Tuesday, 24 November 2020


This is a continuation of events in the SEVENTEENTH session and took place on Saturday 8th November on the Atelier Hwei Discord.

Eugene https://twitter.com/eakiselev playing as Nervously-Rides-the-Grave
- Oisín https://twitter.com/OisinoftheHill playing as Earnestly Wooded

To find out more about PARIAH please read this post:


Indigenous people of the Andaman Sea prepare a hunting-fishing trip, 1903


With the other pariahs recovering or otherwise preoccupied Nervously-Rides-the-Grave (Rides) and Earnestly Wooded (EW) discussed their plans with the elder Wolfskin.

Wolfskin's Concerns:
With just the two of them available, the pariahs thought some gentle investigation of the drought would be in order.

Wolfskin advised that the irrigation was controlled by a sect known as the Watermen or Water-Priests, and that they occupied a mysterious temple to the north (away from the river?). They were notoriously unsociable but a point of contact would be Hopelessly-Stalks-the-Pike, an elder of the village associated with the Water Temple.

Prior to departing, they went to check in with Etau.

The Court of Etau

The chieftain of the settlement appeared to be holding some kind of audience with a group of outsiders. Earnestly Wooded recognised two of the goatherders among these people.

There was a dead boy laid at the feet of Etau, an enormous gutted catfish lying beside it, and an angry elder gesturing to Etau while holding Worm's clay pot.

In short, the elder suggested that the clay pot belonged to an outsider, and had used this item to bribe the demon-fish into working on their behalf.

Earnestly Wooded did his best to blend in with the crowd... taking special care to conceal the tattoo of a catfish he had etched into his own arm...

Etau's defence was firm but not passionate, explaining that the Unlucky Ones were her servants but were also under her protection. Whatever the truth, there was no doubt that the boy, Never, had died under their watch, and so there was a life-debt to be paid. 

It was agreed that the boy would be interred in the ground within site of Etau's hall and that to pay for his death the Unlucky Ones would rid the goatherders and fisher folk of their scourge, the Eagle Witches. Apparently these half witch/half-eagle folk had been preying on their communities since time immemorial.

At the funeral EW made his presence known to the two surviving goatherders, who seemed embarrassed by the fuss created. The funeral also involved the ritual dismemberment and cremation of the giant catfish corpse.


EW and Rides set out across the rice paddies in search of the water-temple. Along the way, the further they stretch from the settlement and the river, the drier the land becomes. They spy sluice gates and channels used for irrigation that are sealed and marked as shrines.

The lands are mostly deserted but as they draw within sight of a distant structure they happen upon a group of people tending to one of the fields. A small boy is sent on ahead as a messenger, possibly back to the temple, while the workers waylay the pariahs with chit-chat. Finally they are on their way, and before the sun has yet hit noon, the sight of the Water Temple greets them.

It is the most elaborate stone structure either of them have ever seen... but what is the meaning behind it, and why have the priests sabotaged the irrigation of the fields?

* * *

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