Amas & Oras

Aeric Interacts with the Party. There is Also a Catfish. And Later, There Are Birds.

We set of for the wall. There are various forts stationed along the wall, as well as guard stations. Having been stationed at the wall previously, Sheila knows the area somewhat, and suggests a specific fort destination. We take a ferry down the river for the first leg of the journey. During the first few hours, Hayden gets increasingly restless, and eventually pulls Sheila aside to relate what he remembers about “Marcus” from his childhood (whether real or imagined), and describes his interactions with Marcus in the city. Unfortunately, Sheila has no proof of Aeric’s deception, and must figure out how much of Hayden’s story is true.

Meanwhile, Strelok is mainly oblivious to everything except Polena, who is paying a lot of attention to Aeric. Strelok sulks. Zephyr continues to study the note, and makes progress in her cypher, but can’t yet make sense of the message. She has been keeping Sheila updated with her progress.

After consideration, Sheila talks to Hayden and suggests that he try to remember more of his past (as he seems to have blocked out much of his childhood), and to make connections with those memories with his present knowledge, to determine how much of his memories are true and how much they may be skewed by a child’s perspective. Hayden says that finding Marcus and what little he has said about their past has called everything Hayden thought he knew into question. Sheila offers to set up a zone of truth so that the two men can discuss things, but Hayden insists that it didn’t work the last time; he cites Aeric’s statement of not staying up late gambling, combined with the wooden die Aeric gave him that had been used by Marcus. She suggests meditation, perhaps in the form of sword training. Hayden doesn’t understand this idea. Finally, Hayden translates what she is trying to tell him as “just don’t think about it”. Sheila doesn’t quite agree with this method, but if it works for him, for now… fine.

After several more hours, Sheila realizes she hasn’t seen Polena since they disembarked… which is odd. She finds her at the bow, deep in conversation with Aeric. Sheila greets them. Aeric returns the greeting: “Hail, Paladin!” Sheila tells him he doesn’t always have to be so formal, and he replies that he is only being polite; “you have worked hard to earn your status”. Aeric says they were discussing getting over fears of the unknown. Polena gushes about how brave the two of them are, and how she wants to be just like them. Sheila asks Polena for a few moment’s alone with Aeric to discuss plans, and Polena cheerfully goes to find Strelok. Sheila expresses a desire to know more about Aeric’s life and history. He says he came from humble origins, and left home at an early with big dreams of being an adventurer; it turned out not to be as glamorous as he’d thought, but it was a good life and he enjoyed it. Sheila asks what those “humble origins” were. Aeric says he is the son of a butcher, from {general area Hayden is from}. Sheila asks if he was familiar with a noble in that area by the name of Julian. Aeric thinks for a minute, and says it rings a bell. He says that he and his father traveled to many estates in their work. He vaguely remembers an estate that might have matched that name, but at age 12, the estate dissolved or something… he didn’t know the details. He himself didn’t interact with the nobles, except for the children, whom he would play with when he wasn’t helping his father. Sheila asks about his first adventures, and Aeric fondly relates his memories of his early adventuring. He seems to be completely genuine.

Polena finds Strelok drinking and fishing. She asks what he’s trying to catch; whatver bites, he responses. She asks if he is hungry, and offers to share her rations, but he says he’s just fishing to pass the time. “Oh… is this a man thing?” “…Yeah.”
Strelok: So. New guy.
Polena: Yeah.
Strelok: Yeah.
Polena: He’s so brave.
Strelok: I bet. (pause) Very handsome.
Polena: You think so?
Strelok: It’s hard not to think so.
(long pause)
Polena: …ok, well have fun!

Zephyr continues her work, occasionally going above deck to pace. When stuck, she talks with Pallas to help work things out… he doesn’t really contribute much, but it is helpful to bounce ideas off him, and he is patient and willing to listen.

The ferry ride lasts two days. On both mornings, when Sheila gets up to train, Aeric is already out to practice forms above deck. His footwork is excellent.

Hayden also practices his sword work during the trip. Aeric comes across him, and gives him pointers. Hayden is annoyed, but actually finds his advice is helpful. Which is especially annoying.

Strelok catches the biggest catfish he’s ever seen. It takes him and two sailors to pull it aboard. They suggest he throw it back, though, as they tend to taste horrible. He considers waiting to show it to Polena, but decides to just throw it back, as it isn’t injured. Aw.

Zephyr finishes the cypher for the message… and {insert info here later… something vague and flowerly, that refers to shop, not nec book.}

Our ferry ride is two days long. We are in Southern Vuresca (hills, farmland).

We dock and start of on the horses we brought with us. We travel west towards the fort. Southern Vuresca’s terrain is hilly and mostly farmland. It is around September, crisp but still bright and sunny during the day. The terrain is not difficult, and our travel easy. There are scattered farmhouses, and few actual towns. As we travel, Aeric continues interactions with the group: giving Hayden pointers, inspiring Polena, exchanging stories of past adventures with Sheila… he tries to talk to Strelok, notices he broods a lot, and eventually just leaves him alone. He asks Zephyr about the book, so she is actually willing (and in fact eager) to talk to him about it. He takes a great liking to Pallas, which pleases Zephyr (having recently been insulted by a certain merchant’s daughter and by Polena’s uncomfortable reaction to spending time with Pallas), although until she knows him better she doesn’t want him taking Pallas out alone. Stranger danger and all that.

Third day into land travel: we encounter a caravan also traveling towards the wall. We travel together for the added protection, although it slows our pace. Aeric notes that with the slower pace, there’ll be more time for him to give Hayden tips. Hooray! Hayden conceals his annoyance at this. It is a six-wagon caravan with a few smaller carts, as well as a caged cart containing a large flock of flightless birds. They are Ax-Beaks, which are mounts favored by soldiers at the wall for use in scouting missions, as they travel more easily through forested terrain than horses. Strelok has been looking for one of these, and there are several in the lot for sale. Strelok asks if they have any Terror Birds, a larger variation; they don’t, but they direct Strelok to where he can get one.



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