Flaming Sword (Matsuro & Athebryn, with jinko)

Matsuro stumbles one evening to his bed, exhausted from the cold and short days, the flat areas of ice have been utterly horrific for most of the humans but tonight seems to be particularly bad.

What may be the middle of the night, who knows in this long night cycles, Matsuro slowly wakens, he hears the beckoning call of Tian, so soft and whispery… he follows the soft sound out onto the flat icy land. Every time he thinks he’s caught up with the sound it seems to fade and tease him… why is it so hard to catch? Everything is so hazey.

At last Matsuro seems to have reached the sound; there’s a dim light and something glistening just below the snow. Matsuro tries to focus his eyes… It looks like a sword… It looks like Suichen… maybe that’s what is making the sound?

He walks over to the softly glowing sword, laying abandoned in the snow. Why is it here? Why is it calling me? Has it finally realised Ameiko for the fool she is?

Matsuro picks up the sword, it’s frozen cold, but beginning to light up, brighter, and brighter, and starts to warm… It’s on fire! It’s melting!? Why is it melting!?

Blood pours out of the quickly disappearing sword, tian moans of pain rise up and as a bright light spews forth out of the sword. Shadowed by darkness, the melting sword is well lit now, and it’s bleeding, there’s blood everywhere, all over the snow, what is it? Why am I so hazey?

Matsuro focuses his eyes on the blood splatters, they’re not random, they’re lettering, in Tian; “The muddy blood kills the true line. The muddy blood kills the true line. The muddy blood kills the true line…” he follows the writing and it spirals back to where he is standing.

“What is the meaning of this?” Matsuro screams, “Do you taunt me Suichen? What purpose does this serve?!”

The light disappears and Matsuro is left in complete mute darkness… the blood freezing to his hands… he’s still so hazey. Softly the music returns…

When Matsuro awakens the next day, he remembers the event, was that a dream? It was too real, and the words have stuck in his mind. He looks around his bed, he’s snuggled in tight, and everything looks ok. Maybe it was just a nightmare, the icy baren land can play tricks on your mind.

Matsuro gets up and goes about his day, and as he begins to gear up he realises there is blood all over his shoes… engrained with bits of hair that looks a lot like Ameiko’s…

“Shalelu… where is Amekio?”

“No one has seen her this morning, why? Do you know where she went? And more improtantly, why do you care?” Shalelu snares.

“Um… no” Matsuro rushes off.

Functionality of it all

Athebryn approaches Jinko, and tell him it’s time he learn some of the Gnomish ways. It’s time to play with Matsuro.

Athebryn asks Jinko to poison Masturo’s food with something that’ll make him “open to suggestion” and quite drowsy.

Jinko cackles and enjoys the thought of this all. Athebryn explains the large and intricate plan, Jinko is so bemused he only asks “When do we start?”

Jinko’s first gnomish lesson is the art of hiding weapons with paper mache – though in this case he’s covering a ice-blood sculpture of Suichen with paper, and some quite flammable ingredients.

Second lesson for Jinko, size matters. Being small is a blessing given to the Gnomes from the First Forest, behind rocks, out of trees, and from inside hole attacks of surprise come naturally to the small and thin race. Come night fall Athebryn uses his pan-pipped music to lure Matsuro out, and gets Jinko to handle the lighting, while they hide from sight behind mounds and rocks.

With a little pre-planning and Athebryn had already done the writing on the ground, and with the luring of Matsuro, the grand scheme has started.

Matsuro takes the bait, follows Athebryns suggestion and Jinko’s bouncing light, he takes the Suichen-blood-mache, and with a little spark and creative lighting, the dramatic destruction of the Suichen-look-alike riles up emotions and rambling from Matsuro. Covering their giggles with ghostly sounds of Tian crowds, the two pulls off the plan without a hitch.

When Matsuro finally get’s back to camp they quietly clean him up and tuck him in to bed.

“Just you wait till tomorrow Jinko” Athebryn smiles devilishly.

Come the next morning, Athebryn wakes Ameiko super early, and asks her out for soemthing important to show her, but he needs a piece of her hair in exchange. She looks a bit confused at Athebryn, but she’s too tired to ask, she’ll figure it out later. He disappears a moment, and they head out just before the sun comes up.

Jinko covers for Athebryns where abouts, saying he’s getting some breakfast ingredients when people wonder why their breakfasts are taking longer than usual.

The two gnomes are in great spirit, waiting the waking of Matsuro and his reaction.

Not sure how Matsuro’s reaction will be to “The muddy blood kills the true line”, Ameiko’s hair, and some blood on his shoes, and she doesn’t seem to be about. Please amend, :)

Eventually a giggly Athebryn and Ameiko rock up back into camp once the sun has been up a little while, so if Matsuro was worried he had killed Ameiko, he’ll be relieved, but possibly still shaken.

Flaming Sword (Matsuro & Athebryn, with jinko)

Adelaide Jade Regent Wildhunt78 Ribeena