⭗ REDIRECTIONS XV⭗
⭗ THE VERMEIL VEIN CARAVAN ⭗
“How far does the Mr. Kvelak’s caravan go?” The Blue Oracle turned to Charred-Hand.
“Violet City, if the weather holds,” Ilod stepped up to stand beside Charred-Hand, grinning broadly as he slapped the old traveler on the back and wrapped an arm across his bony shoulders. “Emerald City, if the road around Azure is washed out again.”
“It’ll have to be enough,” the Blue Oracle said. “There are ways to cross the Indigo River, even when the roads are gone.”
The Vermeil Vein Caravan was once a RLD mining company that pulled out of the Redlands due to some trouble with the Vintner Lords that the caravan leader, Ilod Kvelak, doesn’t talk about. Mining the anthrocene layers in the Redlands for relics has always been a dangerous prospect, but when you’re on the move all the time, it’s not so bad, until you run afoul of a wine vampire or awaken a hibernating vome. Some claim that Kvelak was once allied with the Vintner Lords, but he has zero patience for rumors like that. He claims to hate the Vintner Lords with every fiber of his being, and seeing how red-faced he can get (even for a redlander) makes the claim seem quite believable. These days, Kvelak’s caravan spends most of its time carrying trade goods between bluelander shrines and little settlements on the road between the Windlash and the Violet City, with a major stop off into the Emerald City along the way. Its wide-ranging route and Kvelak’s genuinely gregarious nature attract a great many hangers-on, so all sorts of wandering specialists can be found following him from place to place. If you want to go into the Redlands, though, Kvelak’s caravan won’t take you there. You’ll need to find someone else in the Violet City or the Emerald City willing to make that passage.
Stelain Fez'nat is a blind seer who claims he can see into the future by gazing into the sun. Most of the other members of the caravan have a certain reverence for him and care for his needs, of which he (fortunately) seems to have relatively few. Periodically, pilgrims will arrive and track down the caravan just to talk to him, but mostly the wisdom he gives about the shape of the future comes in broken sentences and riddles that have to be deciphered. Occasionally, when the sun first rises into the sky, he will squint at it and shout a single, unexpected word that will, without fail, become very important to everyone in the caravan before the day is done. Sometimes the word warns of a danger that waits in the caravan's path. Sometimes it is the name of a betrayer. Sometimes it is the name of the trade good that sells best in the next settlement.
⭗ PERSONALITIES OF THE CARAVAN ⭗
Kyallana Vilidia refers to herself as a vome herder, but this is only a half-truth. She is more of a vome collector, and the vomes she keeps caged in her wagon are generally the smaller varieties (hamsters, ground-squirrels, iguanas, pigeons, etc.) The rumors about her that are traded among the other travelers of the caravan range from simply referring to her as a “vome whisperer” who seems to be able to easily calm them with a touch and a couple of words, to insinuating that she is, in fact, a vome herself, an infiltrator assigned to spy on (or assimilate and replace) the other members of the caravan. Kvelak is quick to stomp out any mention of the latter rumors, insisting that Kyallana is just odd and not a threat to anyone.
Jeuno De-Lira is a savant auto golem mechanic from Safranj. Generally hailed as a true artisan of automata, every replacement part he fabricates is as beautiful as it is functional. The kintsugi of vech repair that he has perfected would be well sought out in the richest districts of the cities of the Circle Sea, but he is, by his very nature, a loner who prefers his artifice to actually interacting with anyone. Kvelak keeps him fed and takes care of his needs in exchange for occasional repair work on the caravan's various wagons and auto-golems.
Ipa Bodizie is a purplefolk anarchist that claims she is wanted in the RLD for crimes against the District. Whether she actually is or not, only she knows, but the tales she tells makes it sound like she was a revolutionary that whipped up a huge riot that all but burned the RLD to the ground. Given that the RLD is still quite operational (and Ipa tends to exaggerate everything in every story she tells) the actual truth might be far less interesting.
Lleva Vyeldisana is a greenfolk naturalist who was classically trained as a forester and Zoa conservationist by a somewhat radical academic faction within the Emerald City’s oldest university. Unfortunately, her approach of “observe but don’t eat” the native life she encountered on her expeditions irritated enough of her superiors that she was transferred to a professorial position in a rural part of the redlands. Unfortunately, she never made it to her destination. A wine vampire hard up for labor to work the blood-weeping trees of his farm intercepted her caravan and turned everyone into thralls. She spent ten years working the wine vampire’s orchards until a chance run-in with a crystalline ka-storage disc upturned from a deeper anthrocene layer shocked her neurons out of the wine vampire’s control and she escaped. Now, she follows various caravans around the rainbowlands looking for new zoa to observe (but not eat) as she compiles her first book on notable lifeforms encountered on her travels.
⭗ OUR PARTY (SO FAR) ⭗
Coda-1, Coda-2 and Coda-3, a bluelander polybody pilgrim, allegedly.