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The Petal Throne • View topic - The North Campaign


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 Post subject: The North Campaign
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:35 am 
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I stress that this 'North Campaign' is from Canada, not Yan Kor as many would think...(thanks to Professor Barker for the help and the use of the sword)

Centuries ago, the Tlakotani lady Janule wielded a mighty sword in her quest for the Petal Throne. She succeeded in the quest. Later it was made known that the sword was the 'Sword of Avanthe', a blade that had been crafted for the defense of the Goddess herself at the battle of Dormoron Plain. As Avanthe would not normally wield a weapon, the blade required a wielder and bearer. Janule was the first to bear it in millenia.

The blade disappeared then, for such a sword would be sought by many of the dark gods in order to corrupt it to their own uses. It resurfaces in the later years of the Reign of Emperor HIrkane and is wielded by a powerful lady of the Tlakotani Clan in defense of the Empire against foul machinations by the worm Prince Dhich'une.

During the Civil War the blade again surfaces, as a champion appears with it, offering to help the scions of the Emperor in their quest for the Petal Throne. Eventually the throne is won by Miruseya, and the champion of the blade is sent to the Western Frontier to oppose the Mu'ugalavyani.

This is where the players come in. They are on the retinue of the champion. Although the Sword of Janule (aka Sword of Avanthe) is a powerful item, giving invulnerability for a short time against those things that Avanthe opposes, it is limited in its uses. The sword may have other powers, but the imperfections of any human disallow the ability to use them at will. Even the champion, a fanatic Aridani, needs help. Thus enemies can overcome the champion by using traitors and beasts that the sword cannot affect.
This is the setting of the campaign as the players strive against Pe Choi ambushes, Mu'ugalavyani war parties, Ito Clan evil and many dangers in the Jungles of the Chakas (as well as traitors among their own people).
More as the situation develops...
-your scribe,
Hlucha
[for those of you who view Tekumel facts, the Sword of Janule or Sword of Avanthe is as listed above. An adventure while we visited Professor Barker in 1986 saw it given to one of my players, and it has resided in my campaign ever since. Occasionally reporting the adventures to the Professor, I have tried to keep the use of the 'saturday night special' that it represents to a fairly realistic level and true to Tekumel canon. As the good Professor has said any number of times, such a thing is up to the referee and has no actual rules definitions ... such is the way of artifacts]


Last edited by Hlucha on Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:42 am 
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Hmm.... I re-read the above campaign ad. The campaign has not gone in that direction... as it were. :P

Having set out toward Gold and Glory, the party has found that the Tsolyani are more interested in food and drink. As Hlucha is still the equivalent of a low lineage (Tlakotani don't have lineages, but read... 'started in Chene Ho' as a bad start in life) she has been ordered by her legion to be a liaison Molkar and to re-negotiate contracts for food and supplies through the breadbasket of the Empire. The civil war disrupted much, and it is her groups' job to help fix it. Leaving Chene Ho behind them they started out on their mission.

Trudging West would have involved glorious battle, As the party trudged East into glorious mercantilism they set their minds toward comfort and the avoidance of banditry. Soon theywere joined by a mysterious stranger and his 11 guards who seem a bit too perfect in their duties. Still, as long as the stranger and his people keep the bad guys away... (they did show a secret document to Hlucha, who then accepted them... too bad she never did learn to read very well :roll: )

A short stay at Si'is saw the party's scholar priest of Ketengku re-educated in some of the finer ways of that diety (read 'taught manners and a spell'). Hlucha herself took some chumetl in the Tlakotani clan house and met with some of the worthies of the city in order to introduce her contract negotiations team. The team then managed a small carting contract with one of the other clans present.

Having one's hunter go out hunting every day that the party makes a stop can be somewhat exciting. Yes, the food is often supplemented with fresh meat, but when the hunter and his friend fall in a hole and don't return for hours... it can be worrisome. Luckily the rest of the party was entertained by some local ladies at a village (it was all about contracts!) :twisted: and didn't miss the guys in the hole so were spared the worry of their lost companions.
Lucky also that the guys managed to get out of the hole, with a steel weapon in tow no less!
more after we reach Mrelu... :D
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 Post subject: veering
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:35 am 
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Veering about like a Drunken Ahoggya!

The above statement is about the most accurate way in which the campaign can be described. Although beset with a mysterious stranger, how were we to know that the Imperial Tax Collector would have his seal stolen?

After being cleared of any wrongdoing our group was assigned to head to the Chakas and scout the border under cover of mercantilism. Sigh.
I'm guessing here that we'll regret missing a nice safe mission getting grain. :roll:
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 Post subject: Do Chaka
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:30 am 
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Can we find any more problems?

Armed with information needed to find a lost group of Tsolyani legionnaires in or near the Pe Choi lands, we headed in, just another merchant group wandering the border to get sales.
It helps that most of the group is actually merchants who want sales, but my mission ... to observe... was a bit more befitting that of a scout legion.

First day in and Hlyss come prancing out of the woods.... bad start...
Second day in and Hlyss come prancing out of the woods... what the heck?
Third day in or so and we finally got a bit of a rest, whats next is anyone's guess.
At least we found ourselves to be a mean enough group so far...
:evil:
Hlucha
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 Post subject: at least it wasn't more Hlyss...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:03 am 
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After a day or so of walking in circles (I swear the compass was a fake), we camped near our old camping spot (about 500m away) and settled down for the night. I decided that a sleepless night was in order since my 'shadow scars' were acting up pretty badly, memories, fa!
Luckily I managed to spot the semetl sized group of Mu'ugalavyani who exited a sliding door in a small mound about 70 meters away halfway through the night. Of course they did make a sound like a herd of chlen. I warned the camp and the guards (all 6 of them) formed up behind me, the pachi lei slipped into the woods and the best hunter we had got ready to shoot. Others stayed in and around the palanquin to minimize their visibility and thus be able to attack as well as keep the slaves quiet.
Being outnumbered 3-1 by professional medium infantry is bad enough even if you want to pretend that you are merchants, but when I remembered that the pachi lei had sworn to kill all Mu'ugalavyani that he saw, I nearly screamed in frustration. This was going to be a fight.
The two officers behind the Mu'ugalavyani hauled off some sort of box to safety while the 18 soldiers formed in two ranks, pikes in back, sword and shield in front. They didn't bother to parlay, just rolled toward us. I signalled and our archer pegged the lower officer in the back, then my javelin thrower managed a scratch on the high officer! We lost sight of them as they faded back. At least the soldiers didnt have commanders that we could see... not that they seemed to need them.
Running to flank the enemy I ordered the guards to hold firm. Surely they would notice a heavily armed person such as myself and slow...
No such luck, a group of 4 broke toward me (thanks to no officers to keep them in line) and the rest rolled on. We engaged.
My motto is 'put them down fast', and with my two jagged edged swords one of the shieldmen went down hard as he tried to slash at my legs. His pikeman hesitated and I moved up the pike, controlling it with my left hand sword. The surviving shield man slashed at me but I blocked it, and the other pikeman tried to backpedal to get room.
By now the Pachi Lei had cast a spell, and one of the troopers who advanced into our camp was caught by it... dominated, he veered into his people and jostled them out of formation. Our Ketengku priest then fired a 'web of kriyaq' and some of the enemy became entangled in the web and each other. They tried to re-form when our guards charged into them and broke their center. At this point, with sniping from archer and javelin, no officers and no clear idea of what they faced, some of them broke and ran.
Meanwhile I moved in fast to give the pikemen no chance, they had to drop their weapons and draw swords. One of them had his sword out just as my blade slashed his jaw vein, breaking his helmet strap and causeing the helmet to roll off. At this p0int I heard others coming up, the two officers were charging me!
I moved laterally, using the shield of the second man against him and getting him between me and the second pikeman. He tried a feeble swing, easily blocked. I now faced 4 opponents again, but two of them were officers and surely better fighters.
Yells of confusion and screams of panic echoed behind me, telling me that the Mu'ugalavyani were not doing well against our magic. In fact they had begun to run in all directions as javelins and semblances of the ssu appeared. Booted feet hurried up behind me...
The lower officer was the most dangerous, adopting the stance of a trained duellist. The other higher officer gave orders in the gutteral tongue of these people, but he seemed to have less knowledge of sword play. I kept moving around the shield man and the pikeman, who tried to get through my guard. One did, but the blow glanced from the heavy armor that I wore.
Just as I blocked the duellist, my guards arrived and attacked. I engaged the veteran and wounded him severely. The rest of the troops tried to run and the higher officer fell dead with 3 swords hacking him down. Just as I was about to yell that the duellist was my prisoner, the guards hit him also. He too went down under a hail of blows. We made short work of the rest of the troopers and cleaned up. My guards happily looted shields and scraped off the ugly paint jobs, grabbed pikes and belt pouches from the dead and basically proved why they worked for a merchant clan.
The night wasn't over. My merchants found the box that the officers had been carrying and opened it. Inside were a pair of heavy steel gauntlets with archaic writing of the ancients, or perhaps of the latter times. The head of the guards immediately tried them on and there was a 'click'. He was suddenly surrounded by a dim aura of some sort and tested his sword on a log, sundering it with ease. Magic!
Of course I immediately assigned him to look after those gloves, since a duellist and warrior such as myself wears nothing on the hands (too workmanlike). I even handed him the unique sword that I had acquired from the Hlyss, it seemed far better than his chlen hide one and I dug my old chlen hide longsword out of my pack. Bravery is a reward and rewards for bravery give us all honor.
The priest and pachi lei were curious about the hole from which the Mu'ugalavyani issued. I must admit that we couldn't have gone to sleep again near that considering what else may exit, so I took my archer (guard captain), javelin lady, the pachi lei and the priest to check while the guards arranged the corpses for burial. The hole was not to be seen until our pachi lei realized to use a psychic spell and reveal it to the magickers. He also tried throwing a rock at it, and the rock disintegrated... a trap.
Of course knowing the Mu'ugalavyani preferred their dead to be destroyed, I called the guards over and we disposed of the corpses using the disintegration method while the magickers pondered the problem of opening the door safely. Not flames perhaps, but better than worms in the ground for each corpse.
In the end, knowing that I held the 'sword of Janule' the group decided to try a spell that they were certain would open the door, and have me go first, since the sword resists technology strongly. I declined and we all went carefully forward where the trap had indeed faded due to our casters' work.
Our guards were ordered to stay outside with a couple of our merchants to keep them in line. We entered a strangly smooth walled corridor with an arched roof and very flat floor. Thie may indeed have been an installation of the Latter Times or earlier!
After winding down a little, the corridor (which was lighted by a soft glow from somewhere) split into two, with a small side passage going up and to the right, while the main passage continued to wind down. It was at this point that we found the tsolyani priest of Sarku and some magic using person of perhaps hry'y ... neither were in good condition to tell as they had been slaughtered horribly, with all internal organs missing.
This gave us pause.
It was then that the two little Ru'un things came up the side passage. We retreated before them but they did not seem to care about us, simply patrolling up the corridor a bit before returning to their passage. We followed them and passed down the passage into a blackness... then we were suddenly elsewhere.
Though the two little things kept moving across the huge cavernous room, we stayed still, standing on a pad with lights flashing along its perimeter. After discovering that we could not simply just 'go back', we moved into the room and heard a sound... 'hrummm?
I whispered that it was probably a Serudla just as one of the 70foot monsters walked out of the darkness... oh my! It appeared confused and I ordered everyone to scatter, look for a way out. Suddenly as we scattered something walked up behind it.. a Yeleth! I called out to watch out for hypnosis! (and it had the Serudla in its power already!)
Racing to the left along the wall of the massive room was a risk, I knew nothing of the footing, but hoped that the place was as clean as the rest of the complex had been so far. My javelin girl raced right and I called for 'hands of Kra' on the Yeleth. Both of our casters began to work at their spells. The guard captain charged the Yeleth, and using the magic gloves knocked it over!
Unfortunately our guard captain, wearing the gloves and wielding the sword of the hlyss was first to fall victim as he gazed into the eyes of the thing. He turned suddenly and started to rise, looking at the pachi lei, obviously hypnotized. I called for the javelin girl to intercept. At this point the priests' magic went off and trapped both the Yeleth and the brave captain in a web.
I had managed to work my way behind the Serudla and found a door, so I called out that fact, drew the Sword of Janule, said a little prayer and charged the Yeleth from behind. The Serudla twisted faster than I had thought possible to intercept me, but then stopped, its eyes blinking. I had no desire to engage it and the sword had not controlled me, but had in fact freed the animal from its tormentor!
The remaining battle went quickly as the Serudla stamped on the Yeleth until it was mush, our people grabbed the captain and managed to over write the domination, then gathered by the door that I had found. At this point the serudla said something that sounded like 'me go with you', and we stopped.
I saw that the door was too small for it, and asked it to come to the pad on which we had entered to see if I could figure out how to work that thing. It stood patiently on the pad while I pondered and when I gave up in frustration said 'we go now?
I replied 'sure, sure' in an absent minded tone and it pulled out an eye, pointed it at me and clicked it. Suddenly we were in the jungle again! It had a means with it and had meant that it would get me out for freeing it, not that it wanted me to find it a way out!
Thanking me, the Serudla handed me the eye of translocation and was about to trundle off when I asked' where are we?' It said, 'ask pe choi' and pointed out about 2 dozen of the beings in the trees around us, watching us quietly, then left. I asked of course, and they pointed my way to camp, then helped me get in the door again (they were thankful that we had killed the Mu'ugalavyani looters and saved the wildlife) so that I could once again join my trapped friends (who had found a control room with a tubeway car) and get them out. We used the eye again, gingerly (it has a hairline crack and I'm worried about misfires) and returned to camp by dawn. More adventures later, but for now... sleep.
-Hlucha :)


Last edited by Hlucha on Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: ssu? no ssu!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:32 am 
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'after meeing the Mu'ugalavyani army and selling stacks of cloth, glass and wine, our intrepid merchants kept onward into the jungle, richer and happier.'

Thats what it should have said this time... instead... we met the Mu'ugalavyani and sold stuff but the ... um... merchant who wandered into the woods in search of herbs changed all that.

We searched all over, and found him tied to a stake with his slave... in the midst of a lot of herbs ... food of the ssu...
Surrounded by ssu. 18 of them, 4 casters. We of course attacked (sigh... they will learn) and immediately had 3 of our party down with wounds, and a 4th dominated by the ssu. I had spent my time wisely and set the eye of translocation while defending myself, so as the groggy soldiers staggered up I yelled 'run!' and demonstrated how to do just that.

Luckily we managed a snap shot or two while on the run (our hunter is incredible even while hurt), felling our dominated friend without killing him, and then ... once the ssu were far enough away from their camp, I used the eye. Translocated by the eye, I found myself alone back at nothing but dead bodies and the prisoners. I rescued them, grabbed our unconscious-dominated friend, stripped off his gloves (yeah THOSE gloves) and with the increased strength from the gloves carried him easily away from any further danger. Luckily the rest of our people managed to lose the ssu when they sensed something was wrong (I disappeared)... fortunately we managed to miss the returning ssu by getting lost... :roll:

We found the rest of our people the next day, farther down the trail, wounded but intact. Once we were all sure people were feeling better I thanked my friend the captain for the use of his gloves (how workmanlike...ew) and returned them.

We reached the end of the woods on the Mu'ugalavyani side without further incident and entered a small village to trade in furniture. They asked us if we needed furniture that was antique and led us to a stairwell down... way down...
-more later-
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 Post subject: into the dark
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:51 am 
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Into the dark... a long story with short ending.

We talked a bit more to the oldster in charge of the village about what might be below us in the 'storehouse of furniture'. He revealed that there were heavily guarded areas, with many sarku priests. Once I had quietly assured him that we were no army type unit and would prefer his discretion on the matter, especially around Vimuhla legions, he opened up a bit more. To our Sarku mage he mentioned that there were various traps, how to avoid them and that the Ito Clan was using us to test their loyal troops in some way. He said that we 'would know' when to return and how once we got the furniture and sent us on our way.

Our first encounter nearly killed us. A Marashyalu dominated some of us into seeing our worst fears and we ended up with at least three of our party facing clones that we could all see. I charged the merchant who had gotten lost last time (we call him the Gambler) and slashed both of 'him'. Our Pachi Lei was trying a res spell when the real merchant got back up, unharmed. The Sword of Janule will not harm a Dlamelish worshiper and our Gambler was now a more devout member of that faith.

Next we faced a series of things that trotted out to see what the noise was about. Magical abilities still fresh, our party managed to dispatch or drive them away. A close encounter with poison nearly killed me. We then lucked out by discovering a band of clanless folk who hid down here and looted or ate the remains of the things that battled. They were so impressed at not being attacked and instead dealt with as humans, that they gave us some trinkets they had looted and advice on what to do next.

Our hardest times were yet to come. We thought the two jagji armed with eyes were tough and they were, especially when our hunter blew one up with a nice shiny eye that the clanless had given him. He made matters a bit worse when the remaining jagji said 'I will kill you for destroying my mate' and our hunter replied 'I'M NOT DONE WITH YOUR WIFE YET'... thus enraging the remaining one.

The Sword of Janule allowed me only minor scorches as the 'eye of raging power' fired by the jagjis hit us. When the remaining one charged the sword immediately took over and I was an unstoppable juggernaut. Undead and technology had activated it and Avanthe sent her aspect to control me in battle.

Having defeated the jagji our party waited until I was back to myself and brought the male to life as a slave (a mallet of fealty was used, the clanless had served us well). It was well that he did this as the 50 guards in the next room would prove tough. Armed with another eye ... this one of vermification, the Jagji trotted amidst the living and undead, cutting loose and killing many of the enemy with fields of worms rising from the floor. We mopped up carefully, thanking our Gambler for his advice on this tactic.

Another brutal attack saw a Ru'un charging us. Our jajgi warned us that it had the spirit of the Hra in it, but as he wore the amulet of the Good God (so he said... we never saw it), he would hit it first. He did, with a flying tackle that knocked it down. Even so it managed to take two of our party into unconsciousness and near death before we killed it.

The final attack was a horrible series of brutal fights between obviously elite or better troops supported by mages. One of them held the 'Book of Ebon Bindings' up and chanted ... whether this was a full or partial copy we did not know, but had to move fast. Our Jagji was the first to go, with control of the undead passing to the enemy, so I had to fight and kill him. Upon doing this I ducked down atop him, avoiding blasts from eyes and a flying hammer.

I came up shooting, with the eye that the jagji had in my hand, and a number of the enemy fell to wormy deaths. One of them then hit me hard and knocked me down. Meanwhile a silver halo flew near me and nearly sucked my soul. Another of our party fell dead. It was grim work.
Suddenly our Gambler dodged bobbed and weaved his way to the enemy priests, succeeding in unbalancing one who seemed to have a 'mace of the grey hand' or something similar. I leapt up at this point and buried the Sword of Janule into the priests heart and he fell lifeless.
Our Guard Captain and Hunter kept fighting to the bitter end. The Captain fell dead late in the battle, with the priest of Ketengku exchanging fire with the last priest who held the Book of Ebon Bindings. Finally the Pachi Lei got in a good shot and there was silence at last.

We did what we could, using a resurrection scroll and healing up the wounded. much of what we had won had to be used to heal and escape the traps, but luckily we didn't skimp on resources. In the end we found ourselves in a huge room full of old furniture. One of our group discovered a panel and played with it, so the room began to move up.
It was an elevator, and we did indeed know when it was time to return as the doors opened in the side of a hill near the village. The old man of the village was happy to see us and to accept our gifts for his cooperation. He agreed to help us finish our mission and find missing troops. We loaded up furniture to take back to Tsolyanu. I recommended that our heroic Guard Captain take charge of both the Gloves and Hammer which I suspected were the Gloves of Chirene and the Hammer of Pendarte. They would be needed to survive a trip back in a caravan loaded with precious goods.

Most of the merchants realized that the amount of treasure we held was going to be impossible to keep and vowed to hand it over to their clan. I expect that the clan of the Red Flower will have many deep pockets if these worthies ever need a favor from now on.... but thats another story... :wink:
(and for another side of the story see this link...)
http://rota.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=36
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 Post subject: a dream
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:05 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:04 am 
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Location: Orlando, FL
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 Post subject: the final play
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:28 am 
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(thanks for reading Greentongue, here's some more)

What do you do when the Ito clan elder says 'We will decorate your armor find your missing troops and ship your furniture in about a week, meanwhile there's a little something you can do for us..."
Answer, you do it.

Our trip to an out of the way spot on Tekumel was accomplished in secrecy. I for one was asleep, others among us were blindfolded, or had way too much to drink in celebrating our victory in the tsu'urum. Thus as the Ito Clan wished, we woke up the next morning in a desert and headed off with a couple of new friends, a Shen and... a Hlaka... to some mountain in the distance. Our mission was simple, keep the little monkey alive so it could deliver a packet of papers to the people at the mountain. I was told an 'old friend' would then see us back to the clan.

It seemed almost too simple. The Shen and our well armored men beat their way through a couple of incursions of banditry, and an attack by Anatl. On the evening of the 4th day out we arrived at the mountain, and fell asleep in camp. I was awakened in the night by some slithering form of undead who politely asked me if I were 'the Tlakotani'... I answered that I was a Tlakotani and they guided me with the gambler (who was also awake) to the mountain. There, the 'old friend' met me, and asked for the message. I explained that the hlaka had it, so he sent me back to the camp while he entertained the gambler.

Our group showed up the next morning and the message was delivered. I was glad to introduce them to my friend, (whom I'd last met while I was chained to a wall by his colleagues) and then leave via nexus point. Sarku priests are never that much entertainment and I wanted to round out our week on a positive note, besides the mention of the word 'Ekadonde' rather threw me off.

The Ito Clan sent us home. Our furniture and Thumis priest had been sent ahead by tubeway. A gem with 'high cartography' was given to us to explain our missing troops. We were sent to Kheiris by other means and from there walked to the Tsolyani border. It was a nice long walk, but the fresh air of the Sakbe roads did us good and no harm was had by any.
Once we arrived back in Tsolyanu and then to Tumissa, I gave over the eyes of vermification and translocation to my Legion. The Red Flower Clansmen were smart enough to avoid the taxes of so much wealthy loot by handing a good portion to their Clan. The Legion was satisfied that our troops had been found and they had obtained the stone of 'high cartography' [I didn't ask too many questions about this part...] In the end, I felt that a bit more closure was needed and arranged something that I have never done before.

The exquisite Ma'in Tlakotani resides in Tumissa. I contacted our Tlakotani Clan and expressed that I would like to host a party. As my lady Ma'in once held me as a possible champion for her in the Kolumejalim, she became involved. The party was eventually attended by no less than 3 princes and princesses, a host of famous people and a great many of the best Clans. The reason was not just our trip, but the great victories against the Mu'ugalavyani and I introduced my now famous group of Red Flower to their first (and for some of them they hope last) great party. For my own part, it was worth expending all of the favors that I managed just to see the proper reward given to the young Red Flower Clansmen who had chuckled quietly at me throughout the trip...not that I'd ever pretend to notice such things. In addition they would be afforded some free protection no matter their feelings as fame tends to keep Clan Elders happy.

I cannot say that the group all had fun. Certainly the Shen and our Hunter had a great time in the Athletic contests. Our Dlamelish fashion designer was heard to say that her participation in slightly different forme of athletics was enjoyable and our Pachi Lei got quietly drunk. During the party it was my honor to give a staff made by the Ito clan to the Red Flower folk, it was to be used as a safe conduct and symbol of their future trading deals on both sides of the border. Thus are merchants rewarded.

I never did find out how the gambler - Kagesh hiVarshu- felt about the party as he was last seen with our hostess Princess Ma'in attending a very exotic form of entertainment. He claimed later that the summoning of a certain demon was what drove him into a drugged stupor, but I feel that he may have over done the drugs himself to avoid further problems. In addition to this he is now a celebrity as is our Fashion Designer for being at the greatest party in Tumissa for years. They will obtain a lot of new contacts for their Clan.

The morning(s) after were a bit blurry, and we took a week to get our bearings. Some of the group went to train in martial skills, others went to sell things and I remember brushing up on my political knowledge and amusing Sten the Shen by showing him Tsolyani teamwork skills. Its been a long time since I had to use that.

The messenger from the Omnipotent Azure Legion was unexpected, but I should have known that things wouldn't remain peaceful for long...
... next week will be a strange one as we (read me- passing the good fortune on-) have been assigned to spot Mu'ugalavyani terrorists in the foreign quarter. It has been my opinion that all foreigners are terrorists, but there is some question as to whether they are organized. Oh well, with our intrepid Red Flower Clan as masters of the art of getting answers (whether they like them or not), we'll see.
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 Post subject: why so trusting?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:31 pm
Posts: 76
Some of my Clan cousins in the 'know' have requested an explanation of why I was so trusting of Ito and the Sarku lot in general. I shall outline why here.

To begin, I have not ever been known as one who is trusting of Sarku. I am however one who is polite to enemies and eschews ignobility. In being assigned the mission to Mu'ugalavya and thus Ito Clan territory I accepted with very few qualms, knowing that the High Priestess of Dilinala, my Kerdu Dijaya hi Qurruluma would have taken into account my history.

I hold the Sword of Avanthe. If my Priestess tells me to take it to the front, so be it. When meeting Sarku and Mu'ugalavyani flame worshipers or even those of Vimuhla who are inimical to my group, I trust the powers of the Sword and my own nature. Not even as I sleep can the Sword of Avanthe be surprised, I am controlled by it and should I fall, others will take up the charge.

Some might snort and whisper 'Tlakotani pride', but I can only say this... the Empire was built on our work.
-Hlucha hiTlakotani
Molkar of the 12th Imperial Light Infantry, Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle, Duellist of the House Whick Knows no Fear and Guardian of the Sword of Janule.
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 Post subject: The real story
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:46 am 
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Posts: 76
A note from Kagesh, the Gambler, to be inserted here... -Hlucha

Dear Friends,
I feel that it is important in this history that the real story be told. The Red Flower Clan has not been invited to a spectacle like that party for centuries and they asked me to do my best.

Of course I did my best. I had them dress me in the proper attire for a Dlamelish worshiper at a Dlamelish party, which is to say that I wore about 5000k worth of emerald dust and other things, but not much other than jewelry.

Of course knowing that drugs can be fun or dangerous, I made certain to take enough pouches and pockets to keep my self and any whom I met safe from the wrong drugs. I am after all a master of using this art.

Hlucha hiTlakotani met us and introduced us around. We ate some nice dishes. I nearly fell asleep. Finally the preliminaries were over and I headed for the gambling room. Hlucha met me there and introduced me to the Princess Ma'in who was also playing. Of course we immediately got along.

We had a pleasant night of gambling, during which time I proved as capable as the Hero Hrugga and 'lost all of Tekumel and the two moons' to the goddess to prove that she was indeed the most worthy of keeping all of the treasures. She was impressed enough to invite me to the 'special activities' after the party and we did engage in those happily, though by that time I am afraid that I was more relying on instinct since the drugs and tsuhoridu were having quite the effect on me!

A few mornings later I awoke in the arms of my goddess. After many endearments I went on my way, back to the Clan and my life.
-Kagesh hiVarshu
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 Post subject: many are the trials...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:26 am 
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Posts: 76
Many are the trials of a member of the Tlakotani. I set out to the Red Flower Clan to see if any of my recent companions knew more about how to find terrorists in the Foreign quarter. Of course, Kagesh mentioned he'd get the information that I needed and they gave me a breakfast worthy of my status.

Later in the day I busied myself with important matters, taking the Fashion designer shopping for material to work onto my armor. I vowed that I'd reward her as well as wear the armor. That way all could see the great work that she did for me. We settled on some fabric and other things than went our separate ways.

I returned to the Tlakotani Clanhouse to find a group of Imperial Jurists waiting for me. They were looking for the answers to a terrible situstion betweem Red Stone Clan and the Clan of Sea Blue in Bey Su. Apparently someone from the former clan had stolen property of the latter and escaped to Tumissa. I was to find the answers... and all this because they heard that I was a capable leader who had just had a very succesful party.

Of course I did what comes naturally... and had my servants research all of the particulars. The jurists were very forthcoming and soon my Book keeper Tlargesh was reading me all the information while my handmaiden Tlayesha kept us comfortable with food and chumetl. I then assigned them to an all nighter of researching in the library for any possible links of the stolen items to Tumissa.

Of course I had to do something, so I wandered over to the Red Flower Clan to see how the armor was coming. The lot of them were about to set out on some sort of mission for high officials, something about finding a criminal among a slaver clan. I volunteered to help out of boredom and a sense of adventure.

We found the guy, after carving through a lot of guards... Sten the Shen was in charge, and we then carved through some more guards. Following the trail into the underworld we finally tracked the bad guy down and as he pulled an eys he called 'this is an eye of raging power, you will die'. I replied "I have the Sword of Janule, which will resist you (I hope)'. Sten took this opportunity to comment by putting a throwing axe between the bad guy's eyes and ... we won.

Unfortunately our hunter and Pachi Lei had gotten badly hurt in the adventure, so we dragged them to the temple of Avanthe for healing. The priestesses were reluctant to use magic, but put the Pachi Lei in for bedrest and sent the hunter to the Temple of Karakan as he insisted they would help him. I went home and had my servants report on progress of the research into the Red Stone situation, then went to bed.

I was awakened by a series of explosions and as there was no going back to sleep, put on my armor and headed into the streets of Tumissa to see what the problem was. People were pointing this way and that so I made my way to the Red Flower clanhouse, where they were... at midnight ... setting out with chlen carts and bearers to 'reclaim some furniture'. I went along, as I was by now bored.

Apparently the reposession of the furniture was directly related to our adventures in the Chakas, someone had sold the ancient furniture to another merchant using false papers or something. I found Kagesh running hard from the direction we were headed in, he didn't stop.
Chasing him was Sten the Shen, another member of Red Flower whom I barely know, though he is of Chegarra and quite high in the favor of certain military officers. I immediately fell in beside him and we chased Kagesh...I asked why, but only got 'must..kill..him' from Sten.

Kagesh must have practise at this, he lost us in the crowds and a number of walls/fruitstands/chlen carts later. I left Sten and learned later that the shen had been dominated by a Yeleth, a guardian of the underworld. I also learned that the Hunter was hurt and in the Red Flower Clan house, a Hlaka by the name of Tse was flying around looking for his friends, etc. It was all very confusing so I went home for a bath.

I later ended up paying some money for the Temple of Avanthe to make sacrifices for thanks to the goddess, got some healing for the Pachi Lei and finally went for breakfast at the Red Flower Clan house. They are getting used to seeing me there, and Kagesh reported that the 'toilet paper terrorists' were a clumsy attempt to deflect from some criminal activity. I of course immediately enlisted my Red Clan people in the newest mystery (get that Red Stone guy) and reported the lack of terrorists to the proper authorities.

While I was at Red Flower, a tax collector arrived, followed by a group of Imperial officials. The tax collector was told by the officials that the Shen had just handled a delicate mission and to leave the clan house. They then recovered a writ of some sort from the Shen who it appears is indeed a favored soul with some high connections.
I am still somewhat confused, but at least I am getting good breakfasts at the Red Flower Clan.

--next week-- leaving no (red) stone unturned...
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 Post subject: Itinerary
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:17 am 
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Posts: 76
Now that I am in Tumissa for what appears to be an extended time, I post this itinerary with my Scribe Tlarkesh and my Maid Tlayesha. They will of course put the appropriate meshqu plaques on my room.

Dawn, I am up and at my exercises for a kiren. (sword practise)

Bathtime, must look good for breakfast. (bath is by swimming in a private pool with servants to first soap and later dry you)

Breakfast... with my Clan or perhaps visiting another.

Morning... a time to consult with Tlarkesh on what has been learned on a number of issues.

Noon... dinner at the Clan or perhaps visiting another.

First part of the afternoon... resting, listening to music, etc.

Latter part of the afternoon... dressing for supper.

Supper at the Clan house or visiting another.

After supper... a kiren of exercise. (should there be a student seeking sword exercise, this may be more than a kiren)

Evening.. contemplation and study.

-Hlucha hiTlakotani
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 Post subject: for the OAL and beyond
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:31 pm
Posts: 76
Tumissa is certainly a busy place.

After awakening, dressing for breakfast and travelling to the Red Flower clanhouse to discuss the problem given to me by the jurists (find a criminal), I was surprised to see the Clanleader was up this early. These merchant clans certainly have early hours. I got his approval for the jurist mission and picked up my armor, now beautifully decorated by our fashion designer.

I then went home to practice my swordsmanship. Shortly thereafter a messenger from Red Flower called me back. Sensing trouble, I dropped by the Temple of Dilinala and got two scrolls normally meant for temple guards. They cast the spells of ‘The Sphere of Impermeable Quiescence’ and the ‘Seal upon the Powers’. Putting them in cases on my belt and adjusting my nice new armor, I went to the Red Flower clan.

Arriving there, I found OAL officers investigating the appearance of Ssu in part of Tumissa. The clan members had some information, and some were taken off for questioning. The OAL talked briefly to me but as I had no information other than watching the Shen chase Kagesh, they soon lost interest. It was at this point that they decided to send the clan members after the Ssu. Some new members had been added for advice and help. Of course they ‘volunteered’ me as a member of the imperial armed forces, and I acquiesced (you don’t tell the OAL ‘no’) provided they could take the jurist case, as it is not a good idea to offend anyone. They didn’t seem to care, but I tried.

We entered the portal left in the warehouse by the Ssu. It was at this point that I realized our Guard Captain had a problem. Apparently his armor was either magical or ill fitting as it kept locking up on him. After solving this to some degree, we looked around the area in which we found ourselves. It was mountainous, and a strange tripod stood nearby, creating another portal. Before we investigated more, our intrepid Shen led us through this portal and we found ourselves in a swamp.
This time there was no portal forward, but the one we had entered through remained. Before we could do much more than look around, the hunter jumped back through that portal. With a sigh, the Shen led us through, maintaining ‘squad integrity’.

Each of us came through separately. Each of us saw an old man with a hut by him. Each of us was given the same line ‘you can go through that portal you just used or you can enter the city’. There was a hole in the side of a hill representing the ‘city’. My discussion with him revolved around what a pariah diety was, as I suspected him in league with the Ssu or at least inimical to us since the Ssu left him alive. In any case he turned out to be friendly and why cause more trouble than we were in?

In each case as it was learned later, our people answered slightly differently, and then wandered off in slightly different directions. When we returned to the old man he maintained that we were all ‘here, in front of him’, but we could not see each other.

I am not sure who learned it first, but we had entered a temporal flux. We were each separated by a moment or two in time, and the old man proved it to some of us by saying ‘wait’. Of those who had not entered far from each other it was a sensation of watching others come eerily into being as they ‘caught up’ to us ( or we to them) in time. A couple of us had unfortunately been separated very far indeed but this was actually a stroke of luck.
Sten decided that our smaller party would head for the city to search for the Guard Captain and the Hunter. Meanwhile, Kagesh appeared by us, looked around, said ‘boring’ and stepped through the portal. The Shen headed to the city. I followed with our new members, an alchemist and priest of Sarku in tow, the Hlaka flying overhead.

We probably died in that city. I cannot say, as the ‘time self’ that I have is reporting this now. The rescue was conducted by our members in an alternate time line who saw us dead in the city. They scratched out a message on the side of the old man’s hut in yet another time alternative (they were moving around a lot) and we received it in time. We thus knew to look carefully and found the city had completely different geometry with accompanying gravity. Had we just walked in we would have fallen do our deaths or worse. We roped in instead, and looked around. The Hlaka was very useful as a Shanu’u arrived to talk to him.
As they were conversing, the approach of a mua’gh like group of jellies threatened us. In a city of such strange geometry, where a simple fall is a screaming death into darkness, we fought our way out and back up the rope, lobbing fire and other things at the jellies. Once out we found our Hunter and Guard Captain shaking their heads and repeating that they had ‘told us so’.

We had apparently been in a version of Ssurayal (city of Ssu) and the two of them had not been idle. They had discovered a way of ‘seeing’ through the time loops in the vicinity of the old man’s hut. Thus they had seen Kagesh meet another bunch of Ssu and leap through yet another portal. They had watched the Ssu realign the tripod to a map like device and jump in after him. The Guard Captain figured that he could do this if someone could give him a map of where we were in relation to the rest of Tekumel. Of course I volunteered to draw him a simplified merchant’s map, a familiarity of which I had from long experience as a liaison officer in the area years ago. A liaison officer with a map is perhaps the scariest thing in the military.

Oddly enough he tried to get us to Tumissa and we appeared (after jumping through the adjusted portal) in the marketplace of Paya Gupa amidst the intercaly festivals. It was good enough. After reporting to the OAL, Thumis temple, etc, we were sent to the most likely area that Kagesh may have landed. The Great Desert of Galai, wonderful.
(continued next week)
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