Session Six: Ambushed!

Session Date: September 29, 2007

Drafted by John K (the player of Judyn; made overly detailed and wordy by Jim C. (the GM)

The Morning Meeting & An Argument Among the Faithful
20 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

The brethren all gathered at the Scroll & Quill in the morning, most having had just a few hours sleep from the fire scare the night before. Jaroud came by and explained that he has been extremely busy training his wolf and dealing with three sorely injured dogs that Tiny had delivered to him. He also related that he has been speaking with Mykel about Ilvir and that the young man seems eager to learn more. Jaroud was also shocked to hear of the attacks and promised that he or Mykel would bring one of his hounds over to the inn, to serve as a kind of guard dog for them.

Brother Olrau, seizing on Jaroud's account of Myke'l's growing interest, reakred that that they should all continue to practice thier various trades and that they should bring the message of Ilvir to those whom they encounter in their private lives: Bowdyn with his masonry and architecture, Jaroud with his dog raising and fighting, etc. There was a brief awkwardness when the subject of Maban's private acitivity is brought up, and an even more awakward one when Kara's is. The group discussed the possibliity of having Kara tutor some younger chldren of guilded parents in reading and writing.

He also expressed concern (following the arson attempt) for the safety of their temple funds that he has been keeping in a lockbox, and they agreed to move the lockbox in the cache at Judyn's clan home in Kuseme.

There was much discussion of the “attacks” on both the Scroll and Quill and on Bowdyn's shop. As only Bowdyn and Judyn knew the truth of the the attacks, there is much discussion on who was responsible; Olrau suggested it might have been Hondash the Cobble.

Maban performed a divination, throwing her bones, and the bones fell on the table in a way that showed clearly that Judyn and Bowdyn were responsible for the attacks. (The bones fell in two long lines, one pointed at Judyn, the other at Bodwyn. At the end of one line, a finger bone pointed accusingly at Judyn, while some sort of animal talon pointed at Bowdyn from the other line's end. [Note: This was the result of an extremely successful Divination roll.] There was shock and anger from Maban and Kalrun, who cried out in anger against Judyn, “Deceptive woman!”

A loud argument threatened to break out in the common room of the inn. At Olrau's insistence, they went up to the room to argue it in private. Kalrun, furious, threw Bowdyn against the wall but then backed off, when it was pointed ot that he also had acted rashly and ill-advised by assaulting the cobbler. Judyn claimeds responsibility for her 'vandalism' scheme and explained her belief that their mission was being threatened by another group of Ilviras (that happened to include Punat the Mason) and that by creating the apperance of a threat against all Ilvirans, she might convince the other Ilvirans to unite with their mission— rather than oppose it.

Maban was outspoken in her obejctions against Judyn's plan, citing oral traditions regarding the words of the Seafarer Ibenis: “You shall not cause voilence upon the house in which you are a guest. You must pay back any harm done threefold.” . Brother Olrau was briefly inclined to disagree with Maban, but after further reflectioin and brief debate with Maban, he supported her interpretation of Ibenis' words and agreed that compensation was called for— at least to Goris the Innkeeper, in whose inn they were staying.

Judyn and Bowdyn agreed to recompense the damage they had caused to Goris, and it was decided that the group would discuss the next day what and how such compensation should be made. There was no discussion of whether they would also pay compensation to Punat of Khonary.

Finally, the group discussed whether they should go to the meeting that had been proposed to Judyn by the anonymous sender of the message the night before. They agreed that they should all go, in case it was a trap.

Depositing the Strongbox
20 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

Most of missionaries went to Kuseme to see the lockbox safely stored at Judyn's clan home. (There had been some brief discussion of whether it was still necessary— or even advisable— to do so, given that the attack on the inn had been 'staged' by Judyn, but Olrau insisted that it was the wisest and safest course of action. Although he did not say it aloud, it was clear to the others that he also wanted to show his continued trust in Judyn, despite what she and Bowdyn had done. One of the other missionaries [Bowdyn?] voiced, "If we the founders of the temple, cannot trust each other, then we have nothing!”

Maban chose not to go, however, and instead took Olrau's place and instructed Duglan in Ilviran doctrine. Duglan observed that some of her teachings were different from Olrau's. She explained, “There are some things Olau does not fully understand.”

Preparations were ongoing at Judyn's for the afternoon feast, but as Bodwyn was the only other missionary to have been invited, Judyn explained the activity as “family business”

Judy's Housewarming Feast Begins
20 Nolus 720 TR (Late Morning/Early Afternoon)

Shortly before noon, Judyn's feast began. It was ostensibly a housewarming of sorts for her moving to Coranan on a suitable holiday, but was also an occasion for her to expand her contacts among other local guildsman to achieve other social goals. (See below.)

She has decked out the place with simple hangings and screens with vibrant earthy colors fitting of Ilviran themes. The decorations were not ostentatious, intentionally quite different from Halean styles, but still celebratory. There was a lavish spread of food, including a mix of traditional Jarin dishes from Kaldor and some more typical Thardic fare.

Sixteen guests (other than Judyn and her mother) attended the feast, some invited— some not. Those attending included:

  • Bowdyn, Judyn's fellow Ilviran and stonemason, along withhis wife Hillay;
  • Indros of Obryne, a wealthy moneylender, and his wife;
  • Vurnt of Asane,the litigant who has been assisting Judyn with the purchase of Hondash's shop, and his wife;
  • Laranz of Khonary, a young master mason and the son of Punat of Khonary (whom she had invited, but who sent his son in his place);
  • Castis of Noyell, a poet and a friend of Laranz (who had not specifically been invited);
  • Adasar of Herthel, a merchant specializing in beasts and dealing in Ivashi for the games, who came as a friend of Indros (though not invited by Judyn);
  • Urbain of Twindall, a clothier and neighbor of Punat, and his father Xuaka;
  • Forena of Baraen, a master potter, accompanied by her 20-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son; and
  • Barrius of Krenna, a young debt-ridden patrician (from whom Bowdyn had previously bought furniture), and his consort Ysinthe (apparently, a former courtesan).

Judyn's goals in the gathering were to generally throw an impressive and successful feast, but also to (1) discover Laranz's position on Ilvir— and specifically, to ascertain whether he was a secret Ilviran, (2) to assess the religious leanings of all the other guests; and (3) to evaluate a possible match between the widower Xuaka and her mother Gwelen.She also shared with Bowdyn the goal of establishing favorable connections between Hillay and the other guests, in hopes of breaking down the woman's resistance to being in Coranan.

Bowdyn also had the goal of impress Laranz by talking shop (architecture, masonry, etc.) and generally being gracious and charming, and to also make connections with the patrician Barrius. His hope was that by getting close to Laranz, he might not only find out if the young manwas involved in a secretive Ilviran cult, but also gain a potential ally in his quest for a franchise of his own. He also hopd that Barrius' family connecitons and wealth might prove useful.

Many subjects came up at the dinner. During a discussion of Jarin traditions and her own Ilviran mission with Laranz tf Khonary. Judyn mentioned the Jarinese tapestry that she had seen in his father's house and, just seconds later Bowdyn took out a small book with pictures illustrating traditional Ilviran architectural designs, and the two both saw a subtle but distinct sign of his clear Ilviran faith in his reactions to the pictures and conversation. (FYI: In merchancs terms, this was a stunning success in Perception.) However, the young man verbally feigned disinterest and sought to conceal his true faith.

With Ilvir's blessing, Bowdyn also succeeded in impressing Laranz and making a friend out of him, despite the man's initial coolness towards him. (FYI: In terms of mechanics, this involved the spending of Deeds point by Bowdyn on a Beginners Luck roll for Persuasion).

Judyn also successfully sussed out the religious positions of the guests. As she suspected, most were Haleans, although Laranz, as noted above, was pubically a Halean, but secretly an Ilviran. Intriguingly, she discovered that Indros, though a Halean, had Navehan sympathies. She also learned that Vurnt was an open Save-K'norran, while Forena the potter was secretly a follower of Siem— or as she put it, “The Old Ways”.

Judyn and Bowdyn were both successful in their efforts to help Hillay in a favorable light to the other guests. She came across to all as gracious, witty, charming, and beautiful. Several of the guildswomen indicated that they should like her to visit them in the future. Judyn, however, was disappointed that Gwelen and Xuaka did not seem to get along particularly well.

The Activities of the Uninvited (and the Return of Ro'agg)
20 Nolus 720 TR (Late Morning & Afternoon)

While Judyn was feasting with her guests, Kalrun decided that he should see about joining the Red Guard, both to enhance his local contacts, and as a place where he might find converts. He sought out Sergeant Arbun, whom he had met a few days ago, but found him drunk, hostile, broke, and barely aware of his surroundings (in the middle of the day!) at the Glaive & Sickle. He had been losing lots of money in a crooked game of dice. Kalrun lent him some money and joined the game, but Arbun was clearly too drunk and too obsessed with trying to reclaim his losses to be of any assistance at the moment. Kalrun left and sought out Jaroud (who was, of course, training his wolf) to let him know of plans to attend that evening's meeting with those who were sending them hostile messages. Jaroud agreed to attend.

Maban sought out Garryx, the Demon Pameshlu guard, whom she had spoken to on her first day in the city, in hopes of furthering her ties within in the city and learning more about how the Arena operates, where it obtains Ivashu, where they are kept, etc. She found him on duty, patrolling the outside of the Pamesani. They spoke at some length about the fights and the sourcing of beasts. Maban hoped that he might tell her exactly how the Ivashu were understood in Agrikan theology, but it quickly became apparent to her that Garryx was a basic grunt, little given to theology or doctrine, dispite being in a fighting order. Garryx also propositioned Maban, but she turned him down. He expressed an interest in seeing her again and suggested that if she came when he was not on patrol, he could take her on a 'behind the scenes' tour of the arena.

Walking back to the Scroll and Quill, Maban noticed that many people were looking at her strangely. A few even pointed at her and/or avoided her on the streets. She thought she even heard one person whisper the word 'It's that witch!' to another.

She heard a voice behind her, which startled her: “They're afraid of you, you know. They're afraid of what you can see. They're afraid of what you can do. They're afraid of what you are. They're afraid of what you bring”. She turned and saw that it was Jerran, the arcane lore scholar whose fortune she had told a few days before (and who appeared in her vision the day before). They two spoke on the street for some time, but only after a few minutes did Maban realize that they were not speaking in Hârnic, but in Ivashi, the tongue of Ilvir's creatures. She realized that her interlocutor was not really the man Jerran, but rather Ro'agg, the shape-changing Ivashu who stalks her and reveals himself only when no others are around.

Ro'agg, using somewhat mysterious language, childed her for laxity, saying that she must not forget where she came from and who she really is. Ro'agg told that her brethren were, at this very moment, consorting with with those who enslave and kill their sisters (i.e. the Ivashu). She asked, “The firestarters?”, referring to Bowdyn and Judyn, and Ro'agg nodded, before adding accusingly, “I did not think you would sell out our sisters for a new garment,” looking at her dress. She looked down at the ground for an instant, but when she looked up, Ro'agg was gone. She rushed back to the inn confused and upset.

Judy's Housewarming Party Ends
20 Nolus 720 TR (Late Afternoon / Early Evening)

As the afternoon feast continues, various bits of news and rumors were discussed, mostly about the Coranan longshoremen's and teamsters' attempts at organizing a guild (or perhaps “gang” is the more accurate term) and about the two leading clans within Thardic politics, Clan Nordaka and Clan Elernin.

There were also some discussions about Thardic laws and constitutional offices. Vurnt related that in the Republic, laws against blasphemy forebade interruption of religious services in progress as well as failure to respect recognized churches and temples. He explained that such laws were necessary— and were taken quite seriously— in order to preserve the peace in a city where there temples of so many different gods, whose folowers did not always see eye-to-eye. Vurnt and others explained that the functions of the Republic's censors were not only to keep rolls of citizens and property owners, but also to keep lists of all foreigners in the Republic. He added, though, that most censors paid little attention to keeping lists of foreigners. In the process, he told a story of how, back in the days of the Empire, there was once a time when an impserial haruspex had determined that the gods wished two foreigners to be sacrified, and censorial rolls were consulted to determine by lot two would be selected. “It's been a long time since we've had to do that, though," he joked.

The party wound up just before before sundown so that the guests had time to return to Coranan before the gates closed. While leaving, the clothier's father Xuaka (who was quite hard of hearing and had conversed very little during the dinner) Xuaka wished Judyn well in her temple venture: “I hope things go better for you than they did for the last group of Ilvirans.”

Curious, Judyn pressed Xuaka to take some more food and elicited more information from him. Aparently, 40-50 years ago (“in the time of our last Autarch,” he said), when he was still a young man, there were a group of Ilvirans who came from the east— all men, no women among them— to the city, apparently to found a temple. They had met with a poor receiption and were driven out from the city for minor offenses. They returned months later and broke into a house in Kotros square to rob it. The house was that of Nyklas of Amysyn, Hondash's father, who was killed by the Ilvirans in the process. According to Xuaka, it was young Hondash who actually found his father's body. At least some of those responsible were caught and executed for the crime. He was hazy on most of the details, however.

The Ambush
20 Nolus 720 TR (Night)

That evening, the group met at the Scroll and Quill to prepare to go to the well in Kotros square, following the instructions of the note that Judyn had received at the inn. (The note had said simply, “The well in Kotros Square the second peal after sundown tomorrow night. Follow the slave and all shall be revealed.” Their hope is that they would get to meet with the other group of Ilvirans whom they believe to be in the city and persuade them to make common cause.

Kalrun and Duglan quietly (though without impressive stealth) scouted the location at first to look for ambushes after the first bell peal, but they found no sign of a trap. The well, they noted, was in the south of the square, the same square that Hondash's shop is in, but not within sight of it.

Brother Olrau, Bowdyn, Judyn, and Maban all went to the well, shortly before the scheduled time. (Kara stayed at the Scroll & Quill; Jaroud, curiously, had known shown up as promised. A Red Guard patrol passed through the square and left, the bell pealed, and then a slave (with shaved head, clad in white) was visible in the moonlight off to the west of the square. He gestured to the group, indicating that they should follow him. he then turned and walked quikcly down a street leading south. The group followed, with Kalrun and Dugan tailing them.

Halfway down the street, though, they noticed something odd about one of the doors in a nearboy building— something that suggests a group of men might be right behind it. [This was an extremely difficult Perception test-- obstacle 8.]. They reacted just as the door opens and six men burst forth. Judyn prays to Ilvir for guidance, but finding none, grabbed grabbed Olrau and ran— joined by Maban who immediately had looked to slip away.

Bowdyn drew his sword and advanced on the thugs, hoping to threaten them enough to let Olrau escape. He fails to intimidate them, however, and three of them rushed him, while the other three turned to chase Olrau and the women. Kalrun ran to Bowdyn's defense, but to his shock, Duglan drew his sword, but instead of advanceing, turned and ran. A sharp order from Kalrun rallied Duglan, however, who ran to chase after the thugs who were pursuing Olrau, Maban, and Judyn. But, the distraction alowed time for Bowdyn to be overpowered by the three thugs on him, who had beaten him to the ground. By dividing the thugs' efforts, however, he did enable Judyn and Maban to make good their escape with Olrau.

Kalrun ran to the three thugs who were beating and kicking Bowdyn. They fled. One grabbed Bowdyn's sword from the ground and left with it. Kalrun, torn between pursuing them and helping his fallen comrade, chose the latter option. He carefully picked Bowdyn up and carried him back to the Scroll and Quill, where we found the others waiting for him.