Selkana’s Saga #9: Welcome to the mountains, we’ve got fun and games, Part 2
Selkana’s Saga is a Chaosium blog series by Ellie and Scott Akers, following a long-format roleplaying campaign using the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha system.
As recounted in the previous instalment, Selkana and her friends have arrived in Boldhome, the wild and dangerous capital of Argrath...
It was a tatty little tavern, but overall Selkana had to admit that it was better than the flophouses they had passed lower in the valley. The floors were slightly sticky and it smelled of unwashed people and stale ale. At least – unlike the caravan – it had a real roof, a warm fire, and beds. Oh, praise the Goddesses, real beds! Well, make that bed.
This “Geo’s Inn” would have been a perfectly fine little place if it was not currently stuffed with washed out wolf pirates arguing at considerable volume with Praxian beast riders. It took all of Selkana’s negotiation, some coin, and some highly persuasive looks from Kitha to secure the one room they could beg off one of Argrath’s officers.
It was not a fitting base of operation from which to woo a prince. They needed better lodgings and quickly.
While Meplep had perhaps not been the greatest of asset on the caravan he was about to come into his element. The clever duck had been scribe to House Hulta, and had served an important role in managing trade with the North; being from Sartar originally himself. After reviewing his extensive knowledge of the Sartarite tribes, though by his own admission it was out of date, Meplep decreed that they should contact the Colymar. They were a powerful tribe, kin to Argrath Whitebull, and had had past dealings with Selkana’s house. Arranging hospitality with them would be an excellent first step. He made quick work of drafting letters of introduction to the Colymar, and several other tribes besides, then hired couriers to whisk them away to their proper destinations.
Arrangements in motion, they settled in for the night. The room was tiny and sparse, but had a door that locked, and it offered safety enough from the coarse company downstairs. They stayed up late into the night. There was little choice, what with the sounds of drunk antics leaking up through the floorboards. Eventually, as the alcohol took its hold on the rabble, the noise settled to a dull background hum. Selkana and Kitha crammed into the small single bed. Laak lay on his bedroll on the floor, with shadowcat Chex as his pillow, and Meplep sprawled himself over their collected luggage. They settled into a restless but welcome slumber.
Laak bolted awake. As quick as you can think he twisted around on to his feet in a low crouch. His breathing was hard and he was staring at the western wall like it had just bit him. That might not have been so bad if Chex had not been horribly startled by her master’s jolt. A startled shadowcat is little more than a small tornado of claws, fur, and fury. In the panic Kitha did draw her sword, her body draped protectively around Selkana, wide-eyed in panic and braced to eviscerate the threat.
After a jumbled, tense couple of moments, it became apparent that they were, in fact, quite safe. After some considerable confusion, a calming of heartbeats, and a rather nasty death glare by Chex (as only cats can truly master) Laak shakily admitted that he had been driven awake by a dreadful nightmare.
Laak told them of his terrifying visions of dragons who came undone before his eyes. Their flesh had shredded like pulled meat, their bones and viscera dissolving into seamless pulp, only to be reformed into new dragons. Hundreds of dragons, shredded and reformed, over and over. Each of them screaming but unable to be heard. As he said this, he stared west, in the direction of the great mountain Kero Fin. He explained that he has dreamed of dragons his whole life, just as his father and his grandmother had dreamed of dragons too. They had stopped when he had fled famine and Sartar during the Windstop. He was plainly distressed by their return.
Now wide awake, the party made groggy preparations for the day ahead. Meplep and Laak would make rounds to the houses they sent letters to, looking for responses. Selkana and Kitha were bound for temple so that they might connect with the local leaders of their respective cults...
- Laak by Kalin Kadiev
- Orlanth and the Dragon by Michelle Lockamy