Koal of the Cups

«Waiting in the Depths

Mother's Mnyiri»

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Hail, finless one, and welcome to the Cupsss. Long have I wanted to converssse with one of your kind. I am called Naroshs Koal. How may I addresss you?
Forename...Surname... Curiousss. Before we ssspeak at length, there is something I would show to you. Let us leave behind the Cupsss and head due west. Come.
These are relics of your kind, yesss? The leavings of a ship that sssailed the seas above long, long ago. They lie as they fell, untouched by any Ondo, for most have little interest in the affairs of the finless.
I, however, do. Ever sssince I was saved by one of yours, after being washed ashore, weary and near death. Sssuch kindnesss is a rare and wonderful thing, and I would know more of the people who showed it to me.
And so I ask you, Forename Surname, to teach me of your ways. These objectsss, for example─what purpossse do they serve? How are they to be used?
I have so many questions, but let us begin with these relicsss. Tell me everything─everything, Forename Surname!
Such fragile containers they were. I sssuspect they once contained something of great value. What can you tell me of their purpossse?
What will you say?
Answer 1
!They were used to store intoxicating spirits.
!They were used as makeshift weapons─first to bludgeon, then to stab.
Fragrant liquids which cloud the mind. I have heard of these before. Do finless ones ssso delight in dulling their wits?
Ahh, how versatile. Ondo too often utilize sssimple objects as tools─stone and bone and such. Our peoples are not so different...
That was carved from the wood from one of your many trees, yes? What purpose does this peculiar contraption ssserve?
What will you say?
Answer 1
!It's used to steer a ship at sea.
!Fashion. You wear it on your head.
Ah, the vessels your kind uses to traverssse our waters. Then without a wheel, it is at the mercy of the wind and the currents? I see...
I sssee, I see! That possibility I had not considered. A pity that this material so quickly degrades when immersssed in water. I should have liked to wear one myself!
Thank you, Forename Surname. In our short time together, you have already taught me ssso much.
A pity that none of these pearls of wisdom will ssserve my needs...
Naroshs! What are you thinking, wandering off on your own with this finless one!? This is no time for you to fiddle with their leavings. The clutchmother is in terrible distresss!
No, you do not understand! I brought him here to─
Pray forgive this child his impudence. I am Xeroshs Ooan, and on behalf of the clutchmother, I come to entreat your asssistance.
...It seems you do not realize that in driving back the waters of the Tempest, you have placed our beloved clutchmother, leader of the Ondo, in mortal peril.
She is pregnant. Here in the depths she will give birth to many, many eggs. We male Ondo will then take them into our care and raise them as our own.
But absssent the flowing waters, we know not if she will be able to deliver them safely. If not, the future of our people will be in jeopardy.
The Flood of Light claimed many Ondo lives. Though we have rebuilt our numbers somewhat in the decades sssince, it would be devastating to lose an entire generation─or worse, the clutchmother herssself...
She wishes to speak with you directly, that we might together find a sssolution to this dilemma. Will you return with me to the Cups?
Naroshs, come. I will not let you trouble our guest or the clutchmother further.
Everything I have done I have done for her...
If only you would listen...
Beyond this gate resides the clutchmother. Approach, and hearken to her words.
Honored guest. I, clutchmother of the Ondo, do bid you welcome to our realm.
You will forgive me for receiving you in this fashion. For the sssafety and well-being of my children unborn, I must remain within, away from the dangers without.
As you know, under normal circumstances, this place would be filled with blesssed water, from which I would draw strength and support to bring these eggs into this world. Alas, I am but half sssubmerged now, and I fear for my ability to fulfill my sacred duty...
I am given to understand you and yours are the ones responsssible for drawing back the waters of our realm. With good reason, I am sure. However, it is my sssincere hope that you will agree to aid us, given that you are responsible for this state of affairs.
Fear not─I desire no direct assistance. Rather, I would beg a boon of your people's knowledge. Of childbirth, and how the finless ones ease the burdens of their ssstruggling mothers.
Xeroshs Ooan will be my agent in this matter. Heed his words and answer his questions. This is all that I ask. Do you consssent?
I thank you, honored guest. Go well.
Then it is agreed. However, I must consult with her attendants before we ssspeak further. For now, I bid you and Naroshs Koal go about your business, but be ready if called upon.
W-Wait, Forename Surname!
Have you a moment to converse in private? Outside the Cups. Please...
I will ssseek you and Naroshs out if you are needed. For now, I bid you go about your business, honored guest.
Or do you wish to speak with the clutchmother herself? Is that why you are come? If so, I shall inform her at once.
Are you worried for my well-being? Worry not. I am well and in good health. Should that change, I will send for you.
'Tis a rare thing indeed to be granted an audience with the clutchmother. I hope this serves to help you understand how important these eggs are to us...
Before you came to the Cups, I had been searching for a means to assist her in giving birth. That is why I have been studying the relics of your people. Unfortunately, I found nothing that seemed suitable for this purpose...
I cannot stress to you enough how important she is to us. She is mother to all Ondo─her every egg brother and sister. We would do anything and everything to welcome them into this world, and see them grow into healthy, happy Ondo.
There must be some way in which you can help us to achieve this end...