Chapter 7: In The Village

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Solomoriah
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Chapter 7: In The Village

Post Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:10 pm

Walking into the village with Lt. Mansel, Will looked around carefully. The village was primitive, of course, but seemed well-maintained; the paths were not fouled with garbage, the huts appeared to be in good repair, and the people seemed healthy on the whole. He saw women, elders, and children stopping in their tasks to look at him briefly. The adult men were all standing around, holding spears or stone knives and looking vigilant.

What Will saw in the villagers was a mix of expectation and apprehension. They were, it seemed, simultaneously joyful and terrified. The adult men, of course, behaved stoically, but he could see that they were on the lookout for someone, or something, that worried them. But no villager looked at him without smiling broadly.

They found Reginald Monday seated in a sort of chair beside the chieftain Kordal; Monday's chair was just a bit larger, and Will felt certain that Kordal normally occupied it. They were watching the progress of a group of women who were tending a large fire well away from the huts. It had already burned down almost to embers, and they were adding fuel a bit at a time to keep it going.

Just then, a group of warriors entered the village, whooping loudly. There were five of them, and three were burdened by the carcasses of small deerlike animals. They handed them off to a group of women, who swiftly gutted and skinned them before wrapping them in large leaves and burying them in the middle of the embers of the fire.

Will noticed that Artie was standing behind Monday and Kordal, acting as translator. Steve Vance was seated on the ground near Monday, and Simon Lars was standing nearby. At first, Will didn't see Catherine, but shortly he discovered her among a group of women preparing some sort of root vegetable. She was smiling and seemed to be having little trouble making herself understood.

By this time it was midafternoon. Native women bearing woven trays approached Monday, knelt, and presented the contents of their trays to him... heaps of fruits and nuts, far more than he could be expected to eat himself. Monday started to turn toward Artie, but then he picked up a reddish fruit and took a bite. Smiling, he waved expansively, and the women turned their attention to the excursion party, presenting their trays before each of them.

Kordal turned to Monday and said, "Hopefully this will be enough to keep our strength up until the feast tonight. We will present our oldest traditional dance for you, in hopes of gaining your approval and earning a place at your sides in the times to come."

Monday turned to Artie, expectantly.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:41 pm

Artie breaks into a genuine smile upon seeing Will. He asks how everyone is doing, up on the ship. Trying to be discreet about it, he asks "And how is Lily?"
Solomoriah wrote:Kordal turned to Monday and said, "Hopefully this will be enough to keep our strength up until the feast tonight. We will present our oldest traditional dance for you, in hopes of gaining your approval and earning a place at your sides in the times to come."

Monday turned to Artie, expectantly.
Artie give the chief a nod, perhaps in gratitude. A bit less tense than before, he translates the chief's words into english, doing his best to give them their full meaning.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:27 pm

After the women bearing fruit had served all the expeditionary party members, as well as the chief, they moved on to serve other natives. An old woman approached, guided by a girl of perhaps ten years; it was evident that the old woman was blind. Rather than the rather scant clothing worn most of the other natives, this woman was wearing a sort of a shift made of the same multicolored fabric that was used in the pavilion tent. It was figured with vertical stripes of red, green, and blue, and was surprisingly colorful and very clean.

"This is my mother, Kamaria," said the chief.

"Mother, the leader of the sky gods is seated before you," whispered the girl.

"I cannot see him, child," the old woman replied, somewhat irritably, "but I can smell his foreign scent. Sky god, I honor you," she continued in a stronger voice. "I am old, and beg your forgiveness, but I cannot kneel."

Upon hearing Artie's translation, Monday said, "Tell her I don't expect her to kneel, and that I'm honored to meet her."

When she had heard the translation, Kamaria said, "The honor is ours, sky god. We stand beside you always."

A woman of perhaps thirty years approached then, wearing little save for a loincloth and numerous small golden ornaments around her neck and wrists. "My wife, Safiya," said the chief. Monday seemed to understand without translation, and quickly took her hand and kissed it before she had time to kneel.

"My lady, it's my pleasure to meet you," he said. She smiled a surprisingly shy smile.

"And this is my younger brother Pandu, and his wife Fahari," continued the chief, introducing the next couple. Will saw Monday looking shrewdly at the two men, and even as Will realized their relationship, Monday seemed to also. He stood and took the native man's hand, shaking it firmly, before kissing the hand of his wife. Both seemed flustered by the attention. Pandu was shorter and stockier than Kordal; Fahari was beautiful, having unusually fine features and high cheekbones. Will thought she looked a bit shrewish, though.

A young man, tall and muscular and having a haughty bearing, stepped forward next, kneeling before Monday could stop him. "This is my nephew Dajan, son of Pandu. The girl here, guiding Mother Kamaria, is Laini, my niece. Sadly, I have no children of my own as yet to present before you, sky god." Will noted that Dajan was one of the young hunters who had provided meat for the coming feast.

Monday returned to his seat and listened to Artie's translation carefully. "Tell him to call me Reginald, would you please? Catherine," he continued, loudly so she could hear him at a distance, "please come here. Artie, we've been remiss. Please introduce us all."
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Sat Apr 04, 2009 4:05 pm

While Artie starts introductions (and not during Will or Monday's introductions) Will leans into Monday trying to keep the Counselor airs and lets him know that the Captain is fussing: "The Captain feels you need to be watched," Will says with a small smile, "that you might cause a rumpus down here - Mansel and I were sent back to keep an eye on you. But there's something important we have to talk about, soon. Probably not best to do it now, and we'd need Artie and Catherine in on it. It has to do with the totem," he'll pause and try to convey the appropriate gravitas, though he actually feels silly, "it's changed itself." He'll wait for Monday's response before talking more.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:07 pm

Monday froze for just a moment, then turned to Will. "What do you mean, 'changed itself?'" he asked, sounding puzzled.

But Will's blood ran cold as he realized that Monday wasn't really surprised.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:33 pm

Solomoriah wrote:Monday returned to his seat and listened to Artie's translation carefully. "Tell him to call me Reginald, would you please? Catherine," he continued, loudly so she could hear him at a distance, "please come here. Artie, we've been remiss. Please introduce us all."
Artie is too busy translating and introducing to notice what Will said to Monday, or Monday's reaction. He is very glad that the man asks them to stop calling him Sky god, and seems generally more cheerful than he has been since landing.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:41 am

Solomoriah wrote:Monday froze for just a moment, then turned to Will. "What do you mean, 'changed itself?'" he asked, sounding puzzled.

But Will's blood ran cold as he realized that Monday wasn't really surprised.
Will, against his nature, pauses, he wants Monday to know that Will could tell he wasn't surprised. In past days Will would just keep the information for future use. "The animals on the totem have changed, the lion and bull carvings are replaced by those of a hawk and dove. And Dr. Burton and Mr. Lloyd think they have the inscription translated. They think it's a prayer, but reads like instructions to me." He'll break out the paper. Then he'll add, quietly but intently, again trying to keep everything calm and appropriate considering they are in the midst of all these people, "What the blazes is going on here?"

OOC: I did want to put the animals there, I forget what they are BRB...

EDIT: done.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:00 pm

Monday considered the paper, frowning. Then he said, "Will, let me be frank with you. I've seen things you couldn't get the Times to print, because they're too fantastic. So, yes, this surprises me, but not so much as it would another man." He smiled, a bit grimly. "We'll figure it out. I'm inclined to suspect you're right about the inscription being more instructional than devotional. What do you suppose constitutes a 'true son?'"


GM Note: When this exchange has more or less run its course, I'll move us along to the evening's entertainment.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:14 pm

When Artie is finally done with the translation, he notes the curious conversation between Will and Monday. Approaching them, he only gets the tail end of it.
Solomoriah wrote:"...What do you suppose constitutes a 'true son?'"
"A true son of what?" inquires Artie, pacific, but curious.
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Re: Chapter 7

Post Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:23 pm

Will give Artie a nod, and says "it is wonderfully cryptic as all prayer, instructional or devotional," Will smirks a bit, "but son struck me too, especially with the clarification true son. I wish I knew more about this culture and what the heck was going on down here, especially since the totem, all of a sudden, changed, now - though," Will looks a little uncomfortable again, "Dr. Burton and Mr. Lloyd think that the changes in the totem might be some sort of a hoax, but with everything that's going on, and," Will pauses for just a second, "I've got some experience with hoaxes, it just doesn't strike me as one. That's why I wondered if Catherine could tie it all together." Will then looks apologetically over to Artie, "the totem changed its carvings. You know how it was a lion and a bull? Well now it's a hawk and a dove. And they think they've figured out the translation," Will points to the piece of paper he just gave Monday, and scratches his head, "this wonderfully incomprehensible, and bloody, prayer."
I enjoy BFRPG dungeons. And played Will Thornton in Dirigible of Doom!
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