Session Recap Week 10: If I Should Rise

As Master Scourge doled out the day’s assignments, he scowled at Rus with an even grimmer look than usual and snapped at him to run messages for the officers.  Making her way back to the galley after passing out breakfast, Daina found Fishguts eager to keep telling the stories he’d regaled her with the day before.  Handing her mug after mug of grog, he told the tale of a successful raid against a Bloodsail ship that had taken place a few years back.  After a few hours, Grok came down to look for some things in the cook’s stores, and couldn’t resist listening in.  As her and Fishguts started swapping stories, Conchobar came looking for the quartermaster, who waved him off and kept talking and drinking.  Looking up from her own mug with a rueful smile, Daina asked the foppish gnome if there was anything she could help him with.  “Not unless you have the keys to the quartermaster’s stores,” he replied with a wink.

That caught Daina’s attention.  Telling Fishguts that the grog was getting to her and she needed some air, she asked Conchboar to take a walk with her, which the gnome eagerly agreed to.  Asking him what he needed from the stores, he told her that he just needed a few things to do his job for the day — nothing she could help him with.  But to what did he owe the pleasure of a walk with Daina?  She asked him how he was settling in, and he began to bluster about how he’d been aboard longer than she had, and was a veritable Cloud Reaver by now!  Daina frowned at that, and remarked that it would seem they didn’t have as much in common as she’d thought.  Feigning woundedness, Conchobar asked if he was not pirate enough for her, and Daina realized he was putting on a show not only to try to impress her, but to make the best of his situation.  She decided to play along.  Since he was so accustomed to this ship already, how well did he know Grok?  He declared that he made it his job to speak with everyone, for he had no intention of being alone and isolated on board.  Changing tactics, Daina noted that Conchobar had a particular set of skills, and perhaps he could put his skill with cards to work on her behalf.  The gnome countered that she needed to put her own skills to work, and she remarked that her best resource at the moment was a silver tongue.  Perhaps they could work together at the cards table, and both come out on top.  While he steadfastly refused to work together, he did eventually agree to teach her a thing or two about gambling, and she agreed to meet him later that evening.

As Rus ran messages back and forth throughout the ship, he came across Mister Lagraa more frequently than he was accustomed to.  It seemed like she kept showing up in his path, and whenever she did, her scrutiny was more harsh and intense than usual.  Unnerved, Rus filed that information away for later and kept to his duties, managing to avoid any punishment that night.

Following Bloody Hour, Rus sought out Aretta, the fellow swab who had introduced him to the game of Hog Lob.  He complimented her on her resilience following the previous night’s game of Heave, and remarked that he often found himself in fights he’d lost before they even began.  She replied that he seemed to be handling himself well, according to some on board, and Rus leaned in closer — what had people been saying about him?  She grinned.  Everyone was still talking about how he and the others had been jumped on their second day aboard and come out on top, and while Torlan was the crazy one, Rus had given as good as he’d got.  She raised her mug and conveyed her respect for anyone who stood up to bullies, and he muttered that he had a rather large one looking over his shoulder at the moment.  He asked Aretta if she’d heard anything about Mister Lagraa having it in for him, and she shrugged.  Who knew, with Lagraa?  She could just be having a bad day.  Rus sighed and asked Aretta to let him know if she did hear anything, for it seemed that Lagraa’s unwanted attention towards him had become ramped up ever since the squall in which Narhwal had been lost.  She simply chuckled and said that he was one of the crazy ones as much as Torlan was.  Jumping into the rough sea to save a man overboard, and making it back out?  If he wasn’t crazy, Master Scourge was sane.  Rus pondered that.  If he’d have been the one knocked overboard instead of Giffer, would she throw him a line?  She agreed that she would if it were convenient — she certainly wouldn’t jump in after him.

Changing the subject, Rus asked who aboard the Storm Reaver other than the officers had been there the longest, and who knew the Prince best.  Aretta became more guarded at that.  While the mage Grovis Stormbeard and the artificer Hakrili Quarn were part of Mika Rockface’s inner circle, they’d lost several of their number recently, and Aretta suspected that the Prince was still sore about losing her navigator.  Rus asked her what had happened, and she revealed that the captain had unsuccessfully attempted to take Tidewater Rock for the third time shortly before they’d made port at Elysium.  Rus frowned and asked if they were heading that way to try again, and she replied that they were in fact headed to the outskirts of the Sea of Rage to find some Sarlonan vessels to commandeer.  Rus remarked that the Cloud Reavers seemed accustomed to losing battles themselves, and he’d fit right in.  Aretta scowled.  The Prince rarely came away empty-handed, and they’d more than likely return to Port Krez after taking a prize to make their much-needed repairs. 

Meanwhile, Daina was keeping her date with Conchobar at the dice table.  Claiming her seat as the gnome began to deliver a steady stream of advice — some of it more savoury, some of it less — she threw some galifars into the pot and cast a smile across the other players.  It was a cold smile, however, the kind that didn’t reach her eyes.  After an hour, she wound up splitting the pot with Azrath and gathered up her winnings with a slightly different smile, raising her mug of grog to Conchobar with a nod and thanking him for his assistance.  Placing his hand on Daina’s leg with a grin, Conchobar declared that soon she’d be losing money to him as she swiftly and firmly returned his hand to where it belonged.

Excusing herself from the table, leaving her drink behind, Daina pulled a stool up away from the revelry and took a seat leaning back against the hull and watched the crew continue to gamble and bull with each other while Torlan spun another tale.  Fifteen more galifars was a good start, but she was still not quite halfway to what Grok would likely demand in exchange for her tago knife, and as her hand instinctively went to the empty place on her belt where it should have sat she began to follow the rabbit down into her memories again…until Rus sat down beside her and in a low voice said, “If you want to know where the ship is going, underneath the forecastle is probably your best best.”  Daina turned her head; he had her full attention.  He continued to speak, revealing that the ship’s sorcerer and artificer spent a good deal of time in a small room in the forecastle poring over maps and charts.  Daina sighed and remarked that while she wasn’t terrible at getting in and out of places unseen, it wasn’t her strong suit either.  Rus pointed out that that other fellow, Trucco, seemed like he’d have a knack for it, but he’d also be more than likely to steal something on his way out and cause even more problems.  Daina shook her head at that and wondered if such a thing wouldn’t be more trouble than it was worth for all of them, confiding in Rus that Fishguts had warned her about Mister Lagraa holding a grudge against, which prompted a reply that she wasn’t alone in that.  “Why?” Daina asked him intently.  “What happened?”  Mister Lagraa had been especially critical and angry towards her as well over the course of this day, but Daina knew what she had done to earn the first mate’s ire — what had Rus done?  He shrugged; he hadn’t done anything.  He’d kept his head down and gone about his work just like he did every other day — had he done something stupid after last night’s drinking contest that he wasn’t aware of?  Daina smiled and reassured him that unless he had a habit of walking and talking in his sleep, he didn’t need to worry, as she’d made sure he’d got to bed safely.  She sighed again and declared that they’d get it sorted out, and if they didn’t, well, they had each other’s back.  

The next morning at roll call, Master Scourge got up in Rus’ face as he ordered him to get some tools from the quartermaster and see to repairs.  As Rus got to work, he couldn’t help but notice that Scourge had become even meaner than usual with Torlan and Trucco as well.  Down in the galley, Fishguts was impressively sober and handling the bulk of the cooking while Daina assisted him.  As he instructed her to find something off a shelf, she sighed and asked him again if he’d let her tidy up at least one part of the galley.  He insisted that if she did that, he wouldn’t be able to find anything, and she sighed and rebutted that she couldn’t find anything.  Finding the jar she’d been seeking, she shook a handful of spices into a mortar and pestle as Fishguts called out to not use too much.  It was Aundairian nettle-seeds, and they were very hard to get.  Daina had never seen such a thing before.  She spent most of her time after the war in Breland, where Aundairian goods were also hard to come by, and joked that the stew ought to be extra good tonight, though she suspected it would be lost on the crew.  “Oh, this isn’t for the crew” Fishguts rumbled, reaching into the mortar and taking out a pinch of ground nettle seed.  “This is for the officers.” 

Daina saw her opportunity.  Speaking of the officers, she mused, Fishguts himself had warned her the other day about Mister Lagraa’s grudge against her, and she confided in him that she’d now heard rumblings that her friend in the blue coat had wound up on Lagraa’s bad side as well and didn’t know why.  Fishguts would tell her if he’d heard anything, right?  Throwing the last of the crab into one of his pans, the cook shook his head and asked Daina if she took everything personally.  In case she hadn’t noticed, Lagraa was so angry and bitter that she probably didn’t even know why she was angry.  Daina shook her own head.  It wasn’t about taking anything personally, she chided him, it was about being careful.  If Rus told her that Mister Lagraa seemed to have it in for him, she was going to take that seriously, and pressed Fishguts again – wouldn’t he tell her if he’d heard anything?  He cocked an eyebrow and replied that he wouldn’t tell her anything that would cause him trouble with the captain.  Gently but firmly, Daina told the cook that she had no intention of getting him in trouble, just to keep herself out of it, and if they could help each other in that regard, all the better.

He grimaced at her and shook his head again.  “It’s easy to stay out of trouble with Mister Lagraa while we’re down here.  She doesn’t come down here.  Now, as long as the food still keeps coming, she’ll be fine, and if you want to take my advice, don’t stand between her and others who have collected her ire.” He looked up from the pan he was stirring. “That’s how you stay out of trouble.”  Daina gave him a rueful smile and replied that maybe she was a little more stupid than he was.  She couldn’t make him that kind of promise, but in the meantime, she’d keep helping him make his soup.  

As they continued to talk, Daina could feel a certain warmth starting to build between her and Fishguts after all their time spent working in close quarters, but on a day like today when was sober, she couldn’t help but observe that his constant drinking was the sort done by a man who had lost all hope and was merely surviving from one day to the next.  She recalled how he himself was on the Storm Reaver involuntarily after losing a bet to Prince Rockface with his life as the stake, and began to recount a story of a time during the war it had seemed she herself had no hope — and her own  death was imminent.  But help had come from an unexpected source, and she’d lived to tell the tale, and made the most of her second chance.  Maybe there was hope for Fishguts as well.

Bloody Hour came and went with no victims for Master Scourge that evening, and Daina went down to the galley in hopes of winning some more money.  Instead of a dice table, the game for the night was arm wrestling — Storm Reaver-style, with broken glass and nails strewn across the table where the contest was taking place.  Boldly dropping down into one of the chairs, she found herself immediately challenged by Slippery Syl, the brawny dwarven woman who had almost drunk Torlan under the table a couple of nights earlier.  Rolling up her sleeves, Daina pulled a pair of gloves off her belt before offering Syl her hand.  “Whoa, whoa, whoa” Syl said sharply, “gloves off.”  Daina smirked.  “They’re just gloves, Syl.  What are you afraid of?”  Piping up from the back, Rosie Cusswell declared that this was just how things were done on board.  No gloves, no advantage.  Daina laughed.  There was no advantage in her gloves; it was just something they did where she came from.  Was Syl scared to lose to a scrawny human?  Others began to pipe up from around the table: “No gloves.  Take your loss like a good sailor!”  Daina’s hard grin got wider as she loudly remarked that it didn’t seem that she was the one afraid of losing, but she tucked her gloves back into her belt and the contest got underway. 

Even against brawny sailors, Daina’s sword arm didn’t go down easily, and her challenge to Syl timed out and was declared a draw as she leaned back in her chair and asked if there were any other takers…and narrowed her eyes as Rus dropped into the chair Syl had vacated and began to remove his own gloves.  Putting her hand over her pile of coins in the pot, Daina told her fellow soldier, her fellow Cyran, that she didn’t intend to put him in harm’s way for money.  Rus shrugged.  “That’s the rules of the ship, Miss Daina.”  “We’re not from the ship, are we?” Daina countered.  “We’re here now” he replied, and her expression turned neutral as she slid her galifars back into the pot and he matched her bet with five of his own.  

Their hands met.  She looked him in the eye, her own eyes hard but sad, and said in a low voice “I’m sorry.  I have to get it back” as she pushed his hand down into the glass — not hard, but just enough to draw the blood needed to satisfy the crowd.  Looking away, she collected her winnings as Sandara Quinn came over to check on Rus.  “That lady was being awful nice to you,” Sandara observed quietly.  “I’ve seen — and I know you have too — I’ve seen much worse in these contests.  You got off pretty light.”  “Her heart weren’t in it” Rus replied.  “She needed the money more than I did.”  

As Sandara finished cleaning and wrapping Rus’ hand and excused herself, the skyknight heard Daina’s voice behind him, perhaps tinged with a bit of shame.  Had Miss Quinn been able to patch him up?  He replied that Sandara was very good at her craft, and as Daina’s hand idly went down to her sword belt and her fingers began to play with something that wasn’t there, she asked Rus why he’d wanted to sit down with her at the arm wrestling table.  Why not one of the Cloud Reavers?  She’d told him that she hadn’t wanted to take his money, and she’d meant it — but she did need it.   “I don’t think ‘want’ ever had anything to do with it,” he murmured.  “Sometimes you see a need, and you just gotta answer to it.”  Daina frowned a little.  “So what did you need?” she asked.  “Oh,” he replied, “I didn’t need anything.  I weren’t lookin’ in a mirror.  ‘Sides, I could tell you were havin’ trouble doing the bare-hand wrestling, so I figure if it’s gonna be a problem, it might as well be one we suffer together.  These people don’t know where we come from, they don’t know what our customs are, and if they did, I doubt they’d care anyways.” 

“Well,” Daina replied ruefully, “I think you’ve got that just about right.  Might as well tell you what all the fuss was about.  I took your money; it’s only fair.”  Rus cut her off sharply.  “It’s not my money no more.  It’s not my money no more.  It’s your money, ‘cause you earned it, fair and square.  Everyone will see that you out-muscled me, that happened.”  Daina’s expression turned from shame to confusion.  He’d just said he gave that money to her.  Which one was it?  “It’s not the same as givin’ it away” he insisted. She smiled.  “Well then I’ll take it in the spirit it was intended.  Take a walk with me.”  With that, she turned to leave the galley, making her way down an empty corridor.  Rus followed.

As they walked, she began to muse about Fishguts being a funny one.  Working together all the time in close quarters, she and him had plenty of time to talk, and she told Rus about how Fishguts had lost all hope and resigned himself to dying on the Storm Reaver.  She didn’t intend to let that happen.  She’d been in more of a few close scrapes herself and she was still standing, but that was beside the point.  The point, she revealed, was that she needed that money to get her tago knife back.  Even with that and the previous night’s purse, she still didn’t have enough.  It was a real nice knife, a gift from someone who had been well-off, and she needed it back.  Anger and disgust crept into her voice as she gave Rus her opinion on the quartermaster, Grok, who liked to crow about being a businesswoman but in Daina’s eyes was no more than a common thief who took what she had no right to have.  Daina’s anger and disgust grew as she spoke of how she’d had her fill of people who hid behind the excuse of just following orders, but she softened a little as she spoke of how the few extra galifars she’d won thanks to Rus would help her get back what was hers and hers alone. “That’s good,” Rus replied.  “I hope you get it back.”  “I hope so too,” Daina said quietly, as her face took on a faraway look.  “It was a gift from someone I served with.”  

Rus’ eyebrows raised at that.  “A tago knife, from someone you served with?”  “Yup” Daina drawled, the anger in her voice quickly replaced by discomfort at this revelation.  “I shouldn’t chuckle,” Rus reassured her.  “Same story for me.”  Daina squinted at him.  He was kidding, right?  “Not at all,” he replied.  “My commanding officer — well, I guess you could call her that — she and I dueled on top of one of the vermishards…”  Daina let out a small, barking laugh.  It seemed they had yet another thing in common, and this hadn’t been the first time a skyknight had done her a favour either…

2 Nymm, 993 YK.  The Cyran side of the Karrnathi border, about halfway between Metrol and Dollen-on-the-River.

The morning was hot and overcast, and the House Deneith 85th mercenary company had been camped along the border for the better part of two weeks without seeing any action.  That wasn’t unusual for the Cyran regulars, but the Deneith 85th was accustomed to being sent where they were immediately needed — and no one seemed to know what they were needed for.  Boredom was a familiar companion to soldiers, but a new tension was starting to set in for the mercenaries as well.

Sergeant Daina ir’Lizani woke up alone.  Throwing on her clothes and sword belt, she emerged from her tent and joined her unit at their fire, claiming a seat and holding out her mug for some tal.  Across from her, Vala looked up from oiling a leather pauldron.  “Hey Daina, do you know what’s going down today?”

Daina sipped her tal and shook her head. “Haven’t heard anything yet, why would I?”  Vala smirked.  “Cause you’ve got connections.”  Looking over her shoulder at Captain Halloran’s tent, Daina pursed her lips.  “He woke up before me.  Five galifars says he’s in there now.  You know he’ll tell us when he’s got something, he always does.  You don’t have to come through me.”

Vala sniffed loudly and declared that she smelled a fight in the air.  Daina chuckled a little and then turned serious again.  It was clear that something was happening today.  He’d left so early and so quietly that even she hadn’t been woken up by his movements, and that was saying something. She agreed that Vala was right to be worried, but they’d get through it; they always did.  The lieutenant took good care of them.  Vala scowled.  There was only so much he could take care of them against those damned undead coming out of Fort Zombie.  Daina grimaced at that and then let out a cold laugh.  She couldn’t imagine raising a dead person to fight in ones place — it was bad enough what they tried to do in Cyre with the ‘forged.  “His parents tried to buy him one, you know” she told Vala.  “He wouldn’t hear of it.  Anyways, when he knows, we’ll know.”

Wrapping up their breakfast, Daina and Vala and the others began to see to their gear, cleaning and oiling and sharpening as needed, and after about another hour and a half a tall, slender Khorovar man emerged from the captain’s tent and came over to the fire.  Giving Daina a long look, he slowly pulled his eyes away to look over the rest of her unit and announced that they had their orders.

All eyes were on the lieutenant; you could have heard a pin drop.  He gave them the news.  Their objective was to reach a spot in the forest about five kilometers to the east that Captain Halloran had marked on his map, and post up there.  Vala scowled.  “Go there and post up for what, L.T.?”  He shook his head.  “I don’t know. This one’s straight from Captain Halloran, so we’re going to go do it.”  A chorus of groans and grumbles began to rise from the gathered mercenaries, and one of them began to mouth off about what a lazy, worthless bastard the captain was as the lieutenant shut that talk down immediately.  They knew he was in it with them, whatever it was, and they knew he’d make sure they all got home.  He couldn’t fix what went on between Halloran and his house, but they’d get the job done.  “Now get yourselves sorted. We leave in fifteen minutes.”

As everyone got to gathering up their kit and making final preparations, the lieutenant walked over to Daina, who looked at him incredulously.  “You serious, Maz?  We don’t know?  We’re just gonna go into the forest and sit there?”  He scowled.  “Something’s supposed to be coming through.  That’s all I know.  The Captain’s not telling me anything; I don’t like it.”  Daina sighed.  “What a surprise.  Well, guess I’ll get my stuff then.”  Mazello’s face softened a little.  “We need to get moving.  It’s quite a trek out there.”  Daina allowed herself a small smile.  “I know, I know.  I’ll get everyone taken care of.”

The eight of them began their trek into the forest.  Some of them chatted as they went, though Daina and Maz walked beside each other in silence.  They were professionals, and they both knew what did and didn’t need to be said between them in order for it to be true.  Finding the spot marked on the map, the Deneith 85th followed their orders.  They waited.

Darkness began to fall, and it sat there, cloudy and quiet, until an unnatural sound began to emanate from the trees.  Drawing their weapons, the mercenaries took up a defensive position, preparing themselves for the onslaught of undead that Karrnath was known for.

That was when the forest to the north, and the south, and the west of them, started to explode in flames, and that was when the undead began to appear from the border — from the only place that wasn’t burning.

The mercenaries sprang into action and started doing what they did best.  They cut down some undead, and managed to hold back some others, but it wasn’t looking good.  The monsters kept coming, and there was nowhere to run.  Back to back with Vala, with her longsword drawn and Vala expertly wielding her spear, Daina saw a bone knight commander charge at the lieutenant as their swords clashed.  Maz was tall, but the bone knight loomed over him, and ice clenched at Daina’s guts.  Finishing off the zombie in front of her, she glanced back over her shoulder at Vala and promised that she’d be right back.  Running over to flank the bone knight, Daina and Mazello fought in tandem, each predicting the others actions and picking up on their cues. In spite of that, the creature was ruthless in its single-mindedness and brutality, and the fight dragged on as the rest of their unit began to falter in the face of the seemingly endless onslaught.

Daina and Maz heard a shout, and spared a split-second glance to see young Kerrick pointing up at the sky.  The next thing they saw was a bolt of lightning come flying down to catch the bone knight square across its shoulders, staggering it, and a hippogriff landed not ten feet in front of Daina as its rider turned and yelled at her to get on.

Daina hesitated.  “GO!” Maz yelled.  “Get on!”  Turning back to the skyknight, Daina shook her head and called back that she wasn’t coming unless there was a mount for everyone.  The woman’s face grew dark with impatience and exasperation as she repeated her order to get on and Maz put his weight into shoving Daina away from the fight and towards the hippogriff.  Stumbling forward and clambering up across the animals hindquarters, Daina sheathed her sword and wrapped her arms around the riders waist, and as they began to climb into the air she could see more hippogriffs circling.  As she looked back down, however, she could see that by dropping his guard to force her to safety, Maz had left himself vulnerable to the bone knight’s attack.  Things weren’t looking good, but there was nothing she could do to help him now…

Daina smiled sadly at Rus.  “We all made it home that night, but we wouldn’t have without those folks in the blue coats.”  Rus stood there, considering everything he’d just heard, and took a long look at his companion.  “The lieutenant — the one who was dueling the bone knight — I remember that.  ‘Cause the way that that lieutenant got out of the fight, well…”  Daina looked at him intently.  “You remember that?”  “I should,” Rus replied.  “I was there.”

Sparing a look to watch Daina rise to safety, Mazello clenched his teeth and staggered back as he managed to bring his sword back up just in time to avoid a mortal blow.  The bone knight knew it had him, and brought its sword down again, knocking the lieutenant down to the ground.  With a hideous, fleshless grin, it raised its sword to finish him off.

Down on the ground, looking up, Maz’s eyes went wide as he saw a skyknight bring his hippogriff into a barrel roll.  As the animal turned upside down, her rider dropped off and landed directly on top of the bone knight, finishing it off.  Signalling to his mount to circle around before landing, Rus cast his own wall of fire on the gap in the trees where the undead were coming from.  With the onslaught halted and the bone knight dead, the remaining riders began to land, and as Rus’ hippogriff returned to him, he extended his hand to Maz to pull him up to safety and they left the burning forest behind them.

Daina stared at Rus in disbelief.  “You’re the rider who got Maz home?”  Rus cleared his throat.  “Guess so.”  She continued to stare at him sadly.  “He would have done the same for you.  You gave us one more week, anyways, so…thank you.”  Rus’ face remained unreadable.  We were in a war, he reminded her.  It was the right thing to do.  Daina let out a sharp, humourless laugh and replied that he could tell that to Captain Halloran.  She shook her head as silence built between them and let out another sharp laugh.  She’d already racked up a few debts with Rus, but she didn’t reckon this was one she could ever square.  “I don’t think you need to,” he replied.  “Besides, it was a war.  Weren’t something I was doing for favours, and I never play for keeps.”  Daina smiled sadly.  “So you keep saying.  Well, you bought us one more week, and now I need to get his knife back, and you’ve helped me with that too, so.  Thank you.”  Rus raised an eyebrow.  “It’s his knife?”  “Yeah,” Daina replied, looking away.  “It is.”  Rus gave her a silent nod and excused himself.  He had plans of his own that night, and needed to prepare.

Waiting for the crew to settle down for the night, Rus snuck his way up to the main deck halfway through the first watch.  He took note of Crimson Cog patrolling atop the forecastle, and the gunner’s mate, a large orc named Gragoth, manning the helm.  Carefully making his way to the door of the map room, he noticed that its handle was set differently than it had been when he ran messages during the day.  The latch seemed out of place and strangely cocked, and he pressed his ear against the door, but heard nothing other than the creaking of the ship and the movements of the sea.  As Rus reached down to turn the handle, he felt it catch on something and he froze in place.  The door wasn’t just locked — it was trapped.  Deciding it was time for a tactical retreat, he snuck back to his bunk.

The next morning, the crew was woken up early with a long-anticipated call: sails were on the horizon.  It seemed that the Storm Reaver had found a prize to take at last…

Behind the Scenes

  • Question of the week: What are you the most insecure about? I will tell you right now that Phillip rolls on a table to determine the week’s background question from the list he’s built up. I will also tell you that he rolled more than once this session to make that question happen. XD
  • Michael (Torlan) and Trucco (Ernesto) were away this week, but Kevin (Rus) proposed that Rus and Daina take the opportunity for a flashback episode and Phillip agreed. The war story was played out as an interlude in which we both participated, and 99% of it was ad-libbed.
  • There might be a few things in this session that left you scratching your heads as to their significance: Daina wanting to wear a glove to arm-wrestle, what a tago knife is, and why Daina needs hers back so badly.
    • Wearing gloves as a barrier between personal contact is a facet of Cyran culture. One of the only public scenarios in which the gloves come off is when dancing the tago, the ritual courting dance of Cyre. During the tago, each dancer holds a knife in one hand, and as they circle and come to different points in the music, they extend their hands to each other – without knowing if their partner is going to hold out their empty hand, or their knife. That leaves three possible outcomes: the partners clash knives, the partners take each others hands, or one partner extends their hand and the other extends their knife, which results in a bit of bloodshed. The tago knife Daina carries was a gift from Mazello – who she was married to for three years before his death – and is ornately carved, and cost me fifty of the two hundred and fifty galifars I was given for starting gear at character creation. So it is rather important to both Daina and from a meta perspective that I am able to retrieve it! 🙂

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