We had found an abandoned village that was mostly run down. I had had a scuffle with a wolverine, protecting Zeynep, where the belt of my armour was damaged. I repaired it as best as I could, while we were preparing our camp in the one building we found that was mostly intact, a church. The church had a basement, so I went with Khurdan to investigate. The basement was pitch black… I was terrified. What I saw was the the entire room beating like a heart. I quickly went up and got Ahriman on the case, cause in my mind that was some spiritual-demonic something. I played it down a bit for him, partly to not have Zeynep and Manduhai freakout. Manduhai is likely less of scaredy cat than me, though…. Did I say that outloud?! No. Good. As it turns out, spiritual was potentially the right word. It seems that this kind of natural occurrence is used by shamans as to easier… Enter the spirit world, or whatever it is that they do. Regardless, it made me feel much safer, and I was able to sleep.
The next day the plan was to reach the village, but when we got close we noticed a lot of activity surrounding the city. A big hyperborean entourage was camping outside the village. We also managed to spot what we thought might be a group of Khazari in the forest, as well as another, smaller, hyperborean camp. This seemed like a powder keg waiting to blow up in our faces, so when the discussion began on whether or not to seek out the Khazari I wholeheartedly agreed with it. Not only because they may need help, as Ahriman said, but also because it would give us valuable information about what is going on.
When we caught up to them, we found that they were traveling with a hyperborean captive. They had BOUGHT this person. My rage boiled, but I sheethed it. “I will not strike a Khazari brother without provocation.”, I repeated in my mind. If not for Ahriman’s presence… I just may have, I don’t know. I spoke to the hyperborean, she had been bargained for, after the Khazari gave the big entourage information regarding a white stag. She said something about monetary compensation… I honestly didn’t care, I was already in the mindset of freeing her. Although, there being money in the backdrop did make it easier to negotiate. I… May have done it again, my grim fatalism, as my father kept jokingly calling it, may have been a bit more intimidating than I had planned. Regardless, I tossed my sack of coins to them, as he started talking about amounts. How much was in it…? I forget… Clearly more than he wanted, given his reaction. Shit… Partly to cover up my thinking about the amounts in the bag, I went straight over to her and cut her loose.
We returned to the camp where the Khazari had stayed earlier. I could swear my father had told me something about hunting… Camps… Old camps… I don’t know. Khurdan seemed distracted, but we all trusted him. During my watch I woke up Khurdan. This wasn’t a good time… But out here, there is never a good time. Selfishly, I wanted to know about my cousin. At the same time, I often saw my elder sister speak to people who were hurting. There is a key way to speak to people who are hurting, I tried to emulate her as best as I could… I think it helped. By focusing on what she meant for him, and the way she opened his eyes… I think it helped.
The night was far from over, however, wolves came stalking. I heard my father’s voice echo in my mind: “When leaving an old camp you intend not to return to, don’t worry too much about cleaning the old food leftovers… As wild animals are attracted to them, so they may just got there, instead of to you.” Shit. We tossed out all of our food to them, then I tried to scare them off, I failed. They started circling, but we closed ranks, and gave them no opening. Eventually, they left. We did not resume sleeping, however.