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This is the in-game thread for this OOC thread!
There is a saying in Ammeni - that when you speak of a river, you speak of the visible features. There are hidden currents, undertows, buried treasure and rusted barbs beneath the surface. Only a fool - or a very good liar - speaks only of the river's width, or its speed or color at the surface. It is wise to know everything about a river, Ammenites say, when you speak of it.
So it is with Gonne-on-Maire, the city bisected by a wide, brown river that carries trade ships and soldiers from Ammeni on the southwest side, and the warriors of Khale in their silent canoes among the reeds on the northeast half. A thousand poisoned blades lie hidden on both sides of the city. Rumors and lies fill the streets like flood-waters - that great warriors are coming, that Ammeni's Lords, the Concordant Council, are shaking hands (for once) without the other hand holding a knife, agreeing to overrun the distant half of the city to begin another push into Khale.
And lost among the waters, as well, is a treasure of moon-metal. As if Ammeni needed more reasons, or methods, to kill Khaleans.
(The Bazaar, Ammeni side)
Helina was hungry. That typically meant one thing - she needed work. The market is abuzz with talk about the affair with the bamboo warriors trying to return with the moon-metal. It was strange stuff, almost legendary among Ammenites, who were lucky to see iron in a weapon, much less growing out of the ground. The Khaleans were clearly idiots to stand around and argue about it, rather than using it. Even the poor Ammenites seem to agree on that.
A spread of stalls and hawkers force their way into her mind, chattering, offering ingredients, or wares, or 'services'. Nothing like Helina's line of work, but she recognizes Celie, a simple prostitute specializing in baths, and the source of her last contact. The air was so moist that if an Ammenite could afford cheap love and a scrubdown, they were quick to spend their money. Still, a dozen stalls offering a startling array of ingredients was spread before her. Perhaps finding tools before the job was more important.
(The House of Duval, Ammeni side)
The kitchen is filled with the chop-chop-chop sounds of a meal being prepared. Talk of the attack had flit among the servants all morning, and now, everyone's eyes were pouring tears. If the Lord had asked, everyone would have surely answered that it was their sorrow over the loss of Ammenite lives to the disgusting Khalean ambush, but really, it was the fact that everyone was chopping up onions.
"Drenin," Coleman says, eyes red and soaked, keeping his voice low (the result of which is that he sounds as if he is confessing a great sin at someone's funeral) "the Lord is having guests tonight, guests who... ah... vomit quite liberally when given milk. We need a substitute. When you have a chance, fetch a substitute for the cream sauce for the fish before this evening. Your choice, I think. Unless you want to explain his guests's behavior to the Lord."
Drenin knew the only guests (that he knew of) who tended to react to milk in such ways were certain familiar members of the House of Ruman. A House that had been the rival of the House of Duval for nigh a decade.
How interesting. Surely someone would like to know something like that.
(The banks of the Maire, Khalean side)
Yosol and his companions sit around the glowing embers of a fire, speaking of the attack on the Ammenites trying to steal the moon-metal. Pretty much everyone knew the metal was kept hidden around the city, some tribes worked it into their spears, others wanted to put it on boats and let it float out to sea, as far as it would go. As the conversation progresses, Yosol notes that even this group seems divided on whether or not to use it. The topic of the distant and alien Green World comes up, as the more wise among the group note the metal keeps one from finding one's way there.
"I've never seen the Green World," Pwyll, one of the older boys, says bitterly, "and it certainly didn't help my old tribe survive the Ammenite attack that killed them all. I don't see how it's going to keep the slave-makers out of our land. We should use it." Several nod in agreement, a few look to Yosol for a response.
(The inner streets, Khalean side)
The Khaleans are not really used to spending much time in cities, much less ones that have been killed multiple times in the last couple years. Everyone kind of skirts the edges of the crumbling buildings, treating the structures as giant trees to navigate around. Kerrick nods to others that he knows as he walks; scouts, patrols, gatherers. He glass vials are pressed deep in his pouch.
Finally, he finds the intersection his tribe calls home. He ducks into alleys, stepping smoothly over age-old rubble. He rounds a corner, coming face to face with another Khalean. Lassul, a patrolman for a neighboring tribe that shared responsibilities for watching the nearby streets. Kerrick can see suspicion in his eyes.
"Hello, Kerrick," he says, in a voice that is dripping with a false calm. "You look as if you expected someone else in this place. Where have you been? You seem... troubled."