AAR: [6M] How about a nice game of atlosh t’zdram? Monday 2020-07-06@21:00 GMT

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Re: AAR: [6M] How about a nice game of atlosh t’zdram? Monday 2020-07-06@21:00 GMT

Post by Xzandrate » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:38 am

From the writings of Moe'uhane, T'skrang Illusionist, 6th Circle, Messenger Rank 4

I was making my way through Throal on the way to the Turquoise River Café to listen to the latest stories of the troubadours and the boasts of adventurers when a dwarven trader carrying some very wilted river turnips stopped me. He verified that I was who he suspected I was. Upon confirming my identity he informed me that he had just returned from Kampung Gajah, and while the trade was subpar this trip and he was concerned of it, he had a message from the Lahalla of Kampung Gajah. I commiserated with his trade plight and thanked him for the delivery. Inside was an ornate playing piece. I vaguely recognized it as Atlosh T'zdram, though I was not very well versed in the piece names or the game itself. It is predominantly a higher stature of game that we enjoyed here in Throal, in part because it is rather difficult to find willing opponents for such a complicated game. I'm sure I could convince a dozen dwarves to join if I told them each move needed to have a form filled out in triplicate. I headed off to the library to brush up on my Atlosh T'zdram. The piece I had received, quite aptly, was the Messenger. It was a powerful piece that allowed you to re-arrange the pieces on the board. It is noted that the great game is often seen as a parallel, if not extension of politics. It seemed the Lahalla was need to rearrange her pieces or their roles, and sent a request directly to piece she considered he Messenger. Luckily, while in the Great Library I stumbled across my friend Zivilyn. I recruited his assistance and advised him to meet me at the gates of Throal. I then began to head towards the gate, casually watching for a place where I may find further friends. I noticed a bar near by and went inside. It was hard to miss the hulking form of Norg, fresh from his air sailing adventure he was looking for more and agreed to meet me at the gates of Throal. As I turned to leave and prepare, my ears heard the familiar guttural roar of my favorite Ork rider. Temur was just finishing his story as I approached, the offer of a new story was all he would need to sign on. I left the bar and had a small creature scurry from the shadows with a troll hot on her heels. The troll I recognized, the small foxil I did not. Azurea advised me that this was Fizbit and she was incredibly sorry. As I am still intrigued by the young Shadow's interaction with the River of Truth, I asked he along as well. She eagerly accepted, even after I advised that Norg would meet us. She seems unsure of his cold directness to situations, which is quite interesting as she herself is quite the dichotomy. Joyful youth, encasing the most efficient of assassins.

We spent a number of days travelling to Kampung Gajah, the group was not as conducive the carpet travel as my last venture. When we arrived we flagged down a fisherman on the river and negotiated transport to the Niall. The fisherman advised that he was aware of the plights of Kampung Gajah. The new alliance with V'strimon meant most goods were promised down river and it was harder to trade with Throal since as our situation exemplified, the lack of a river dock to transition from cart to boat made things difficult. Once we were inside the Niall, we collected more information, and the same sentiment was echoed. The demand was higher than the Niall could supply. Poor and suspicious conditions in some of the most promising farmlands meant that they could not produce enough to supply demand, and increased river trade meant increase piracy. Quite simply the fortunes of Kampung Gajah had caused it to outgrow its capabilities. Since the Lahalla had sent for me, I requested an audience. It took a few hours of waiting but she did infact grace us with an audience. I returned the piece to her exquisite Atlosh t'zdram set and she inquired in my understanding of the game. I humbly admitted to my novice status. She graced myself and my comrades with her own insights on the game. Each player would place pieces in turn, with certain pieces being able to act upon other pieces. As such, it was important to ensure that your target piece was in place before you played the piece that acted upon it. The game was acted in alternating turns, but in truth it was played several turns ahead of what was occurring in front of you. Additionally, many things you did were symmetric. An action that strengthened you, could also strengthen your opponent. In the same vein, weakening your own position could weaken your opponent. It was about learning when to press and advantage or exploit a weakness. She needed us to help her strengthen her game board, or weaken her opponents. She pulled forth three pieces that weakened her board state. River Pirates, this was representative of the piratical raids upon trade to V'strimon. Second she pulled for the Beastmaster piece, that she felt represented the beasts that prevented the trade dock from being completed. Finally an Elementalist symbol, this represented the unusually stormy waters around the promising farmlands. Taking stock of my party, I advised that we dare not act against an opponent for fear of reprisal against our own board, but we could work to strengthen her as best we could. We thanked her for her time and excused ourselves. We examined the options and opted to start with the beasts, if need be we could use those beasts to try and deal with pirates. The party was ill-equipped to deal with farmlands within a river, so we left that for last if we had time.

We moved into the flood plains where the ideal dock placement would be. We had been advised of the presence of Lightning Lizards, to ensure they were not being affected by anther 'piece' Temur examined the tracks and found only Lightning Lizards tracks, belonging to the Lightning Lizards that appeared a few dozen yards away. There was a large swarm of them, they began to scurry towards us, arcs of lightning streaking through the air. Norg's crystal proved distinctly non-conductive, I remembered to keep my tail up in this instance. A couple bolts landed upon Azurea and Temur with some small scorching. Zivilyn managed to soothe a great number of them, and we finished the remaining lizards, relocating the surviving lizards. We then headed back towards the Niall, and attempted to secure passage on one of the ships heading down stream in exchange for guard services. Captain Arostok of Jaspree's Delight willingly agreed. We attempted to keep a low profile and rode the ship all the way to V'strimon, the Captain advised that it would be three days before the return trip. We took this time to relax and collect more information. I attempted to present the air of someone spending above their means, in an attempt to convince any would be scouts that I was a prime target for pirates on the river back. The ship was loaded with dried fish and we began the journey up stream. In an effort to poorly mask our cargo, I conjured a glamour of dried fish to conceal our cargo of dried fish. As Norg had convinced a few locals we were transporting lightning lizards, the odd spark was added to the glamour. Sure enough at the end of the first day another ship pulled along our broadside and T'skrang leapt across the gap. A few arrows and daggers flew, failing to hit their mark. I let loose a Phantom Flame on one of the crewman as he was in the air. They quickly moved into our line, blades and tails flashing in a blur. Azurea was knocked prone, and Norg gave a short grimace of pain. Temur and Zivilyn loosed upon the raiders as provided everyone with a triplet of decoys. Norg struck back knocking one of the T'skrang down while Azurea regained her footing and got some safe distance. I was left in a poor position as everyone else scrambled, the attackers descended upon me, blades crashing against my chain mail, they were slowly wearing me down. Finally one from behind caught me across the back of the neck and I fell unconscious. Apparently the focus on me gave the distraction my crew needed to take back control and gain the upper hand. Once the flickering illusion revealed the true cargo of dried fish, and the large force of adepts they still needed to deal with they raiders accepted that the reward was not worth the risk and surrendered. We returned to Kampung Gajah and turned the pirates over to the Security Chief. They sword an oath to leave the boats on the coil alone for a year and a day and were ransomed back to their own Nialls.

The fortunes of Kampung Gajah and her allies would be improved, we took this as a win and returned to Throal. As any good player, the Lahalla did not further acknowledge the pieces on the board, until she needs them again I am sure.

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Messenger Report

Post by Xzandrate » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:39 am

**As the magic flows across the page the words come into view**

Lahalla Kampung Gajah has requested explicit Messenger assistance in Atlosh T'zdram. The Great Game of politics and life.

Faction: Kampung Gajah
Brief: V'strimon loyal Niall, Throalic trade partner
Status: overtaxed resources
Notable Actors:
Lahalla Kampung Gajah
Arostok, Captain of Jaspree's Delight

Faction: House K'tenshin
Brief: Major T'skrang house, status incomplete, working west of Lake Ban
Status: incomplete, performance of piratical raids upon Coil River
Notable Actors:

After Action Report: Lahalla Kampung Gajah sent playing piece to Messenger asset. Asset collected capable Adepts to accompany to Kampung Gajah. Niall had over extended it's reach, demand was higher than supply due to poor trade infrastructure, infested farming locations, and increased piracy.
Messenger asset met with Lahalla, successfully mitigated infrastructure issues, and piracy problems. Will monitor Kampung Gajah for results.

Reporting Agent: Bearded Dragon

**The words vanish as the magic dissipates**

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Journal: Temur Tengerkhan

Post by bronzemountain » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:04 pm

Song of the Immortal Sky - Part 11.

Know that Moe'uhane did receive a curious invitation that came in the form of a dwarf, some turnips, and a playing piece from a game.
Know that this was an invitation to join the strange and great game played by the T'skrang called Atlosh Tz'dram.

Various heroes were in their proper places. Norg and Temur were in a pub. Azurea was in the shadows. Zivilin was in the Library. Moe'huane did collect them with promises of great stories and adventure and together they did travel to a village of the river people called Kampung Gajah.

Know that Atlosh Tz'dram is the Great Game of the river people. Know that it is a game of life and war and trade. In it is the way a general marks troops on a map, and also the way a homemaker marks items on a shopping list.
Know that in this game, Moe'Uhane began as a piece, The Messenger, and ended as a player, which is better than being a piece but also worse.

Know that Temur saw that the Niall, for that is what a T'skrang camp is called, was like a chief with too many husbands. She was well placed and strong, yes. But her many husbands had many demands on her. And problems that, before, would have been small, were compounded by these demands. Throal was one husband, V'strimon another.

Know that Moe'uhane and Temur Tengerkhan and the other heroes did set out to solve some of these problems, so there could be harmony in this household.

First, there were lizards who were preventing the building of docks. They were large, which is dangerous but not unusual, and from their eyes they fired twin bolts of lightning, which was both dangerous and unusual.
Know that heroes are well suited to problems both dangerous and unusual. Know that this is why heroes are chosen.

With the lizards defeated, the heroes returned to the Niall and put themselves to the second problem - and the second husband, V'strimon. A great clan of T'skrang, powerful and wise. But pirates had been weakening the bond between Kampung Gajah and Clan V'strimon. So, the heroes did board a boat and go to the magnificent Floating City of V'strimon.

And there they did bathe and soak and enjoy a most thorough massage, and also were served wine in the bath.
Know that to have wine in the bath is a superb idea and the T'skrang are a great people to have been first to discover this, just as the Orks are a great people for having been first to befriend the horse. Baths without wine are strictly inferior. Let this wisdom be carried through the ages.

Know that Azurea also did partake of the baths and the other heroes did other things which were indubitably less pleasurable.

In the end, the heroes make words with a local merchant, and forged a compact. They would guard the boat from the pirates who would indubitably attack it, and for this they would be paid. And this was doubly good, for the pirates would be punished and the heroes would have good silver.

Know that the pirates did indeed attack, and that when they did, they did it with great courage and joy. They were enemies, and were to be defeated, but were also great hearted, and to be respected. They leaped from their boat to the merchant vessel while the river sparkled and gleamed below them. They shouted battle cries and sought to trigger Gahad in the crew with barbed taunts and insults. They laughed and they danced and they fought and the heroes did the same.

Know that it was awesome.
Know that the heroes were more awesome.

The river pirates were dissuaded from their work by the grand violence of the heroes and wise river wife Kampung Gajah found herself better able to manage the shopping lists and many needs of her husbands, Throal and V'strimon.

Know that this story has ended. Know that this story continues.

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Re: AAR: [6M] How about a nice game of atlosh t’zdram? Monday 2020-07-06@21:00 GMT

Post by LadyDragoon » Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:28 am

Greetings family

I hope you are enjoying these letters as much as I am enjoying writing them. I hope my letters are finding you well and happy. I have been keeping busy lately with yet another adventure. This one involves something to do with turnips. I believe they are a root vegetable close to parsnips. This story begins with me chasing FizBit around the merchant area to give him some exercise when Moe (you know the fire breathing lizard friend of mine) asked if I wanted to go back to Kampung Gajah to investigate why the shipments of resources are lacking in abundancy. Of course, I would love to go on a mission with him until he mentioned that big brother Norg was also going. You know Norg he’s the one who hung a man upside down and did terrible stuff to his body. Moe assured me that it would be ok and that he would help keep the peace. I do trust my friend Moe. To my pleasant surprise, my good friend Temur also joined us. I do miss his blunt and straight forward talking. The bonus to this adventure is that I had the honour of meeting Zivilyn who from what I can tell is yet another wise and well educated Windling. He fascinates me. He is nothing like my other small friends but is skilled in many different things. I could learn so much from him if we cross paths again.

Off we went on foot this time. I will say I was disappointed that we could not fly again. I was building up the courage to try again when I was told that the reason we could not fly again was that Norg is too fat. He weighs too much for the carpet. I am not going to be the one to tell him he needs to lose weight. Nope, not me. Once we reached the village Moe spoke to some official and they went back and forth about some sort of game and game pieces being moved and knowing how many steps to be so many steps ahead and … and… well, I was really confused at this point. Needless to say, there is no board game or piece. Or were they referring to us being pieces and the world being our board? Wow, mind blow!

If I get this right, the issue they were having is that they can’t supply both their new client and their old client because supplies are low. We could help them get these supplies flowing if we took care of a few things for them. The first thing was to get rid of some lizards. Easy right? Just some ordinary regular lizards right? No, these lizards like to shoot lighting at us. So, we took care of them to help the village claim more land to increase the trading. Here is where the story gets kind of gross so you might want to skip this part around the kids. Norg…. Well… he … kind of… started squishing the heads of the lizards. I do not know why he wanted to do this. I think he has a weird fetish with gooey stuff and innards.

Lucky for us our group decided to go to my second favourite spot in the whole wide world (home being the first of course). I went back to the baths. Temur joined me and we spoke of many proverbs and he told me the most wonderful stories. It didn’t last long cause the next thing we knew is that we now had to deal with pirates. I guess while we were bathing the rest of the party went out to spread rumours that the boat we were going to take was full of expensive items in order to lure the pirates to us. you see the pirates kept stealing the supplies that were destined to go to one of the clients. Well, it worked. We set sail and soon after pirates jumped our ship. They fought us, we fought back, Moe got knocked unconscious, we killed most of them, they surrendered, Moe woke up and we made the pirates stop pirating. We went back to the Kampung Gajah and Moe talked to the official again. I guess we won the first round in the game cause they seemed pretty happy with us.

Yep, all in all, it was a fun adventure.

I will write soon,

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Re: AAR: [6M] How about a nice game of atlosh t’zdram? Monday 2020-07-06@21:00 GMT

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:11 pm

From "The Skies of Barsaive", as penned by Norg, Brother of Earth and Sky, Corsair of Throal

Moe came to me with a weird story about being approached by a down on his luck turnip farmer who rambled about business opportunities and gave him a package. Inside the package was a fancy Atlosh T'zdram messenger piece. Moe took this as a message from Kampung Gajah instead of the ramblings of a madman, so he was looking for people to accompany him there.

I had nothing more important going on so I joined him, together with Azurea, Temur, and Zivilyn. The trip down to the t'skrang settlement was uneventful and once we got there Moe felt we should ask around about the situation. Apparently the local find trolls exotic and many were happy to talk to me about their situation (I will not entertain Moe's suggestion that they were in fact terrified and hoping that answering would make me go away faster).

Apparently Kampung Gajah had many problems, they wanted to build a proper dock to facilitate trade with Throal but the ideal spot was infested with lightning lizards; they wanted to trade more with the t'skrang downriver but the river was infested with pirates; they wanted to expand their farmlands but even that was infested with some elemental mumbo jumbo.

Moe then wanted to talk to the lahala, what followed was an hour of fancy talking to get the same information we already had, a recruitment pitch for Moe and a lesson in a t'skrang board game. Or politics. Or both. By the time we left to go kill some lighting lizards I was more than ready to squish things.

We reached the indicated marshland and briefly investigated to check if there was any outside interference before a bunch of lizards started tickling us with lightning. The squishing proceeded with no issues and I found out that it's quite easy to pop out the lizard's eyes by applying pressure to the cranium in just the right spots.

For our next step we decided to deal with the pirates, so we hired on a boat bound to V'strimon as guards. The trip down was quite and V'strimon is a fascinating city. Azurea was apparently in love with their baths, quite a change from the last time I saw her. We spent a couple of days there spreading disinformation about our cargo and as we left Moe made sure to hide our cargo of dried fish with a conspicuous illusion of dried fish.

On the way back a pirate boat did attack us, the fight was significantly harder with Moe getting taken out at some point but eventually we got a surrender out of them. Apparently this means they will serve Kampung Gajah for a while, so we decided to leave fixing the farmlands to them.

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