Over Heaven's Cliff

Endings and beginnings (Act 2 - Chapter 1 - Downtime)

Downtime

Noora
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PLANS WHILE ON THE SHIP:

First day on the boat, Noora wakes up well after everyone else and has to rush through morning tasks as well as scurry to find supplies and tools while everyone is already fully immersed in their routines. She looks a bit embarrassed, but wastes no time getting to business after that.

Her first task is to meet with Eydis to flesh out their partnership (Bob, see secret Note 1). She will work with the horses as much as required throughout the trip, listen to Eydis’ plans and tell her what should be done to achieve them, but let her make the final decisions.

On the following days, those awake in the wee hours of the morning know she spends a lot of time getting ready and planning: making sure she is properly groomed and peacefully enjoying breakfast and tea on the deck before going down to work with the horses. She tries to clean up the cargo hold and establish it, with the help of a few deckhands, as a “I could not imagine this hold could be so pleasant” place. She also partially braids the horse tails with thin red rope to help identify them quickly once they disembark (Bob, See secret note 2).

Noora looks distant in the few days following their departure but losing sight of Gilead and the change in scenery (notably the snow) seems to have shaken away some, but not all of the melancholy. She distracts herself by spending time to get to know the folk that work on the boat through lighthearted chats, telling stories or playing games. She makes an effort to quickly learn the ship’s and Theolmarian culture and to practice her Theolmarian.

Noora’s stories: She waits for a few to gather over the evening meal and a break in Gustav’s music. She speaks to those gathered: “In my culture, we never drink in silence,” she smiles and continues “So I will tell you a story that I hope you prefer over quietude.” Over the weeks, she tells a few heroic and flamboyant themed stories of fabled gladiators and horse masters. Each features legendary characters (typically from Clans called the Red Star and the Thunder) that are recurring in most stories.

Playing games: She plays a few games of chance and is up for any and all physical challenges set upon her (as long as they remain polite). She makes sure she leaves a bit more earnings on the table from gambling than from whatever she wins at challenges though.

To Eydis and Freylyn Athelar:: “I want to know what to expect in Theolmar – tell me thing I should know to do/say and not to do/say. If I can I will follow you,” nods to Eydis, ”but I may need to stay somewhere else and catch up. What are good places to stay in Muir/Medias Res?”

To Gustav, whom she calls the Shadow Dancer of Asur:: it’s clear she adores your music. She’ll often give you what you can only qualify as the “you’re wasting talent when not playing music” look. She wants to know if you can make musical instruments: a horn for example. She is also curious how a man so brilliantly gifted in the arts plans to change the world?

To Jigme, whom she calls Master of the Eastern Wind:: unlike what I previously described, we’re not actually going to chase each other all around the ship. She’s most interested in your acrobatic abilities and fighting technique. She asks you if you think there are limits to your talents and what you think it would take to measure up to bigger / badder foes than what we just fought. She sets up scenarios and develops combined attack strategies with you .

To Ashan, (she hasn’t given you a nickname): in what must look to outsiders to be an odd scene, Noora asks you over tea what your impressions of rulership are and what you think the ideal societal model is. She wants to know more about your countries’ politics, its societal challenges, revolutions and where you will go once we reach Medias Res.

To Gustav and Jigme:: “I have some business with the horses on land, but would like to travel together afterwards. I think we can work well. And I think you are also worried about Surur… I would like to find wisdom on her condition. A thing that would likely require a variety of talents. I am afraid I cannot trust her until we do… So I’d like to find priests and learn of means to detect and banish demons and travel the land to warn them of this threat. I also want to find grand libraries on the way to further understand what rots this word’s underbelly. Is history repeating or it this a fresh new hell?” She also tells you of her plans to find out if anything is afflicting Surur while on the ship, emphasizing discretion in this matter and welcoming your input and help.

To Surur: Noora wants to know what her plans are in the next months and in the long run concerning Gilead. She also spends time learning what has been happening in the Capital City in recent years. Throughout, she pays close attention to Surur’s demeanor and past recollections. She also makes sure the woman, as busy as she is, isn’t always locked up in her room writing letters. She wants to gage her interactions and reactions to Gustav’s music, to see if she looks like she’s perhaps coming out of a funk (for lack of better words) when he plays. She tries to remind Surur of her roots and help her see the path that lay ahead.

To Freylyn Athelar: she wants to have a look at his maps.. If possible, she wants to commission a most comprehensive map of Triastria and also one of Theolmar. She asks if there is perhaps a skillset she could trade (lifting or climbing). Otherwise she’ll pay in gold.

_TRAINING:
to be completed_

PLANS AFTER LANDING IN THEOLMAR:

- Follow Eydis and help her set up her business.
- Find druids to assess Surur.
- Find druids and libraries to find: demon detection methods, demon banishing methods, clues on what’s been going on in the world.
- Find information on supernatural events in recent months.
- Get up to date on Theolmar’s gladiatorial tournament schedule and scout event locations.
- Find other Gileadi (specifically Northerners or priest) that fred to Theolmar.

Jigme
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Gustav
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Ashan
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Comments

Ashan Downtime
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Ashan confers with his retainers

Vishal carries Ashan’s dinner to him, places it on the wooden barrel they are using as a makeshift table, then returns to gather the other two dishes for Naranyan and himself. Ashan waits patiently for his retainers to sit with him before they eat together, in a display of basic human decency that would scandalize his wealthy family back home.

Ashan and Vishal each take tiny bites of whatever gruel or soup the ship’s cook has prepared, finding the meal lacking in spices and basic… taste? Naranyan, the more world weary soldier who’s had to suffer through entire campaigns where he ate nothing but combat rations and rice, seems to eat the dinner without a second thought.

Taking a break half-way through his bowl, Ashan clears his throat. “Vishal,” he begins as he wipes his mouth with his handkerchief, “I need you to tell me everything we, and whatever the Ministry of Foreign Trade’s records, know about Muir. We can’t prepare for every eventuality, but having a basic sense of where we’re going and who we need to talk to is going to be important.”

He turns to Naranyan, trying to catch him in between bites. “Naranyan, what do you know of the military capabilities of Muir?”

[To be continued…]
BobYounger sand_box2000

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