The Journal of Stickseed

One day she will be a mighty adventurer!

Adventurers After Dark [2 Oix 4260]
Dinah certainly picked a very poor time to run off to a wild new branch! It is true that I want to be an Adventurer, and that being an Adventurer means Adventuring, but Surprise is a month where I think I would have preferred to stay indoors and box spells for Minnowchaser. The best we can do is travel when the sun's gone out, so at least it doesn't add to the heat. Escaanahauvis, of course, has no issue with the weather, and I suspect the heat bothers the Sleeth less than some of us, as well (after all, who hasn't seen a Sleeth laze away all day in the sun given half an excuse?), but for the rest of us, Herethroy and Rassimel and Orren and Gormoror, the weather is a nuisance.

A very predictable sort of unpredictable nuisance, in Surprise, now that it's started.

Of course, the party Dinah has found for us is a very unpredictable sort of unpredictable! It is curious enough, to see a Rassimel with bright fur and stripes like a krango, but to have the Rassimel, shortly after setting out, be a krango!!! This is not what I signed up for; how am I supposed to tell the monsters from the Primes if the Primes turn into monsters around me? Maybe I took care to keep a little extra distance from him after that — monsters are not to be trusted and I don't know, now, whether Chrysomerax is a Rassimel or a monster, anymore.

Some ways out Tantamerakis found a vine of hyprie; a good treasure for us (which is about all I knew about it from my time in the City Guard), and I'm quite content with the fruit being in his pack. I am not so sure what to think about the Sleeth-who-calls-himself-a-healer wanting one of the fruits for himself, for when we must fight the river-gunch. It's not because I would rather have the amber from selling that fruit, I am not greedy, but something has to be wrong when a Sleeth wants to eat fruit.

I asked Dinah, and she, of course, knew hyprie better than I.

I swear Chrysomerax must be out of both his krango-heads, to think it a good idea to give the Sleeth something that makes decent sensible Primes all but Wild Rush. Now I know for certain he's going to run off at the first sign of trouble.


[OOC] Character Sheet
As we're more or less at the point where Stickseed's "real" story starts, here's the character sheet that was done up long ago when this journal was started (for this to be the starting point).

Stickseed, Herethroy both-female (identifies/presents as female)
Strength: +5; Stamina: +2; Dexterity: +2; Agility: +1; Perception: -1;
Faith: 0; Memory: -1; Wits: +2; Will: 0; Charisma: -2

Disadvantages: Medium curse (-6)(1); Cley overlap (-2); Herethroy Both-Female (-1); History (-1)(2); Herethroy Gender Stereotype, Female (0)
Advantages: Fast learner (+8); Guard warrior experience (+3); Metal weapon x2 (+2)(3); Cantrip scribe (+1); Ambidextrous (+1)
1: We all know what this is, of course. Stickseed can only cast Mentador spells, other spells suffer a Surprisingly Complicated Spell-like effect adding Mentador as an art when they work at all.
2: Minor obsession with becoming an Adventurer, and a tendency to hero-worship any Gormoror she crosses paths with
3: Three-handed metal sword

Skills and spells...Collapse )

Maybe once I confirm that it was, in fact, done, Dinah's sheet may also be posted to xanadinah.

Party [26 Chirreb 4260]
This afternoon, we met the rest of the party for the first time, to start planning for our first Adventure together. Tantamerakis found a lead, which makes sense. Gormoror have a nose for heroic deeds and Adventures like Cani have a nose for everything else. I'm excited to get to Adventure alongside a Gormoror, even if it means I have to be even more careful with exactly what the others find out about my past experiences. He would probably not like discovering I am a wicked Mentador mage.

Most of the party seems competent, and if we're supposed to be a long-term party I guess that some choices don't seem that strange, but in the light of the fact that there's a river-gunch that needs to be evicted from a pond upstream, I'm not sure what to think. If Tantamerakis thinks we're a good party, I want to trust him, because there's no better Adventurers than Gormoror, but who brings a Zi Ri fire mage to hunt a river-gunch?

I do wish Dinah had asked better questions when she talked to him, though.

Coming to a new city, on a new branch, was supposed to be a new start. The kind of new start where only one other person knew... certain uncomfortable and unfortunate truths about me. How does Dinah expect this to stay the case when she tries to make me Adventure with a Sleeth? At least Cani care enough about social graces to take a hint. A Sleeth will betray a secret on a whim, and stab you in the back to watch you writhe for amusement!

This is horribly, doomfully, absolutely terrible!

So Escaanahauvis was trying not to hiss from the rafters as Tantamerakis explained what we needed to do with the gunch, and I was trying to make sure I stayed at a safe distance away from the Sleeth's nose. Even if I don't trust him, this is still potentially the best Adventuring party I'll ever have the opportunity to work with, and I can't have him ruin everything before it starts!

Sleeth and Cani. They ruin everything.

Fellow Hopefuls [24 Chirreb 4260]
It was nice to have my feet back on a solid branch again. Being shut in a tiny cabin with a Rassimel who doesn't quite understand how to keep her hands to herself gets old pretty quickly. The Gormoror helped, of course, but I'm not one and it would draw too much attention to be listening to their stories all the time. Drawing attention doesn't tend to work out for me — just look at how badly things went when I confronted Bloodthistle.

So I enjoyed having solid wood under my feet again, and let Dinah take care of trying to find us a party that could still use a healer and a swordswoman. Dinah's been good about making connections and talking to people before, almost as good as Brightly Virtuous (though they mostly moved in different circles), and this time she surpassed my expectations. She took me to meet the man she'd talked to, and it turned out to be one of the Gormoror from the skyship! Had she kissed me right then I might not have minded so much. I'd never thought I'd get to adventure with a Gormoror!

He told us his name is Tantamerakis, and he's part of a party that mostly met on the skyship, and who could use a few more bodies. Their healer (though apparently they wanted a second one?) has already been sent off on a mission alone, dealing with some of the local monsters — I half expect he's Gormoror, too, because who else would go into a monster village on their own? — and will be back in a day or two. Tantamerakis himself is a tree-mage, and he says the rest of them are capable enough. A Gormoror should be a good enough judge!

I have a good feeling about this group.

Though if we're going to split any treasure we find, I'm going to insist I, Dinah, or Tantamerakis holds it. I'm not going to have another Bloodthistle.

Gormoror and Grabby Hands [Lage 4260]
The skyship isn't all bad. I saw some Gormoror board with us, and if Gormoror are going it must be a proper Adventuring place, Ruskeia. Maybe Dinah was right, and it will be the best chance I'll really have to get the Graces that'll be needed to untangle my magerium. The curse isn't quite as big a hindrance now as it was — except when I add Mentador to a spell and it fails for no reason — but that's really a more bad thing than good. No decent person in their right mind wants to be good at Mentador.

I try to stay away from the other passengers; close quarters would make things very uncomfortable if certain things got out. And, of course, the risk of those things getting discovered by chance isn't exactly reduced by everyone being so close. Now and then I've found the band of Gormoror also on the ship, tried to listen to their stories without drawing much attention. It reminds me of when I was young, and while they're not the same Gormoror warrior I listened to then, they talk about their deeds the same way.

Maybe, if they ask me before the skyship lets us all off in Ruskeia, I'll tell them about the rongon or the cyarr. I know better than to tell Gormoror I'm a wicked Mentador mage. I know better than to tell anyone that, but especially Gormoror. They're good people, Gormoror, and I don't want to upset them.

I share a cabin with Dinah. She's out and about more than I am, socializing. I can't make sense of her; she has a perfectly good, acceptable Rassimel fiancé and she's running away from him. She tried to woo Brightly Virtuous, a perfectly crazy Orren. And while I recognize it as a mostly-necessary evil to give her my leftover cley to bind into spells at the end of the day, I do not like the way her hands have wandered as she's accepted them, however.

We had a bit of a shouting match about it, but unfortunately, she's paying my way, and she's the one with the more desirable skills. I'm dependent on her.

The wicked Mentador mage and the perverted Healer. What a pair we are.

Heartbreak Trifecta [Lage 4260]
Bloodthistle didn't just succeed in stealing the cyarr's treasure from us, and stealing our just reward for the job, she also managed to quite thoroughly ensure that my life came apart at the seams. I can still copy spells for Fishbane, and most of the people who worked with me in the City Guard are at least not discourteous to me, even if things are a bit more strained than they used to be. It's a shame, but maybe Dinah was right; what should I expect?

It means, in the end, that I feel like an outsider in my own city. And far as I had been able to tell, neither Brightly Virtuous nor Dinah were at all interested in continuing to associate with me — not that I blame them. I've never had many friends, but I guess I had grown used to the few I had, because I miss their company now.

So of course I was surprised when Dinah knocked on my door and asked me how quickly I could pack my things.

"Why?" I asked her.

"There's a skyship heading for a new settlement on Ruskeia, looking for Adventurers. There's four parents, two of which are mine, breathing down my neck to get married. I don't want to get married, and Adventuring hasn't been so bad."

"Aside from the cursed staff, and the broken bones, and the backstabbing Herethroy who ruined the last shreds of reputation I had?" I was not in a very good mood. Losing practically all the best things going on in my life in one stroke does that.

"We'll get you fixed up," she said, and patted my back. "Get packing. My parents will be paying our fare. I imagine coming across Graces will be easier with fewer people around to claim them, too, so this might even speed things up. Nobody will know you, there, so you can go back to pretending..."

I gave her a look and she wisely shut her mouth. Some things shouldn't be said.

"Anyway. How soon do you think you can be packed?"

"I didn't say I was going."

"Stickseed, you have to come. This is your chance! Do you want to sell boxed cantrips for the rest of your life?"

Since she was right, I let her help me pack. But I'm still not entirely sure I like it.

Heartbreak Redux [27 Thory 4260]
Today is not a good day.

We are nearing the end of our spellbinding class, but not so close as to be finished yet. Not by some margin. I am not going to finish, no matter what Professor Eliane says to try to convince me. I'm not certain she will try very hard, though. Not because she has a problem with me, personally, I don't think. (But I am not Cani so I can't cast Kennoc Mentador without Kennoc, Mentador or cley.) But if two Cani, a Herethroy, and a small crowd of Orren and Rassimel object to my presence, me bowing out is probably going to be the most expedient way to handle the situation.

It's all Bloodthistle's fault, of course.

SomeCani heard what she said when I confronted her, and what one Cani knows all Cani know. Which, of course, means that my Cani classmates, who already required hard looks from Professor Eliane to keep them from sniggering too hard, know. And either being in the same class isn't enough to make them stupidly loyal, or they're more stupidly loyal to Sunspeckle not that I blame them, or who knows what. It doesn't matter, because they did tell Sunspeckle, despite the fact that telling zir would in all likelihood make it practically impossible for us to have any sort of civil interactions (it did).

So Sunspeckle was furious with me for misleading zir (as though anything afflicting me in any way could taint zir!), and practically everyone else was at best seriously uncomfortable about the wicked Mentador mage thing, and I didn't really have much choice but to take my things and slip out as discreetly as possible (not very) before things got even worse. I may go back to talk to Professor Eliane, but I'm not going back to the class again. It's not fair of me to ruin Sunspeckle's everyone else's study environment just to get what I want, is it? Just because zie they don't want to treat me decently (not that I expected them to) doesn't mean I should.

The worst part is... I think zie did like me. A little. Until zie found out.

I tried to find Brightly Virtuous; getting drunk with a friend is pretty good way of dealing with rejection. Not that I had gotten my hopes up. One day I will find someone, but I'm just not meant to be happy, and there's no use trying to delude myself. I think Brightly Virtuous was still angry with me, though, because I couldn't seem to get even a hint about where she might be.

Well, Dinah came to me when Brightly Virtuous quite sensibly rejected her, and I listened and made sympathetic noises in what I think were roughly the right places, so I went to her, instead.

She asked me what I'd really expected and shut the door.

Public Disturbance [25 Thory 4260]
After Dinah finally woke up and left, I had a short nap, and then headed out to try to find Brightly Virtuous. She's been my friend for quite some time and I don't want to stay on her bad side if I can help it, especially not if the reason I'm on her bad side is something that wasn't my fault at all in the first place. Of course, as always, Brightly Virtuous was beyond difficult to locate — typically when you want to talk to her you wait for her to find you for a very good reason. But since she left my room rather angry, she might not come find me in the foreseeable future, so I didn't have much choice in the matter (or so it seemed).

I didn't end up finding Brightly Virtuous.

I did, however, run into another familiar face.

If I'd been thinking clearly — a state of mind that doubtlessly would have been aided by not having been kept awake all night by a heartbroken Rassimel, for instance — I should have gone to find Dinah, or Aenak, or even Troft (though I have no idea where he lives and I don't know him very well either and I doubt his entire family are nose-deaf so it's a terrible idea), before making my presence known. Some day I might act as rationally as that, but alas, that day was not today!

So I stepped right up to Bloodthistle, called her a thief and a liar and another seven and twelve much-deserved insults, and demanded that she part with our shares of our earnings right then. Her antennae twitched and quivered in anger, but her voice was cold and collected, as she replied: "I have no idea what you're talking about."

I took a step closer, stood taller, and looked down on her, furious. "You near-killed Chopscotch, your adventuring partner of some years, and you stole my Grace along with the rest of our earnings." That first might or might not have been an exaggeration — I have no idea how badly injured Chopscotch actually was.

"You must have mistaken me for someone else," she said, quite snootily, and deliberately raised her voice. "I don't adventure with both-females. Now run along."

I should not have hit her. I definitely should not have hit her hard enough to crack her carapace. So of course I got arrested, and Bloodthistle walked away, warned that we were on to her. As though that wasn't enough, the moment they apprehended me, Bloodthistle was all the concerned citizen, warning the city guards (some of whom were new since I was one) that I was a dangerous Mentador mage.

Of course my old colleagues wouldn't believe that, but everyone around us still heard it, and by the time that part got straightened out and I was released, I was very sternly warned not to go anywhere near Bloodthistle again. I left a message with Sam for Dinah (I may have waited until I was sure Dinah was out, because I didn't want to talk to her). and then I returned home to nurse my bruises.

At least Bloodthistle was hurt worse than I was. It pays to have friends in the city guard, even if they won't entirely side with you against a thief if you landed the first blow.

Heartbreak [24 Thory 4260]
It's only barely still the 24th of Thory, and I have a Rassimel sleeping in my bed and a strange bird perching in my window. Dinah hasn't been asleep long, and I won't be asleep until she wakes up and leaves. It's one thing to share my bed with Bize and Boosquits. It's quite another to share my bed with a Rassimel whose very bad reasons for avoiding her fiancé I just found out. I am not that kind of Herethroy, thank you!

Dinah turned up at my doorstep some hours ago, looking absolutely wretched. So, since I try to be a good friend, I invited her in. I would have offered her some brandy or something (she sure looked like she could use it!), but I didn't have any. Dinah, apparently, was in the sort of wretched state that had lead her to purchase some on the way to my doorstep, so she offered me some brandy, and drank like a Destroc Aquador demon, herself. (I'm pretty sure there's no such thing, but if there is one? She was drinking like it!)

And while the brandy poured out of the bottle and into her glass, a story poured out of her.

I have no idea why she chose to do it now. Maybe her parents were angry about the amber her Adventuring was costing. She's a very soft-hearted woman and even with her contacts in the Healers' Guild paying for the healing of everyone that's been hurt that she couldn't restore on her own has to have cost a decent bit. Maybe they're just tired of her putting off her marriage and are putting more pressure on her about that. Maybe it's something else entirely because who knows how Dinah thinks?

Whatever the case, she went over to Glows-Like-A-Firefly's home to confess, of all things, her deep undying love for our Orren friend. As nice as Glows-Like-A-Firefly is, underneath her Orren flakiness, I could have told her what a bad idea that would be, even aside from the fact that she's not supposed to have any deep undying love for an Orren anyway, unless her mask and ringed tail are just coincidence and she's in fact a crippled Orren who doesn't shrink in water for some reason. (Which she isn't. That's an absolutely preposterous idea. Dinah is definitely Rassimel.)

Glows-Like-A-Firefly was, predictably, one-half incensed, one-half offended, one-half infuriated and one-half disgusted in about equal measures, and promptly changed her name to Brightly Virtuous. She spent four ninths of an hour screaming at Dinah, mostly "I never want to see you again" liberally punctuated with insults. She may also have, as a token last gesture of the friendship they had before Dinah showed her hand, given Dinah directions to the home of a less-than-savory, much-less-than-choosy Khtsoyis prostitute.

So, because I can't really afford to offend Dinah, as she's my best chance of ever becoming an Adventurer, or getting my magerium untangled, and because she knows way too many of my secrets (then again, so does Jherone, and he's certainly not my friend!), and because she was already drunk out of her head by the time she got that far in the story, I kind of awkwardly tried to comfort her, listened to what she had to say, and so on.

And then when Dinah was starting to fall asleep I put her in my bed (because I am not carrying a semiconscious, transaffectionate Rassimel through half the city, especially not when Brightly Virtuous might hear about it).

Shortly thereafter, there was a knock on my door.

Brightly Virtuous didn't look as wretched as Dinah had; she mostly just looked angry. The kind of angry that means you need to rant at a friend.

Until she glimpsed Dinah, or maybe Dinah's accursed bird.

Then she looked the kind of angry that means a friend you thought you could trust just stabbed you in the back, and slammed the door in my face.

And it's all I can do now, to sit here waiting for Dinah to wake up so I can throw her out and maybe manage to get out and find and explain things to Brightly Virtuous. Because just because Dinah is crazy enough to ruin her friendship with Brightly Virtuous, doesn't mean I want to. Especially not for the sake of Dinah's preferences that I don't even approve of!

Failed Sale [23 Thory 4260]
Dinah is a very conscientous woman, sometimes. (Not so much when it comes to tricking her fiancé, but that's the only lie I've ever seen her engaged in.) Today, she and Aenak snuck the codelieth to Troft's spouses, which is apparently something Aenak, Chopscotch, and Bloodthistle have been doing behind Troft's back since he lost his sense of smell. What with the whole smell being important to Cani, it seems to make sense as a sort of thank-you repayment for getting himself injured like that to save Aenak. I don't mind; it wasn't Troft's fault that Bloodthistle left with most of the take. It wasn't as though he had much of a choice about taking her side. Cani.

They also went to try to sell the curious, screechy bird.

From what I was told, they did find someone who was interested in it, and amber even changed hands, but after they left the cage with their buyer and rounded the next corner, the bird started screeching so loudly it attracted the attention of the City Guard. As soon as Dinah came back into sight the stupid bird stopped screaming and clung to the bars on that side of the cage. After some confusion, and some annoyance, and some arguing, Dinah ended up returning their buyer's amber, taking the bird-or-whatever-it-was back, and giving some further amber to the City Guard as a fine for the bird creating a disturbance.

She did discover that the bird didn't really need to be caged — it'll happily perch on her shoulder or curl up in her arms — but Aenak pointed out that there may be times when she does need to get it out of her fur, so after some consideration she didn't sell it after all.

This development puts the party's shares of the spoils as such:
Troft: A vial of codelieth perfume he doesn't know about
Aenak: A metal dagger
Chopscotch: A metal dagger and an enchanted cord
Dinah: An exotic bird that kicks up a racket that could wake Merklundum Harnipsum The Dog Who Killed A Fish if she goes out of sight, and a fancy ivory cage for it, minus the money for the fine, minus the fees for the Healer to fix Chopscotch's addled head
Me: Nothing
Bloodthistle: Everything else, including my Grace of Mircannis.

I knew that Herethroy would be Doom.


Log in

No account? Create an account