Thursday, May 20, 2010

Neither Hide nor Hair

Alsaperkunoz, 5th Vog, YT330
Brimstone had crawled along on all fours. His new amulet was carefully tucked into his tunic. He had offered to go alone to Alsaperkunoz and to sneak into the encampment. His companions were not entirely surprised as the earth-kin had already slipped away on nocturnal forays. With two dozen warriors and three ominously garbed mages in the camp it might well have been the last such mission. Brimstone was cautious and quiet. Unfortunately the creature that he knelt upon was neither. It howled in pain and ran up the nearest tree where it kept up an irate chattering for several minutes more. The guards were only a few steps away and they were moving towards the sound when one of them stumbled over Brimstone and raised the alarm. Too far away from the single campfire to be easily seen Brimstone struggled to free himself from under the bulky warrior. Others came closer, stabbing into the undergrowth as they searched for the diminutive spy. But just as he was about to be cornered, our small stealthy friend crawled away. Brimstone paused long enough to use the amulet to render himself invisible. Even if the guards used torches he could walk straight past them!
But the alarm had spread. As some warriors lit torches, a robed figure came into sight. He pointed straight at where Brimstone stood and shouted "Death to the earth-kin spy" As Brimstone moved away as quickly as possible, the would-be nemesis tried unsuccessfully to cast magic. Perhaps the difficult ground and the distraction of ordering the guards was the difference between Brimstone's escape and a hideous death. As he outdistanced the night-blind warriors, Brimstone planned to try once more.

A Place in Nature

Szutsavanica, 4th Vog, YT330
As soon as they arrived back in the town, Voltarr and the others went straight to the tower. Nicolai carefully unwrapped each of the artifacts as Voltarr explained the manner in which they were uncovered. The council gathered around and carefully examined each object. All were agreed that the items were connected with Jelleg┼▒ Helyszeszes, the Tjlar spirits of nature. Creatures such as the Dedek, Ovinik, Bannik, Lesovik, Pokhovek, Bodinik and Vodnik which the Tjlar people had traditionally looked to for help with the running of homestead, field, wood or stream. Mother church had always been vigilant in case this should ever cross over into idolatry. But the helyszeszes themselves were still regarded as an innocent manifestation of nature.
Olorin picked up one cup and sniffed at it. He tried tasting the oily residue. Neither brought anything to mind and no-one else was willing to repeat the experiment. Vogyin spoke up. "I think that there are some stories  in the folk wisdom about Vodniki which feature porcelain cups but their significance is unclear." Another in the council pointed out that the 'doll' was far too fresh and green for the month of Vog.
Later the company discussed the items and the words of the Pokhovek of Sz├╝rkal and the Vakynur Lesovik. Gorran was certain that dark forces were seeking to corrupt Tjlaria by usurping the nature spirits.