Jornast wanted to talk to the Kolating shaman at the Orlanth complex in Kilwin, so they headed for the city. They decided to camp outside, though they had trouble finding a spot, and ended up giving gifts to a local farmer.
Una was examined at the Chalana temple. They predicted she'd have a girl, and recommended against Xiola Umbar as being coarse and violent.
Korun visited the Lawspeaking Lodge, and learned a little about trolls from Engorn the Head-Full, such as a drum beat to beware of.
Una spotted a man wearing a tall, red and white striped, cylindrical hat, being followed by a man dressed similarly but with a beret. The latter said he worked for Eleskorth of Noloswal, on the coast, and that his master, a busy man, knew about trolls. He agreed to receive them at the Seventeen-Point Moose Inn that evening after Una promised that Konall would play his bagpipes
Una also talked to a newtling, who didn't much like trolls but had traded fish with one for some gems. The newtling said that Kilwin was named after the newtling hero who built it, and that the blue-green dome currently underwater was their temple to Doskior and Pastoma, and would be exposed in Fire Season when the river was lower.
At the inn, Eleskorth's lackey didn't extend any hospitality. Nath entered a drinking contest and lost, possibly due to trickery. When the lackey was again rude, pointedly refusing to offer food or an apology, they decided not to see Eleskorth after all -- either he knew nothing of hospitality, or didn't respect them, and in either case, they wanted nothing of him. They returned to their camp in the dark with some difficulty.
After several days, Jornast learned a Multimissile spell, and they continued east. They stayed again with Denall Talvingi, who hadn't had any trouble with trollkin since they'd last visited.
As they entered Ajim lands, they were met by two chariots and five men on foot who asked, "Are you friends or foes of the Kolorain clan?" Although Korun tried to stay neutral, eventually insults were exchanged, and they attacked. Several of the Olkoring warriors threw javelins great distances. One knocked Harmast off his horse, but he got up and continued the charge on foot. Jornast used Multimissile on a javelin and killed a horse, then Befuddled the driver of the other chariot. Una and Konall took out its warrior, and Konall chased after the driver, who managed to knock him off his horse.
Nath fought from the chariot yoke until he had taken several wounds. Finally, only one of the Olkoring warriors was still standing. Korun asked him to surrender. He hesitated, then agreed. Korun then took off on his charger, caught up to the charioteer, and dispelled the Befuddle spell on him. He then persuaded him to join his kinsmen in surrender.
They took the arms and armor, as well as the three surviving horses, one chariot, and the wheels from the other one.
The Olkoring explained their feud with the Kolorain, who were also of the Ajim tribe, and denied that any Ajimi worshipped a troll god.
They ran across several standing stones arranged in a straight line, each covered with strange runes.
They arrived at the Mokevogi tula, and explained their mission to the thane, Dorn Hundred Hogs. He gave Una a cloak, and had them escorted to the Soothing Touch Grove. On the way, their guide pointed out Narent's Oak, sacred to Narent Mudman who blessed their pigs, and told about Bowbreaker, another local spirit.
The circle of trees contained a crudely carved but obviously female statue. Dailenn Curly Hair was the grove's tender. She denied any connection between the local spirit Soothing Touch and the troll goddess Xiola Umbar, although trolls sometimes visited the grove. She was unwilling to let outsiders participate in a Mokevogi ritual -- it was bad enough that an outsider, Madur Great Valor of the Jaskori clan, had just last Storm Season stolen the necklace which had hung on the statue.
At the feast that night, they learned that Madur Great Valor was a Storm Lord, and was from the Narit tribe, so it was difficult to obtain justice. He'd stolen the necklace because of a geas. The Mokevogi had twice sent warriors to get the necklace back, and failed.
Intamorl the Noble's sister Kimne (Konall's aunt) had married into the Mokevogi clan. Her granddaughter Ingkar introduced herself, and wanted to hear all about her distant kin. She offered to intercede with Dailenn Curly Hair, who eventually agreed to perform the childbirth ritual if they returned Soothing Touch's necklace. Jornast swore an oath to do so. Meanwhile, Konall hobnobbed with Akavran the Piper of the Lelvani clan, who was a guest at the stead.
The Ozobo clan demanded a toll of one cow to cross their lands. Harmast shamed them by pointing out how greedy this was, and they agreed to let the group pass. Konall then offered a contest. Nath won a chariot race, Korun defeated his opponent in a memory game, and Jornast won a javelin toss.
They were met by warriors in finely decorated chariots, who escorted them to Madur Great Valor's stead. Madur was busy giving craisech instruction and other duties of a Rune Lord.
At the feast that night. Una asked about the various items on the trophy wall. Madur was glad to explain about the leather hat that had once housed a sorcerer's familiar, the Telmori shaman's drum which still growled every Wildday, and the necklace he'd stolen from a darkness goddess so that he could join the Sandals of Darkness subcult.
They slept in the great hall, but decided not to steal the unguarded necklace while they were guests.
The next morning, Madur drove off on more cult business, and they debated their options. Many people in Madur's stead seemed to have the sniffles -- Madur himself had a persistent cough. Although Harmast and Una tried to play this up, everybody seemed to think it was just an unusually bad case of seasonal colds, though they had lasted quite a while. Jornast and Nath were both willing to fight Madur, but everyone finally decided to try another approach first.
When Madur Great Valor returned, Harmast eloquently explained why they needed the necklace. Madur magnanimously gave it to them.
They returned to the Mokevogi, and were feasted. Dailenn Curly Hair purified the necklace, then performed the Childbirth Ritual, which transferred the pains of childbirth to the father. Una and Nath were painted identically, covered with a blanket, and took each other's role in the ceremony.
On their way back, Jornast asked again to marry Aibell of the Red Hair, but her father put him off again. Una talked privately to Aibell, suggesting she try to influence her father, and impose a quest.
They traded the ringmail with Ekel Field-Destroyer for a better fit.
They decided to raid Naskorion. Just outside Wolnarhi lands, they were attacked by 3 wyverns. They killed two, and took their heads. Nath thought they were chaotic, so only Jornast was interested in the skins. He started skinning them, which enraged the third; it attacked again but was killed. They returned home so Minara's wounds could be tended. Jornast asked his father to make armor and boots, and Harmast asked for a scabbard.
They returned to Naskori lands. Jornast and Konall scouted ahead, and found 30 cows guarded by 4 men and 2 dogs. Everyone returned that night. One of the guards conjured up light, but the herders were killed easily. The dogs tried to keep the cattle at the camp, and were killed despite protests from Una and Konall, who felt the dogs may have been able to help them herd the cattle, with a little training
The cattle were difficult to move quickly (probably because they were used to being herded by dogs), and 11 horsemen caught up. Harmast set up a wedge formation, with Minara's chariot at the front. Although Minara took out one lancer, and her charioteer took down another's horse, she took a serious wound. Jornast killed one horse, and fought from his chariot despite being barely able to control it. They finally managed to kill all the soldiers. Minara's wound proved beyond their ability to heal, and she died. Una mourned her sister, and they hung all the heads on her chariot.
When they returned, Ekel Field-Destroyer gave everyone their pick of the Naskori chargers, and a silver bracelet.
Una gave birth to a healthy boy, much to Nath's relief.
Jornast asked Ekel for a driver, gifting the boy's family with a charger.
Part 2 | Part 4
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