Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

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Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Wed May 20, 2015 5:19 pm

Lizards had never been friends of goblins, but in dire circumstances a respectable foe was better than a fanatical rival.  In other words, Sotekans of the Old Gods could be negotiated with in ways that Sotekans of Citalmin could not.

So it was that Priest Janaf Tarabayi wandered into the woods in search of the Followers of the Old Gods, those whom Saint Nakbaj had seen and spared in the New World because of their hatred for Citalmin.  If some yet survived, they could be of help to the disciples in finding and destroying the last of the Monster-Emperor's faithful.  The Priest had been carefully chosen, a man from a non-militant order associated more with fair negotiation than the anti-lizard raids of others such as the Kizilsafi.

The only question was, would he find them?

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Sat May 23, 2015 5:00 pm

Priest Tarabayi did not find signs of the faithful until it was too late. Forms appeared out of the trees behind and to his sides. A lizard he had not seen stepped forward before he could react and seized the reigns from him. The next thing he knew someone had shoved a bag over his head and all went black.

(Priest Janaf Tarabayi DISAPPEARS)

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Sun May 24, 2015 2:30 pm

Priest Janaf Tarabyi was officially presumed dead twenty-four days after his last departure. It was unknown whether his life had been taken by a Tikalan patrol, bandits, wild animals, or the very lizardfolk he had been sent to negotiate with. No matter the case, the Council of Orders did not hesitate to send a second ambassador. The mission was too important to simply abandon, even after the death of a beloved clergyman.

The next dignitary of the High Goblins would not risk her life in the name of peaceful intentions. She was armed, armored, and guarded by a complement of ten mounted warriors. Bariye Warghunter was not of the Disciples' clergy, but she was well-respected in the Hayani Order. A veteran commander of the Hayani militia, she knew how to watch her back and fend for herself almost as well as the city professionals.

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Mon May 25, 2015 9:28 pm

The warrior marched for days into the dense forests where, rumor would have it, the lizardfolk lived in hiding. The area was dark, hot, and dense, with only a vague rut to suggest a road.

Abruptly they came around a bend to find a single lizardman standing in their way. Clothed in rough leather and carrying a pointed spear, he spoke in broken, twisted and barely intelligible goblin. "Tresspassers. You are not welcome here. Go now."

Diligent as Tarabyi's guards were, they were able to nudge her and point out the danger the party way in. The shadows of hiding lizardfolk could be seen behind trees, and small stands were obscured in the trees above. A few thin cords wrapped between the trees, probably intended to trip up anyone who tried to leave the road. If things went hostile it would be a tough fight.

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Mon May 25, 2015 9:38 pm

Warghunter was clearly disturbed, lips tightening and eyes shifting from point to point in the forestline, but she at least had the composure to try and see her mission through.

"We come in peace. I am here as an envoy of the Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall, to have words with your leader or a representative of authority. By the laws of noble conduct, known to both goblins and lizardfolk from time immemorial, my party and I are due the rights and protections of heralds. Even the bitterest of enemies are bound by these common laws; will you respect them?"

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Mon May 25, 2015 9:43 pm

"Your time will come." The lizardfolk pointed his spear tip at them. "First heretics, then traitors. You betrayed Pacal, brought his bad grandson to throne. Now heretics too. Same gods, same way. Leave now."

It was not the most elegant of speeches, perhaps, but the warrior clearly had only a rudimentary understanding of the goblin language. Given his capabilities it was shocking he was as eloquent as he was - by the looks of him he was a young warrior, likely with little education. But he was the one with the spear, and the situation did not require him to speak finely - he made his point quite well without.

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Mon May 25, 2015 9:55 pm

"That blood-debt, if there ever was one, was repayed," the recently-named ambassador insisted. She was getting scared here, but she was going to give it a try at least one more time before giving up. "Queen Taraba died at the hands of lizardfolk, and the entire Piketooth family after her." In Warghunter's own opinion, like that of most high goblins, the scales were actually decidedly in favor of repaying the goblins, but she wasn't going to make that case here or now.

"Our rights as heralds stand. Will it be known by gods and mortals that the Sotekan Faithful murdered not one but twelve envoys? Even the bloodthirsty followers of Citalmin have never violated this law." Brave words for a goblin surrounded by an ambush-in-waiting, but her visage was much less so. How exactly she was able to overcome the trembling in her bones, even Bariyye Warghunter herself did not know.

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Mon May 25, 2015 10:00 pm

Clearly her words had some effect, for he did not simply call on the others to attack. He stood firmly and their way, but apparently was not willing to be the first to strike. Nonetheless, his words and posture were unwelcoming.

"False words. Armed soldiers." The lizardman pointed out. "Heretics like the others. Goblins worship no gods; they do mortal-worship like Uaxmal. Your time will come. Gods will reckon. Leave now."

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Mon May 25, 2015 10:12 pm

Something she had said had hit home with the lizard...or else they were just toying with her and her party. Since the second option meant there was little hope of even surviving the day, Bariyye decided to go with the first.

She promptly let go of her spear and allowed the weapon and its attached green flag to hit the ground. Then, slowly, she unbuckled her sheathed sword (careful not to touch the hilt) and let the whole piece drop. Then she unbuckled her shield and dropped it as well.

"Promise us safe passage in and out of your territory on the heads of you and your family, and the rest of my comrades will do the same as I." The veteran commander hated losing her trusty arms of war, but this was the only way. She might end up like Priest Janaf, but she could hope at least that one of her swift riders could make it home to report what had happened.

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Tue May 26, 2015 3:01 pm

The Lizardman narrowed his eyes, clearly contemplating stabbing the annoying goblin and being done with it. There were several tense moments of silence before he spoke.

"You come alone. No guards, no weapons. We cover eyes, take you to speak with Ueman, then we take you back to edge of the forest. No tricks."

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Tue May 26, 2015 3:08 pm

"Don't do it," whispered one of the commander's guards. "You've done what you can, you don't need to be a martyr for this."

Warghunter was silent, frozen in a conundrum. Trusting lizards went against everything she'd been taught about them, but on the other hand her appeals to honor seemed to be getting through to this one. If they were going to kill or capture her, they probably would have done it already. And if she was honest with herself, she could understand why the warrior would be so cautious. For every bad memory of a raid Bariyye had, there was one for the lizards no doubt.

"Very well," she sighed, still trembling (though it was hardly visible beneath her armor). "I accept your terms."

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Tue May 26, 2015 4:31 pm

Warghunter was blindfolded and led away from the rest of the group on a winding path, while several lizardfolk escorted her guards out of the forest. It was clear that they were taking a circuitous route in order to make sure she could not remember the path to wherever they were taking her.

The "Wherever" turned out to be a modest village in the forest. The trees were thick and between them were many wooden huts and leather tents. Aside from a single, larger house that was probably the Elder or mayor's abode, most of the buildings only had a single room. Here in the village square she was given water to drink, food to eat, and a stool to sit on. The guards still watched her closely, but she was not treated badly.

Eventually she received the audience she had asked for. Ueman was a large lizardfolk, and old. He had many scars and was dressed in a traditional priest's garb. At his side were several officials from the old Sotek empire who had deserted or fled the new regime, along with many guards.

"You are quite eager to be here." Ueman spoke in a deep voice. "Despite knowing that you are unwelcome. Say what you have to say then, and do not waste my time."

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by AspenIvan on Tue May 26, 2015 5:14 pm

The goblin cleared her throat and began, a little apprehensively at first but then with more confidence,

"Your highness, Lord Ueman." Bariyye Warghunter was on her knees, and she stayed there. "We killed Pacal, you killed Taraba. We raided your shores under the Kizilsafi Flag, you raided back under that of the Saltwater Fleet. We blockaded your docklands, you decimated our fleet with fireships. For ages upon ages we have fought, and there has been no lasting victory for either side. Only pain.

"Grandmaster Olga Nakbaji believes that for a new world, we should seek new clarity. We both know the true threat, the one that could end both of our peoples for good, is Citalmin. So she, with the backing of the Council of Orders, proposes a truce and a narrow mutual defense pact against Citalmin's Faithful. We need not be friends, but at the very least we can be honorable rivals, willing to put aside our feud when something far greater is at stake.

"Also, if you would have it, the Grandmaster proposes that we open our docks to trade between our peoples. If not to better our relations, at least to give our merchants the satisfaction of new markets.

"What say you, honorable Lord Ueman?"

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Re: Disciples / Tothitch's Faithful

Post by Admin on Tue May 26, 2015 5:52 pm

Ueman frowned, but did not speak. He Thought. His presence as a leader was obvious, for even when he simply looked and considered he carried with him an aura that demanded respect and consideration. No wonder others followed him into exile.

"Perhaps what you say is true," He admitted, "but your people have still fallen away from the gods as well. You worship mortals - these 'saints' - just as the heretics worship the false emperor Citlalmin. We cannot tolerate one blasphemy while condemning the other. I'm sorry, but that wo-"

A crossbow bolt entrenched itself in Ueman's throat.

A goblin lept out of the trees, firing off another crossbow bolt that went wide. "DEATH TO ALL LIZARDS! FOR THE GLORY OF TARABA!" he screamed, fleeing into the forest as javelins flew after him. Cries of anger and despair filled the air. Villagers wailed, guards ran to catch the fleeing goblin, Ueman's companions desperately tried to stop the bleeding.

Strong hands seized Warghunter. No one knew what was going on, but she clearly would not be returning home as planned.

----
Bariyye Warghunter is imprisoned, interrogated and tortured for information regarding her involvement in Ueman's assassination.

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