Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An Unexpected Encounter

To reprise:

Bowing low, Andrej make proper introductions, "Father Andrej of Cumana, at your service my friend. My companions are Maximilian Boii and his man Mareo of the Hapsburg Kingdom; Lukas Meyer of Zurich and our leader upon this expedition, Ahmet oglu Ahmet of Capadoccia. Oh yes, and Lukas's man Hichem, from Ifriqiya upon the Mediterranean Sea. Who may we thank for the assistance?"

And the answer comes from twenty yards to the right, in the trees, "I believe I should answer that," says a man about 55, bearded, dressed as a Islamic holy man, wearing a heavy black woollen robe belted with a wide swath of leather. He wears a short grey fez, askance on his head. A mace hangs from his belt, but he appears unarmored. "This is my servant Hayund; and I am -"

"Mullah Yazigi!" shouts Ahmet, before he can stop himself. Sometimes, the DM must act the inspired response of players.

It is the man who tried to teach Ahmet to be a good muslim; who also did his best to give Ahmet counsel prior to his entering prison.

I would point out that at this point the party is only about 90 miles from Melitene.

49 comments:

Andrej said...

Momentarily stunned by the news regarding Mareo and the sudden appearance of our benefactor, I stand mouth agape before composing myself and seeing to Mareo with Lukas.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Mareo had no levels, so one drain is enough to kill him dead.

"I am sorry," says Yazigi. "I had chanced to be gathering mushrooms, and only as the rain stopped did I hear the cries. I rushed here as soon as I could, to see how close you are to Aristanes' Vex." The Mullah says it differently that did the orc Hayund ... with the possessive implied.

Maximillian Boii said...

(OOC: I was pretty sure that was the case about Mareo. That's too bad.

Alexis, you mentioned not seeing the hp for Mareo on the character sheet; Are you still not seeing the links to the other characters at the top of the blog? I thought that was fixed ages ago. I guess it doesn't matter now, but it would be nice to get that fixed once and for all. Does anyone know why blogger sometimes doesn't show them?)

Alexis Smolensk said...

I has to be in the formatting of the blog somewhere. I've not encountered it.

Could you please give me what mareo's hit points were, Maximillian?

Oddbit said...

It's listed as 10 on the sheet as I see it.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet removes his hat and approaches Mullah Yazigi, speaking respectfully but proudly.

"Mullah Yazigi," he says again, "I do not know if you remember me. I am Ahmet Oglu Ahmet. Many years ago, as a foolish child, you gave me guidance. I have ventured far and wide, slain many creatures and righted many wrongs! And now I have returned to claim my family's rightful inheritance from those who would steal it.

"When I had no friends you stood with me. I have not forgotten the many kindnesses you did for me, nor the teachings of the prophet you shared with me. I will assist you in any way that I can, unworthy as I am. But first I must ask you for one more kindness -- our friend Mareo was slain by these creatures. Can you help?"

Maximillian Boii said...

(Thanks Lukas. That's correct, 10 hp)

While the other's are being introduced and speaking with the Mullah, I tend to Mareo. On confirming that he is dead, I mourn him silently, and begin preparing his body as a way to process my grief. Rest Eternal is described as a burial ceremony in the Druid document. Do I have to actually bury him in order to bestow the benefits it confers?

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I remember you very well, Ahmet Oglu Ahmet," he says. "There has been word that you were dead; that your sister, too, has died. She left her home nearly three years ago to find you, and nothing more was ever heard. I was most surprised to see you."

He clears his throat. "I remember, too, what brought about that time you remember, and of --- as well."

(He says the name of the woman who wronged Ahmet, but I have lost her name ... could you insert it, Ahmet?)

"But there is no time for that. Your friend will become a wraith if we do not hurry. Hayund! Fetch our gear. And most quickly fetch the leather grey pack - we have very little time!"

Alexis Smolensk said...

The correct rest for a druidic burial demands that he not be buried beneath the earth, but under a pile of stones, or burnt upon a pyre set on a bald hill-top. Until such time as that could be possible, wrapping him in oil-soaked cloth will suffice for three weeks.

Ahmet said...

"Sevim," Ahmet mutters, almost a curse, and a wetness comes to his eyes... but it could be the rain.

Maximillian Boii said...

Thanks, I'll note that. For the moment, I will follow Yazigi's lead, until such time as he begins initiating a religious burial ceremony, at which time I will politely interject.

Andrej said...

I concede to both Max and the mullah as it pertains to Mareo's condition and will help in any way I can. In the case of the latter, I adopt a formal but not unpleasant manner... like an opposing coach meeting his adversary on the playing field prior to a game. I recognize this is the mullah's turf and respect his power and position, but I can't help but feel we two are in competition for Ahmet's soul.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Hayund brings back the bag as requested, then heads off again, through the trees, and down out of sight. Overhead, the clouds begin to clear away, and the wind drops some amid the trees. It can be seen by the movement of the clouds, however, that it hasn't diminished in the upper atmosphere.

Yazigi kneels next to Mareo with the bag and draws out a cylindrical case. He uncaps it, then slides out an opaque glass bottle and a tiny wooden pot with a lid, as wide across as two fingers. He looks at Maximillian. "I will not deface the body," he says. "I prefer not to remove the liver ... it takes time, and is not always effective. Therefore I shall be adopting the method of the Saka Tribes. This will require no cutting. Do you approve?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet kneels close as well. "Removing his liver will bring him back to life?" He shoots a look at Andrej as if to say, Why didn't you know how to do this? Poor Joost!

Maximillian Boii said...

Please, I wish for that thing to get no more from him. It has already taken far too much.

As much as my grief clouds it, this rouses my deepest interests, so I pay close attention.

Maximillian Boii said...

(In case that wasn't clear, I do approve, with a nod.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

"Lore has it that if the liver is removed from the corpse and put into the coals of a burning fire, the body will not rise as a wraith," Yazigi says. "But it is uncertain, as any part of the liver that is left behind will be enough, and if the body is marred too greatly then the corpse will rise as a shadow. Better to risk neither course." He opens the pot and reveals that it contains myrrh, which is both intoxicating and vile to the western olfactory senses. Andrej, Hichem and of course Ahmet are comfortable with it, but Lukas and Maximillian are repulsed.

He opens the bottle, tilts open Mareo's mouth with a finger and pours in the contents. "Clearly you have embraced the propriety of resurrected corpses," Yazigi mutters to Ahmet. To Andrej he'll add, "Has Ahmet adopted the ways of the Carpenter, then?"

Andrej said...

"Nay. In his own way he remains true to the teachings of Prophet. But I am ever hopeful."

Maximillian Boii said...

I'm repulsed only by the odor, not by the action.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, that's correct Maximillian. Nor will it seem odd when Yazigi draws a stylus, scrapes at the myrrh and begins to draw symbols upon Mareo's skin. Particularly as some of them are immediately recognizable to your Aryan, Celtic and Mediterranean roots.

"Ahmet was taught harshly never to remain true to anything," says Yazigi. "Is that not true, Yoldas?" he asks Ahmet, using the native term for comrade.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Inserting XP, now:

Ahmet & Lukas, 231 each.
Andrej, 143.
Maximillian: 450.

Andrej said...

I raise an eyebrow and shoot Lukas a look, assuming Max is more intent upon Mareo then our banter.

"He has been at all times a true comrade in the days that I have known him. Perhaps his past is behind him."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grunts. "It is true I did many wicked things, but, inshallah, thanks to your teachings and the help of my friends, I am trying to walk the righteous path."

Lukas said...

Lukas looks on and listens. He does sound interested, given that so far the appearance of Ahmet's past has apparently meant very interesting futures for the lot of them so far.

Better to be ahead on topics than behind. Futhermore, he is taking an interest in the goings on regarding the future of Mareo.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: sorry all, I'm going to have to take the day; Christmas, last-minute meetings, a spontaneous office party ... etc. I'll try not to get too drunk)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Have fun. I've got tomorrow morning only then I'm done until the new year. Happy Holidays, fellas. Be safe and enjoy.)

Maximillian Boii said...

Enjoy your time off, everyone. Stay Warm and Merry.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, I guess a suspension is unfortunately the best idea. I will say that Yazigi will stop drawing symbols in about an hour and profess his feeling that Mareo will not rise as a wraith.

Hichem, because no one else has, will inquire as to Aristanes' Vex and Yazigi will explain that nearly 2,000 years ago a group of 700 men who were part of Alexander the Great's Army, led by a warrior named Aristanes, were trapped in the very corner where you were camped, and slaughtered to a man. Aristanes cursed the Persians who did the deed, who chose to keep the animals from the land from devouring the corpses, which might have belied the curse. The bodies were allowed to rot, so that the souls of the men would be forever trapped and could not, as the Persians believed, find their way to Paradise. So have the souls remained trapped here, having grown hateful and evil through all these centuries.

Maximillian Boii said...

If you don't mind, can I ask here for some common knowledge?

How common would the sort of service Yazagi just performed be? Say, just having someone remove the liver and burn it properly. Would there be someone in most villages who had seen it done? Or would the knowledge of how to do it properly be rare?

How much would a church have charged for that service if I'd brought the body there? The same as a first-level spell, plus materials, or more?

I thank Yazagi genuinely, and place Mareo's body beneath the vardo. Since it will be a very cramped night in the vardo, I take my bedroll and my bearskin and make the best bed I can beside Mareo.

As I'm "suceptible to colds" I'm sure this experience will have given me one, even without the 'normal' travel damage effects in play. Sorry for the subsequent sniffling, everyone.

Before I sleep, I ask Andrej to cast cure light wounds on me, since I seem to have forgotten how to cast it.

Lukas said...

I think one of my cantrips might actually "cure colds". I can double check. I haven't actually inquired as to whether or not they really cure the disease or if that is highly conditional.

Yes... I believe Sneeze would do it if it just cures colds.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Maximillian, it would be extraordinarily rare; on the line of arcane knowledge. A sage would have to be 8th level in his or her class just to have a chance of knowing it ... but Yazigi might have discovered it in a proper textbook. I'm sorry that I can't say what book, as my book-published system isn't remotely created (but whose campaign even HAS books?). Take it for granted that this was rare. Long before you could have brought the body to a church, it would have become a wraith (probably would have within 10 or 20 minutes, except that Yazigi was there to act quickly).

Unless you insist upon it, you do not have to sleep tonight in the vardo. Yazigi has a shelter just two miles from here - though he apologizes it is remote, the vardo will be supported by a narrow but durable road.

Maximillian Boii said...

Ah, OK. Thanks.

I am certainly in favor of joining Yagazi.

Lukas said...

Since the potential to have learned it from a book is possible I will in fact ask where Yazigi learned their craft. And if he has any interesting books I should seek out.

Lukas said...

Oh and I say we join him.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It was taught to Yazigi in the seminary in Antioch, where he lived for four years, departing that place in 1647. He tells you that the book he learned from is in the library there (presume Lukas has been told the title, Saka Magic).

Lukas said...

I appreciate that on a level that you may not.

Lukas has added Antioch to his list of places to visit.

Maximillian Boii said...

(merry christmas everyone, if that's what you celebrate)

Lukas said...

I should be alright to reurn after the 5th.

Apparently my old DM wants me to be a groomsman for some reason.

Maximillian Boii said...

The week of the 5th works well for me too, although I'll also be available on and off through the coming week as well.

Andrej said...

I myself am back now. Happy New year, all. Unfortunately I'll most likely need to be traveling next week for personal reasons; a death in the family. I'm guessing I won't be available much until the end of next week after this weekend.

Maximillian Boii said...

I'm sorry to hear that James, My thoughts are with you and yours.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I as well, James; please accept my condolences.

We would probably not be able to start on the 6th in any case; I will have my team to get back in order, along with a tremendous backlog of work to sort out and manage after my two-week vacation.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing, and let me know if there's anything you need that I could help with.

Andrej said...

Thanks gents. All is progressing as it should and I will be on the road Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and most likely ready to play on Thursday. It was my uncle who died, and while not a complete shock we were surprised by how quickly it happened.

Ahmet said...

Just checking in. Sorry for your loss, James.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: My first day back was predictable. Tomorrow, if at all possible, I will rumble towards getting a post up about Yazigi's abode and the party settling in there. Be patient but a big longer, stout fellows!)

Lukas said...

I'm sorry for your loss, I wish you time and peace as you need to mourn it.

I'm ready when everyone else is.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Sorry, all, for the wait. I will write something today)

Lukas said...

(OOC: It appears he is still alive on the main blog...

Is the post by chance invisible to us still?)

Alexis Smolensk said...

At last, the next post is up; my apologies, last night did not play out as I expected. No worries, only that the kitchen was flooded.