An Introduction to Mahid

An Unlikely Crew of Survivors: Performance In Sidimegar

In which a relation of previous heroism goes unappreciated by one

The following logs were taken from our in-character channel, edited of most timing, spelling, and syntax errors, and formatted. The historical event depicted in the play was actually ran, roughly parallel, as a standard combat encounter, and there are other checks being made behind the scenes to handle the audience and so forth, but the following is “fluff only,” as all logs posted here shall be.

Gnikrul: It was almost three years ago, now, that the four of you fled into the night, a hastily taken alliance of convenience, or rather of fugitives. Malzen of Grakkor and Mieunet might have had a predating and profitable arrangement, but none of you expected the other two to prove compatible with it.

Gnikrul: Yet, as you alternately raced for your lives and cleverly, patiently contorted your way out of the Pactground, an appreciation for each other’s unique skills began to bud.

Gnikrul: As you took shelter from the wrath of Birtule among the ruthless Grakkori tribes, it flowered, and with the death of Dar on the doomed trade voyage it reached its full.

Gnikrul: Now the old man out for righteous blood, the ancient and ageless trickster woman, the famed and decadent warrior, and the shrewd conqueror of a wretched youth have come to rely on each other when it counts…

Gnikrul: ...out of habit at the very least, and it has made their travels and ventures in the distant South easier, or at least more interesting.

Gnikrul: Recently you have arrived in Sidimegar, a great caravan destination and a sort of neutral territory; almost a little slice of the North, transplanted here in the cold and thin mountain air.

Gnikrul: Shortly after arriving, you have arranged with Bjordord Drukna, a middling officer of the massive and tangled trade guild that operates Sidimegar, to borrow the grounds of his estate for the performance of a retelling of a battle from the early days of Malzen and Mieunet’s wanderings.

Gnikrul: Malzen of Grakkor and Mieunet, of course, will play themselves. Sharif is off being his usual unsubtle self somewhere, and poor Ash’s job today is to play the villain, one Murak Kirull, with whom Malzen and Mieunet settled a bloody grudge in this old battle… or did they?

Starsinger: Mieu summons a bronze face mask (Grecian style) and holds it in front of her face as she narrates. “Our story begins with one Murak Kirull, a longtime thorn in our hero’s side. As our intrepid hero raced for the mythical ‘Chalice of Exuro’, a relic from the Blue Epoch, Murak Kirull smiled to himself in his lair, for being tortured on the rack was none other than Galen of Malkor, our heroine’s fiance! Murak made his conditions known. . .”

Starsinger: “In exchange for the Chalice, he would spare Galen’s life. Our plucky but naive heroine was all for the exchange, but our hero knew better, and refused to let her give the chalice to Murak. And so in the middle of the night she stole it, and ran off to Murak’s lair. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the tale of “Malzen of Grakkor and the Race for the Chalice of Exuro”!

LogicNinja: Malzen himself is seated right in the first row, taking up two seats, his boots kicked up onto the stage; he’s leaning back, a wide-brimmed hat pulled over his face. “Intrepid hero? Boo! You call that storytelling?” he heckles. All part of the show, at least until he’s properly up on stage.

Gnikrul: the audience, at first restless, soon settles into the entranced state you’ve long come to expect.

Starsinger: “If you think you can do better, you get on stage and do it!” Mieu calls out, also part of the act.

Gnikrul: A few nodding heads and guttural “yeah’s” – locals posturing for their women, most likely – sound from the audience, directed to Mal.

Poru: Ash stands towards the back of the room close to the door, ready to act if this show goes wrong… again.

LogicNinja: Mal claps his hands together, once, loudly, and then leans even further back, rolling his weight onto his shoulders and then flipping himself up onto the edge of the stage; from there he goes into a twisting handspring that lands him in a crouch, facing the audience. “Do I think I can do better?” He straightens, grabbing his hat and flicking into into the crowd.

LogicNinja: His blood-scarlet hair tumbles free, decorated with feathers and beads and bits of carved bone; for a moment he’s outlined in purple fire, which then spirals around him to erupt harmlessly in the air. “Of course I can do better! Am I not Malzen of Grakkor?” he roars, throwing his arms up and out, shifting seamlessly into the traditional Ada’bulug.

Gnikrul: The audience gasps, and half of them almost leap out of their seats or grope for weapons, but swiftly their astonishment turns to relieved exuberance, and hearty applause!

Starsinger: Still acting, Mieu exchanges the traditional smiling Grecian-style mask for one that looks to be a sarcastic smirk, “Oh, good, if you’re the real Malzen of Grakkor… then you can tell me what happened next.”

Poru: Ash sighs a little, almost like a parent watching their four-year-old’s antics.

LogicNinja: “I was killing sand giants before other men could pick up a blade! I walked weaponless into the Grey Waste and came out alive! I walked armorless into the lair of the Darkor Bandits and left none of them alive! I’ve slept with more women than the lot of you have fingers! I’ve left the wealthiest men in every city shaking with fear! I EAT LIGHTNING AND SHIT THUNDER! I DRINK BLOOD AND PISS DEATH! I am Malzen of Grakkor…”

LogicNinja: ...he whirls in Mieunet, “and I’ll tell you all what happened next! I wore out four camels getting to the ruins where Murak Kirull, may his soul still howl in the desert sandstorms, had laired up—and even then I barely got there in time to keep YOU from giving him the damned chalice!”

Starsinger: Mieu tosses the face mask aside (it disappears in a prestidigitation effect) and pulls out a lavish blue chalice studded with (fake) sapphires. She bends over some, with her hands on her knees, panting for breath. “Murak! I’m here you coward! I have the chalice, unleash Galen like you promised!”

Gnikrul: The audience hoots at Malzen’s crescendo, some still standing, then settles into attentive silence as the story unfolds.

LogicNinja: Mal, playing his part, whirls and takes a few long strides that put him at the far end of one side of the stage. His shadow twists and writhes behind him, doing a decent impression of a man on a collapsing camel.

Gnikrul: From his vantage point, Ash notices a Grakkori female lounging against the back wall with seemingly no interest at all in the events on stage, oddly enough.

Gnikrul: She looks… almost bored!?

Starsinger: Mieu snaps her fingers and an invisible orchestra begins to play

Poru: Ash puts on a smirk as the music begins to play. He slowly walks up to the stage, menacing at anyone foolish enough to stare for too long. “Well, Mieu, I admit, I’m impressed. I half expected you to be dead right now.” From the corner of his eye he notices Mal, “You. What are you doing here?” He says in a snarl.

Starsinger: Mieu spins around seeing Mal. “You can’t stop me! Galen’s life depends on this!”

Gnikrul: A frightened murmur ripples across the crowd when the music begins. A couple soft scraping noises are heard as blades are loosened is scabbards, and you see many heads turning to their neighbors, brows creased, but Mieu’s confident performance stops the budding riot in its tracks

LogicNinja: Mal springs forward, knives appearing in his hands without even a flourish to produce them, catching the light. “Murak Kirull! Did you really think I’d let you live?” A dagger whistles past Ash’s head, burying itself in the wall past the stage, and he turns to Mieu. “You fool! Do you really think he’d let him live?”

Starsinger: “Where is he, Murak? Where’s Galen?”

Poru: Ash doesn’t even flinch as the dagger flies past, “You’ll have to do better than that, Mal. Childish tricks don’t cut it anymore.” He turns to look over at Mieu, “He’s behind the wall. I must say, he’s different than when you last saw him.” Before she runs over, he grabs her arm, “The chalice first though.”

Starsinger: Mieu glares at Murak, her voice quavers as she speaks, “You bastard! Malzen was right, you were never going to return him. You want your chalice?”

Starsinger: Mieu throws the chalice into the air, twirls around, a longbow forming on the bracelet on her left wrist and she pulls the string back, an arrow shattering the chalice into a shower of blue glass. “There’s your chalice.”

LogicNinja: Mal leaps for the stage wall, actually taking two long strides across it before he pushes himself off, landing in a crouch near Ash and then springing straight, his blades coming up. “Damn you both, my treasure!” he roars, and leaps at Ash. Another knife has replaced the one he threw away, and the long daggers flash, coming in at three-quarters of combat speed, and in ways that are far more showy than combat-effective—exactly as he and Ash practiced, however briefly.

Poru: Dodging the daggers, Ash smirks, “Is that the best you can do? I’ve got a better one for you!” He yells as a bastard sword appears in his right hand. Gripping it with both hands, he takes a step forward, swinging it at Mieu.

Starsinger: Mieu twirls out of the way, “Hah! You swing with all the alacrity of a cow!”

LogicNinja: Mal sidesteps along with Ash’s movement, expertly, his knives coming up and out in a cross-parry, then moving it up and back down in an arc to his right, one of his knives now on top; a quick backhand swipe at the impractical level of Ash’s head forces him to duck, and then Mal comes across with a fierce side-kick that he pulls subtly short, shin tapping quite gently against Ash’s side—a signal to roll with it.

Poru: “Ha, I’m just toying with you. If I wanted you to be dead, you would be dead, you tramp.” Murak smirks.

Starsinger: Mieu turns the audience, a spotlight surrounding her for a moment, “What’s with these guys calling me a tramp?”

Gnikrul: The audience laughs dutifully, if a little nervously

Poru: Ash follows Mal’s cue and pops back up his sword at the ready. He turns his face away from the audience so as not to let his quick smile show at Mieu’s comment.

LogicNinja: Mal strides back in, daggers whirling through the air in front of him—it’s not something anyone but a rank amateur would try in a fight, but it does look good on stage. Metal clangs against metal in the traditional weapon-attacking-weapon display of stage combat, Mal leading the exchange, slowly turning Ash’s back towards Mieu…

Gnikrul: Near the back of the audience, money is changing hands. it seems there is nothing Sidimegarans won’t bet on.

Starsinger: Mieu jumps back and fires an arrow Murak, which explodes with a loud bang.

Gnikrul: The audience gasps and jumps at all the right moments. You’re all quite on your game today.

Poru: Ash takes back from Mal’s lunge clutching his side.

Poru: At the same time he tosses a vial of poison kept at his belt towards his two foes.

Starsinger: Mieu groggily fires her bow at at Murak, choking and coughing because of the toxins from the vial.

Starsinger: “What the hell…” Mieu stops to cough, “Poison…?”

LogicNinja: “He’s always been a poisonous bastard,” Mal snarls, in between showy exchanges of easily-parried blows with Ash. “Ever since we first met him in Birtule. But we know how that ended!”

Starsinger: Mieu looks at the audience again, “Now now, that is a story for another time.” and then she winks, before continuing the stage combat

Poru: Ash keeps up the parrying with Mal, allowing a blow to land every now and again.

LogicNinja: “What made you think you could come after us and live to tell the tale? Who told you that you were better than Malzen of Grakkor?!”

Poru: “Woah now. I think you were the one who came after me. Plus I have a gift for you.” With that, Ash tosses another vial of green-tinted water towards his “foes”.

LogicNinja: In marked contrast to the actual events of the past, Mal slips nimbly out of the way, snagging Ash’s wrist and tugging him along into a throw. “You came after us when you took our gold, killed our friends, and left us stranded in the Waste! We go way back, Murak, but it ends here!”

Gnikrul: The entire audience is entranced… except, apparently, for the Grakkori woman in the back. She yells, straining against the unfriendly (from her position) acoustics and the clanging of your reenactment: “You call that fighting!?” A few of those among the audience who fancy themselves cultured murmur, aghast at her rudeness.

LogicNinja: With a flourish, Mal steps in just as Ash is getting to his feet, knives rapping lightly against his temples—then makes a show of ‘slitting his throat’. “So ended Murak Kirull! And so end all who come up against Malzen of Grakkor!” he roars to the crowd, displaying his blades.

Starsinger: Mieu fires an arrow offstage, toward Ms. Opinionated Loudmouth

Gnikrul: ...who sneers at it distastefully through its entire flight.

LogicNinja: Mal raises a hand, gesturing sharply. “I call that a show! If it were fighting, I’d need to get a new friend to play every enemy!”

Gnikrul: More than a few audience members nod or agree, but the heckler woman is only emboldened by recognition. “You are a charlatan! You disgrace Ada’bulug with your bad form, your empty flourishes!”

Gnikrul: A mousy, nervous looking man leaps up, stammering at her: “W-w-why would you do this! Just leave her alone! We c-c-came all the way from…” and promptly breaks into tears. Those nearby him shrink back, horrified at his shameful display.

LogicNinja: “Empty? I AM MALZEN OF GRAKKOR!” Mal thunders, the darkfire corona flaring about him once again. “Where now is Mirak Kirull? Where are the Bandits of Darkor? Where is the Giant of the Grey Waste? Where is the favored son of House Kirill, their finest blademaster? My boasts are as full as their graves! Every word I speak has the essence of truth, and if you doubt it, come up and dance—if you’re not afraid to be shamed before one and all!”

Gnikrul: Despite herself, the heckler woman winces, and knows it showed. Like any proper Grakkor, though, showing weakness only makes her furious. She stumbles over her words for a moment, trying to accept your challenge, now as a way to save herself rather than tear you down.

Gnikrul: A nearby Szeren man goads her: “What’s the matter, now, dog? Afraid to be shown your place?”

Gnikrul: The heckler woman screeches in impotent rage and, in one swift motion, draws and promptly beheads him, then races for the exit!

Gnikrul: For a moment, they’re too stunned to react, but then the audience explodes in surprise, outrage, and horror.

LogicNinja: “STOP!” Mal roars. “Leave her to me!”

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