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The Saga of the Gwandorlings 22

Storm Season - Winter's Onset

 

"Don't you be sitting on your scaly behind!"

-Argrath to Bronwyn

Amidst great rejoicing and many boasts, the Companions returned to the Orgovalti tula with their plunder. At feast that night, Argrath gifted his warriors and the clansmen for their valor and deeds.

Orgovalt set extra scouts to scour the waterways and trails for any pursuit from Triof.

As summer left the land and Valind's[1] breath caressed the hills, the Companions left for their journey to Bullford in Heortland for the great conclave of rebel leaders.

Argrath took his friends to Old Wind on Mastakos' trail[2] where they were given hospitality by Utgard. They sat up long into the night with the Stormwalker, talking of this and that. It seemed that many in Old Wind were eager to see the Firebull move on; there was pressure on and by the council to hasten their departure. Some on the council had decided to back other claimants to Sartar's throne. Utgard related the doings of Fazzur in Boldhome, especially how he was soothing the clans. He also spake of the political pressure being applied to have Fazzur removed from office - it seemed many of the Dara Happans could not understand, nor accept, a Provincial ruling the province. Fazzur, it was said, had been cultivating his contacts at home in Tarsh. The Empire's campaign in Esrolia was going poorly for them. Their allies the Red Earth faction had been driven from the cities and their great temple razed to the ground. It was also told that Tatius had some great project underway that had something to do with the moon stone the Friends had captured. Finally Utgard related tales of border troubles to the north, the Pentans seemed to be raiding the Empire again.

The Companions left Old Wind in the mourn boun for Bullford. They fared south into Heortland staying off of the King's roads to avoid Lunar patrols. With Heortland in revolt there were no Imperials to be seen. The Friends passed many small bands of well armed men, small warbands, wandering mercenary companies and many groups headed for Bullford as well.

Bullford is found in the middle of Heortland. It is a bustling market town with high walls hemming it in. Strangely, Sartarite huscarls guarded the walls and gates. Their tatoos and tartans marked them as Keldon clansmen; Kallyr Starbrow's clan.

"Are ye here to raid us?" the gate guard asked. "No," Argrath replied. "Are ye friends then?" "Yea." They asked his name and when he answered they replied "Oh, another one. What clan?" Argrath claimed the Kodigvari clan as his own. When the guards didn't recognise the clan's name Gudny launched into a rousing telling of the Saga of the Kodigvari. When he was done a large crowd had gathered to hear the tale and loud applause rose from the listeners. The guards passed the Friends when they affirmed that they were there for the conclave.

The town was filled to brimming with people. Heavily armed Orlanthi wandered the streets, many priests and godis were seen and magic was heavy in the air. The people seemed calm yet tense at the same time. Even the clouds over the town were enervated. They seemed to be cruising through the sky patrolling the area over and around the town; small specks could be seen floating through the clouds.

All of the town's inns were full until Gudny jingled his money bag loudly enough to get a dormitory room cleared out for them and their horses stabled.

Bronwyn slipped into the crowds and passed unobtrusively through the streets seeking information on the region. He found a Donandari[3] dance troupe resting between performances and showed them a dance they had never seen before. Bronwyn had once led a EWF Hunting/Waltzing band[4] and knew their dances. He talked to the troupe of their travels and learned that they knew much of the lands hereabout and about the lands that the Friends were thinking of relocating the Firebull into. Bronwyn agreed to have dinner with the troupe after the Orlanthi Holy day ceremonies and talk more of their travels.

When the innkeeper heard that Gudny was a Sagamaster he asked him to tell his tales in the common room. Gudny agreed and kept the room enthralled until it was time to join the ceremony.

Outside the town walls was a high hill called Crowtop. The hill was sacred to Orlanth and to the local Crow spirits. Nearly five hundred orlanthi gathered on and around the hill for Orlanth's High Holy Day ceremonies. There were fifty leaders in the ceremony and they did well; with the support of the gathered crowd the entire hill, and the people on and around it, was lifted to the Primal Plane. It needs to be said that very few clans have the power to reach the Primal Plane and even some tribes cannot do it.

The sky grew stormy, yet brighter. Elmal shone brightly from the top of Kerofin, his light undiminished by the heavy clouds.

All of the orlanthi flew to Kerofin and entered into Orlanth's hall and they feasted with the King of the Gods and the other great gods. All of the great myths of Orlanth were played out before them, Orlanth slaying Yelm, the Lightbringer's Quest, Mountains toppled and raised again, and on and on.

As the Primal Plane faded and the participants returned to the material world, a great sense of peace and serenity pervaded them all.



[1] Valind is the god of ice and snow. His breath is a cold wind.
[2] Teleportation
[3] Donandar = God of entertainment. He is a brother of Drogarsi, the Battle Poet.
[4] Hunting/Waltzing band = The EWF sought converts and intelligence in their and other's realms with song and dance and commando troupes called Hunting and Waltzing bands.

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March 27, 2001

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