Arcturus, Ollin, and Ironbeard:
-With their mission from Archon Yukanis and with Alphonse and Termina Vzorcaya having left for the Kalashek lands, they plan their route to Eklesa from Bastion. They plan to go over land through The Combine, The Pimen, and then up the Blas river to Eklesa.
-Acrturus puts them on hilltop for safer traveling (good view and a nice path), they see a combine patrol, who also sees them, they ride over. Ironbeard tries to tell them that they’re just traders coming from The Free Cities of Jara. The patrol leader doesn’t buy the story, and goes to look through the wagon. Ollin was inside, but he gets out of sight quickly. They’re satisfied by the wagon’s contents, and head off. Not knowing that there’s any elves around, they speak in elven and spill the beans about going to the jeran/combine border.
-Ollin pops out and tries to buy off three of the guys (having concluded that this is no ordinary patrol and that everyone but the leader is a mercenary), saying that they need protection, lead guy shoots it down, but says that they can meet up with another patrol on their present course. They stop going on their present course, to avoid said patrol.
-They cross through the Combine lands and the Pimen lands and part of the riverlands in the Kalashek, going slowly through swamp.
-Some dudes on horseback ride toward them on the path through the swamp, Arcturus sees an orc and fires an arrow, which hits. they’re pretty chill about it, but it turns out there’s others with him (two humans). Ironbeard smoothes things over with an introduction, they all look at each other weirdly when they hear Arcturus’ name. They introduce themselves, orc is Lagto Gjinchar Takosh (Arcturus knows that Lagto is an old orc title, not used anymore), the other two are Archenar Hayvon and Galvan Sirrusa.
-They share the road, but the second night Archenar asks Arcturus about his mother. Arcturus is very taken aback. Arcturus deflects question kindly, and Archenar says that if he doesn’t want to talk about it now, there’ll be plenty of time on the road.
Alphonse and Pjotlmann:
-Heinrich Pjotlmann stages an awesome landing in Eltonshold in his Pjotlkraft. He disembarks and goes through a crowd of fans, two sages are at the end, and they try to courteously state their awe, but Pjotlmann lashes out at them. They don’t let him mouth off to them in front of their people, and call him out on abandoning his wife. Pjotlmann storms off.
-Pjotlmann attends conferences by the local craftsmen and promotes barthanas love
-As Alphonse, Termina, and the Kalashek ambassador from Bastion sees the pjotlkraft land from afar. Alphonse has a solid friend in Pjotlmann and recognizes his kraft, so he stops in the city to find Pjotlmann. Alphonse finds him in a conference, but doesn’t care about the crafts show, so interrupts and patronizes the craftsmen and talks old friend with Pjotl. The host awkwardly calls the conference for the day, and Alphonse and Pjotlmann go to a bar to hang out. Alphonse tells Pjotlmann about the runes and how he wants to make them “actionable items”. They leave the next day for Eklesa in the Pjotlkraft.
-Upon their arrival, they go their separate ways. Pjotlmann goes home to see wife, they trade insults. There’s a note on his desk from William Barthanas, telling him to see him when he arrives.
-Pjotlmann goes to Barthanas’ apartment in the soverign’s palace, reports on the Pjotlkraft tour. Barthanas responds curtly, then barthanas says that now they’re officially in the “do things in my name” phase of the election, so Pjotlmann needs to get cracking and look for problem solvers for the Barthanas camp. Pjotlmann mentions Alphonse, and Barthanas says that he’s already working to develop him as an asset…
-Alphonse goes back to his college to see if he can get a feel for how he might best use his runes (for bargaining). One of the first people he sees is Herald Grayson, his mentor and friend. They have some small talk, and make dinner plans. Grayson says that he’d like to keep chatting, but someone is waiting to see Alphonse in his room/office.
-Inside, a big man sits in his chair and says that he’s here on behalf of the Kalashek people to debrief Alphonse on “The Upstarts Situation” (full details on Yukanis, his allies and such). Alphonse tries to negotiate, but the big man pulls out a dagger. From behind the door a woman appears and tells the big man to put his stupid dagger away. They begin negotiating. The final agreement is that in exchange for Alphonse’s information, they promise to make his brother’s time representing the riverlands easier by giving him better access to stuff to combat flooding.
Arcturus, Ollin, and Ironbeard:
-Arcturus can’t take the mystery anymore, so he asks Archenar what the story with his mother is. The hightlights:
*Arcturus’ mother was the sister of the man who was clan chief to the Aurorans, she was captured when she was pregnant, hence Arcturus being born into slavery
*The reason that Archenar and some other Aurorans are with Orcs is because they have been religiously united by a man named Osnithett, and plan to reform Orc society via war
*They too are going to Eklesa to meet with William Barthanas, who plans to support them in their effort.
*He tells Arcturus that since he is of clan Aurora, he too is called to glory, but Arcturus refuses.
-They get to the city, Orc dude goes to the wall and has hostile greeting, explains he’s on business to see Barthanas, but no has believes him. Ironbeard steps up and convinces the guard to let them in, under the guise of traders (which is not totally false).
-Just inside the city, they see a crowd gathering around two men with swords drawn. The two trade a few insults, then get to fighting. The bigger guy is beaten, and then a woman comes up behind the winner with a crossbow at his head. They all break off. An elf (with glowing white eyes) goes up to the former winner and reassures him that Barthanas’ dogs bark worse than they bite. He snaps his head to Ironbeard’s wagon and introduces himself to them. He is Letheirax. He then asks them why they are in Eklesa, ollin deflects the question after pushing, and Letheirax politely invites Ollin to meet him at the silver hearth to talk philosophy and politics.