[pnpgm] Regarding Partings

Robert A. Maxwell rmax at mindspring.com
Wed Nov 29 22:39:03 CET 2006

After Balrog, Kasha, Jordi and Caladan have told those gathered that they are not coming to the North, Strie'bog stands, and brings his balalaika up to play.  As he strums the first cords, he addresses Balrog; "There is no offense in realizing that you must find your center again."  

He pauses for a moment, then looks around those who have remained after dinner.  In Zendali, he says, "There is a story song I heard in the Eastern plains that seems fitting for a time like this."

Once lived a kind and handsome young man named Kalshu.  A man well regarded by his family as a fine hunter and provider.  On a hunt during the burning days of Summer, Kalshu heard the bitter cries of child.  Making all haste, he quickly came over a hill and saw a man whipping a baby with strands of river cane while humming a mother’s lullaby.

Brave Kalshu strode forward, demanding, “Why do you abuse this innocent child?”, to which the man smiled pleasantly and replied, “You do not see the truth of it young hunter.  This child is restless and rude; I merely seek to discipline and quite the child.”

But Kalshu knew of the deceitful serpents, and their way of tricking even the most noble into wicked deeds.  Seeing through the pleasant guise, Kalshu demanded “Give me the babe.”

“No,” said the man whose face melted into the glittering scales of a black serpent, “this boy is mine, and if you say another word, I shall deal with you as I have with him!”

Wasting no time, Kalshu fitted an arrow to his bow string and shot the fretful serpent though its wicked heart. He then collected the baby boy in his arms and followed the trail to a small and poor tipi.

Oh for the tricks of the deceitful wyrms, for in this tipi lived an old man and his wife, both of whom were blind and nearly helpless.  All of their children and grand-children, even to the smallest, the one which Kalshu now held, had been lured away by the wicked serpent.

“Revered grandfather!  Revered grandmother!  I have brought a child stolen from this tipi,” exclaimed Kalshu.  These poor people though had been often deceived by the wicked serpent, so that they no longer believed anything.  In despair and anger, they both cried out “Liar!  We know you and believe not one word spoken from your forked tounge!  Get away evil spirit, Get away with you! GO!”

Oh the evil serpents could twist the minds and of the humble and haughty alike, and so Kalshu took the child, knowing that these elders could barely care for themselves, let alone a child they now took to be an evil spirit.

Kind hearted Kalshu wrapped the boy in his own blanket, and rode away.  As night approached, he lay down to sleep with the baby boy in his arms.

That night Kalshu dreamed of an open plain, where he was riding with his brother.  They came upon a tree set high on hill, next to a small stream.  Letting their horses rest, the brother’s set in the shade and shared a meal.  A bird in the tree began to sing, and both the brothers realized the voice of spirit.  “As you have shown kindness, then know that kindness will be shown to you.”

The next morning, Kalshu awoke with surprise, for the child he had saved had grown up overnight.  He was now a handsome young man, so much like him that they might have been twin brothers.

“My friend,” spoke his new brother, “we are now comrades for life, for with your kindness you have gifted me with my life.  We shall each go different ways in the world, doing all the good we can, for the heart in you that is so noble and good, has made my heart noble and good.”  

Upon Kalshu’s horse, there stood a bird, the voice of spirit coming from its tiny beak.  “If ever either is in need of help, let him call upon the other, and he will come instantly to his aid.”

The new brothers clasped each others hands, for Kalshu knew in his spirit that this was indeed a gift of spirit.  Then the brothers set out in opposite directions.  

Not long after, Kalshu heard the cries of a person in great pain.  He rushed to the spot, and found a hunter whose body was wedged in the fork of a tree.  Kalshu rode for the tree which swayed to and fro in the wind.  “What has happened to this man?”

Between gasps, the man exclaimed, “I was tricked by the serpents to grab for the fruit of this tree.”  

“Fear not friend, I will take your place so that you might be free,” said the kind hearted Kalshu, upon which the tree immediately parted, freeing the tree bound man.  Kalshu took his place and the tree closed upon him like.  The pain was great; greater than Kalshu supposed.  He bore the pain bravely, but he did not cry out.  Days passed, and beads of sweat appeared on his forhead, and the veins of his face swelled to bursting, but he endured.  Days went by, and the pain remained, until he could endure no longer.  Loudly, he called upon his comrade to help him, and at once the young man appeared.  He struck the tree so that it parted, releasing Kalshu.

After embracing his brother, Kalshu resumed his journey until he spied a small cave by the edge of a wood.  Lifting the hide flap that covered the entrance, he spied an old blind man who greeted him thankfully.  

“Ho Grandson!  I am old and poor, doomed to loneliness here in this cave.  When I wish to drink, this raw-hide lariat leads me to the stream near by.  When I need dry sticks for my fire, I follow this other lariat and feel my way among the trees. I have food enough, for these bags are packed with dried meat for my use.  Alas, my grandson, I am alone, and I have no lariat to take me to company.”

“Take my eyes grandfather!” exclaimed kind Kalshu at once.  “You may go whaere you will, and I will remain here in your place.”

“Oh my grandson, you are very good!” replied the old man, and he gladly took the eyes of Kalshu and went out into the world.  The young hunter remained in the cave, knowing that once his good deed had been blessed by spirit.  

As he was hungry, he ate the dried meat from the bags, but this made him very thirsty.  So, he grabbed the leather rope that led to the stream.  It was more difficult than he thought, and he was tired by the time he reached the stream.  As he stooped to drink, the rope broke and Kalshu fell in.

The water was cold, and took his strength.
The banks were slipper so he could not get to his feet.
He struggled hard, and found a root.
He struggled hard, but may it to land.

Wet and miserable, he made his way slowly back to the cave.  

Wishing to make a fire, he grabbed the other rope and went to the woods for sticks, but as he began to gather wood, he lost the rope.  Being blind, he did nothing but stumble over rocks and logs, and bruised his body and starched this face.  At last, he could bare it no longer, and cried out to his brother-friend for aid.

Instantly the youth appeared and gave him back his eyes, saying; “Friend, be not so rash in the future!  It is right to help those who are in trouble, but your must also consider whether you are able to hold out in the end.”


After playing, he turns to Balrog, "You are a friend, and I respect what your heart is telling you to do.  I hope one day that we will journey again, for your company has been a great boon.  Go with the blessings of Lord Cerunos, for you have shown great wisdom this day."

Looking to Jordi, "and it is right that you should return to your wife, for that is a bond that should not be strained as greatly as it has been in the past few months.  I hope one day to meet your wife, but until then, may the Lord of Life and his court bless you and your wife."

Turning next to Kasha, "You also show wisdom in realizing that what was recovered must be dealt with.  I wish you luck on your journey, and your trade.  May the blessings of the Lord of Life go with you."

Finally, he clasps Caladan's hands.  "You welcomed me into this band of travellers, and for that I am grateful.  Our hands have been guided these past few months, and I feel we will meet again before the Gods have done with us.  Heal your wounds friend, and aid your people as is right."  Looking from Caladan to Cetric and Gib'borah.  "May the Lords of Life bless your people and this land for the hospitality and friendship you have offered.  May peace be with you my friends."

(Strie'bog will use the blessing spell, but just for a general effect if that is possible).

Turning to those who have agreed to come to the North.

"Thank you my friends!  Though the North grows cold during this darkening season, I hope that the reception home will still be warm.  You have come to me in my need, and I pray to the Lords of Life that you will be able to aid my mother and the Forest."  Looking toward Ben'dar, "The North is not as peaceful as you may believe my friend.  You may find battle before this is done, but do not think that you are weak on the side of nurturing friend, for I have seen how you tend to the horses.  It takes a gentle spirit to gain such friendship with animals."  

Looking to Chion, "Thank you for coming Chion.  I am sure that your skills and wisdom will be of aid, and you may find some unexpected experiences in the Great Forest."  Clasping his hand, "I am greatful that you will come to the North."

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