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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders

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Janara tries to see from where the paving stone was thrown, though it dis not strike anybody in her party or any of the clerics that had taken an interest in Bhoggy. The arrival of Joe and Ben reassure her to some degree, but the fact that there are so many people crowded around and she can understand nothing that any of them are shouting does not bode well at all with her.

 

"Whoa! What seems to be the problem?"

 

"Them reptusses in orange, I don't think they wanna hurt Bhoggy, but I dunno 'bout some of th'others here. It's about to be a fight an' he's jus' liddle. We gotta hurry. Come on!"

 

Fearing for Bhogmur's safety above her own, she pushes her way further into the mob, her intent to take Bhogmur away from the orange-robed priests and as far away from the inevitable riot as possible.

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Using all of his considerable skills, Ben deftly winds his way through the throng in the direction of the "clerics" carrying the little orc.

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The route to the temple is blocked by a wall of Reptus. The priests continue to indicate they should be allowed to pass. Tension is thick....

 

Bootknife skillfully reaches the side of Bhogmur, who waves at him. Janara, showing less skill, but more enthusiam,tumbles a cleric ,lunges forward and grabs the child. "Come on Bhoggy, we don't want no one gettin' hurt. Let's go...." Joe and Mal open a corridor for the two, and Bootknife watches the rear as they retreat.....

 

Khowloon and the others, having seen the uproar, halt their progress.

As Janara approaches , there is a sharp blast of whistles, and the clash of gongs. Uniformed Reptus move in with sais and bo staves, attempting to separate the two rival factions.

 

Khowloon indicates an alley. "Follow me....."

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Once Khowloon answers Aridwyn, she begins to follow the entourage, noting with irony that it is far easier for her to track Overlord troops in the snow than a large group in broad daylight. She is content to follow and observe until the mood turns violent, at which point she pushes as close to Bhogmur as she can. She is happy to let Janara carry him, as Bhogmur has grown quite a bit and Janara is far stronger than she.

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Janara follows Khowloon's instructions without question, carrying the boy and running down the alley. In spite of all the turmoil, he is still clinging to his water pail containing his fish, though he has stopped singing. His eyes are wide and full of fright. Janara is anxious to hear what Khowloon can tell her about what has just happened, but for now all that matters is getting away from the angry crowd.

 

Still following Khowloon, she says to Aridwyn ruefully, "Bein' green's never easy..even here where ev'ryone's green."

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Still following Khowloon, she says to Aridwyn ruefully, "Bein' green's never easy..even here where ev'ryone's green."

 

"Maybe they're jealous of his lovely shade of green," Aridwyn replies just as ruefully. The look of fear in Bhogmur's eyes unsettles her. I haven't been that scared since Adeline... She reaches out and squeezes Bhogmur's shoulder, murmuring "We will keep you safe" in Orcish.

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Khowloon leads the group through a small maze of passageways and back alleys...a right, two lefts...and a right...into a courtyard. joe closes the gate behind Bootknife, and drops a crossbar to secure it.

 

The reptus interpreter looks at Mal thoughtfully. "There are new currents running through our society. For eons, we believed in the way of harmony, meditation, 'do nothing, and all things will be done'. Now outsiders, not yourselves, of course, bring trouble. Crime, disease, war.

There are those who believe that the old way is dead. Those were the citizens that confronted the monks, and your young one. On the other hand, there are those who still strongly believe in the Great Dreaming, and the long anticipated Outside Dreamer. We live in interesting times, it seems......"

 

Bhogmur has settled down, and hugs the knees of Aridwyn and Janara.

"They knew t'LadyRai song....my song..from d'jar."

 

Joe lets go the hold he has taken on the courtyard wall. "The mob went some other way. Where are we?"

 

Khowloon moves to the simple flat-roofed building adjoining the garden.

"Why, we are at my hatch-mother's house", opens the door and invites everyone in.

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Bhogmur has settled down, and hugs the knees of Aridwyn and Janara.

"They knew t'LadyRai song....my song..from d'jar."

 

Aridwyn kneels and embraces Bhogmur. "And it is a fine song too," she murmurs, trying to hide her tears of relief. She takes several deep breaths. Now that they are out of immediate danger, she reflects on how oddly unsurprising she finds the whole incident. She had sensed some time back that Bhogmur was destined for great things. The Child of Harmony? Look at how many of us he has already brought together...

 

Khowloon moves to the simple flat-roofed building adjoining the garden.

"Why, we are at my hatch-mother's house", opens the door and invites everyone in.

 

Aridwyn stands and smiles at Khowloon. "You are too kind. Thank you."

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Khowloon smiles his toothy smile. "Bow once toward the hearth, and please try to remain quiet. She is old and in poor health. We will rest until the crowds disperse, then go to the Legation.

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There are those who believe that the old way is dead. Those were the citizens that confronted the monks, and your young one. On the other hand, there are those who still strongly believe in the Great Dreaming, and the long anticipated Outside Dreamer. We live in interesting times, it seems

 

Janara listens to Khowloon speak, surprised at how quickly she has grown accustomed to his peculiar accent. She recalled once hearing Aeolene speak of the afterlife as The Dreaming, and then she recalls something from earlier that day that she had neglected to tell Aridwyn.

 

"Go play with Nokhai, Bhoggy.", she tells him, pointing toward the dog who she fears is about to dig up the garden of Khowloon's hatch-mother

 

"I thought he was diff'rent too..not jus' b'coz he's a orc either.", she tells the elf as the two of them wait to enter the home "I forgot to tell ya 'bout this mornin'. He was with me in th' wagon an' I was gonna give the Healing to Mal.. an' I don't know even why I done it, but I let Bhoggy help since he likes to help alot.. but he has the Gift too. I know he does.Maybe he also dreams of things that ain't happened yet."

 

She pauses again.

 

"Strange ain't it how Bhoggy an' me an' Joe all got the Gifts? Is it 'cuz we all got orc blood in us?"

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"I thought he was diff'rent too..not jus' b'coz he's a orc either.", she tells the elf as the two of them wait to enter the home "I forgot to tell ya 'bout this mornin'. He was with me in th' wagon an' I was gonna give the Healing to Mal.. an' I don't know even why I done it, but I let Bhoggy help since he likes to help alot.. but he has the Gift too. I know he does.Maybe he also dreams of things that ain't happened yet."

 

Aridwyn is left speechless by Janara's news. She gasps. Once she is able to collect herself, she murmurs, "I had sensed your Aurellius had something in mind for him, but I had no idea it would come so soon. Nothing that happens with Bhogmur should surprise me, though."

 

"Strange ain't it how Bhoggy an' me an' Joe all got the Gifts? Is it 'cuz we all got orc blood in us?"

 

Aridwyn firmly shakes her head. "No. I have known other orcs, fine examples of orcdom to be sure, but they were not gifted as you three are. I suspect the Gift has far more to do with the devotion all three of you have to Aurellius. I did not realize there was still such faith left in this world."

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"He takes after Joe like Joe was his papa. It's good too. He needs somebody to raise him up like a boy ourghtta. Joe'd be a good daddy don't'cha...."

 

Nokhai's barking interrupts her babbling, and so she tries to find some way to quiet the dog. Getting Bhogmur to sit quietly is accomplished much more easily.

 

"Let's play the Quiet Game for a bit. We can try an' get Nokhai to play too. We dont' wanna bother Khowloon's mama in her house an' umbarass Lady Rai an' Sir Erik." She spends a few moments trying to straighten her clothes and hair as well as Bhogmur's before entering the reptus dwelling.

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