Sunday, March 11, 2012

Emperor Hirkáne, ‘the Stone on which the Universe rests' is Dead

This was the news that met them when they returned to Camp. All of Tsolyanu was in morning, and they closed down all non essential operations at the cave and returned to Butrus to aid their temples and clans in showing their respects, and anguish, and engage in any political posturing necessary. Suni volunteered in her temples public rituals of mourning, Mriga in recitations of the accomplishments of the great emperor, and Sanjesh, and the temple of the Green Lady, did what they can be expected to do in times of uncertainty. This continued for an appropriate time, and then things returned to "normal", save the increased interest in imperial politics, and concerns about the now leaderless nation at war, with enemies on all sides.

However, the tree of time grows despite the desire of men to take a moment to sort things out. With Mis  Ritual of the the 32nd unspeakable act closing in, the group decided to make another trip to Tumissa, and do a bit more business for Mrigas clan. They loaded up slaves with 10,000 K worth of paper and similar products, and headed out again on the Sakbe Roads. Mriga hired himself a personal body guard,  an clan Cousin who has a deep desire to join the 1st Imperial Legion. And Sanjesh had his Temple Guard and Suni her Pachi Lei interpreter slave. Mriga was also tasked with bringing a package back to Butrus, which he should pick up at his clan house in Tumissa.

 At the half way point, they stopped to rest, and encountered a Pachi Lei merchant, with a Chlen Cart worth of arrows, quarrels, bows, and spears, heading for Tumissa. Along with that came news that Moog legions, not skirmishers, but full legions, had been seen coming through the Chakas en route, apparently, to Tumissa. Through the interpreter slave they spoke with the merchant, who was interested in buying their slaves, and any others they could obtain. They wished to transfer as much of their cargo to slaves, to move it to Tumissa and the Legion of Tangled Root Eaters, before a major confrontation could take place, and the Chlen were proving to be too slow. They negotiated a deal, where in the Pachi Lei could rent their slaves,  for the next few days, for an outrageous sum, and the group would load their own cargo onto the cart. The also leased the use of the interpreter for the night.

In this way, the Pachi Lei acquired a small army of slaves, and the party found itself traveling at Chlen pace, along with several others who had made similar arrangements with the Pachi Merchants. There was a  couple from a high clan (purveyors in recreational powders, filters and other consumables), a Lower clan Carpet peddler, a Tinilaya lock and trap-smith, and a few others of little note. They also traded in a bit under one days travel for just over two.

The next day travel was slow, and they were passed by many travelers unburdened by the pace of the Chlen. The High Clan couple left the operations to their agent, and traveled well ahead of the rest of the party, and the smell of the Chlen. Suni took a position with her interpreter, also a bit ahead, not far behind the couples Palanquin. By afternoon, she and her slave had picked up a notable contact high from fumes wafting off the palanquin, but, other than some unintentional Public Displays of Affection between the two, there appeared to be no serious consequences. Until morning, when the Slave was found dead, apparently from a bad reaction.

There was immediate talk of Shmatla, which was reported by the Couples Agent to the couple. He was authorized to negotiate a simple settlement. However, mistaking the PDAs from the night before for a more long standing relationship between Suni and the Slave, he ended up seriously over estimating the slaves worth. Suni, who comes from a Merchant Clan, took every advantage, and played up her price, so that she cleared perhaps 5 times the slaves cost. The slave was dutifully buried just off the Sakbe  roads, in a manner fitting for such a skilled slave.

They also briefly encountered the Priest of Qon they had met earlier. He had, apparently, left the roads after their last encounter, and now returned, again crawling, and salting his wounds, and still trying to reach Tumissa. He had heard of the movements of the Moogs, but was not concerned. If he did not reach Tumissa before the conflict, he would have to simply wait for it to resolve. His preparation rituals were more important. So, they left him behind (even at a chlens pace, they were leaving him in the dust).

Upon arriving in the City, they split up. Sanjesh and the Tiny went off to locate the Pachi Lei in the foreign quarter, discussing Tiny Culture along the way.  Suni reported to her temple and Mriga hired local porters to bring his cargo of fine paper to this clan house. And there he met the Package.  The Clan placed him in charge of delivering their most talented young scribe, a girl of maybe 13, as a gift to the new emperor, as soon as one is chosen, after the Kólumejálim. This was, he was told, a prestigious honor for both the Girl, and the bearer of the gift. He and his Cousin had been chosen for the honor, and though they could turn it down, (and expect considerable loss of status in the clan) they would at least be expected to deliver the girl to Butrus, and pass her along to another who would take the job. 


Instructions.. Mouse over this text.. from here to the word end. The text is in white, so I think this will work..

Well, that is what he told the rest of the party. In fact, what he was told was that his girl was and Imperial Heir, far to young to compete in the Kólumejálim, it had been decided that, none the less, it would be very prestigious for the clan to bring her forth and reveal her in Bey Su, or Avanthar at the contest. It was also a concern that some agents in the competition might wish to eliminate her prior to her revealing, and that, during this time between emperors, she was most at risk.  As a result, they advised him to take an indirect route to the games. It was decided they would travel south to Jakalla. 

1 comment:

  1. how is it that typos appear to the author only after others have witnessed them. Schrodingers Typos.


It seems prudent, and should not be taken as an insult, that I moderate posts.