Story from Lyse!
Can’t think of a better title (but may change it if anyone has an idea). This is the first installment (2 sessions) of our new campaign, hard to write up because the PCs are nine and eleven. I also have non-fiction from the other player, but I’m keeping that for my own reference.
The inn is called “The Fishing Otter” here, but the sign is an otter with a fish in its mouth so Lyse’s mishearing is understandable and even plausible. I’m letting it stand.
Hi! I am Lyse. I am twelve years old! Well, nearly, at the Feast of Timoine already! And that is very soon, because it is almost the Feast of Anshen already!
My mum and dad are boatpeople, and so am I. When I was ten I left the temple school because the priestess didn’t teach me anything anymore. She thinks I am stupid because I am big and strong and not pretty at all. Well, she is stupid herself! Because she thinks that Imri is smart, just because Imri is small and pretty. And Imri is really stupid, she cannot do her sums, and I can, and the priestess always thinks it’s me who cannot do her sums, but I can, I do them all the time on the boat, and I can read the waybills, too.
So I joined my sister and her husband on their boat, they go between Veray and our town, that is Tilis, of course. It’s great! We go to Veray, and that takes three weeks, and then unload and load and go back to Tilis, and that takes only two weeks, of course, because we can go with the flow, and there are villages in between where we get or deliver our freight, too.
And the river is always different, and you get to know the river really well, all the same. And I get to pole the boat, which is tricky, but I’m good at it all the same, you do it with your legs, mostly. And sometimes we have horses, some horses are very nice, others are really bad, they have a temper! And I know many of the horses, too, and they know me, don’t say it isn’t so.
And we were going back to Tilis with a load of beautiful linen, for the hospital of Lenay, and we were in a hurry to get to Tilis before the Feast of Anshen, because we celebrate that, even though we’re not all in the Guild, of course, and I don’t know whether I’ll be in the Guild, but all the same, we are with Anshen! And Timoine, a bit, because I like to make music, even though I am not a child anymore.
And when we got back, we were hailed from the old, deserted inn half a day from Tilis, on the island where only old Arin-with-the-cows lives, and it was my brother!
My brother Ferin is really big and strong and ugly! And he is the best brother in the world, and he hailed us, so we went and moored the boat, he was fixing up the quay and the old inn!
And he has a wife now, she is Khas, but she is very nice, and she is going to have a baby really soon, his wife is called Tamsin. Ferin is mate on a sailing ship, and he has been everywhere, Solay, Iss-Peran, Velihas, the far East, and then he went and travelled to where the Khas live, and he has fought their king and has become Chief of a Khas tribe! And then he came back to us and now he and Tamsin are going to have the inn and a lot of babies.
We slept in his inn that night, well, I slept on the boat, but before we slept he told us all about his adventures, about meeting the Princess and the Baroness, and he has even met the Gods, Anshen, the Nameless, Timoine, Mizran and Naigha! All of them, but they are called differently in the country of the Khas, so they were not like they are with us.
And there is a girl and she came with him as well, and she is called Fikmet, she is nine years old and makes music and she is very strange, but she is my friend.
Then we had Midsummer, and my other brother was in love with a priestess of Mizran, and I told him how to tell her he was in love and he gave me and Fikmet earrings of real silver! And my father gave me a knife and I earned real money on the boat, and I got that too at Midsummer, and then we had the nightwatch at the fire and the great fair where you could buy everything, and I got new clothes, trousers, shirt and a really nice dress to wear for nice.
And then my sister could not go back to Veray because she was having a baby, and Rovin took me and Fikmet to Veray, but Fikmet wanted to see the King, and the King is in Turenay in the summer to visit the doctor because he lost his eye fighting the bandits in the frozen north!
So we went upstream again, and Fikmet and I can make music together, which is really strange because she is Khas and I am Valdyan, but I taught her how to make reed pipes.
In Nesh, we met Lathad, who is from Velihas so he has red hair, like the king, and he and Fikmet were talking about the Gods, and they said Anshen and the Nameless are the same God, but they are not, and Fikmet and Lathad are wrong! And Fikmet and Lathad like Anshen better than the Nameless, of course, otherwise they would not be my friends. And Timoine, too.
Veray is a big town! We first dropped off the casks with medicine at the hospital and then went to the inn where we always sleep, it is the Fish and Otter and I told Fikmet we were going to eat otter, but that was a joke, of course, otters are not nice to eat, because they eat fish. I am not nice to eat either, because all the time we are on the boat, we eat fish, too!
We were really early in Veray and the next day we would go to Turenay, Lathad, me and Fikmet and see the King, it is two days walking, and Rovin was not angry he said he could find someone else to help him bring the boat to Tal Serth, we had sand for the glass blowers and things to make colored glass.
I know Veray really well, I have been in Veray lots of times! So I took Lathad and Fikmet to see Veray, the painted windows in the Temple of Mizran, and the House of the Order and the weavery where they make linen you can look straight through!
The Temple of Mizran is really big, and all the windows are like paintings where the light goes through, they are blue and red and yellow and white and green. And the statue of Mizran is really big and made of silver!
Lathad tapped the statues with his knife to see whether it was hollow. It was hollow, and a priestess came up to us to see what we were doing, and we asked how much silver do you need to make the statue, but she did now know, so we went out.
And then people started fighting! All around us, and Lathad got tripped and when I helped him up he got hit on his head with a stick with a stone on it! And he bled a lot and Fikmet dragged him under a market stall and held a piece of linen against the wound while I bit the boy who had hit Lathad because I was really angry, and he had not expected how strong I was!
And then the City Watch and the Order came and they asked questions and the doctor came and he stiched up Lathad — and said that Fikmet had closed the wound with a seal, as if she was in the Guild of Anshen, but she is too young for that, but she says she isn’t, my brother Ferin has taught her semsin.
And then we came with the order to the Order House, where Lathad was put in bed, and we told the Captain, he is called Morin, but calls himself Maurin, what happened and he said that there are people in Veray who want the Guild of Anshen and the Guild of the Nameless to fight more even though they are not semte.
There was this boy, he is called Teran, he is a bit older than me, and he was with Ruyin who hit Lathad and Ruyin had tried to rape his sister, and the told that too, to the captain and he said he didn’t want to be with the Nameless anymore, but with us and he is going to go to Tal Serth with Rovin.
Then there was the whole afternoon left, and Fikmet and I and Rovin went to the Temple of Dayati, she is Timoine in Solay, Fikmet says. And we played on the temple square, and taught Fikmet to skip, but playing at knucklebones was too hard for her, and the rules in Veray are wrong anyway, they are better in Tilis, and we have a friend, she is called Selle, and her father is butcher, and he gave me my own set of knucklebones!
And then we went to sleep and tomorrow we will see how well Lathad is, and maybe the day after tomorrow we’ll go to Turenay on an ox-cart, poor Lathad, his head will be shaken like a rattle!