Session Seven: Buying the Temple

Session Date: October 6, 2007

Drafted by John K (the player of Judyn)

Further Revelations in the Night
20 Nolus 720 TR (Night)

The missionaries (except for the recent convert Duglan) met back at the Scroll & Quill inn after being ambushed. [See Session 6.] There, they were met by a blood-covered Jaroud, The young man Mykel, who had started assisting Jaroud, had been mauled by the dogs that evening when he dealt with them badly— grabbing up their food incautiously. Jaroud staunched the bleeding as best he could, then brought him to the others for treatment. Maban tried to treat Mykel's wounds with an herbal poultice, but failed. While Jaroud went to seek Peonian help, the remaining missionaries prayed to Ilvir to heal the lad, while exhorting Mykel to turn to Ilvir as well. He said that he would embrace Ilvir if he got better. Shortly, his bleeding stopped, and his color returned a bit.

Shortly after that, Jaroud arrive with the Peonian priestess, Mother Ella, head of the Peonian temple's infirmary. Upon examining Mykel, sh efound her aid was not needed, however. The missionaries tried to persuade her that Mykel had been very bad a short while before and that his healing was a miracle, but she was not convinced. She left civilly, however, and was walked back to the Peonian temple by Jaroud.

Kalrun went off in search of Duglan, who still had not shown up back at the inn following the ambush. After wandering the streets for a time, he found the man. Duglan reluctantly explained what had happened: On his way back to the inn, heencountered the three thugs who had pursued Judy, Maban, and Olrau. He wanted to confront them, but instead ran away— again. The thugs apparently laughed at him when he did. Duglan had since spent the time wandering the streets hoping to find the courage to go back to the group, who now knew he was a coward in battle. Kalrun said nothing in response, but told him to join the others at the inn.

On the way back, Kalrun and Duglan went through Kotros Square, where they saw two men outside Hondash's shop, apparently in the act of vandalizing it. They two men fled. Kalrun and Duglan tried to catch them, but failed to do so. Going back to the shop, they saw that the men had been painting an elongated serpent, vaguely similar to that which Judyn and Bowdyn had painted on the inn, Punat's shop, and Bowdyn's shop the night before. They also found that the men were carrying a pot of pitch, as if they were going to attempt to set a fire. The two soldiers, exhausted, returned to the inn, leaving the mark and pitch in the front of Hondash's shop, just as the thugs had left them.

They briefly told the others what they had seen in front of Hondash's shop, but, being exhausted, indicated that they will discuss further in the morning.

Evading The Finder
21 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

In the morning, the group went down to the common room to breakfast and talk. The group also hired a litter to help Bowdyn get home. Duglan accompanied him to make sure he got there safely. Meanwhile, Brother Olrau said that he dreamt they would have a great opportunity today that they should seize.

The common room was full of news and gossip. Among other tidbits, the missionaries learned that today was was the funeral of Tymas, Hondash's dead journeyman, and that after the funeral, a group of priests from the Peonian temple was going to exorcize the Umbathri from the city. The missionaries speculated on whether one of these might be the opportunity Olrau had discussed.

While they were speaking, Goris, their innkeeper, introduced them to a man named Girardius, an older man in his mid-50s with a neatly trimmed beard, who was known as “The Finder”. Girardius was, he explained, a friend of his who had studied in Melderyn and Azeryan when younger— and who was highly skilled at investigation, finding things out, recoving lost objects, and the like. As a personal favor, he had offered to investigate the attack on Goris' inn and the guests.

He asked Kalrun, Jaroud, and Maban about the fire and other incidents, but the missionaries remained tight-lipped about the true instigators of the attack— i.e. Judyn and Bowdyn. Despite his prodigious reputation in investigation, however, Girardius did not realize their deception in holding back Maban's divination or Judyn and Bowdyn's confession. Perhaps he had been thrown off the truth by his conversation with Jaroud, who, at that time, was not yet aware of the truth of the matter.

While they were talking, Judyn went to talk to the innkeeper Goris. With some difficulty, she persuaded him that the attack on the inn was clearly an attack on them as Ilvirans and requested that he leave matters to them to sort out. She also offered to take financial responsibility for his troubles and any future troubles related to their stay. Goris, recuctantly, said he would speak to Girardius and ask him to halt his investigation into the matter.

As she had finished up her conversation with Goris, a Save-K'norran acolyte, who was greeted as Faras, by the innkeeper, came in and approached him and Judyn, with the look o someone who has something to say. Instead, however, he gave a strange, nervous, look to Judyn, and ended up saying nothing before leaving quickly. Judyn introduced herself to the lad; but he declined to gve his name to her during his hasty departure.

Taking Stock & Making Plans at the Inn
21 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

The company then went upstairs to discuss plans for dealing with those who had attacked them. Maban attempted another divination to identify who was responsible for the vandalism of Hondash's shop. She searched deeply, trying for a definite answer, and found that all the signs pointed unmistakeably Laranz of Khonary (the son of Punat of Khonary) and the slave Stevis.

The pieces then seemed to fall into place. The missionaries were indeed being opposed by a secret sect of Ilvirans, who did not want them in the city. This other group of Ilvirans seemed to include Punat of Khonary and his son, who heard about their arrival quickly and delivered the box with the hand to themthe 16th as a threat. They then delivered the note on the 19th asking them to meet the night of the 20th, where they would be ambushed and severely hurt— or possibly even killed. Later, on the night of the 20th this group also vanadlized Hondash's shop, apparently believing him responsible for the fires. [Note: In Session 8, the PC's learn that the shop of Forena of Baraena was also attacked on the night of the 20th by the other Ilvirans, apparently as a warning to her not to associate with the missionaries. This might suggest that the local Ilviran cult attacked Hondash's shop for the same reason..... but of course, the PCs didn't know about this at the time.]

Judyn then compared the handwriting in the note with the hand (received on the 16th when they arrived) and the note that invited them to the ambush (received on the 19th). She felt certain the handwriting matches, and the same seal and sealing wax was used.

There was reluctant agreement that among the missionaries do not want to simply attack the local Ilviran sect, as they were, after all, fellow worshippers of the Brooder. They were also wary of threatening them, as their threats likely lacked force. Judyn and Olrau privately considered going to talk to Analia of the Order of the Eight Demons, but holds off voicing this since they were wary of threats.

They were then interrupted by a knock on the door. Irot, a slave from the litigant Vurnt came in with a request for Judyn to meet him. Judyn immediate got ready to leave, and curiously, Olrau insisted on joining her. Most of the group elected to go with Judyn and Olrau, except for Maban who decided to go to the market (after first borrowing some pence from Judyn).

Served on the Street
21 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

All the order set out at once from the inn. While they were leaving, though, they could see Hondash approaching them with a group of men— and probably several apprentices— around him and a scroll in his hand. None of them appearedr to be armed, so the groupboldly went up to speak to him.

He served them with a writ stamped a Judge-Advocate of Coranan, stating that they were called to court to answer for crimes that Honash had accused them of. The writ was made out to “That Ilviran witch from Kaldor and her friends” In it, Hondash accused them of witchcraft, murder, summoning demons, destruction of property, fraud, assault, and battery. There was a hearing scheduled for 24 Nolus, in three days time.

They exchanged some heated words with Hondash over this, then he stalked off with his companions. Brother Olrau, Kalrun, and Jaroud went with Judyn to the office of the litigant Vurnt. Maban went to the market square.

Vurnt's Revelation
21 Nolus 720 TR (Late Morning)

Brother Olrau, Kalrun, and Jaroud accompanied Judyn to Vurnt's office. He had bribed some slaves at the various record-houses to find information on property transactions and discovered that Hondash was not actually the owner of the property or the building in which his shop was located.

The story was somewhat complicated. His father had owned the property, but after his death (about fifty years ago), Hondash's mother had sold it to their patron, Ybris of Arkain, who was a member of a minor Thardic greatclan. Apparently, Ybris had let the family stay in the house for a reasonable rent, for four and a half decades. Six years, ago, however, Ybris died and his widow, a Kandayan noblewoman now living in Tharda) inherited it and became Hondash's patron. She, in turn, sold the building in which Hondash lived to the Halean church, but retained a lease on it for five years. That lease was due to expire on the first of Ilvin, 720— in just five months. So, in short, Hondash was actually a subtenant of the Halean church, through his patron, Lady Alys of Arkain.

This was exciting news to the Ilvirans for it meant they did not have to persuade the hostile Hondash to sell the property to them but could instead negotiate for it directly through the Halean church. Vurnt suggested that if they acted quicklythe transaction could be done before Hondash or his patron realized it had taken place. He also thought speed was of teh essence as the Haleans might not want to sell if they knew that the group wanted to build a temple on it.. He suggested they go that very day to negotiate with the Haleans and arranged to set up a meeting.

Enlisting Hillay's Help
21 Nolus 720 TR (Afternoon)

After meeting with Vurnt, Judyn and Kalrun went to Bowdyn's house, where Judyn attempted to persuade Hillay to help represent her to the Halean church in buying the shop. (Jaroud left to go see how Maban was doing in Kotros Square.) She first commiserated with Hillay over Bowdyn's injuries, which Hillay called needless risk (though grudgingly admitting his bravery). Judyn agreed that it was terrible, saying "A person could get killed being beaten by blunt instruments".

Judyn successfully convinced Hillay to assist her in negotiating with the Haleans, and the three went back to Vurnt's office.

Butt-Kicking and Vision Interpretation in the Marketplace
21 Nolus 720 TR (Morning/Afternoon)

While the meetings with Vurtn and Hillay were taking place, Maban had been pursuing her own agenda. Having obtained some advice and several pence from Judyn, she purchased a small rug in the market and found a spot in Kotros square, where she sat down and offered to tell people's fortunes for money. She had deliberately chosen a spot near to Hondash's shop (which was still closed due to the requisite mourning period). After some time there, she was approached by representatives of the Mangai, who controls the marketplace, to pay a peddlar's license for the day. She was able to pay it, though she did so with reluctance. She was told by the Mangai representatives (who seemed only one step above hired thugs) that her fees included all appropriate 'tithes and gifts' and that if anyone approached her asking for additional money— or if they gave her any trouble— she should come to them.

During the morning afternoon, Maban told several routine fortunes for ordinary townspeople and visitors. Things became interesting when she was approached by the would-be haruspex Jerran. whom she had met some days earlier (in Session 2 and who had figured in her strange Ilvir-sent vision in Session 5).

Maban told Jerran of the vision in which he had figured— and in which she had seen Hondash falling from the roof of his shop, where she cut him open to find his entrails all knotted, but straightened them out with her own hands to declare a positive fortune. He was intrigued by this vision, especially by the fact that in it, she had seen both him and herself dressed in the ritual garb of a Senatorial Haruspex. He gave to her an interpretation of the vision (which he said was 'rather obvious') that she was to be given a choice, in which she could either tell a terrible and ugly truth about a matter (possibly involving Hondash, possibly not) affecting the people of Coranan, and thereby earn hatred and scorn from those of the city— or she could lie about it and earn praise and favor. The worst thing she could do, he told her, would be to be vague or appear uncertain.

Later in the afternoon, when Hondash and his family returned to his shop from the late journeyman's funeral. Hondash saw Maban and immediately went to tel her to leave. When she refused as he demanded, he became enraged. He ran over, knocked her down, and kicked her repeatedly on the backside before being pulled off by his wife, daughter, and some friends. She was not severely injured, but her new dress was slightly ripped and she could tell that she would develop a nasty bruise all over her buttocks.

Maban, having little shame or sense of being in public, prepared a mild herbal plaster with some of the items in her phramacopia, and placed it on her injured bottom. As she was doing so, Jaroud found her among the crowd. She told him of her mistreatment by Hondash and he was angered. He walked over to the cobbler's shop (which was still closed) and opened the door and made his presence known. Hondash's daughter, Hida (the bereaved fiancée of the late journeyman) came down, still in funereal garb, and asked him what he wanted. Jaroud explained his business was with her father. She appraised him curiously for an instant and then turned quickly, saying, “Then, I'll get the pig!” Jaroud is shocked— though not entirely appalled by her contemptuous and scornful attitude towards he father.

Seconds later, Hondash comes down the stairs, asking Jaroud what business he has in his home on a day of morning. Jaroud begins to speak, explaining that he has come to state that he thinks Hondash owes his friend Maban an apology— but he barely gets three words out before Hondash lashes into him verbally, accusing him of being a foreigner, an “easterner,” an Ilviran, and a murderer. Jaroud is taken aback by the man's relenteless hostility and tries to be polite while, but realizes that there is little he can say or do to get a word in edgewise. He leaves Hondash's shop filled with nothing but contempt for the cobbler— although somewhat intrigued by the level of apparent hostility between him and his daughter.

Epic Haggling at the Halean Temple
21 Nolus 720 TR (Afternoon)

Later that same afternoon, Judyn went with Vurnt to the Halean temple to negotiate buying the property, accompanied by Hillay and Kalrun along with Vurnt's servant. They made their way to back rooms of the temple, where they met the temple's Ralithina (“Mistress of Silk and Gold”, who is not only the church's treasurer, but who also oversees all of the temple's land holdings in the city. The Ralitina was finely dressed but in practical clothes appropriate to a wealthy merchant-woman, rather than ceremonial garb— although she did were a necklace of seven golden coins as her badge of office. . She had a foreign accent, probably of the Karejian isles, where the Halean church is centered, though her Harnic was quite fluent.

The partie discussed the basic terms of the deal. The priestess noted that it was valuable property, which Judyn conceded and said they would pay well for it. She countered that there was no reason to think it was particularly rising in value. Then, they began the haggling.

The priestess demanded a ridiculous sum for the property— 120,000 d, which could hardly be justified even with the property's presence on Kotros Square. Judyn countered that this absolutely ridiculous and countered with a modest (but still low) offer of 10,000 d. After much back and forth, Judyn compelled the priestess to agree that a price of 25,000 d would be fair and reasonable and they signed a contract of intent to purchase at that price.

[Note on BW Mechanics: This was resolved as a duel of wits— rather than as a haggling test— between Judyn and the priestess, with helping dice from the priestesses assistants and Judyn from her friends. Judyn's victory would be making the purchase Obstacle 6 for Resources, while the priestess' would be Obstacle 10. The priestess had G6 Haggling, to Judyn's B6. Spending a Fate, though, Judyn's body of argument became 17 to the priestess' 12. Their clashes were Point vs Feint, Point vs Point, Point vs Rebuttal, and Dismiss vs Dismiss. Judyn won, taking the priestess far negative in the last round but dropping to 2 herself. This was resolved as a 'comprise' where the price of the property was agreed to as being an Obstacle 7 test]

Stopping the Exorcism
21 Nolus 720 TR (Afternoon)

Triumphant over having closed the deal, Judyn, Olrau went and joined the other missionaries. Many in the group were angry over Hondash's attack on Maban, but a positive mood prevailed when they learned of the agreement on the purchase of Hondash's shop as the future temple site.

At sundown, they then gathered to deal with an attempted exorcism of the Umbathri off of Kotros Square, now perched on the city's bonding House opposite the square from Hondash's shop. They talked the Peonian priests into leaving, with Olrau giving an atypically fire-and-brimstone speech about how woe would fall to the city should Ilvir's blessing be rejected, and Maban invoking the Condordat between the gods by arguing that Peoni should not be invoked against a creature of Ilvir who is not doing harm. The Peonians reluctantly agreed to leave, but demanded talks to address the issue. Judyn jumped in, cutting off Brother Olrau, and agreed to have talks with the Peonians on the matter, with guidance and moderation provided by priests of the temple of Save-K'nor.

Closing the Deal
22 Nolus 720 TR (Morning)

The next day, the missionaries went around to collect the funds for the purchase of the shop. Promissary notes were traded for coin, jewelery was sold and pawned, promises were extracted, and Olrau's cache of coins, saved up from 15 years of preaching and begging, was emptied. By the afternoon, enough coin had been raised so that the Halean church was satisfied. The deal for the purchase of the building in which Hondash's shop was located was successfully closed.

After signing, though, Brother Olrau noticed that the deed was in Judyn's name. He pointed this out, and Judyn said that it was necessary to close the deal. She stated that she would grant the temple to be owned by all of the founding members. Olrau insisted that this would need to include Gwelen, Kara, and— much to everyone's surprise— even Hillay. Judyn agreed that this could be taken care of, but insisted that it was not the most pressing issue at the present. No-one contradicted her aloud on this point, though Olrau was clearly troubled.

Despite his concerns, Olrau proclaimed the day one of rejoicing and offered to pay for a feast for the missionaries at the Scroll & Quill that evenign, with whatever monies he had left.

A Failed Seduction
22 Nolus 720 TR (Afternoon)

After a morning at the market, telling fortunes, Maban, sought out Garryx, the Demon Pameshlu guard that she had priviously met outside the arena and who had seemed to find her attractive (or who, at least, had made a few propositions to her). Her intention was to seduce him, to make him fall in love with her, and then to use her influence over him to gain access to the animal pens in the arena, so that she could help free her Ivashu sisters.

As she knew she might have to go into rough neighborhoods, she asked Jaroud to accompany her. He did willingly, although he had little sense of her greater purpose, but instead thought it was another of Maban's crazy whims.

On her part, Maban had dressed nicely (she even slightly mended the rip in her dress) and brought an aphrodisiac she had hastily prepared from her pharmacopia to slip into Garryx's drink

She found Garryx in the Glaive and Sickle Inn. She and Jaroud entered, and began speaking with Garryx. When Jaroud realized what was going on, he quickly absented himself from their conversation and, shocked by the idea of Maban having any sort of physical reltions, ordered a seried of extremely strong ales, while preparing for the worst to unfold, A feeling of terrible dread overtook him when he saw the soothsayer slip her herbal concation into the Terhan's drink.

Jaroud's dread, however, was misplaced. Garryx did not notice that his ale had been drugged by Maban— or, if he did, he didn't sem to care. And, in fact, it was not long before the he and Maban were engaging in overtly flirtatious talk. The two went upstairs to a tiny room, for which they were charged 2d by the innkeeper, where they played out physically what they had previously only talked about. (Meanwhile, down below, Jaroud drank heavily, feeling certain that there were going to be very bad results from this...)

Unfortunately for Maban, her plan to seduce Garryx was only partly successful. Although she had bedded him, he seemed to lose all interest in her immediately afterwards. He showed absolutely no interest whatsoever in having her become his 'girlfriend' or any such thing. Whether it was Maban's awkwardness and inexperience in physical love— or her strange personality and behavior (e.g. the "Can't take her anywhere" trait), or simply a lack of interest after the chase was over, Garryx quickly ceased to have interest in Maban.

[Note on BW Mechanics: This was handled as a beginner's luck seduction attempt of an NPC... and Maban failed it,]