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Cursed Son Saga Actual Play Thread


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18 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

Man... we really need to step up those PSAs about Chaos Cows

Absolutely! I feel like the cities don't give it enough attention because they don't think it will impact them. But it will! Oh, it most definitely will!

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Cursed Son Saga Part Two – Dragon Fear

Waterday, Harmony Week, Storm Season, 1618

As Elmalric’s band prepared for the attack they are sure to come, Elara has some questions and a suggestion for a way to help. First, she asks since they are sure it is flying in will the others fly or try to bring it down to the ground? Elmalric, Wild Eyes, and Sarekt say they will fly. (They will augment their combat ability with their Air Rune.)

Once that is decided, Elara offers to use her magic to find the best place to fight the beast that is coming. I used my Grey Ones Journal grimoire and the spell Find the Best Ground and rolled a success. The other players watched as she set up her spell and rolled a success. Elmalric asked about recognizing the magic and made a roll on his Anmangarn culture with a success to determine she was a Lhankor Mhy sorcerer. To know more, he rolled on his Not My Memories flaw (From an object and action in the previous campaign when he was an NPC. I can’t give details yet.) with a success. He remembered his brother Anbrast arguing with his eldest brother Orik that even High King Broyan agreed it would take a combination of sorcery and rune magic to defeat the Lunars.

Elara put her items away and asked if they’d seen the spot. Everyone had rolled a d20 against a resistance and Elmalric had seen a blue circle appear in the area under the mean looking cow they had staked out. Assured of their placement, they got into position to await whatever was coming. Wild Eyes went to the tree to keep watch and the others hid with no rolls required as everyone was from an experienced hunter culture.

As they wait, Elmalric asks Alig what the cards told him. He had drawn two as Elara did her magic. He drew the Queen of Cups and the 10 of Wands and determined they were telling him to trust the witchy woman doing the magic. Olvar tried once to help but was asked if his dad would be pleased if he lost the rest of the herd in this manner. He grumbled but returned to his post by the remaining cows cursing their stupidness.

As Jen waited, she heard a sound like the rushing wind. As she turned to look, she was hit by a huge blast of wind. She sent a warning to Elmalric and Sarekt through their shared Air Rune that it was coming. Something large and dark passed by and from the corner of her eye she saw a dark smudge wheel around, having heard the whistle. The head turned, giant yellow-orange eyes searching for her. All she saw was a dark spot other than the eyes and had to make a Fear Dragons flaw roll which she failed. But, she’d hidden well enough and the cow staked out began to make noise so it flew away.

Elara tried, as it came, to figure out what it was and rolled on her Lhankor Mhy initiate with the steel trap memory bump out. She got a success, but only remembered talk of some creatures with chameleon or invisibility powers, but all of them were land based.

Elmalric rolled a success on his Dragon Fear flaw but lost to a critical. He saw a long, sinuous body with sharp claws, thin bat-like wings, and a mouth bristling with sharp teeth.

Sarekt rolled a success on his Dragon Fear flaw followed by a critical hit on the creature. Now the creature is paying attention to him, hatred in its eyes.

Alig also succeeded on his dragon fear roll and used his Sneaking Around Charm to get into a position to throw an axe which he did with a higher success than the creature.

Elara waited until the others showed they would fight and sprang up, casting a spell from her Bloody Fragments grimoire to light her arrows on fire. Using that as an augment she used her skilled archer with the hit em where it hurts bump out and shot three arrows in quick succession where they stuck and burned like road flares. (The spell works as long as she rolls a success. If she rolls a failure the spell fades.)

After that hello, how ya doin’ round, we went into a modified scored contest that lasted 4 rounds. The Anmangarn players all received a bonus in the fight because Elmalric bears the sword gifted to him by Leika Ballista as recognition he is the heir to the Anmangarn chieftain, and it is Inspirational. Elara, an outsider, just sees a sword.

Round 1:

·         Elmalric fails an attack and is knocked out of the air.

·         Jen rolls a success against a fumble and swoops down to hit it at the base of the neck.

·         Alig throws his last axe and gets a critical with the axe stuck in the chin for now.

·         Sarekt loses with a win v a critical and winds up stung by the tail. He fails a d20 roll and is now at a -9 as poison courses through his body.

·         Elara rolls a critical against a success and lands several flaming arrows in one of the eyes. She comes out of cover for it and things might have been very bad if she’d done poorly. She also takes a moment to assess and determines it is likely a wyvern.

Round 2:

·         Elara gets to go first to try to take out the other eyes. She wins with a higher success to a success, but she only manages to land arrows around the eye and not in it. Although it still messes it up.

·         Jen goes for it again but loses with a lower success and gets bit in the leg.

·         Alig uses a Hero Point to move the head of the wyvern after it bites Jen. He uses his acrobatics and augments with his Movement Rune to leap on the beast and stab it above its one good eye.

·         Sarekt, realizing the poison is affecting him, uses his turn to take a defensive action.

·         Elmalric loses with a success against a higher success and his kicked.

Round 3:

·         Elmalric rolls against his Lingering Self-doubt flaw and succeeds. Pissed off, he attacks the leg that attacked him last time.

·         Sarekt rolls a success against a lower success and hits the wyvern in the tail with his club.

·         Alig gets a success against a fumble and lands the axe thrown to him by Beringa (she was being used as his follower) to hit the wyvern in the base of the skull.

·         Elara hits it again with more fire arrows in the face, calling out a warning to Alig not to touch them,

·         Jen rolls a success to a critical and is blindsided by the tail, but success to avoid the poisoning. She is cut bad, but still in it.

Round 4:

·         Sarekt stumbles on his attack, success against higher success and gets bit.

·         Elmalric loses with a success against a higher success and is pummeled with a wing.

·         Elara rolls a success to a fumble and sends her next volley of fire arrows into the wyvern’s mouth so it stops biting her companions.

·         Alig hits it at the base of the skull again, and makes an acrobatics roll to not be crushed as he leaps from it as it dies.

All in all, Elara and Alig took no hits in the fight. With the wyvern dead she ends her spell so she can collect her arrows. Then she calls for Olvar who isn’t thrilled to come until she calls him a coward. He holds a torch for her as she goes around the beast and makes sketches and notations on it.

Everyone collects a bit of it. Elmalric takes a canine, everyone gets a talon, even Olvar, and everyone takes some scales. Elara finds a few coins stuck to the scales on its belly and takes a few to maybe help her find the rest later. They cut the head and tail to bring back as proof.

While Elara took her notes, Elmalric checked on Sarekt and saw how bad he was. They decide to make a travois and carry him back now rather than wait til daylight. They make a second for the head and tail. Beringa stays behind and they stumble on through the night back to the chief’s winter camp.

Clayday, Harmony Week, Storm Season, 1618

They get their in the morning and everyone rushes up as Elara hollers they need a healer.

In Vestorfin’s tent, Issilla sends for the camp’s Chalana Arroy who is sure she can have Sarekt on his feet in a couple days. Elmalric says he wants to hold a feast tonight to celebrate the victory of him and his companions. Vestorfin makes plans to go haul the rest of the beast back. He also tells the group he had his doubts before about their selection, but they are gone now.

Next time: The Feast! (With a nap beforehand one can hope!)

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Mmm... feast...

 

How are your players thinking about what's going on?  Not just, like, are they having fun, but where do they see things going, are they really focusing on any traits of their characters, etc.

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On 8/3/2020 at 10:26 PM, Nevermet said:

How are your players thinking about what's going on?  Not just, like, are they having fun, but where do they see things going, are they really focusing on any traits of their characters, etc.

Right now it feels like everyone is still settling into their characters. I don't think they've put much thought into things otherwise. With just two sessions there's really no overall trait being used. Except my Lhankor Mhy who uses her initiate a lot with a steel trap mind bump out to try to know ALL THE THINGS. GMs love that shit! :D Tonight's game was called due to GM migraine, but I'm looking forward to the feastly character development. I think after that there'll be more ideas for where people want to head.

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Clayday, Harmony Week, Storm Season, 1618

The warband took a well deserved nap and woke in the late afternoon. Elmalric and Jin went to check on Sarekt in the Chalana Arroy tent. His family has not come to see him, in fact when there were cheers upon their first arrival, some less enthusiastic than others, Varkat only looked mad. The healers say Sarekt will be able to attend the feast, but will be unable to participate in anything rowdy and will be a spectator to most of the goings on. She also says if he had not been so tough he might have died before they got him back to the camp as the wyvern poison is particularly viril and corrosive.

Jin grabs a beer after and wanders the camp, listening for opinions on Elmarlric. She hears an almost even split where half say he is a chip off the old block and clearly the right choice to take over after Vestorfin when he killed a wyvern on his first big foray out into the world. He not only killed the next best thing to a dragon, but saved one of the wealthiest herds in the clan from being picked to death by the beast.

The other half are also near evenly split further. One group says fortune favors the foolish and Elmalric was lucky and clearly fought an idiot wyvern as well. These folks refused to be impressed. The last group are more thoughtful in their disagreement and question the wisdom of the small group taking on the beast. They wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to bring more fighters back once they knew what they were facing. Is this the rash behavior the clan needs in a leader?

Jin goes to tell Elmalric what she hears. They discuss the wisdom of their actions and determine it was the best course. Only Sarekt was seriously injured and he is said to make a full recovery. The only other option would have been to lose more of the herd while fetching help. Were they lucky? Sure, but they also did what they thought best. Jin tells Elmalric she is behind him.

Elmalric then goes to find his father and talk to him. Elmalric says he plans to reward his warband at the feast and include Hendrick’s son and carl in the praising and rewards. Vestorfin agrees and gives Elmalric a pouch with a sturdy silver chain for each member of their warband. Elmalric also plans to give them all a silver arm ring. Vestorfin makes sure to tell Elmalric to remember if he is generous to his warriors, as he should be, to be generous to his herders and campfolk as well or he will breed acrimony between the groups.

Before going, Elmalric makes sure he won’t breed more ill will by rewarding Hendrick’s carl and son. Vestorfin assures him otherwise and says it will help by making it clear he holds no prejudice agaisnt his people. Elmalric says he holds no prejudice against Hendrick or his people and Vestorfin says it is ok to hold against Hendrick. The thane wants himself or his son to be the next chief. Although he is sure that will sort itself out when Hendrick’s champion faces the clan champion, Elmalric’s twin sister and a Humakti Sword, come Sacred Time. Vestorfin remarks that Elmalric is lucky to have such a devoted sister and is sorry his earlier actions had cost him the same devotion from her, but he had done what was necessary.

Vestorfin imparts a final warning to Elmalric before he goes. He tells him to keep an eye out for Hendrick and his people at the feast as well as Jadrahar Iron-Eyes (another thane). Jadrahar (Jin’s uncle) is not actively hostile, but is riding the fence.

Meanwhile, Jin goes to see Jadrahar. She is stopped by a carl outside his tent to demand her reason for being there. She laughs and says she is there to see her uncle who hollers for her to come inside. Jadrahar questions the wisdom (like so many) of them doing what they did. Jin assures him, despite them being momentarily stricken by the beast and its similarities to a dragon, they were more than up to the challenge. She tells him Elmalric led them well and if they had not been up to the task, they would have got what was coming to them. The evidence of the wisdom is in the wyvern’s head displayed to the camp.

Jin asks Jadrahar to keep an open mind about Elmalric. She thinks, based on what she saw, he has it in him to be a leader. He agrees to follow her advice for now.

On the way out, she bumps into the carl who didn’t grant her access when she arrived.

Elara spends her time before the feast trying to pin her mentor down, he tends to avoid her sometimes, and looking for anyone interesting. While she sketches various camp folk and makes notes on assorted things, Alig comes up and kneels down to pet Posey. Elara is delighted. So is Posey. He pets the dog and watches Elara while saying she did a good job. When asked if he meant her or the dog, he says her. As they talk, a stranger walks up.

He looks nothing like the Anmangarn with dark skin and dressed in a robe and not a tunic and leggings. His clothes are plain looking, but clearly well-crafted. The young, lanky man leans down and pets Posey as well as he remarks he has not seen such a creature since they arrived in these heathen lands.

He introduces himself as Wakapo, the son of Piku. When Elara points out her axe and explains she asked for a scary axe to make people not want to attack her so she doesn’t have to use it, Wakapo grinned slyly and said it was sure to work at least once. They discuss her locating his sister and when she remarks his father had not seemed worried about her being with trolls he said he thought they knew who she was with.

He broaches the topic of magic, remarking on her spell to find Yaku and Elara gets him to agree to a potential trade of skill and knowledge. He says to find her at his father’s tent. Before he goes, she asks if it is ok if Posey plays with the family goats, promising she will not harm him. He says it is fine, the goats played with a beetle. Elara points out Posey is larger than a beetle and he only laughs. Elara is excited to learn new magic and tells Alig she also thought Wakapo cute. Alig agrees and asks to come along and she promises he can if Wakapo is ok with him being there. He might not want to share his secrets to everyone.

Before they gather at the Chalana Arroy tent with the others, she asks Alig to pull a card for Posey. He draws the Nine of Swords and explains it means engery pushing up into the night and a secretive meeting. Like the one she has planned with Wakapo.

At the Chalana Arroy tent, they discuss what happened before the feast and Elmalric asks Alig to pull a card before they go. He draws the 6 of Cups and explains the look of the card, a spiderweb with 5 teacups and a teapot pouring into a cup. Alig explains they simply need to follow the threads and find the right cup to pour into. For more information, he says it will take a few coins as it would require a full reading. Everyone is satisfied with the single card draw.

Sarekt, as he recovered, asked about the magic healing being done from the priestess and she said if he wanted to know more, it was magics available to any lay member of the cult. She also told him to come back when he was of a more sound mind to discuss the requirements.

At the feast, the warband had the place of honor at a table right before the small raised platform where the chieftain sat. Jin sat next to Elara and Alig sat right in front of Hendrick. Branulf 12 Fingers began playing a small self-harp to begin the feast. He known as 12 fingers for how well he plays a stringed instrument.

Vestorfin stands when the carl finishes the music. Four carls carry in the wyvern’s head on a blanket held taut between them. It is placed where all can see. (The rest of the body is in transit.) The chief says it is here for those who have not seen it to see the proof of Elmalric’s deed. Him and his fellows slayed the beast threatening Hendrick’s herd while only suffering one major injury amongst them and the priestess assured Vestorfin that he would make a full recovery. Some, he says, may begin to see why he chose Elmalric as his heir. An action approved by King Leika herself at Whitewall when she gave Elmalric her sword so he might rule as chief of the proud Anmangarn. Only a few don’t cheer outright, but some do it in a more prefunctory manner. The chief then calls for his son to regale the clan with the tale of how he slew this small dragon.

Elmalric stood and thanked his father. He circled around the table and put one foot on the wyvern’s head as he told the story. He mentions Sarekt struck the first blow, and Jin was near eaten from her watch perch on a high tree, but flew after the wyvern as it dropped into the valley. He tells of Alig leaping onto the wyuvern’s neck and hacking it with his axes. He tells of Elara finding the best spot to fight the beast, and being right. (The GM asked if that was all he said or if he mentioned the fire arrows as well. To know for his clarification. Elmalric’s player said Elmalric would share everything that happened even if his player forgot some of it.)

After the tale, Elmalric distributed the gifts to everyone in his band and Alvar (Hendrick’s son) and Beringa (the housecarl watching the sheep). Following this, the GM had the player roll to see how things went. He rolled his law speaker with a Harmony Rune augment and rolled a higher success. The crowd cheered, impressed by the tale, the wyvern head he used as a foot rest, and the genrous gifts.  Even a few that had been holding back couldn’t help but cheer.

Once Elmalric sat, Hendrick stood at the main table and delivered a speech before the other thanes. He congratulates Elmarlric on his good fortune in defeating the dragon-like creaature. Elmalric was then thanked for saving as much of the herd as he could.  Then he asked if he thought it wise to act as he did. Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to seek help once they knew what they were facing? If they had failed no one would still know what was going on.

Elmalric responded the proof of their good fortune did indeed rest under his foot. But he is not convinced the victory had to do with providence.

Vestorfin looks pissed, but Elmalric smiles to hide his own anger.

Hendrick then suggests Vestorfin send an older, wiser person with Elmalric when he next journeys out. To be sure youthful exuberance doesn’t go to the party’s heads and cloud their judgement.

Jin stands and asks Hendrick if Beringa wasn’t the older, more responsible one left with them and she stood in the fight and had no issue with their plan.

In response, Hendrick strokes his beard and says she has a point, but it still is advice the chief should consider.

Now Elara stands and faces him, stroking her own beard. (It’s her fancy beard, a gold chain with three clear crystal beads hanging down her chin. She has a lot of beards!) She respectfully tells him that it is not only age that brings wisdom and the group did discuss going for help. But in the end, they decided they were up to the task. The point may have been taken, as she was happy to explain how life experience, no matter how little, grants wisdom and it is not right to discount the wisdom of people of lesser years.

Before Hendrick might respond, Sarekt stood and accused him of not doing what needed to be done to protect the herd and how did he not know what was stealing his cows?

Elara sat then and began to watch the crowd.

Hendrick turned to Vestorfin and asked if he had not delivered his gifts yet. It seemed obvious.

Vestorfin said he had been waiting til the feast was about to begin and apologized.

Hendrick said it was a grave accusation to make against a clansman, to claim he is ungrateful and did not do his fullest to protect not only his herd, but the clan’s cows among them.

Elara, still looking at the crowd, interjects and says Sarekt is still sick. That the healers said he might not even be able to attend the feast.

Hendrick looks to Issilla who nods in confirmation so he says he will bear that in mind and offers his thanks for the assistance in securing the aid he needed and he hopes his gratitude is obvious even before the gifts are given.

He sits and Jadrahar stands, he says it is foolish to expect those just from the heat of a battle to accept criticism from those not there. They killed the wyvern to protect the herd and the people from further death and that is what is being celebrated.

Arlic Spearbreaker, a thane and friend of Vestorfin’s, stands and says the young people not at Whitewall are showing themselves more than able to stand up to tasks needing done for the Anmangarn.

Yngwe Bullneck, another of Vestorfin’s inner circle thanes, also gives a speech and dwells on how bloody they must have gotten in the fight and what terrible wounds were left on the beast.

It make Elara green and she manages to not get sick during the recitation.

After the speeches are done, Vestorfin claps and servants bring out a gold armband for each of the warband. Hendrick’s gift to them as thanks. They are expensive pieces, worth about five cows each. Hendrick stands and says it is in recognition of the wealth they saved by killing the beast before it picked his herd to pieces.

Alig’s player had to leave at this time so we ended the feast. We will finish it up next week before diving into the next adventure! Alig was also silent because he is learning to jump into the conversation being new to the group. We’re trying to cure him of his politeness!

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9 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Ducks?

There was a durulz in session 1. The Humakti Sharpfeather. :D But, yea, I wanna meet the other durulz. More than that, I wanna go back to Apple Lane where the trollkin are and see them! (Not just because I like to make Shawn do funny voices.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cursed Son Saga Part Three – Diplomacy with Ducks

This took a while to sort out. I have 14 pages of notes. So much conversation. I've tried to distill it down. :) 

Windsday, Harmony Week, Storm Season 1618

The morning after the feast, Bluebird finds Elara and tells her he has an assignment for her. He explains he has to leave and travel to Nochet to research the Eye of the Half-Bird given away to the Lunars. While gone he wants Elara to find out about the circlet Vestorfin wears as the man was rather close-mouthed about it. She is less than enthused. Annoyed, even. The library at Nochet is one of the few places in Dragon Pass she desires to go to. But after a small amount of complaining she agrees to the assignment and to remain.

During the day, the camp is still in a celebratory mood and people are coming up to Elmalric and congratulating him. He makes sure to talk up the others in his band whenever this happens. He notices at one point an older tradesman from Black Spear Village enter the chief’s tent. He leaves a short time later and appears to head right back home.

Wildday, Harmony Week, Storm Season 1618

Sarekt is finally released from the healer’s tent and Elmalric tells him what he needs is a goat patty. The others go along and soon are settled around a fire with a jug of wine and several goat patties courtesy of Valeeda. While the others snack, Elara excused herself and goes to find Hendrick Many Ransoms.

Inside his fancy tent, a miniature version of the chief’s in most ways, she asks him if he doesn’t want Elmalric to become chief because he thinks he will do poorly or because of his own ambition. Hendrick recites a well-done speech about what is good for the tribe. Elara tries to determine the truth of his words by listening as she focuses on her connection to her Truth Rune. No magic, just a good ear. She rolls a 12 out of 21 and determines he says this a lot without meaning it.

Elara reminds him she was sent by Anbrast to help his brother and if she determined helping Elmalric meant insuring he wasn’t chief she would do that. Hendrick said that was between her and her conscious. She bluntly accuses him of not providing the truth then. He accuses her of calling him a liar. Which she did. She apologizes and blurts a few scattered thoughts out as she leaves about how King Yalaring became King of Trilus.

The meeting did not go as she intended, but she rejoins the others and is offered one of the last goat patties she shares with Posey. After eating part of it she feels better and when she questions Posey the dog says the same. Suspicious, she saves the rest of the goat patty and has something to think on later. As they linger a young man wanders by, decently dressed and with a right arm made of iron and bronze with a red crystal inset in the wrist.

Jen, looking for a one-armed Lunar, asks where he is from and if he is from by the river where her family is from. He says he has been to the river, sure. But he makes it clear, when asked, how he does not associated or like Lunars.

He introduces himself as Koltic the Younger, who lost an arm to a walktapus and his uncle Koltic Giantslayer arranged for Piku to make him a new arm.

Elara is instantly entranced and asks if she can touch it right before grabbing it. The arm feels warm to the touch and he says it does what he wants it to do. Jen asks if it ever tried to kill someone. He says no, but says it does talk to him. Although not in words. More like feelings. Like sometimes it tells him he could do better. And once, when was sick and slept too close to the fire, it tore his tunic that had caught fire off him as he slept. He also tells him how sometimes he claims it is the arm making a rude gesture without his knowing. A secret they all agree to keep.

Sarekt asks about how the arm was attached and such, but Koltic says he does not remember as he slept for two days when it was being attached.

Elara as a lot of questions and asks if she can sketch the arm later. Her enthusiasm is a little off-putting. Assuring him she can find him later, because Posey can find anyone (he is not comforted by this) he makes his escape to go see Piku as he’d intended.

A house carl summons Elmalric and his friends to his father. Elara asks if that includes her and Elmalric says yes.

In the tent, Vestorfin says he needs Elmalric to go to Black Spear Village and handle a small problem. A second group of durulz have arrived and are loud and troublesome. Jex vouched for them as friends so they were allowed to stay. He has moved some of his and his crew’s family in as well. The new durulz, also from Quackford, claim the Lunars will be along any day now and they need to be ready.

Once Elmalric says they will leave the next day, he asks to speak to Vestorfin alone. He asks his father about when they will openly declare their rebellion. Vestorfin says they will wait as long as possible and he will be surprised if the “peace” lasts another year. He then says to either get the new durulz to settle down or chase them out.

While they are talking, Elara takes out her map of the camp and searches for anyone with Lunar sympathies or leanings. No surprise, she finds no one, but she has begun to work on the circlet problem.

Godday, Harmony Week, Storm Season, 1618

The party sets out for Black Spear Village. They take horses for the journey and it might have even saved a little time had Elara any skill in riding. Instead, someone led her horse as she carried Posey in her lap, unbothered by her lack of skill.

 Upon arrival, they were greeted by Dorik, the headman of Black Spear Village. As they are met by him they hear a cacophony of sound from the river that is not singing, but a discordant quacking. Dorik says they sing from about now until the wee hours of the morning. The new durulz have also taken to overturning boats that come down the river, questioning with force the boatmen to be sure they are not Lunars or sympathizers. They let them go once determining they are not, but all their goods are at the bottom of the river now.

Dorik says he has five or six people from the fyrd ready to assist if the ducks need running off. But they were given hospitality. Before the group goes to face the newer durulz they go to see Squinch-eyed Jex, the smuggler who helped Elmalric and others get close to and out of Whitewall.

He says they are doing well, those of their family here feel safe even if another Duck Hunt were to come. They are pleased with what they have in their own small village cropping up near Black Spear Village. The others, he says, are not being socially responsible.

The leader of these new durulz is Gudrin Skulltaker. Her toughs are Spiritbrood and Hellfeeder and one other. The other half dozen or so have seen action, but not hardened. None of these new ducks understand the concept of others personal property and stay drunk all the time. Maybe if Gudrin had some sense put into her the others might fall in line.

But Jex says Spiritbrood and Hellfeeder are just assholes. He spends a moment being sure the humans understand the term, because he isn’t sure they have it.  Then he says they all are sure war will be here tomorrow. Gudrin is not drunk, so again, maybe talk sense to her, but she’s not been receptive and has said a lot of bullshit, language being nuanced, he is sure they understand. Although he also says he is sure they do because they have cows.

Jex is disparaging of her. Says she thinks she is a big deal but doesn’t even have her own boat. He says if killing needs doing, his people are ready. Just whistle. From around his neck he pulls out a fingerbone whistle and asks if they have one. Elara says no and asks if she can have it. He hands over the human fingerbone whistle to her and she grins.

When they go to plan, Elara offers the idea of secret Lunar weapons and maybe they need to send Gudrin, who is clearly tougher than Jex, to investigate this in the Upland Marsh. Elmalric had the near same idea and they decided Jen will be the herald.  Dorik gives them a few jugs of wine to take as well as a gift. Before they go, Elara casts a detect lies rune spell on herself. A 9 out of 21 is a success, and translucent Truth runes circle her head slowly.

Sober-looking ducks stand outside the encampment. They ask the humans’ business who say they are here with a message from Chief Vestorfin, born by his son Elmalric. They also hand over a jug of wine to the perimeter guard. He runs off and returns to give them passage to Gudrin.

Inside the tent, it is smokey and seated on a chair with corners made of mammoth tusks, is a female duck with pauldrons made of human skills and bearing a necklace of human jawbones. With her sword across her lap, the image delivered was one of a female durulz, Conan.

Standing by her is a scrawny duck with small red eyes and black plumage. He stands half behind her chair holding a rattle and wearing a headdress of bright feathers with bones on his necklace. On her other side is the largest durulz they’ve seen, as tall as a ten-year-old human! He is brown feathered and has the Storm run painted around one eye and the Movement rune around the other.

Seated before the throne is a third duck, drinking from a bowl of wine too big for him. The wine sloshes all over his clothes and feathers and on either side of him are two gleaming iron hand axes. He is filthy, covered in mud and grass with the Beast and Death runes painted on his chest.

When their business is demanded, Jen introduces herself as Jendinna Axe-Hunter who brings a proposal and gift of wine. The large brown duck, Malvern, takes the wine and nods amiably. The small, red-eyed duck leans forward and whispers something to Gudrin.

Thus begins the group’s attempt to pull one over on the ducks. Gudrin and the others say they have no need of gold. They only seek revenge. The red-eyed duck, Spiritbrood, often whispers to Gudrin. Elara detects no lies during the conversation. Spiritbrood clearly does and lets Gudrin know, although the characters do not know this.

Gudrin is sure the Lunars will come in force and destroy Orlanth’s temple and bring the god to his knees. She refuses to leave, knowing the fight is here and saying, despite what humans think, all ducks do not belong in the Upland Marsh. She also says, Spiritbrood tells her they wish to be rid of her and her band even though she wants to swear allegiance. When things are at an impasse, Elmalric asks to speak to Gudrin alone. Everyone leaves and they speak plainly.

She says she will get her ducks in line and swear allegiance to Vestorfin and the Anmangarn. She also agrees to move further into the Colymar Wilds, nearby for fighting, but not staying with the humans.  The duck leader says her people are weary from fighting constantly and took advantage of lax discipline. Elmalric apologizes for not being honest from the get go and tells him he should consider that next time.

While the leaders converse, Elara goes to speak to Hellfeeder, the filthy duck who pretended to be drunk inside. It is easy to figure out once close enough that he smells of wine but does not look as if he has imbibed. He whistles through his nostrils in a terrible way, but she settles near him and calls him Storm Bull. He replies with a Lhankor Mhy, saying he recognized the beard. She points out it is one of her best, worn to honor Gudrin. Elara shows off her bone whistle and they speak of his off-putting behavior done on purpose. He also remarks her dog looks tasty and she says Posey is not for eating. If he wants to try with someone else’s dog, that is on them, but if he hurts her dog, she’ll kill him. He also mentions during the conversation how they had 2 more ducks before, but they were causing problems, so he killed them. From 8 to 6, he says makes no never mind.

Jen and Sarekt speak to the large brown duck, Malvern. He tells them Gudrin is small for her kind, but formidable. Her pauldrons, he explains, were taken from a Lunar Captain and a Lunar Magician. He does not remember which is which, but Gudrin knows their names.

Jen remarks about how formidable Gudrin and the others are. Malvern says they are lucky not to fight, although if that were to come, the humans wouldn’t know before their leader was dead and they were in trouble.

Just then the tent flap opens. Gudrin calls the others and tells them camp discipline is on and if there’s trouble they will answer to her. And no more drinking. They grumble, but all begin to pack up when she says they will be moving further into the Wilds.

Jex and his people are dancing about in their own camp, excited about the potential fight. Elara raises her whistle to her lips where he can see but drops it before blowing. Jex and his people settle down. He says he is glad, and he knew Gudrin was a smart lass.

Dorik is found and he asks if the fyrd is needed. Elmalric tells him no and explains the outcome.  The headman agrees to send the scouts Gudrin asked for to see the durulz settled somewhere nearby. He tells Elmalric he is as wise as his father and Elmalric says he simply got lucky.

The group spend the night at Black Spear Village to return to the chief’s camp the following morning.

 

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