Gotha date; RH

 
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Kakuri
05-19-2016, 02:04 PM
Post: #1
Kakuri
The federal police post at the township of Nybygge was a quiet place. The Fisks managed themselves perfectly well, the federal police was only there to make sure that federal laws were applied in a similar way as elsewhere in Vittmark. But the police officers experienced soon enough that laws from the other side of Gotha didn't make that sense on these tropical, company owned islands. So they kept a low profile, preferred to stay in the shadow, just focussing on customs to ensure that the Fisks managed a level playing field where everyone got the opportunity to equally corrupted.

Pettersson was still sitting on the back porch of the station, enjoying a locally brewed ale. It was already getting dark, but since had not been active all day, he didn't feel any urge to go home either. Home and work were intertwined anyway, his wife was his legal assistant and they had their living quarters in the same shack.

Suddenly a young woman with local roots was standing right beside him, as having appeared from out of nowhere, but in reality from the shrubbery behind the police post. She was wearing a maid's uniform, but despite her clearly working for a Stoldavian stim, her Wortsproke was very limited.
”You... open?”
”For you, always, my love,” replied the officer in the usual condescending tone the Stoldavians used against the natives.
”Me, working at Anderssons. They not know me here. Please...”
”Problems at home?”

Pettersson knew that domestic issues between Stoldavic stims and their locally recruited or halfbreed staff were impossible to solve. The tölps were still 5 decades behind in their social development and treated their staff as if they owned them. The lack of legal status for non-registered natives in combination with the closely knit society in Nybygge made in-house servants as good as property.

”Me, Kakuri. To 100.”
Pettersson didn't understand. He assumed the girl's name was Kakuri. But his wife knew better. She had walked up to the porch when she heard a conversation with a guest.
”Hello... My name is Blixt. What is your name?”
”She just said,” interrupted Pettersson.
”No, no,” his wife replied, ”she IS Kakuri, but she has a name. Kakuri is the tribe living on the other side of the island.”

The Kakuri girl took a deep bow towards Blixt.
”Name no important. I have message from Kakuri. You... follow?”
This was unusual. The native tribes were completely left on their own, totally ignored. They were not registered as inhabitants and as long as they kept to themselves the Fisks stayed out of their way. There had been violent clashes of course, mostly due to cultural differences and lack of communication. But the last decades the separation had worked well. At least for the colonizers. But the local tribes had never before reached out. Until now it seems. Pettersson grabbed his handgun, put it in his belt and followed the girl.

”Shouldn't you take some reinforcements with you? You don't know what's waiting for you.”
”If they wanted me dead, this girl could have slit my throat 10 minutes ago. They came to me as representative of the federation. I'm not bringing Fisks security forces with me. That usually doesn't end well.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-20-2016, 12:35 PM
Post: #2
RE: Kakuri
Pettersson and the Kakuri girl had walked for about two hours through the eerie red light of the full moon. It was still quite hot here in the dense vegetation of the island. Pettersson was used of the sea breeze providing some cooler temperatures at night, especially on the top of the cliffs of Nybygge where his station lay. He had tried to keep the conversation with the girl going, but most of the time he didn't know if she was talking her native language or attempted Wortsproke.

She was walking at quite a pace and Pettersson - a nearly 30-year old, rather well trained officer - had difficulties keeping up. The terrain was unusual and the moon didn't give that much light so he had to keep track of where to put his feet. So he bumped into her when she suddenly stopped. He wanted to apologize but already was only inches away from her face. Suddenly he could understand the attraction of local girls, her face was glowing red, perfect skin and you could never say if a native girl was 15 or 35...

”Bae Ging Nu Gais” she whispered when she indicated Pettersson to keep quiet. He took a step back and only said ”What?” She did another attempt.
”Burrea King Nu Gaits... You ready?”
Her Wortsproke clearly only consisted of the words she needed in the context of her work as a maid, but she had difficulty with new words and context. She said it again and then suddenly the message dropped with Pettersson.

”Breaking new gates?”
”Yes, burreaking new gates. You ready?”
He now understood what she meant: opening new doors. He nodded. The girl then pushed away some low branches, now showing an opening in the forest where a small fire was burning. Some people were waiting there for him. He did a quick head count, 8 people. His six-shooter would be useless here. He grabbed it anyway.
”No... no...” the girl whispered. But Petterson continued, took out all six bullets and put them in the girls hand. She gazed at him.
”Glory flowers or burial flowers”, he said. A typical Vittmarker expression indicating an extreme risk.
”Yes... Flower is there. You know Flower?”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-21-2016, 12:54 PM
Post: #3
RE: Kakuri
Pettersson slowly approached the group that had gathered around the small fire in this forest opening. These people are small, he thought when he came closer. Until he noticed that some of them were women. Or girls... Most of them actually were women. The only two men were standing at the sides, a bit more at the background. The girls were wearing quite festive, colorful outfits. He bowed shortly with his arms wide open towards the entire group, then with his hands held together he made small nods towards each and everyone. He had no idea if that was the right approach.

Suddenly two girls started a little dance, followed one girl playing on some sort of music instrument he had never seen before, some sort of drum with strings that made a weird popping sound. Then the girl in the centre started playing on two little drums. Her hair was so black that it almost looked blue in the pale light of the fire. Both were incredibly fast. And then the singing started.

Pettersson was flabbergasted. Not only was this unlike anything he had been expecting, but the weird music was something he had never heard before. He was enchanted by it in some way, but he didn't understand a thing of course. There was huge energy emerging from these people, movements were bold, big, sometimes even plainly violent. After 5 minutes or so the song ended. Pettersson started applauding but soon realized that the other people did not understand it. So he went back to taking a deep bow and then addressed the maid that had accompanied him here.

”Could you tell them that I thank them for this... opportunity? Breaking new gates?”
”No, perception,” she replied, before starting a whole conversation with the girls that must have been about much more than just Pettersson's request.
”You, follow me,” the girl then turned towards him. They walked towards the girl with the strange popping instrument.

”This... Chopper...”
”Chopper? Her name is Chopper?”
”Name is what you are. She IS Chopper.”
”My name is Petter, Petter Pettersson.”
”Yes, but what are you. What does your name mean?”
”Ehrm... Rock, I guess”
”You... Rock?” the maid replied, and then she translated it quickly. Most girls started laughing, but in a polite way.
”They say, Rock, good name.”
”Thanks... I guess... Chopper is also a good name. And this is?”

Most girls had colors as names. The first dancer was Green, the singer Orange (although she could be named after the fruit as well) and a second plopping instrument players as Pink. But it turned out that they meant Little Finger instead. Lastly he was introduced to the girl with the drums. She seemed small and thin but Pettersson noticed that she had well developed biceps.
”This... is Flower.”

She produced a piece of paper, neatly rolled up, and handed it to Pettersson. Then the women turned around and left the clearing followed by the two men, who hadn't been introduced at all. Pettersson didn't even know the native tribes had paper, or knew writing. She looked at the maid.
”And you, what is your name?”
”Maid” she replied.
Pettersson frowned.
”Maid? Seriously”
”Name is what you are, I am Maid. Rock, follow me...”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-22-2016, 10:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Kakuri
Pettersson was staring at the paper. He had missed a whole night's sleep and still he was feeling as energetic as if he had returned from the best meditation session ever. At least he understood now where the paper came from. Besides the scribbly-wibbly type of symbols he couldn't understand, there were some notes in Hallisian. Poor Hallisian, but still. The Kakuri clearly had been in touch with the Hallisians at some point.

”Em, could you do something for me? Visit the Anderssons and try to get hold of Maid. Maybe she can explain.”
Maid had vanished from Pettersson's sight shortly after the were on familiar grounds again. He understood that this was a delicate matter, a federal officer asking for a maid would raise suspicion. So his wife had to reestablish contact.

But Maid couldn't be of any help. Being born as full native servant into the Anderssons household, she never had learned to write. That clearly was a privilege only for high ranking cultural figures. She did however stress that the matter was urgent and the Kakuri meant well.

”What does Pettersson... feel?”
Em Blixt thought she knew what she meant.
”He was excited, thrilled...”
”Thrill? My sister... her name... Thrill. He knew Flower there, he knows Thrill?”
”I don't think he knows any of them, but Vind's plan is a mystery to all of us.”
”Ah yes, Vind,” Maid replied, ”Your God, Wind... Good name...”

------

It had taken six weeks for the message to reach the right government department in Östvallen. The foreign department thought this was an internal matter, while the federal department thought it was a job for the foreign department. So the justice department took the initiative to approach Queen Anna directly.

”We don't know what the message is about. The federal police thinks it's urgent and a delicate matter, local security does not know about this. Our knowledge of their language is too limited to understand the writings, and their attempt at bringing the news in Hallisian didn't work well. But we do know that they secretly contacted the only federal representation, they met in peace while they exchanged... an experience. We assume that they are reaching out to us, over the heads of Fisks, reaching out to you. The words in the message indicate that. But we're not sure.”

”Signal the federal police that we're taking over the matter. We'll send an emissary to clear this out. And disguise it as a royal visit,” Anna replied.
”Surely her majesty can not travel to Fisks just for this.”
”Rest assured, I won't. But I know someone who can travel, is family and has been there already.”

But Moa was hesitative about travelling to the other side of the world for a secret nightly meeting in a forest based on a cryptic note.
”Remember when you were just a child, how thrilled you were to come to Herrkulla, to travel to Östvallen for the first time, to set up a household in Blåkulla?” Anna tried to remind her.
”Yeah, but all those times my dad was there as well. I'm too old to hide behind his back now.”
”Maybe, but it might be a good idea if he came along. After all, as a royal guest it might be difficult to sneak out. With Palne present it might be possible.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-24-2016, 10:11 PM
Post: #5
RE: Kakuri
The airship had made a perfect landing at the tower of Nybygge.
”His royal highness herr Palne av Blåkulla and Her royal highness crown princess Moa!” Pettersson cried it out loud when they disembarked. A large delegation from Fisks was awaiting them. Unlike a maritime approach, where the guests still had to make the steep ascend to the government quarters on top of the cliff, an airship approach had the clear advantage of touching down right besides the residency.

”Are we ready to do this” Moa whispered towards Pettersson when they walked towards the building.
”It's already tonight,” he replied, ”I hope you are prepared.”
Moa pointed at her luggage. On top of her trunk was a small violin coffin.
”For Vind, yeah.”

So when Palne was sitting at the banquet, excusing the crown princess' absence due to travel inconveniences and heat exhaust, Moa made her way through the forest. As a child she always had loved playing around in nature, although most time she had been living above the tree line in mountainous Fjällsta. Somehow she had lost interest with all the changes that came with moving to Blåkulla, becoming royalty and growing up in general, but now she felt the rush coming back. She insisted on carrying her violin coffin herself and had no problem keeping up with Maid.

Pettersson could not tell if they headed for the same clearing, but after 2 hours or so a faint light of a camp fire became visible. Maid directed her attention to Moa for the first time.
”You... No...” she corrected herself, ”Highness... Highness' name, what does it mean?”

Moa had expected this question. She had decided to lie about this. Her full name was Tovemor, literally Mother of Thunder but figuratively Bringer of Profound Change. It was considered a bombastic name in Vittmark, Rawa and Palne had chosen it because becoming parents was a profound change, but most people thought such a name would mean a burden of expectations for the girl.

”Mother's dream” she replied.
Maid's mouth fell open.
”That... good name... But you no Queen no?”
”No, I am the crown princess, I will become Queen if the Queen wants me to.”
”Queen your mother?”
Moa hesitated, but decided to tell the truth this time.
”No... I am accepted into the stim.”
Maid understood. She was working and living with a stim, so she know what this was about.
”So... you Queen's Dream? Queen decides? Even better.”

The company awaiting them wasn't the same as the time before. This time there were five women and three men, dressed in black and brown. Pettersson was pretty sure he recognized most of the attendees, but the woman in the middle stuck out. She was blonde. She had the physical characteristics of the other Kakuri but her hair was light as the sunshine on Stoldavia.

Moa was introduced to the four women, which turned out to be the same ones, except for the blonde one.
”This...” Maid introduced her with lots of hesitation, ”is Fanken”.
Moa looked up at her. Fanken was another name for "hell". She addressed her directly, hoping that Maid could translate.
”Seriously... You are... Fanken?”
”That... her father said at birth... he knew he not father... she result of...”
”That's horrible. Tell her no one IS what they are called at birth, but becomes what they want. Tell her I want to call her Surprise. She IS Surprise.”

It took a while to explain, and Surprise replied in an unexpected way.
”She asks... can touch hair... wants to know Dream is real.”
Moa had not anticipated that her reddish type of blonde was something these people never might have encountered before. But she allowed it.
”Durrum...” Surprise said.
Moa copied the gesture, lightly touching Surprises hair.
”Överraskning” she replied.
”Urraskinu” Surprise echoed, followed by the other women. ”Urraskinu!”

Moa took the opportunity to open the violin coffin. She had no idea how her instrument would sound after a long journey and in this moist heat, she decided to test anyway and made some quick adjustments before staring off with a traditional ballad, a song called ”You and me” which she thought might work as a reply to their song in some way.

The Kakuri women never had seen nor heard such an instrument, but still replied with three handclaps and a little bow, exactly the response Pettersson had given some weeks before. But their own song had a completely different tone. Even though the musical language was totally different, Moa understood that this wasn't anything like the festive song Pettersson had described to her. This was more dark, angry, in some way even bombastic. But beautiful. Moa could feel a tear rolling out of her eyes.

The women noticed this too after their song had finished. They started yelling, first among each other, then at Maid. The men in the background entered the discussion as well. Until Flower banged on her drums. Maid started explaining.
”You... come to Kakuri town. Day after tomorrow.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-26-2016, 11:03 PM
Post: #6
RE: Kakuri
On the way back Maid had tried to explain.
”Highness... tears, say weakness... say guilt... say forgiveness...”
”I was just moved by the song. I don't understand.”
”Your Vind understands. You moved, you not understand. Is good.”

She explained that the song described the arrival of Fisks from the Kakuri point of view. They knew ships of course, large ships even, but had never seen a steel hull steamer. And suddenly two of those showed up at the coast, dropping off white people that start taking more than they needed. By lack of any reference these ships are referred to as the Loud Twin Stars.

But Maid was more worried about how to get to the Kakuri town. She had never been there, she didn't know the way, and she didn't know where they would end up at all. Moa was more worried about if it would be possible to sneak out again. Maid insisted on calling the settlement town, while Moa always had had the impression that the natives lived in simple huts made of twigs and leaves.

”Let's plan a botanical excursion tomorrow,” Palne suggested at the breakfast table. ”As good Orkanans we want to get to know the place better by standing on the ground and see what happens there. Fisks might not have behaved as good Orkanans, but they surely can understand where we are coming from. My main concern is how to avoid Fisks security guards following along.”

The day program started off with an inspection of the security forces of Fisks at Nybygge. Being as considerate as possible, Fisks had seen to it that two distant cousins from Palne were present at the inspection. Gilles Villes was run by former refugees from Friställen, who ran the place on behalf of Fisks. These refugees were full cousins of Palne's mother, so there was a thin family line with these two grandchildren.

”You know what would be nice? If Rolf and Kattis could show us around the forest surrounding Nybygge. I want to get a better understanding of nature, and would like to combine it with spending time with my family. Do you think that is possible?” Palne suddenly had seen how he could get security guards who would act on blood band as well.

Of course Fisks wanted to accommodate, but insisted that the federal police would follow along as well. The distant cousins reported to the police station that same night, so the group could leave before dawn.
”They are already here,” Em Blixt told them when both of Fisks guards arrived together with Palne and Moa. ”They made sure I heard them. They're still hiding in the bushes, but your transport to Kakuri has arrived, so it seems.”
Rolf and Kattis didn't understand what Blixt was talking about, but Palne indicated them to put their weapons on the table. Still nothing happened. But that changed when Pettersson arrived with Maid.

”I had to arrest her to get her out of the Anderssons household. Remind me to come up with a plausible...”
Suddenly six figures in hoods appeared from the dark.
”I'll never be able to sit down quietly on this porch again.”
These people appeared to be the same male guards as the night before, and Moa recognized Flower, Little Finger and Chopper. Flower started addressing Maid immediately.

”She wants to know, who other people.”
Em Blixt wanted to introduce herself, but Maid started with Palne of course.
”Sir, Highness... Your name, what does it mean?”
”The Pole, I guess?”
Maid translated in an elaborate way and the Kakuri women started sniggering.
”Little Finger says... Your Queen... Lucky woman.”
This actually might have been the first time the two people communicated directly through conversation, not by gestures or songs.
”I also told them, the others, are like their others.”

Palne understood. Extra guards didn't have to be introduced. They were entourage. The four Kakuri women, Maid included discussed with each other for quite a while. In the mean time Palne updated his distant cousins about what was about to happen.
”Inland territory? We have never been there. It's too dangerous.”
”We are invited,” Moa explained, ”so I'm pretty sure we're safe. If they wanted to harm us, Chopper would have taken care of us all by now.”
”That little girl? Doesn't look dangerous.”
”Trust me, I've seen her hands in action on a musical instrument, she's strong and quick. And called Chopper.”

”All of you... follow...” Maid interrupted.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-27-2016, 11:02 PM
Post: #7
RE: Kakuri
The trip towards Kakuri, wherever it was, began in an unexpected place. Right outside the main harbor three hollow tree canoes were hidden in the mangrove forest. Everyone was supposed to help rowing when they headed for the open sea in the dark. They unfolded some sort of sail as soon as the town was out of sight. Moa thought the trip couldn't take long when she saw the pace and strength with which Flower was paddling. But the Kakuri had had stamina and kept rowing for two to three hours straight until they steered towards a cliffy part of coast with choppy surf. The Kakuri manoeuvred the vulnerable splinters of wood through the rocks until they reached an opening that probably was invisible from the open sea in bright daylight as well.

The lagoon they reached now was unbelievably calm compared to the sea they had been paddling through. Flower started singing a song as soon as they entered it, the two other girls joined them from the other canoes.
”They say thanks for safe passage,” Maid explained.

The landscape they entered when they landed was completely different from the gentle slopes in the immense rainforest behind Nybygge. It was a steep climb on a well trodden path, which was more like a staircase in many places. On the little pebble beach they left there were many more canoes and trimarans, most of them much more detailed and smooth than the primitive canoes they had used themselves.

The walk still was quite long and took most of the night. The path had branches coming in and out, which led Palne to think that there had to be more settlements hidden in these woods. But the natives probably kept their distance thanks to the Kakuri bursting out in loud singing every now and then. Dawn was approaching when the group was halted at the edge of the forest. The blonde Kakuri and the two dancers from the first meeting were there as well.

”Flower says... welcome to Kakuri... good timing, sun will rise soon. Please, sit down.”
Slowly the sun started rising above the horizon, which in fact turned out to be the sea that they had left behind hours ago. When daylight crawled across the shallow saddle point in the mountain range separating the valley from the sea, an uncanning scene unfolded. Slowly but steady the silhouettes of dozens of rectangular buildings became visible, stone houses, workshops, even paved streets.

”This is not the primitive hunter-gatherer village I expected” murmured Palne, but Maid indicated that this was not a time of talking.

Flower signaled that they could get up. The group continued through what seemed to be a wider main street towards a rooflike structure supported by four round pillars in stone, a sort of pavillion. In the mean time more Kakuri people were opening their doors and following the group towards the pavillion. At the first step of the stairs leading up to a platform, Chopper, Flower and Little Finger turned around and began talking. Quickly, like a dialogue where the three women each seemed to tell a part of a story. With lots of gestures.

”It's a play... or something like that.”
Palne might be right, since Flower clearly was using different voices, one of them being the quirky sound Palne himself was making when talking. He couldn't pinpoint the deep growl she used though, sometimes exactly in harmony with one of the other women telling her part of the story. Halfway there, the instruments came up again and there was a really quick version of a song, after which the story continued for 10 more minutes. According to the unisone ”hai” that came from the crowd behind them, the story had been told.

”Now your turn,” Maid said.
”What are we supposed to do?”
”Something.”
”The everything ever greeting” said Palne to Moa.
”What? You can't be serious,” replied Moa. The 'everything ever greeting' was a short game that parents played with their 4-5 year olds. But Palne said that these people didn't know that.
”Is that the thing with the hand above your head,” Rolf whispered from behind, ”because our aunt Märthe used to play that with us.”

”Stage time,” Palne said and with two swift steps he was up that first step, not facing the audience, but facing Moa.
”My oh my, what a surprise. Also in these neck of the woods?” Palne declared through overacting.
”Well sir, it's my forest as well as it is yours.”
They moved their right hands behind their backs, up behind their heads until above, when they did 3 turns with their hands, waved the arm all the way back, making a step backwards by putting the right foot behind the left one, making a deep bow.
They then turned around, where Kattis and Rolf were standing. They repeated the same ritual and then turned towards the crowd, repeating it for the second time.

It remained dead quiet.
”If somebody ever tells this back home, they will think we've gone mad.”
”Well, these people think the same thing.”
”Song!” half-whispered Maid, trying to hide her embarressment for interrupting. But then Moa realized she didn't bring her violin. They had no other option than to improvise. Palne leaned towards Chopper who still was holding her stringed drum type instrument. He pointed with his whole left hand towards the instrument and his right hand to himself. Chopper made eye contact with Flower, who clearly was in charge here. With a short nod she indicated she could hand over the instrument.

”Are you mad,” started Moa ”we don't know the ritual meaning of the instrument and you don't know how to play it.
Palne carefully plucked one of the strings spanning the drum, which made a tone that was close to a deep D, the middle string A sharp and the third a higher D. The string seemed to be made from some dried intestines and stretched out across a short wooden extension. He was looking for the 6th position, trying to produce a higher A sharp on the third string. He was pretty spot on at his first attempt. He continued rythmically combining the two D's and two A#'s.
”It's a pocket version of a standing bass,” he said to Moa, ”you should try as well.”
”Rather not. But this sounds like...”
”It does. Vind blows, Vind knows. Maid, please tell them this song is called A Flower.”

The song was about raindrops falling from a flower onto the ground, thinking that the major event of sharing existence with something as beautiful as a flower could never be topped, until all the drops gathered in a steam and they formed a mighty waterfall. Not that the Kakuri would understand any of this, but a song was a song. The waterfall part of the song was a loud climax, usually followed by a solo that would take the pace down again. In this case Moa had to improvise humming to get the song back to the subtle level of the start. Palne ended the song as he started it, then turned towards Chopper, bending down his head and kneeling slightly to return the instrument.

But Flower stepped in, grabbed the instrument, then bowed her head towards Chopper, kneeling even deeper until her hand were way above her head. Chopper then accepted the instrument and held it high in her hands with a smile on her face.
”So... that's how it's done” Palne stated.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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05-30-2016, 11:33 AM
Post: #8
RE: Kakuri
The guests were invited for breakfast, even though Palne's cousins had to stay outside the pavillion. Still, there were only women present on the Kakuri side of the meeting. Palne tried to find out what the reason was. It was a difficult conversation, not only because Maid's knowledge of Wortsproke was limited to serving meals and cleaning rooms. Her understanding of Kakuri culture was limited due to the fact that she was born and raised in a Stoldavic stim.

”Women... manages things... at home. Men work. Fish. Build. Woman speaks. Men do.”
”Women speak... Are they just messengers?”
”Yes, messenger, yes. Not running.”
Palne thought she meant not being involved in local leadership, not actually running things. But it turned out that women were not supposed to run away from trouble. The male guards that had accompanied the women they had met so far weren't actually guards. Their job wasn't to protect the women, their job was to get the hell out of there in case of trouble, so that they could report the failure back to the leadership. The women were expendible. They would not be running, but sacrifice themselve in order for the men to be able to report back home.

”Moa and I are also messengers. But we are not expendible. We are also leadership. Do these women have a connection with the leadership?”
Maid understood the difference, but wasn't able to explain. Moa interrupted, indicating that Maid should have time to eat as well. Then Moa continued herself.
”Dad, this place... This is Fjällsta.”

Palne understood what Moa meant. This was a hidden society much similar like Palne's own movement had withdrawn to the mountains during the Pan-Anarian War and the following Three Ways Conflict. Fisks had always told them that the natives were primitive fishers and fruit gatherers, living in the forest, not harming anyone. Fisks interests were not exploration or complete colonization, they just needed several safe havens and the room to support their society in order to run their core business: seafaring trade. On these southern islands the area was pretty much untouched outside the trading towns and surrounding plantations. Fisks just raided it every once in a while when cheap labor was needed.

”Do you think they are reaching out in a similar way like you did in '69,” Moa continued.
”Possible, but I don't know. What we do know is that they have been in touch with Hallisians, but not when, where and under which circumstances. We know that their contacts with Fisks have been negative. They are smart, they know how we work. They reached out to Pettersson, knowing that he represented something above Fisks. They move about the area undetected, they come with crappy canoes but have much better seagoing vessels, all that for remaining hidden as society in case they would get caught.”

”Yes, but how do we let them know this? She is not really the language expert we need for these kinds of missions.”
Moa made sure she used her juicy southern accent when talking with Palne, hoping Maid would not understand because of her own tölp accent.
”Then this is not a mission. We are here to meet people. Meet cultures.”

After lunch the women led the guests around the town, which actually looked in much better shape than many settlements in the poorest regions of southern Vittmark. They were shown potteries and a llama farm, but Palne laid notice on the bamboo gutters that ran alongside the roofs filling wooden kegs inside the houses, as well as stone beds where vegetable were grown, a fully working drinking water and irrigation system. This had taken some carefull planning and skilled building techniques. They also got to see a building that was introduced as 'main hall', Palne interpreted it as some sort of government building and his hunch was confirmed when the women made sure they weren't allowed to enter. Today was not the day to meet the leadership, just the messengers.

But the visit ended abruptly, when three guards pointed out clouds above the forest.
”Is fire,” Maid explained, ”is for you.”
A small group of scouts gathered to escort out the guests.
”The women, they are messengers. What is the message?” Palne tried to convince Maid to dig deeper.
”Message is for leader. What your message to leader?”

Palne tried to think quickly.
”Thanks for sharing. Thanks for the meal. I can bring your request to our leader. We have respect for you.”
But Maid didn't understand the concept of respect. So Moa gave it a try.
”The Loud Twin Stars, they are not the right family. Our Queen, Fighting Eagle, does not want llamas. Fighting Eagle wants sisters and brothers.”

The women clearly understood. Except for the part of the eagle, since that bird was unknown here
”You are messengers. You want to bring message to Fighting Eagle, meet us at Rock's house the day after tomorrow.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-01-2016, 07:28 AM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2016 04:35 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #9
RE: Kakuri
The group quickly made its way through the forest. No more elaborate paths on this side of town after an hour or two of walking, but Palne's company spotted more small groups of stone buildings hidden under the canopy before that. It still took four more hours until they reached the place where the fire had raged. Palne was worried that Fisks' security forces had started looking for them, but Maid could explain that the fire was created as an excuse for Palne to explain for the delayed return.

Which worked perfectly. Suddenly the Kakuri scouts vanished and not a minute later they met with a Fisks patrol. They were escorted back to Nybygge where they arrived on a horse-drawn carriage which had picked them up at the furthest outlying plantations. Maid had hopped off before they reached the town, sneaking her way back to the Andersons house where her colleagues had tried to cover for her. The whole trip had lasted nearly 20 hours and everyone was exhausted.

Of course, the event called for an official debriefing. They had plenty of time to straighten out their stories of course. No one told they already left the night before, the official version was 'just before dawn'. Palne took the blame for getting lost. He told the Fisks security forces that he should have trusted the local guide more, instead of his security guards who weren't that familiar with the terrain. Of course the event was the main topic at the diner table later that day.

”It was my mistake that we walked around for hours,” Palne explained, ”and my mistake alone. I don't want these guards nor the guide to suffer from any consequences. All three of them have saved us, moved us away from the danger, towards sources of water and food so that we could sustain the entire day.”

”By the way,” Palne started tableside conversation with his host Arild Fisk, ”the guide tried to explain the Kakuri to us. Rolf and Kattis confirmed that there are stories about hidden villages in the forest.”
”The Kakuri Gold legend? They tried to pull that crap on you? Shame on them. It's a story, nothing more. We know these islands by now, we should have found this pot of gold or the source of eternal youth already. Listen...”
Arild started leaning towards Palne.

”For many people it is easier to explain things they don't understand with a legend. Just like fundamentalist Orkanans use The Scriptures to get rid of their insecurities and fears. Since we know about carbon, iron and oxygen we are closer to Vind. Simple people stick to the legends. Our cousin Astrid has done reconnaissance flights across all the islands as a base for geographical survey. She found wonderfull light blue lakes, patches of dragon-like trees, natives gathered in long houses on shores we never set foot on. A city filled with gold, guarded by deadly 12 year old girls, or a fountain of eternal youth? Simple people believe this.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-02-2016, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2016 04:36 PM by Pepijn.)
Post: #10
RE: Kakuri
OOG: Just found out that Fisk's leader is called Arild, not Anders. Nice to have a wiki, I should check it more often.

Arild Fisk was very pleased with how the royal visit had turned out. Palne Kristersson clearly was a practical man, with a similar rebellious and strategic background as the Fisks. He had made lots of notes about security requests. With much of Fisks defence forces active on the trading vessels, defence of the home islands had to become more of a federal matter. Palne did not make any promises, but he had a thorough understanding.

The presence of Moa wasn't equally practical, but as first-in-line she represented authority, despite her young age and teenish appearance. She had been on the islands before, when she had accompanied Queen Anna, so she represented continuity. But besides the symbolic value, she mainly had kept to herself.

At least, that was what Arild thought.

Em Blixt was just resting in her hammock at the porch, trying to forget the blisters, scratches and aching muscles from the excursion the night before. She had already heard the noise behind the police post, but expected whoever the Kakuri would send to remain hidden. Well, they didn't. The six girls had surrounded Blixt.
”Dream” said Orange in Hallisian when she noticed them. She was holding large, slightly arched kind of knife with elaborate engravings.
”We. Meshash. Kween.” she continued.

Blixt noticed some colorfull kind of backpack underneath the cloaks. She assumed all six would follow, although Palne had anticipated only 3 or 4 when booking accommodation on the airship.

Chopper made a jump towards the door, but relaxed when she noticed it was Pettersson (Rock) who had returned.
”Oh, they're here already. There's a problem. I can't seem to make contact with Maid. She is under house arrest. Apperently Fisks asked about her as well, which blew her cover. She's not allowed to leave the house. I can not arrest her, since she already has a Fisks ruling over her. Now what? And how do we smuggle these girls on board of the airship, in plain sight of the government residence?”

”How long have you been on Fisks now,” Blixt replied. ”When in Fisks, do as the Fisks do. These girls are a present to the court. From the stim at Gilles Villes, their distant relatives. We supply them with diplomatic papers, explaining that this is the only way to get them to Vittmark. What worries me more is how to explain an airship?”
”We don't... these natives never have seen an airship. They will react terrified. It's natural.”

-----

”What is this,” asked Arild Fisk to Pettersson when he showed up with the six cloaked girls at the residence. But Pettersson addressed Palne first.
”Highness, I took the liberty of making some travel documents for your gift from Gilles Villes.”
Palne looked at Pettersson, then the group, then back at Pettersson.
Vind help me, he thought.

”Gift... Ah, hm yes... Good thinking, my man. Herr Fisk, I have to apologize, this is really embarrassing. The stim at Gilles Villes wanted to compensate us for the trouble we ended up with in the rain forest. They got us servants as gifts, one for each hour we spent out there. Of course, this is totally unacceptable and I tried to explain how unsuitable this would be in Östvallen. But you know what it is with family, their gifts can not be returned. We will take the servants with us for while. You know, maybe we could organize a meeting with the cabinet, show them there, let them understand how different Fisks really is.”

Arild Fisk understood the dilemma. The way stims at Fisks as good as owned native staff was totally unacceptable back in Stoldavia. But he admired the ingenuity of Palne.

”We will probably send then back with the next flight or so, after we have taken pictures to show our grattitude to Gilles Villes. Pettersson has promised to find a good home for them.”
Palne couldn't believe he was actually talking about the Kakuri emissaries as if they were pets, but it connected with the way of thinking here. Palne and Arild said farewell as if they were the best friends ever.

In the mean time, Moa had to convince what now had become a Kakuri diplomatic mission to board the airship, all without the help of Maid's translations. She chose to address Orange in whatever little Hallisian she knew. She pointed at herself.
”Dream... me Queen's Dream...”
Orange nodded.
”This... also dream. You, dream of fly?”

Moa hoped that the Kakuri had similar dreams as Stoldavians. Most people's favorite dreams included the ability to fly. Or having sex.
”This flying ship bring us to Fighting Bird.”
Then she realized she also had to explain the flying time of 4-5 days, well maybe 3 with prevailing winds.
”Flying bird slow. Sun up...” she pointed at the sky ”sun down” she put her hand before her eyes.
”Sun up,” she put two fingers in the air, ”sun down.”
She went up to four and then concluded. ”Good?”

The six women started chatting with each other. Well, mainly Flower, Chopper and Orange, while trying not to draw attention to themselves. Then Flower started walking, grabbing Green's cloak. While Green grabbed Little Finger's cloak, and so on until the entire chaingang walked towards the little stairs leading up to the gondola.

”Well put me in overboots and call me Wald,” Arild Fisk yelled, ”We never get natives on an airship unless we tie them up or knock them unconscious, or both... How did she do that?”
”Yes, she has that effect on people, I know,” Palne replied.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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