Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy belated Christmas!

I have a game log from the 3rd that I need to put up here. I haven't finished it since on the 17th we played Roman's D&D Midnight game (I think we fought something or another two or three times). But, a Christmas-y legend from my own game world:

In the woods dwelled Otórno and Séler, brother and sister. One day, Séler went out to dig for groundwater. In her haste, she dug fast and sloppy, and broke the roots of an old tree. The roots turned into snakes, and came at Séler. She screamed and ran to her brother for help.

Otórno saw the snakes coming, and saw that there were too many of them. “The ground is cursed! If we slay them, more will come. We must flee.” And so the two siblings took to the road.

On the road, they spied three friends of theirs. One of them, Fíndo, came up to them and asked them to halt. The siblings did so, and greeted their friends with open arms. However, the three friends drew their blades, and tried to kill the siblings, but Otórno drew his sword and killed them.

That night, the two stayed in an old barn. Otórno, tired from his fight, went to sleep fast, but Séler stayed up. At midnight, a human came to the barn, bleeding from wounds. Séler had never met a human before, and she took him to the loft, away from her sleeping brother, and dressed his wounds. He called himself Allútto, and Séler was smitten with him.

The next day, Otórno went to hunt and his sister stayed behind, not telling her brother of the human in the loft. Séler and Allútto made love, but Séler said her brother would never think of a human being the lover of any elf maiden, much less his sister. So the two hatched a plan.

When Otórno came back, he saw that his sister was sick. “How can I heal you, o Séler?” he asked.

“O brother, my sickness is great. With the claw of the brown bear, the poison of the steppe spider, and the whisker of a tiger, I can brew a drought that will heal my woes.”

Although he knew getting these things would be plightful, Otórno set out that night to do that. He stalked a brown bear to her den, but the bear saw him first. Otórno said a prayer before he struck. “O bear, I do not wish to kill you, but I need your claw to save my sister from an illness.”

Instead of striking, the bear spoke. “O Otórno, there is no need to fear or harm! One of my claws was hurt when I was hunting for my cubs. Please, come to me and take out the hurtful claw, and you may keep it.” So the bear held forth her paw, and Otórno went to her, and pulled out the loose claw.

“Thank you for healing my woe, Otórno. If you should need my help, call for me.” And so the bear bade Otórno on his way.

Otórno then went to the edge of the woods to look for a steppe spider. There he saw the web of one, he snuck up to it. However, the spider felt the ground from his footsteps, and spoke. “O elf, why do you come to me with your hand raised to strike?”

Otórno stepped back, amazed, but said, “O spider, I do not wish to harm you, but my sister is ill, and she needs a drought made from your poison to heal her.”

The spider cackled a high tweet. “O elf, such as an odd thing to put in a draught! But grab an acorn and take off the top, and let me fill it with my venom for you.” And so the spider filled the acorn, and Otórno took the acorn. “Thank you for sparing my life! Feel free to ask for help at a later time, elf.” Otórno took his acorn, hollowed out the nut, and put both halves together for safekeeping.

Otórno then went northeast, to the great steppe. He saw a tiger, and this time, he walked up to her, slowly and with hands open before him. “O tiger, I seek a boon from you. My sister is ill, and needs one of your whiskers to brew the draught to save her life. Would you let me have one of your whiskers to save her?”

The tiger looked at him, and nodded. “There is a whisker on the right side of my mug that has an infection. Please pluck it to let the pock drain, and you may keep it for your sister.” Otórno nodded, and walked up to the tiger and plucked the ailing whisker. He stepped back, holding the whisker.

The tiger pushed her paw to a rock. “Go now, elf, and save your sister. I thank you for easing my hurt, and will gladly help you if you need it. Take this rock, and blow into it, for it is hollow. I shall come to your side to help you when I hear the call.”

Otórno raced back to the barn, only to find his sister and Allútto making love. The two grabbed the stunned elf. “How did you live, Otórno?” asked Séler. “Any one of those beasts should have killed you.” She and Allútto took away Otórno's sword, and bound him to an old chair with spider silk.

However, they left the rock on the ground. As the two lovers lifted the sword to kill Otórno, Otórno leaned over and the chair fell to the ground. He got his mouth to the rock and blew into it. The rock made a wretched din, shocking Séler and Allútto long enough for the tiger, the spider, and the bear to rush into the barn. The spider stung Allútto, the tiger mauled him to death, and the bear hit the back of the chair with her paw, breaking it. Allútto in death turned into a small, skinny doppelgänger, his true shape.

Otórno, now free, picked up his sword and went to his frightened sister. “O brother, I did not know! How can I show my love for you?”

Otórno pointed to a barrel in the corner and said, “Cry into this. When it is full, prick your finger and mix your blood into it. If you do so, I shall spare your life.” Séler leaned over the barrel and wept for hours. When the barrel was full, she pushed her finger onto the tip of Otórno's sword, and let her blood mix with the tears. With that, Otórno left, thinking his sister still loved him. But she did not, as she was upset that Otórno slew her lover, and swore she would get back at him.

Otórno, not knowing that his sister's ruefulness was a sham, set out on the road again. When he came to the edge of the woods, he heard the neigh of a reindeer from above. No sooner could he see what made the din than a sleigh came down and knocked him down.

When he awoke, an orange-haired elf maiden was wiping his brow. He saw he was in an odd house with other elves. The elf maiden, whose name was Háryē, told him that he could not leave, as Tyáliu, an evil wizard, had nabbed him. Tyáliu made odd gadgets with the magic of the elves, and every year on the first day of winter Tyáliu would take these gadgets, then come back without them. He rode a magic sleigh that nine smart reindeer pulled, with the one in the lead having a glowing red nose. Otórno blew his rock horn, but no beasts came, as he was too far away.

Otórno set to work making gadgets, and grew to love Háryē. After a few years, the two hatched a plan to flee Tyáliu. One night, when Tyáliu was asleep, the two stole his magic sleigh and one of the reindeer to pull it.

They set down in the lands of Háryē's father, who was an elf king, and the two wed. Séler heard of the king's new son-in-law, and put on a guise of an old woman. After the wedding, she gave the newlyweds a bone as a wedding gift, and said they should put it in their bed for good luck. When they did so and went to sleep, the bone pricked the skin of Otórno, and he died from the poison Séler had put on the bone.

Háryē wept, then thought of Otórno's rock horn. She blew it, and soon came the bear, the spider, and the tiger. The bear and the tiger licked Otórno's mug, and the spider wove a web to keep him warm. Otórno awoke, and harkened for the guards to get the old woman.

Once the old woman was there, Otórno pulled off her cloak and found that she was his sister, Séler. He drew his sword and ran his sister through, and snakes spilled out of her dead body.

Oh, and Tyáliu, the Christmas element. Elves say Tyáliu is a human wizard who enslaves elves. Fat, old, and bearded, he rides a sleigh that, when his team of nine reindeer pulls it, flies and can bear a seemingly limitless load. The reindeer have IQ 8, Flight, Enhanced Move 4; the lead one lets out Continual Light from his red nose. Tyáliu has an Altered Time Sense field that he can extend to his reindeer. He keeps his elf slaves in his workshop in the cold north where they make on odd gadgets, including small golems, with their elf magic throughout their waking hours. On each winter solstice, he piles all these gadgets into his sleigh and leaves, coming back the next day with no gadgets. No one knows where he goes, but tales say he brings the gadgets to small beings of another plane. Elf parents talk about Tyáliu to scare their children, and folks say that Tyáliu has nabbed any elf who has been away for many years.

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