Log:Favor for an Undead Favor

From Fate's Harvest
Jump to: navigation, search

Favor for an Undead Favor

This stuff's waterproof, too, so yeah, it should help.


Paige, and Saulot

8 April, 2017

Of all the places the Harvestmen have so far explored Bloodsap Grove is the most populated with hobs not hidden away or residing further away from trods. Going through the grove will either require a bit of diplomacy or a really sharp sword. Part of Real Estate.


Bloodsap Grove

Finally, a day comes when the rain breaks, and things almost appear beautiful. They do on the mortal side of the world, at least. The army of trees within the aptly named Bloodsap Grove do little to allow the light of the sun in save an occasional, thin pillar of light. Despite the relative lack of light there's still many a life to be heard chittering, chirping, or squawking in the afternoon.

There's little to offer from Byron's squad. Much of the territory is known the further one moves away from the Deep Hedge. Several bands, clans, and tribes of hob live out here, although there are huge swathes of empty land if someone's willing to look hard enough. From the beginning of the trod near the summit there's many paths to take, and the mutability of the Hedge brings a certain uncertainty if every path from the trod leads somewhere safe.

Paige has happily shed her raincoat and is tromping through the hedge, toward the northwest, with the falcon perched on her shoulder, occasionally preening her hair/feathers. He's gotta entertain himself somehow! But Paige? Just keeps an eye out while she moves through the hedge, her backpack on, well, her back, her knives at her hips. She's ready to rock, if rocking is needed, but for now is exploring, looking around.

There's something watching Paige as she passes through the trees, and after a few steps it's clear to be some things. No larger than a cat, but with a shape more akin to a raccoon. The brown-fured beasts offer no trouble for the Changeling nor her bird, but it's clear she's stolen their attention away from whatever it was they were doing before. Further along she can make out what appears to be a small, almost tiny collection of cottages with several plumes of grey coming from the smokestacks.

Paige glances to the creature for a moment, then to her bird. "Keep an eye on it," she murmurs to him as she heads for the cottages. But seeing the smokestacks, she makes a soft, thoughtful noise. "No chance of moving here, but maybe they know of someplace nearby that's been abandoned."

Paige's approach draws more than just the attention of a few small beasts. Those beings that lived in the makeshift cottages look from windows to stare up at her, and in a few seconds she gets a general feeling of more than just them watching. After a moment half a dozen of these small hobs come from the woods on the backs of the catcoons. "Hail, Changeling!" one of the wee, knife-eared men has to scream to be heard by Paige. "Do you come bearing gifts?"

Paige turns toward the yell and smiles. "Hi," she returns before the gifts are mentioned. "Oh, um...I didn't realize I'd be coming by here and meeting anyone. Best I've got on me, really, is some really freaking good tape. Would you like some of that?" she asks, head tilting a little.

Two of the hobs hop off of their steeds, and the catcoons skitter away to go with the rest of their kind. The leader and the woman at his side both nod in agreement after a brief, almost silent discussion among each other. The lady reaches up to Paige for the offering, and only comes up to grabbing near knee. "Yes," shouts the male. "That'll do. It might help when the rains come again." He motions off to the side where another collection of houses once stood, and now nothing but piles of wood and mud can be found.

Paige reaches back to dig in her bag until she can pull out a roll of duct tape. It'll fix anything! She smiles as she offers it over, not minding that she'll have to buy some more. You can't buy goodwill from hobs, after all. "This stuff's waterproof, too, so yeah, it should help. I'm Paige," she offers. "And this is Hunter," she says, motioning to the falcon.

The woman takes the tape, and happily begins rolling it over to the rest of her compatriots. They're marvelling over it when a single strip is torn off, and in the process get it stuck to one of the catcoons. Both beast and rider flip out as the beast starts charging off. "I'm Gilt-Leaf," the male calls out, and as he does so the rest of the wee villagers come outside to stare up at Paige. "Hello," they all begin to say one after the other and sometimes in unison. "She's gifted us something called, 'tap,' and it'll help when the rains come again!"

This only earns Paige more attention. They soon start talking amongst themselves while the lady once holding the tape. "Is your Hunter a hunter?" she calls up to Paige.

"Oops," Paige says when the tape gets stuck and she watches them ride off. "Um...if they can come back, I can help get it off of them," she offers before looking to Gilt-Leaf. "It's nice to meet you, Gilt-Leaf. And he's a falcon, so yeah, he does hunt. When he's not begging me for food instead," she says with a grin. "Don't worry though, he won't hurt any of you guys."

The civilians, as they are, continue looking on Paige while those hunters circle around to begin talking among themselves. They look back to her every so often, and after a minute Gilt-Leaf returns to her. "Can you bring us other things from the world over yonder? If you can continue this for a season, we will help you with whatever task you require here and only here."

Paige cocks her head, considering. "What sort of things would you want? I dont' mind bringing stuff like the tap, and your help would /definitely/ be valuable, but I don't want to bring you something you cant use, or promise more than I can deliver, you know? Promises should mean something."

"Things to help build. Things to keep things intact." A brief pause follow, and then he just shouts, "Things! We Baweir can make use of whatever we can get a hold of." To that each of the hobs nods in agreement with a few smiling widde with pride. Gilt-Leaf lifts a hand for Paige, although she could probably get two fingers in there for a handshake. "Do we have a deal, Changeling?"

"That makes sense," Paige says with a smile, and she reaches down to shake hands, or fingers, with the little hob. "And we do. I'll return no less than once every other week, unless something serious prevents me from returning. But I'd love to come back and talk more with you guys. You're interesting."

The hob's handshake is rather weak, but a differences in size makes that all the more obvious. He pulls back his hand, and then rests his hands on his hips briefly. "Since we have an accord, Changeling, what would you have us do? I do warn, though, that we cannot leave the confines of this Grove."

"That's fine. And right now I mostly need information. Looking for a place me and my friends could call home. Do you know of anyplace nearby that's not being used that we could maybe move into?" Paige asks curiously. "We've found some caves and villages and stuff, but they were all occupied."

The hob nods, and turns toward the west. "We once had kithkin near a break in the water, but Changelings destroyed their homes. The Changelings, unlike you," he's quick to add, "came bearing no gifts, and then killed all of them at the beginning of the season. We took what was left, and used it to rebuild our current homes." Beat. "There may be blood hunters still eating the corpses." Despite how morbid this affair sounds, Gilt-Leaf appears to be completely unbothered by this truth.

Paige winces a little. "I'm sorry to hear about your kin, Gilt-Leaf," she says, and she sounds sympathetic. "But you mean there's space there, even if there aren't any homes or caves? I'll check it out with my friends, though I think we're looking for some sort of structure. We can make our own if we need to, but if we can find something, that works too."

"Apologies won't bring them back," he says with a lazy shrug. "They're life's end means prosperity for us for a time, and the Changelings fear the blood magots. Their claws mean nothing to the already dead." This part does bring a smile to Gilt-Leaf's face. "We can lead the way for you there, but we would prefer not to do battle with kithkin." Beat. "If you would allow it."

"No, it won't, you're right," Paige says, nodding. "And it did help your people. I can't argue about not liking blood maggots. We've got a lot of movies about animated bodies attacking the living," she says with a wry smile. "I'd like to see where you're talking about, though I'd rather not battle your kin either. Maybe we can stay at a distance?"

Gilt-Leaf looks Paige up and down after the question comes. "Can you climb?" he asks with a measure of uncertainty. "We mean no offense, Changeling, but you're far too big to ride upon our beasts, not without wasting their lives." A slow shake his head comes, and then he looks up to the trees with the same question. "So the only thing that comes to mind is climbing the trees and jumping from one to the other."

Paige grins at the question and nods. "Yeah, I can climb. Find it fun, even," she admits, glancing upward when the hob does. "I'm okay with jumping from tree to tree. Just lead the way and I'll follow," she says, smiling as she looks back down to him.

The climb up isn't difficult, but the trip is. The catcoons and the mounted Baweir are evidently adept at such movements. The beasts scale the trees with ease, and begin their made race from branch to branch. With each leap they shake the leaves of the canopy, but make nary a sound in their movements. Half an hour passes until they reach their destination, and Paige is able to see what's left of the former hob village.

Errant blocks of cut stone and wood lie scattered in a small space, and amid the ruins of this ghost town are limbs and body parts. Thankfully, much of the gore is buried under the mud or has been washed away in the last storm. However, the presence of new life causes something else to stir. The few whole corpses left here begin to shutter and shiver as they rise to their feet, gaze cast high to see the hobs. They don't appear to be concerned with the hobs and beasts resting in various trees. No, they're all looking directly to Paige.

Even with a bird on her shoulder and backpack over her shoulders, Paige scampers up the tree easily. She's a little less sure-footed with the jumping, but hey, she doesn't fall! It's a plus. When they come to a stop she lowers into a crouch and her hand rests on the tree beside her. And then she notices...the staring. "Oops. I think I should maybe go so they don't try to start a fight. I don't want you guys getting caught up in that." And she slowly straightens, preparing to head back the way they came.

The beasts are restless, and don't appear to be in any danger. At least not at present. "We thank you, Changeling. I will remember our accord, and trust you will be doing the same. We will depart with you, though, as we don't wish to stay here overlong." To that end Gilt-Leaf motions for the rest of his cadre to gather up, and begins the journey back to their homes.

Paige smiles, though she keeps her gaze on the figures below. "You're very welcome. And I'll certainly remember. I'm going to try to think of what can help the most and get it for you," she says before she turns to starting heading back, away from the blood maggots, with them.