the rock again to smash it into Eldon's head.
GM: [new init]
GM: [told you she didn't like him]
GM: The Merman starts to pull back on his trident, but you can see that Polari's fury has chastened him. The other Merman swims up to call for reinforcements. [your go]
Simar: "Polari!!! grab Zalith!!!!" [2 successes - leadership(6)]
GM: Polari looks up at you, then drops the rock and turns to Zalith. The merman strikes at you with his trident, but misses, entangling the points in the bind weed. [you have another action Simar]
* Simar swing on this closest one [1 success - melee(6)]
GM: He tugs on his trident, then looks up as you bring the sword down on his arm, slashing it and spreading a trail of red into the water.
Polari: "Oh no..." and she points.
* Simar looks
GM: You see a sinuous shadow just at the edge of visibility, then a second one just as the first comes into focus - sharks.
Polari: "Quick, get into the weeds!" and she swims into them, Zalith a wet ball in her arms.
* Simar heads for the weeds
GM: You push into the thick tangle with some effort, and the Mer-man tries to do the same, but with his weakened arm he can't push them aside. Then the sharks are on him, tearing him into a cloud of red.
Polari: "I can't make them go away..."
Simar: "will they come into the weeds Polari?"
* Polari shakes her head. "They can't"
GM: Once the sharks have taken care of the Merman they circle around a few times, then swim away. Polari holds your hand tightly, and you'll see a small group of Mermen come to investigate. The sword's pulsing has finally slowed, and you feel the adrenaline edge starting to wear off. Your hands are shaking
Simar: [0 successes - Courage(6)]
GM: You've finally had it. With the sharks gone you know this is your only chance to escape. You need to get away before these fish men recapture you.
Simar: "Polari!!!!"
GM: When you shout the Mermen start hacking at the bind weeds. Polari will hand you Zalith.
Polari: "Just go. I'll draw them away."
* Simar swims like crazy [5 successes - Athletics(6) w/WP]
GM: Simar swims like a man possessed, clutching onto poor limp Zalith as best he can. You finally break the surface, gasping for air and praying for something to grab onto. Fortunately there's still some flotsam, and you float there under the moon's glare, with Zalith perched on your shoulder, breathing shallowly.
* Simar looks around
GM: You see an island some distance away, and you're drifting that way already. If you pace yourself you should get there by moonset. A light mist hovers over everything, and it's thickest on the island. You see a shadow cross over the moon's face, flying to the north.
Simar: [botch - intuition(7)]
GM: You're certain it's just a fever haze from being trapped underwater so long, and you shrug it off, swimming for shore.

GM: <Jalya> You'll awaken, wet and cold from the fog, which is starting to fade out. The moon is low in the sky. Josilyn is lying against you, asleep now.
* Jalya curls up next to Jos, and gently shakes her shoulder
Jalya: "Jos... let's get back to the cave."
* Josilyn's eyes open just a bit, then suddenly widen. "Spirits preserve us! That was a GOD!" she stands quickly. "A true to life goddess!"
Jalya: "Yeah... I know... I'm freaking out..."
* Jalya gets up
Josilyn: "What did she want...?"
Jalya: "Evidently, I pissed her off."
Jalya: "Oh Fye..."
Josilyn: "When she showed the other face..." she shudders. "That was Talia?"
Jalya: "They both were... We need to head towards the beach... Zalith is ill."
* Jalya starts running for the beach
Josilyn: "I thought she was going to curse us... " she follows you. "Make us die some horrible death. Or worse... madness..."
Jalya: "...yeah... me too."
Jalya: "I'm either very brave or very stupid."
Josilyn: "You're lucky, is what you are."
Jalya: [1 success - alertness(7)]
GM: You nearly run right into a clearing where a small group of the Ibarite men have made camp.
* Jalya screeches to a halt, holding up her arm for Jos
* Jalya whispers "Let's go around." [0 successes - stealth(7) w/WP]
* Jalya motions to Jos to go around
Ibarites: "... With the egg gone we're lost ... Where did we fail? ... Ivan was totally shaken..."
GM: You start to tiptoe around the camp, but then step right on a trip wire. A suspended log starts whooshing down towards you.
Jalya: [0 successes - athletics(7)]
GM: You look up, seeing death dropping on you, but when you jump back your feet slip on the wet ground. [soak 5B]
Josilyn: "NOOO!"
Jalya: [soaks 1 - 0 successes - endurance(8)]
GM: Jalya is knocked cold.

[Chapter 2: Passage] [Log Index] [Chapter 2: The Egg]

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