Cartographies and Colonies

Thoughts from Vek'd 3

My friends, it seems we have stumbled upon a mystery. The Urlamali are being led around by necromancers. the chieftain is the lead puppet in a masquerade of puppets. I do not think the Maw knows anything about what is truly happening here.

We went in to ‘talk’ with the chieftain about the trouble we had outside. My friends, I have never seen a gnoll dumbfounded before, however, the look on Nafu’s muzzle said it all when the chieftain said we were not to leave the caves alive! Well, to say the least, we had eliminated the threat of the chieftain and her ‘pack’ of morons before they could kill us; so we thought!

(STUPID DROW MAJIK!) We went down into a tunnel, for some reason Ruben decided to trap it! My friends, who can really understand the mind of a gnome? Anyhow, I digress, we found a friend of ours Talia (The human that wore a gnoll skull.) She was down there with the chieftain and later in the caves below the chieftain’s throne. We had thought at first that she was behind all the commotion going on, however, I don’t think that is the case.

My friends, as if by coincidence (I don’t believe it was) the chieftain and the gnolls we had slain rose again and we had to ‘kill’ them all over again! This is truly beyond the majik that these people know (STUPID DROW MAJIK!). I fear that our companion Iestyn does’t look too well. We came upon a bunch of tapestries, old tapestries from the drow I remember, he went berserk and began slashing them and burning them.

I fear for everyone’s life now, I do not want to let them know the truth, however, if I do not then their lives are forfeit and we will not be able to do what we set out to do. This is something I need to think on, for if it is discovered that I am here, and the unseely court remembers, then we are all in big trouble!

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Nafu's Tail 002
Ancestors hear me.

The wound is old.
It’s at the core.
The sickness spreads.

Babu watch me on this earth. Let my sisters eat my bones.
Let me die with my teeth lodged in my enemy’s throat. Give me strength enough to crush the life from it before I join the Great Hunt.
I had though the rot could be cut out with a slice of the knife, but the sickness runs so deep. Deeper than Kaya. Deeper even than Erevu. Babu, something was controlling even the Uramali chieftain. Erevu and Kaya knew words that even the living ancestors did not. Words like ‘dragon.’ But Vek’d and Iestyn know these words. It must be a word of power because it is why the necromancers want Iestyn.
Iestyn. I thought we could draw the sick blood to the surface with her, bleed it out easy and leave the Uramali stronger. This illness has been digging into the very bones of the Uramali. It digs into the bones of the Greatmother herself.
Babu, it was not the newcomers the Greatmother was trying to warn us about. She is sick. I am disgusted to my very liver about what I have seen.
I sent Rube to fetch Gunjo. Your foolish daughter has pinned her hopes on a stunted dwarf and pack leader whose children were not strong enough to emerge from the ground. But it is my only hope that Gunjo is not with the necromancers. She wished to be Taya, she would enforce the laws. That is my hope.
Rube may keep running. This is not his fight. We are not his pack. He could keep running until he returns to Mji and he tells the others. He will live then. That is my hope.
Vek’d wished to be Taya. This is his fight. We are his pack. He will know better than most how strong the teeth of the Maw must be. He has not yet taken the vow, but he will be a good cousin. Let him join the ancestors on the plains of blood and bone.
Iestyn. I made a bad mistake. I brought her. Her husband will be widowed again before he is even married. I thought the sickness of the Uramali would be weak. I was wrong. I have killed her. Let her die in the living fire that Halisi made so that she will not be disturbed by the necromancers.
Babu, let me go to the plains where Iestyn goes if she dies here. I will clear the plains beyond of those who would harm her. I will defend her in death as I failed to in life. I will die strong enough to do that at least.
If Gunjo helps then the Uramali may yet recover and be stronger for it. If she is tainted too, then I fear the Uramali are lost and there are no innocents among them.
No matter. I will carve the sickness out however deep it runs.
I am a gnoll. I came to life with the flesh of my sisters in my teeth. I rose from the ground to grow strong and die. I will not die asleep!

Just . . . . please let my sisters eat my bones.

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Notes from the Iestyn 002

Vai’esyllt’s signet feels heavy on my hand.

We have delved the deep. The Urumali were being cagey, so it was pretty obvious they were all in the cahoots. Maybe Nafu needs like more proof proof like physical or something cause she just wanted to believe and act like it wasn’t plain they were cahooting about all wanting to steal me. Probably political stuff. Their chief is dead. And zombies.

I remember it was important, if a House struck another, that it wasn’t illegal if no proof as found. If there was any proof, then all the other Houses would tear them apart into flinders, even if they survived the coup against their enemy on the grounds of the illegality.

Memories. I don’t like the banners.

Eyes the Unseelie weaving feel like eyes to the planes. No more eyes of Lloth, Vhaerhun or any of the other dark powers on me ever again. I cried all that out and smashed it all over plenty of trees decades and decades ago.

Going down the hole was like going back.

I never went back but suddenly its like forever and a flying pillow away and I am. And the King of the Wylde Hunt starring plain at us.

And a Library.
Gnolls don’t even understand what writing IS.


Kaya might have been able to read. Maybe. Maybe read basics. But that’s not good enough.

A clan might keep a, singular, not plural, book around as an oddity for like shamans or something as their precious ‘history’ ancestor stuff.

Not a whole library.

Not a whole library a hop and jump away from the city of the ‘reigning power’ with teeth taia and ‘ancestors’ fishing doesn’t know that magic comes from runes and doesn’t always turn things purple or give them extra tails. There’s another power on this island, and it doesn’t believe in ‘anansi’. It remembers the old words.

Keeshen wun nind ehmtu ratha. Ori’gato l’xan’ss Ilharess neitar tlu nym’uerus wun nindolen tullusas. Lloth tlu flamgraus lu’t’larryo. (Daggers in their own backs. Let the word ‘Matron’ never be heard in these halls. Lloth be burned and broken. )

Someone had to teach her how to read. Someone who makes the gnolls respect the paper blocks of useless and keep them safe and hidden.

Someone who owns all the books. Someone, or someones. No one seems to believe me, or notice, other than thinking there might be a ‘necromancer’. I don’t think they know what the word could mean. What books mean. If the original isn’t alive, their children could be.

There’s no other Houses here to war with.
Drow don’t find paradise, just go on living…..Io’s breath from even the Ard Righ’s day if it comes to it.

We aren’t safe.
I’m not safe.

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Thoughts from Vek'd 2

Well, the whole idea behind the elimination of the pirate ‘Pearl Eye’ was to get into the Mah’s good graces. Well, that certainly worked out well enough. Not knowing what I was doing, though I am sure it was on compulsion from the amulet (stupid drow majik!), I am now in contention to become a tooth and claw of the Mah!

I tell you friends that yours truly has indeed seen better days. This tooth and claw of the Mah will mean that I am at her service day and night when she has use of me! I will dole out her justice and as Nafu has shown us hospitality, I am sure I will one day have to do the same. The test that I have to do is a test of where I will fit in and at what rank I will be at in her service. I do not plan to be the lowest, though I am pretty sure she has some really tough warriors, I wont be the greatest. The Mah does not seem to be one that is fooled too easily and I am sure she suspects something is up when I volunteered my services.

Yes, my friends, I truly do have a motivation in what I am doing, maybe it is my subconscious mind guiding me or it may well be the amulet moving me in a certain direction (stupid drow majik!), which means that Nafu subconsciously wanted me to join the ranks. This indeed is a conundrum that I must figure out.

My friends, I made a grievous error in judgement today! While at a party held by the drow (why are there so many drow?!), yestin was being stalked. We came to shims rescue (why? haven’t figured that one out yet!), and I used my breath weapon! (I saved a drow?! I know my friends, maybe this island is getting to me!). I have to believe again that the amulet drew me with it as Nafu went running after testin! (stupid drow majik!) We eliminated the threat in no time flat, which seems a bit of a let down, but to our suprise, the one captive we had died instantly from a curse that was placed on her before her mission. This being said my friends, we are dealing with a very cunning person, however we know it came from the necromancers! They might be cunning to keep the traces a secret by killing their agents, however they are stupid in whom they sent. Amateurs!, a child could have smelled them coming a mile away! They should have sent better agents then the ones they sent. The drow back in elfhame would not have gotten caught! (stupid drow majik!)

I part at this time to tell you my friends that yours truly is in a deep despair and is truly upset over the proceeding events. I truly wish that my life were my own and I could live as a free man, however, this it seems is not to be so. So for now, I enclose with a thought that maybe one day this nightmare will be over and I will either be reunited with the part of me that is lost or I will be dead! Though, I am sure that if I were dead before I reunite myself, I will be stuck in this miserable existence, running around waiting to be reunited with the amulet! (stupid drow majik!)

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Thoughts from Vek'd

Well I wish I could say we have a fine group of people, however, we have a drow mage that thinks he can ‘evolve’ into a dragon with time and practice. A gnome ‘mechanic’ that has alot of mustaches a weird beard and acts as if he is still wearing diapers. A zealot of a priestess, not bad to look at but she will not stop talking of her missionary work. An uptight expedition leader who happens to be a ‘doctor’ or a cleric without the spells. Finally we get to the captain of the boat… he is as much of pain in the neck as the rest of them, taking a nip when he thinks no one is looking. It is so blatant that a blind man could see it. I am sure this trip is going to be so fun. (Sarcasm). I just hope i can find that amulet. I would kill the drow but it wouldn’t be hard to guess who did it. Short list of suspects and no where to go, i will bide my time.

Really getting sick of not being able to touch solid ground. Fiona isnt half as bad as she started out to be, she still talks alot. Still don’t trust the ‘leader’ as Dr. Frost is irritatingly snooty, would really like to shove my foot up his rear end. That would give him a reason to look down his nose at everyone. Iestyn Vai’Hranozarh is constantly outside swinging on ropes and such to the humoruosly dismay of the captain. Ruben likes to poke his gnome nose were it doesnt belong, always asking questions and such, might just one night when is sleeping cut his beard off and give it to Lestin, though he says it isnt soft. (Whatever). I am getting a bit irritated by this, been out here in the middle of nowhere and i can feel us getting closer to it, yet I feel as far away from it as I was when I first awoke.

Well, we had a little pow wow and now everyone knows what I look like. It has been awhile since anyone looked upon my face without being reviled. I still don’t trust them, none of them. The amulet is real close, I can feel it calling me. Soon, I will be whole again! I inadvertantly told Fiona and now she has it in her head that i am nuts, who knows, maybe I am.

Finally made it to the island, what do ya know? MORE DROW! Wow, could this get any better? Yes it has! Our hostess (someone called Mah) who just happens to be a gnoll (the irony) has tried her best to make us feel welcomed. We have basically came when they were asleep (nocturnal) so it was to their benefit that we also rested. It seems thats each race (gnoll, dueguar, drow and human) all have their specific roles on the great island. Each to their own but they all work together. Kind of disturbing seeing drow taking orders from gnolls and dueguar actually having smiles on their faces.

We have rested and now we are treated to batka tea. It seems to have the same effect as opium into which you feel real relaxed and have a viscious hangover. I in the thrall of the tea as I didnt want to upset the locals and get myself in trouble treated them to a display of sword work. Again I shed my clothes (since my inhabitions where gone) and began. At first they thought I was crazy fighting a shadow, however they began to look at it as a dance. In some ways you could look at it as a dance, a dance of death. I am not sure but I think Yestin had sex with not 1 but 2 guys. I am not sure, dont want to know. This is because he has magic and being a matriarch society they consider him a ‘sister’. That is how Frost ended up in a dress, since he is the ‘leader’ of the group and he has stated as such (much to the suprise and dismay of the Mah) he is now wearing such clothes for only females can lead. My stint last night has people talking, they think I am part fish because I have scales and do not know what a dragon is. Oh well, they will sooner or later know what a dragon is. Ruben is going back and forth between the ship and were we are. Fiona is fitting pretty well and I can see by her face that she is on cloud 9. She is enamored with the whole idea of the female rule. I have found the amulet, much to my satisfaction and to my dismay. A gnoll by the name of Nafu (whom the Mah has chosen as our guide) is wearing it. No one knows (not even the Mah) what exactly the amulet does. They know it has some majik in it but not sure what it does. If they only knew…

We were treated to seeing the dueguar(again disturbing) and we traded a bit for some obsidian for some of our smaller weapons. Fiona went and sold her armor for a den. The Mah and everyone else seems to think that we are settling here and not leaving. Frost tries at every turn to convince them otherwise. This has failed at every turn, much to his displeasure. As for Fiona, she has no intentions of leaving. I will not leave until I have the amulet or die trying to get it. I will have to say that as far as the people here, they are not as bad as they could have been. They do eat their own but not as a dietary need. It is only during time of war and if they are fighting one and another. We have also ran into another snag, it seems the Mah has sent some drow to disassemble the ship, while we are in it! To alleviate this problem for the time being, I have devised a plan to get rid of a nemisis of the Mah’s and hope this will sedate her enough to call off her dogs.

Well, it worked well or as well as it could go. My first assessment of the group was a bit harsh. As for Ruben, he did well with projectile weapons. Fiona, though needs some help healing, she did good though. Nafu, she can not hit them as well but man, she can trip! Watch that weapon of hers, it is wicked! Yestin, well he is a good firestarter. We got our mission accomplished and talks are resuming on letting those that want to go, go. I got into it with Nafu after the fight, adrenaline rush, I do not know but I could not reject her. The amulet has changed somehow, I am sure the wild majik here has changed it.

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Nafu's Tail 001

Cooee! Babu, do I have a story to tell you.
The newcomers have not stopped being strange. Fiona’s care of them has proved quite inadequate and they’ve flown away from her. Quite the truth! They flew! And your Nafu flies with them.
Started as a great shindig. Took the strangers walking through Mji (except the elf named Iestyn. He wanted to count rocks) so they could find their new people. They seemed most interested in the Stoneworker’s Guild. Especially the weapons.
Vek’d and Fiona had a great quantity of grey metal that the dwarves were very interested in. Fiona had whole clothes made of it. And Vek’d had a sword made of it nearly as tall as he was.
Vek’d spent the morning cutting apart goats with the dwarves. Hefdame was glad enough to give me half a goat for bringing such rich customers.
There was bakga and spiced goat and Frost sent Reuben back to their ship to fetch more grey metal and other things. I sent Kivuli to get a cow from the Pele tribe.
Fiona traded her metal clothes for a den. One set of clothes for a whole den! Cooee! Not a small one either, guess her ancestor needs lots of space.
Reuben returned with a whole bag of things. Grey metal for the dwarves and a box that sings music. Feh. Piece of silly jek. The box can only sing three songs. And a fake bird that only sings one song. Dwarves like it well enough. But I can listen to all the birds I want and my didgeridoo plays more than three songs.
Reuben also brought back some kind of bakga from across the seas. Powerful good smoke, yeah. Frost called it opium. Goes well with the bakga tea.
Hefdame and Vek’d butchered more goats and the cow. Split the thing in three pieces!
Music, bakga, and blood-warm cow stolen from the Pele. A grand shindig indeed.
So Fiona has her den and the newcomers all seem happy with the Stoneworkers. Dawn comes and we go see the Maw so the newcomers can pick their new folks. They decide to live with the Pele. I gather four of the fishers from the Asavik clan to dismantle the floating ship.
The whole way the newcomers are talking to each other like this, “barbarbarbar.” Then they invite me up to their ship. Not one clawspan am I up there before I hear the hullabaloo. Vek’d is chasing the drow up the rope with his sword! And Frost is trying to cut them down.
Babu, we are flying! Cooee!
When I drag Frost away from the rope he smacks me in the snout and orders me to put him down. Like I – Taya ibn Khnum ibn Kitupa’jiwe Nafurahi – will take orders from a male elf who weighs less than my necklaces.
Such a ruction! Shouting and brawling. And the whole time we were floating higher.

Ingrattitude and treachery, and now we float out over the sea towards the islands. I fear we may soar past them. Boats that drift past the islands of the Tufani tribe do not very often return.

Still…….flying!

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Notes from the Iestyn 001
I'm on an adventure!

Day 1

  • I found Elfhame without getting lost!
  • I met a beard! It wasn’t soft at all. Very sad. Then it went away.
  • I followed to the beard to a really amazing inn. They have a moving closet. It goes up and down and up and down and up and down all on its own with buttons that you push that tell it where to go up or down.
  • The Frost is not a very happy person. But he values gold since it buys stuff in cities. He has a flying pillow. I sold some of mother’s scales at the mage school and the one of the alchemists in the college row and paid the Frost the gold. It was gladly enough that they’ll take me on the pillow to find lots of wonderful rocks and adventure and magic and CANNIBALS. Maybe we’ll all get eaten!

En Route

  • I don’t think Vek’d likes dragons at all, whatever Fiona says.
  • No one laughs at my impersonations of Vek’d.
  • Apparently petting Beards is rude. How Sad! They really should be more appreciated. I think I shall name the one I met, “Beardsley”. I don’t think he likes me very much either, as he always seems very nervous. I don’t eat gnomes.
  • You can see the stars wonderfully from the flying pillow. But the Frost doesn’t like me crawling on it or ‘getting into everything’
  • Sitting looking out the windows is getting a little boring.
  • Everyone is worried about running out of water and food soon. Might be time for cantrips.
  • Hey! Land!

Mboshu

  • There are gnolls EVERYWHERE. There’s even gnolls on gnolls. Nafu wears gnolls and she’s a gnoll.
  • Nafu is super soft!
  • Got a great start on a rock selection! All kinds of rocks I’ve not seen.
  • They call elves ancestors. Not all are wise, apparently, ha…I think they don’t think I’m very wise. Well…I’m young and learning yet. I probably know a lot more than they think though, just not human and elf learning.
  • They eat the best fish
  • They have super awesome tea here. I like it!
  • Nafu pierced my ears to make sure people know I’m a Sister, which is like a Mage or something. I’ll have to keep an eye on my junk. Don’t want to lose that without it being purposeful.
  • I got laid! It was AMAZING.
  • The darkies here have no idea who Lloth is. Keep going on about Anansi stories. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it I say.
  • No one has told me yet any cultural expectations of how to reciprocate or recognize kindness. I’ll keep trying to figure it out. Not sure exactly how anyone makes a living around here. Apparently ancestors go fishing. Barter system? Works for me….but what are mageSisters supposed to barter? Like….hey, want me to make your hair emerald ? GIMME FISH. Ha!
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