The Wayfarers had left Shallamas and are heading towards the Westwood, to seek out any clues about Judson’s origin. They had been on the road several days when they spied a group of travellers approaching them …
“Hello”, called Galadiir, striding forwards with his hand outstretched. The leader of the group looked puzzled. They were humanoid, but not human; they had Ursoid features, with elongated muzzles. They wore grey and brown clothing and walked in a digitigrade fashion. Galadiir mimicked shaking hands and the leader responded. Galadiir tried communicating again; they managed to share a few limited words. The Krai were “tourists” and were lost. They needed to get back to the Beanstalk; could they be directed? Unfortunately, none of the Wayfarers had ever heard of a Beanstalk, so they couldn’t help. Now the Krai leader had another request. They had been on the road for a long time and were very hungry. They would like to buy one of the Wayfarers in order to eat them.
“What!” Galadiir was stunned.
“We will pay a good price for them”, assured the leader.
The Wayfarers demanded to know what was going on. “They want to buy one of us, in order to eat that person.”
Judson offered to hunt some game for the Krai. Galadiir put this to them, but it was refused. The leader couldn’t really explain; he didn’t have the right words.
“It would not be “cultural”. Please consider our offer. The person would not suffer; we would tear them apart in a feeding frenzy. The rest of you may watch if you wish.” *
The Wayfarers still refused, so the Krai bid them farewell and left, heading east. Some hours later, as dusk was setting in, they made camp. There was the usual paranoia that the Krai were going to come and kill them in the night.
“I don’t think they will”, said Judson. “They appear to have a code of ethics, whatever it actually is.”
Over a campfire, they shared a few stories about their past exploits. When asked about Leema, Galadiir professed not to care.
“She used me and has moved on.” **
Sonny recalled the echo he had experienced in Shallamas about the strange laboratory, no sooner had he finished recounting this then a glowing web of energy flew out of the darkness and enveloped him. Two Varjellens flew into the clearing on glowing discs of light. Sonny felt himself fading into unconsciousness; the energy web was sapping his willpower. A Varjellen stood before him, a military emblem on its crest. ***
“Sonny Silver. I, Commander Voornis; are taking you back to Grailstone to stand trial for the murder of the Varjellen Couleen and its workers.”
It activated a device at its wrist and a disc of light formed under Sonny. The three of them rose up and flew off at speed to the south-east.
“Wait!” yelled Galadiir after them. “I have important information about this man’s crime.” Voornis circled round and came back to the clearing.
“What is this information?”
“I am this man’s lawyer and will represent him at his trial. You do understand our laws?”
“I have no orders concerning this.” Voornis activated its wrist device and an energy web enveloped Galadiir. A moment later a disc of light formed under him and the entire group vanished out of sight; heading south-east.
The following morning
Judson and Harrylock set off to follow the Varjellens. They knew they were heading for a place called Grailstone, they found that it lay in the Beyond east of the Pytharon Empire. They equipped themselves with supplies and, along with their Aneen, set off on the journey. ****
* The encounter with the Krai was completely off the cuff and developed brilliantly.
** Galadiir still does not know what a Nibovian Wife actually is.
*** Very interesting situation. Sonny did not put up a fight as his player (Joe) wanted to see what was going to happen to him.. This has been creeping in more and more; the players like to see the weird situations and think of innovative ways out of them.
**** This was a live test of the card-based Journey system that I’ve written. I’m going to post it separately.