The Aghul

JP with Lucian, Bandorchu and Winteroak

Timestamp: Fang - Odonine camp

You sit in front of the tattoed mountain warriors, their leader is named Khosnem, a hirsute stout man with a long black beard. In front of him a large mountain goat is slowly roasting in the open fire. You are offered mugs with a white fermented liquid that looks like some form of alcohol. Next to Khosnem, sits a man dressed in a dirty and faded Ostiarium uniform. On his right cheek is a small woad like circular tattoo.

It had been strangely nostalgic, to breathe mountain air again so far away from home.

Alexis had put the encounter with the mysterious woman into the back of her mind for now, but she had a feeling that this might not have been the last they heard or saw of her.

Now, facing the goal of their mission she found herself quite curious about the people the empire claimed to be sharing traits with her own.
If so, then Zane was actually a pretty good choice as an envoy.
A Garrah clan leader was expected to not only lead from the backseat but front row- especially in battle. And while they would deal with a soft spoken diplomat, a battle hardened veteran like the knight had a better chance to be met on equal terms.

The man wearing Ostiarium garments gave her pause.
It seemed whatever had been brewing here had done so longer than it had been made out to be.

Alexis resigned herself to observing for now, leaving the diplomacy to the diplomats.

They first hour or so is spent trading pleasantries. Or the closest that one can get with pleasantries with mountainous folk. You eat and drink and cannot help but notice how many warriors spend an enormous amount of time staring at Alexis and Melandra. Some with open hostility others with unashamed lust. You quickly summarize that the Ostiarium soldier with the group is some sort of recruit. The small blue tattoo on his cheek marks him as a little more than a prisoner. The Odonine are known for sparing the youngest member of any party they defeat, offering them a chance to serve their captors and adopt their ways. In exchange for their lives these recruits forego their previous allegiances and are expected to become members of the tribe eventually.

Khosnem and a few of his men already speak a few of your words but more complex exchanges are done via the Ostiarium soldier, named Balt. He is in his 20's with blue eyes and and his hair is completely shaved. Another mark of his low status among the tribe.

Sir Zane explains that Khosnem is the leader of the Aghul tribe. One of the largest in Fang. He has managed to rally dozens of other tribes to his banner and holds the title of War Chieftain, which is akin to a King among the Odonine. No one has held that title for generations in Fang.

The realization of the boys place in the tribe honestly gave Tarmen a tense peace. While he would remain on guard for their trip in the hopes he wouldn’t suffer the same fate, it queued him in more on how these people operated. It also made him wonder if this was what Zane was truly referring to when speaking to their expendability.
A part of him also wondered if that would be part of the terms for the diplomatic brawls. Either way, Tarmen did not like the thought of staying for long. He gave Zane a light glare and kept his sarcasm to a whisper.
“Nice of you to mention the semi-slavery bit. Is that going to play into our part of this diplomatic meeting?”
He had been fond of the idea of brawling, but if his freedom were at stake in this, Tarmen would have something to say about it.

The Knight looked at Tarmen. His huge two handed sword resting in front of him. He shrugged at the sarcasm. "At least he's alive." came the quick reply. "No different from all the indentured peasants back home." He did comment on the fighting bit yet. Hopefully it would not come to that. He pulled a small leather pouch from inside his armour. He looked at Koshnem. "A gift." he said and passed it around the circle until it reaches the War Chieftain, who grinned widely when he looked at the dozens of large pearls inside. A small fortune for the tribes of Fang who prized pearls highly being so far from the sea. He turned to Tarmen again. "They are like you in a way. Hard, rugged, liking a good tussle and a brawl. Keeps their spirits high and it's how they take a man's measure. We might have to trade a few punches later today." He smiled as he saw that Balt was translating it to the Chieftain who laughed loudly looking at Tarmen and Zane.

The Chieftain spoke loudly and 3 warriors stood up. Balt looked at Tarmen. "Chieftain Koshnem asks that you challenge one of his men in a contest of strength." the young soldier states. He explains that the contest is simple. Two oponents grapple until one is thrown from his feet and unto the dirt. Winner takes the loser's weapons. "What say you?"

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