Previously Feeling Unsettled
I got together a bunch of scrolls that I was interested in reading. There were a couple about the religion from my stash, one of new herbs that I needed to re read. I also took along a collect and carry bag because you never know what you will find when you’re traveling. I am running somewhat low on the herbs, so, that is probably a good plan. <gm:>. I brought along the bare minimum of money of what I would need, with an additional 50 coppers. I had done with less in my life, though I hadn’t enjoyed it. I was careful, however, to sew the extra coins I wasn’t sure I’d need into my clothes in little pockets. They’d literally have to strip me to get the money out of me!
It felt freeing to know that I was going to be walking away from the hustle of the city, and moving on my own again. I liked my friends, but, I was used to moving from place to place. The stationary life had never appealed to me, and I wouldn’t think it would now, except for the people that it involved. Also, there were some friends along the worm that I hadn’t seen for a while. They were probably looking for me to wander past again.
The fact that Holden Littletree had not had dreams before he met me was disturbing. Actually on two counts. There were people who existed who believed without the dreams, without the “miracles” occurring. That was amazing. The more disturbing bit was that I seemed to be some sort of catalyst for others. Was I the bringer of the dreams? Again and again, the question rolled about in my head, “Why me, of all the people you had to choose from?”
I finished tying my pack onto the small horse I owned. I left word with one of the stable boys for Fiona, saying that I would be out for several days, and not to worry about me. She probably wouldn’t, but how was it that I felt that I needed to let people know where I would be? These attachments were new as well. The idea of people hurting where I was going was intriguing. Was I hurting? I didn’t think so. I was confused, but I wasn’t in pain. Thinking about others in pain, I rummaged around and grabbed a few of the potions I had created. I could make more along the way if necessary, but if there were others in pain, I could do what I could. A small quiet feeling grew, that this was what I was supposed to do. It came across as a whisper of a song, reminding me that music was healing in its own way, and the stories I had to pass along didn’t always need to be rude or low humor….
I was packed, and I debated long and hard about bringing an instrument, beyond my voice. He did say to find the quiet, but there is a quiet within the music, a point where you meet your gods and all the world hangs in the balance. I planned to keep the music for myself though, and not share it, allowing myself to experience this… journey alone, without the crowds clamoring. I knew though, if someone needed that gentle music to ease their pain, I would provide it, but not for profit… Not this time. The gods were waking, and I was gently playing their entrance tune….
General GM information
Aliella has the herbs she needs – just deduct 50 sp from her stash.
Aliella has a choice about how to get where she is going. You are heading to the County of Sincerre (see The Frontier for a map). That means you are going to be traveling almost 500 miles. On horse back, good thing she has a Cynthian horse, it will take ~ 8 to 12 days to ride there. That is 10 hours a day at 6 mph.
If you go by barge, which you can take your horse (there are barges big enough), it would take ~14 to 20 days. Going by barge would be much safer but slower. You have your barge passes from Uril family.
Let me know what you decide to do and then we will proceed.
After thinking through her options, Aliella decides to find a barge to ride on, over to Sincerre. Being pious is one thing. Being uncomfortable and unsafe is altogether another.
You find a barge that is owned by Uril family that is going up the Worm River. This time of year the leaves on the trees have already fallen off the trees and there is a southern wind (which would be cooler). There is a rhythm to the work on a barge. You notice that when the men and woman are hard at work they find ways to make the work more pleasant – good natured ribbing, jokes, personal stories, discussions about family and their personal lives, hopes and dreams. They will sometimes sing “river holler” type songs (“field holler”).
In the evening their is even more comradery amongst the crew. Because the Worm River is safe from banditry and piracy sometimes the barges will ‘camp’ on their own at night. And other times there will be gatherings of barges.
The passengers on the barge are all merchants, except for you. They do not have anything to sell along the way as they are delivering specific items for clients along the way. They are pleasant enough and a few initiate conversations with you.
Every couple of days you will ‘camp’ at a village dock. The barge captains have specific items they deliver to each of these villages. Usually it is necessary items that they can’t produce themselves. Sometimes he brings ‘toys’ for children or candy. Just enough so every child gets one toy or piece of candy. Some of these villages are ‘home’ villages for crewmen/women. When that happens the barge stays for a whole day.
As for Aliella is not having nightmares or unpleasant dreams. In fact she has slept very very well on this trip. If she has a dream she remembers it is always very pleasant. There is nothing ‘unusual’ about these dreams.
There are people who need minor treatments and if you let anyone know you are a priestess, there will be blessings, quick weddings, and other minor priestly duties you can perform. If you do perform any of these priestly duties in a village the family you help will ask you to stay with them. The accommodations range from very simple homes (think the Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie) to merchant homes (Oleson family home).
The trip has been just what I needed. The dreams have subsided, and it feels so good to be moving again. The Worm River was my stomping ground for a long time, and, I feel like I’ve returned to a simpler me. I truly enjoy the barges, and singing along with the crew while they do their work. I have happily tended to bumps and scrapes, entertained villages, and even performed a few blessings and weddings. When I spend the night with a family, I watch the social structures, so different from where I grew up. The families are more cohesive and welcoming, although, my family never would have invited a priest to stay with them, so I suppose I only get to see the welcoming families. Still, it’s a wonderful change. At night, when everything is quiet, I just sit and listen to the house breathe, and I try to breathe in rhythm, matching that point of perfection. I am getting up earlier, because the boats like to leave on the early tides, but once I’m squared away on the ship, I’ve been finding a small corner to sit and meditate. The crew has been very understanding of this, letting me have my time. The merchants were at first inquisitive, but after a while, they too left me be. It’s getting easier to sit still and just exist, I never thought I’d say that.
Tomorrow I am due to leave the barge, and travel onward. I’ve been thinking about naming my horse. Seems a bit silly for me to continue to call her horse. I will have to think on that. I have made some arrangements to try to meet another barge for the return to the city, but considering I don’t know how long I’m going to be wandering, it’s going to be fairly hit or miss. Still, I have a rough schedule, and at worst case, I’ll work on my riding to get back to the city… This small idyll has been wonderful, but, it’s time to move forward. I may not be having dreams to haunt me, but I still feel a pull towards …. I can’t name it. My saddlebags are packed and ready to go, however, and I need to get some sleep for the morning will be when the idyll ends and I return to work. I wonder what the morning will bring.