Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

Chapter Four: The Manifest of the Harikan Squall

Jan 10, 2017 3:16 pm
The knots seem very deliberate in their placement and differences, but Vhezyen doesn't know how to interpret them. For Domarc, however, taking a closer look as Vhezyen examines it, there is no doubt: these are shiqq knots, and like many Mezians, he can read them quite easily.
Jan 10, 2017 4:04 pm
Zangua tip-toes to look over everyone's shoulder at what the fuss is all about. "Maybe there's something written inside," he says. "Just untie them, or use a blade." So simple.
Jan 10, 2017 4:10 pm
Ezeriah says:

You can only have one Light cantrip running at a time (it ends if you cast it again), and it only lasts for an hour. Continual Flame lasts until dispelled, which means you can also throw whatever object that you targeted with the spell in your backpack until it's needed again, concealing the light. It would prove useful in situations where spells can't be cast, or it's too windy to light up a torch. Also, cast it on the ends of torches, and Continual Flame looks/acts like part of the torch, natural flame, minus the heat and need for oxygen (helping avoid suspicion of magic if we encounter someone, rather than them seeing an unnaturally glowing object). Also, Continual Flame illuminates as well as Light..
Ah OK, that makes sense. I think that will need to wait until I've got more Prepared Spell space though.
Jan 10, 2017 4:14 pm
BullOctorok says:
For Domarc... there is no doubt: these are shiqq knots, and like many Mezians, he can read them quite easily.
Excellent. I really like the 'quite easily' part. Of course, we could just cut them open for the messages within :)
Last edited January 10, 2017 4:14 pm, a total of 1 time
Jan 10, 2017 5:15 pm
"If that's the case, then our efforts to be clandestine are in vain. Such magic would allow them not only to hear us, but to see as well, from any distance on this plane of existence."
Mordred shrugs and tries to make hand gestures communicating the universal sentiment of "Yeah, but what are you gonna do?"
Also, whatever info Vhezyen gets he can put on paper using the 'Illusory Script' ritual, making sure only those present can read the words, no matter who is watching.
That's a great idea.
Jan 10, 2017 6:06 pm
Venzo is somewhat taken aback by what he ultimately construes as a degree of paranoia on Mordred's part. "Really, if things are that bad, 'they' will see and hear everything, wherever we go. If that's the case, there's nothing I think that any of us can do about it, at least for the time being. I can be certain, however, that allowing such worries to keep us from working together effectively would be most detrimental to our success, perhaps even more so than what 'they' might learn." He paused. "If 'they' are even watching."

Venzo notes Domarc's recognition of the knot string. Never one to stand in the way of comprehension, he hands it carefully to him without delay.

Plot football handed off in every possible way now.

At this point, Domarc will have to decide how quiet things should be kept. Briefly Vhezyen imagined a sequence of trying to set up Domarc's relaying the message to Vhezyen, who then creates the Illusory Script for all to read, or Domarc's simply whispering the meaning one by one to all. However, this really seems unnecessary, and Vhezyen just isn't that worried about it.
Last edited January 10, 2017 6:08 pm, a total of 2 times
Jan 10, 2017 6:51 pm
"It is a knotty situation, to be sure," Domarc says, taking the string. "The Pointy Hat Gang always seems to be ahead of us. However, after last night, they may no longer care about us - they have obtained the crucial information they sought, and the person we were protecting is no longer in our this point, we are nothing more than a gang of mercenaries at the end of our string, without employer or purpose or any certain path."

As he speaks, his fingers work over the shiqq knots.
Jan 10, 2017 8:00 pm
Domarc runs the knots through his fingers. The strings could be read by sight, but it was easier if you went by feel as well.

Long ago in Mez, the story went, when Prince Jash was in exile, the jinn of the desert sent to his aid their servitors, a goblinoid race called the shiqq, who taught him, among other things, a secret language of knots that could be used to communicate with his rebel allies without drawing the attention of the Pharaoh Geset IV or his agents. In the current era the knots were more of a folk tradition than a serious method of cryptography, but Martjan had mentioned using them on occasion to pass discreet messages to Mezian suppliers and customers.

Domarc orients the string; usually a long unknotted tail indicated the end of a message, so he starts at the knot closest to its own end of the string, actually two simple knots almost but not quite touching. A numerical sequence. After that pair was a large double knot, which could indicate a building or a point of origin, which contextually generally meant one's own residence. Next was another pair of knots threaded together with a loop -- a tricky one, shiqq knots were easier read than made -- that meant that the thing previous was near or adjacent to the thing that followed -- and after that were three tied-off loops, right on top of each other: the knot for "water" in triplicate, meaning the largest proximate body of water.

Sequence of two, one's own residence, next to, the largest body of water around. Well, Bload was an island. What did the knots say, then?

Second home by the sea.
Jan 10, 2017 8:03 pm
Get shiqqy with it, Domarc.
Jan 10, 2017 8:11 pm
I'm about to step into another meeting, will be back to communicate what I now know - I want to do it proper
Jan 10, 2017 10:54 pm
Domarc looks up from the string to see everyone looking at him. He smiles and reaches for his lute.

"We are all tired and should seek our rest soon. But first let me play you a song; it is not an uplifting song, I am afraid, but one that perhaps suits this time and moment. It is about someone who found something they didn't expect, and then found themselves trapped by what they had found. It's by a Mezian bard named Toney Banx, who indulged his love of both song and instrument here. The song is in two parts; let us see if you can guess the name of both parts - though I will say that Toney was not very imaginative with names."

He begins to play in a pentatonic scale.

"Creeping up the blind side, shinning up the wall
stealing thru the dark of night
Climbing thru a window, stepping to the floor
checking to the left and the right
Picking up the pieces, putting them away
something doesn't feel quite right

Help me someone, let me out of here
then out of the dark was suddenly heard
welcome to the Home by the Sea

Coming out the woodwork, thru the open door
pushing from above and below
shadows but no substance, in the shape of men
round and down and sideways they go
adrift without direction, eyes that hold despair
then as one they sign and they moan

Help us someone, let us out of here
living here so long undisturbed
dreaming of the time we were free
so many years ago
before the time when we first heard
welcome to the Home by the Sea

Sit down Sit down
as we relive our lives in what we tell you

Images of sorrow, pictures of delight
things that go to make up a life
endless days of summer longer nights of gloom
waiting for the morning light
scenes of unimportance, pictures in a frame
things that go to make up a life

Help us someone, let us out of here
cos living here so long undisturbed
dreaming of the time we were free
so many years ago
before the time when we first heard
welcome to the Home by the Sea

Sit down Sit down
as we relive out lives in what we tell you
let us relive out lives in what we tell you..."

Domarc lets the music trail off. "Well," he says. "I won't make you sit through the *cough*second part, because the song does go on. But I hope it entertained and maybe illuminated..."
Jan 10, 2017 11:26 pm
Through the magic of song, Domarc successfully communicates to you all his translation of the shiqq knots.

Zangua pulls a fur around his shoulders as his leaden eyelids slip shut. A powerful chill seems to have come over him, which he attributes to his lack of sleep. How long has it even been? The crypts...the attack at the Trading Company...following Makis Meti around the city...Adan Tuell, turning that shrine into a house of horrors...and then the fire. He pulls the fur tighter and shivers as the images flicker through his mind.

The rest of you are exhausted as well, even Vhezyen, though of course not as bone-tired as the others. The "second home by the sea" calls nothing specific in mind for any of you, and it feels as though there is little to be done at this point but get some much-needed sleep and plot out your next course of action with clear heads.

Thus ends the party's first twenty-four hours in the city of Hazard.

This concludes Chapter Four of The Secret History of Bload. All player characters should advance their characters to the fifth experience level, if they haven't already done so.
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