Session Ten: The Summer Passes

Session Date: December 9, 2007

Drafted by John K (the player of Judyn)

GM's note: This session was a bit different than the preceeding ones for two reasons.

First, as it had been agreed upon that the opening 'adventure' of the campaign (arrival in Coranan, purchasing grounds for a temple, getting th PCs established, and fending off some initial hosility expressed towards them), the group had it agreed that it was time to do our first “Trait Vote” (for assigning new traits) and to vote for MVP and Workhorse characters. Several players also wished to modify their PC's beliefs and/or instincts. The first part of the session was devoted to these “out-of-character” activities.

Secondly, the group had also planned that the remainder of the session would be devoted to playing out the events of the summer fairly quickly, resolving large-scale general events, with action painted in 'broad sweeping strokes' rather than 'fine details'. The initial idea was that we would devote this session to passing the summer, and then would begin in the autumn for Session 11.

However, in the course of doing this, it became clear that there were a few critical conflicts that did require a closer focus, and actual playing out 'what happened' in some more detail. A few of these took place in this session. Some were postponed to the next.

Still, because the main intent was to play out the summer 'large-scale' and just to give a sense of some things that happened over its course, a lot of the events described below are not localized to a specific time during the summer— they just happened at some point during the summer. (And, in fact, with the discussion of the fate of Hondash, it actually extended into early autumn.) If it a later point, it becomes necessary to pin down the specifics of what exactly happened when, we will fill in those details later.

Overview of the Trait/MVP/Workhorse Vote

This session followed the end of the founding adventure, and thus started with voting on new traits as 'awards' for the first nine sessions. The group went round the table and new potential traits were proposed for all the PCs, based on their actions and artha expedniture in the first ten sessions. Each PC was awarded one new trait as follows:

  • Peacemaker” (Call-on for social skills being used on hostiles) for Bowdyn for his ability to twice befriend (or at least establish a kind of truce between two individuals previously antagonistic to the group.
  • Scheming” (per the Character Burner) for Judyn, for her plots to sway the rival Ilvirans and others
  • Hound of Ilvir” (Call-On when pursuing or bringing down quarry) for Jaroud, for incredible effort at chases including the stag hunt and pursuing the enemy
  • Violent Temper” (Call-On for Intimidation and Brawling) for Kalrun, for his unintended fight with Hondash and others
  • Trouble-maker” (Call-On for any skill on a roll where a success would cause trouble for another PC) for Maban, for her making trouble specifically for the other PCs.

After the trait vote, the players and GM also voted on MVP and Workhouse for the first 10 sessions. The MVP award went to Maban, and the Workhorse to Judyn. Both gained persona points as a result.

Bowdyn's Ongoing Guild-Joining Difficulties
Summer 720 TR

As discussed earlier, Bowdyn had previously been unsuccessful in making contact with Jorak of Asarn, Guildmaster of the Coranan Masons' Guild. (Jorak had been up in Telen, visiting his quarries and making arrangements with his partners, who are members of the powerful Nordaka clan.)

During the summer, Jorak returned to Coranan. In order to ingratiate himself with Jorak, and thereby gain his support in starting his own pranchise. Bowdyn bought some fine Telen marble (at great expense) and sculpted a statue to serve as a gift/bribe. He also bought some expensive Shirani perfume as a gift for Jorak's wife.

With help from Judyn in lining up deals, Bowdyn got the materials for the bribe, but used up much of his savings (lost 2d of his Resources pool as "tax"). Moreover, his stonework on the statue failed to impress Jorak— who received it politely, but still declined to promise support for Bowdyn's enfranchisement.

Judyn's Schemes
Summer 720 TR

Judyn had several issues to deal wit throughout the summer.

First, she worked with Vurnt to finish out remaining legal issues. There were some remaining issues with the trial (collecting their portion of the judicial 'wager' that Hondash had put up), paying for Vurnt's legal fees, and also transferring the temple ownership to the group of founders. All of those who came out from Kaldor, including Kara, Gwelen, and Hillay (the last at Olrau's insistence) were given an equal share in the property. It was to be held in common, and required a unanimous decision to sell the property or to transfer one of the shares.

Judyn also worked with Vurnt in ensuring that Hondash met his obligations to give a public apology, follwing the trial. Hondash initially had delayed in making any such apology, but Vurnt filed a new lawsuit against Hondash, asking the court to give a new order giving him a written apology that he was forced to read and imposing a hefty fine on him for having taken up the court's time further. Hondash read it aloud in the market place, without enthusiasm, but well enough to meet the letter of the court's orders.

Judyn also threw a small party for younger folk in the Ilviran's circle of connections, including not only Kara, but also the children of Forena the Potter and the Save-K'norran acolyte Faras. Her plan was to get them to think of her house as a safe space for them to mingle and gather. She also was looking at both the Save-K'norran acolyte Faras and the Forena the potter's son Fered to see if they might be good marriage matches for Kara.

Over the next ten-day, she talked to Kalrun about the two. They concluded that Faras (by a die of fate roll of 6 = worst) would be a disastrous match, despite having come from a good family. He was, thought still young, clearly too lacking in seriousness and discipline. He also appeared to be too devoted to fun-loving and a philanderer in the making. He was, as he freely admitted, already in trouble with the temple and close to being thrown out. Unfortunately, Kara found him captivating. Fered, by contrast, (by a die of fate roll of 2), was deemed to be a very promsing match (good family, disciplined dutiful boy, intelligent), but Kara found him a little boring.

Judyn felt it very important to get Kara to lose interest in Faras. However, she knew that simply telling the girl bad things about the boy would not cause a change in heart— Kara would have to see for herself why Faras was no good. Judyn contrived to set up Faras by giving him some money and suggesting that he try out a specific alehouse. She had also made arrangements for a cheap prostitute to be there, and told the woman about Faras and his money. She also arranged with Kalrun to just happen to come in with Kara as the cheap trollop was hanging all over Faras. (This was handled as a Falsehood test with four successes.) Kara, her heart suddenly broken, immediately burst in to tears and continued crying for many hours. Judyn (and Kalrun) did little to comfort her, hoping that she might instead turn to Fered (whom they both liked) for comfort.

As further icing on the cake, Judyn anonymously informed the Save-K'norran temple of Faras' repeated carousing, and not long after, rumor came to her (and the lad had been expelled as an acolyte).

Finally, Judyn made arrangements to purchase a moderate-sized house in the northeast o the city, not far from the Scroll and Quill, and just a bit away from Kotros Square. She invited Kalrun, Kara, and Brother Olrau to come live with her there.

Jaroud: Dealings, Plans, and Reminiscences
Summer 720 TR

After learning of Mykel's disloyalty (see last session), Jaroud refused to allow the young man to return to work, or to come back into his home. Mykel went back to living on the street, although he occasionally would come by to see if Jaroud had changed his mind, and to ask for scraps of food. Jaroud consistently refused to take him back in, but he did occasionally give him food. He also saw that Mykel was often looking like he had ended up on the losing end of a fight.

With Mykel not there to help him, Jaroud spent much of his time with his dogs. He was disillusioned by the help that he was receiving from his nominal patron Tiny (who had only arranged a few small-stakes dog-fights for him), as well as with Tiny's prior attempt to cheat him.

He developed a plan to raise wolf-hounds bred from the wolf he had miraculously tamed on the white stag hunt. These would be sold as guard dogs to the rich, rather than fighting on the streets. He knew it would take a year to get started on this, so he began work on finding female dogs to breed— and looking for more wolves.

Jaroud also pondered his longer-term goals within the mission. He worried that Judyn was exerting too much influence over the group— and that so many of the missionaries' contacts were with the merchant classes (and even a few patricians). He thought of how much attention he had brought their group by slaying the stag and offering the public feast to all in his neighborhood— and how little had been done by the others to follow-up on that. He resolved that he would not let their temple become one for the wealthy only, and that the path of Ilvir would be made open to the poor of the city as well.

Jaroud also could not help but think about his hold life back in Kaldor. Prior to joining this mission of Ilvir, Jaroud had worked for a minor lord in aldor as a huntsman and dog-tender. His family had been killed and his house burned, by persons never identified (though he long suspected the lord's son or the Coranan Lia-Kavair, to whom the lord's son was in debt from his love of high-stakes gambling on dogfights). One of the reasons he had left his old village was to try to leave the anger behind him, but the thought for vengeance against somone still smouldered in his heart.

One day, in mid-summer, he received a visit from Girardius the Finder (who was able to walk again after a month or so, though he was still fairly weak from his near-fatal poisioning). Girardius thanked Jaroud profusely for having slain the assassin who had attacked him. He also told Jaroud that he could sense that there was great trouble in his heart about his past— and he told Jaroud, “There is nothing worse than the unknown.” He offered, as 'repayment' for Jaroud's act, to travel to Kaldor with the last caravan in the autumn and to spend the winter there, investigating the truth about what had happened to Jaroud's family— and who was responsible. Jaroud accepted this kind offer.

Kalrun's Guard Work
Summer 720 TR

Kalrun worked in the Red Guard for the summer months. During that time, he tried to look for any other members of the Red Guard who were— or might be— Ilvirans. However, despite his best efforts, he found none who appeared to follow the Brooder.

He did socialize a great deal with other Red Guardsment of his own rank, doing a great deal of drinking and carousing. He spoke a bit about his faith to those who asked, but made no overt attempts at conversion.

Kalrun also tried to advance his position in the guard in the hopes of greater pay. He worked hard and sought to muster a suitable bribe, but without more funds, he was unable to secure the promotion he was hoping for.

He and Duglan continued their martial training. They continued to practice mostly outside of the city walls, but on a few occasions, they took up the offer of Analia of Erm to train in the practice yard of the Eight Demons Temple. They did some brief sparring with a few members of the Cohorts of Gashang (the Eight Demons' fighting order), finding them to be extremely capable foes, if somewhat disturbing in their apperance and habits.

Maban's Apprenticeship & Inflitration of the Pamesani Arena
Summer 720 TR

After much back and forth negotiation, Maban arranged for herself to be apprenticed to Fargil of Krunos, a highly skilled apothecary and alchemist in Kuseme. She spent most of the summer working there, receiving room and board, but no real pay, as she was officially an apprentice, despite her vast knowledge of herblore. Her arrangement with Fargil, however, resulted in her also getting a major discount on the love potion that he was preparing for her.

During her spare time, Maban also sought to find another contact working in the arena besides the Demon Pameshlu guard Garryx, who had previously bedded her, then lost interest thereafter. Through her many visits to the Arena, she was able to meet an officer in the Demon Pameshlu fightiing order (with the rank of 'Telen') named Dagnard.

Dagnard was the Arena's 'Master of the Beasts' and was clearly an important person to know, especially if one wanted to get more knowledge about how the arena's Ivashu were kept. However, Dagnard had little interest in her— apparently thinking she was just another woman who found attraction in gladiators. He seemed to have little or no interest in her feminine charms (such as they were), and in fact, was rather brusque and dismissive of her attempts to speak with him. (Maban later learned that he had a wife to whom he was apparently very devoted.) Still, contact had been made— and Maban was thinking of how she might exploit that relationship, perhaps even using the love potion on Dagnard, rather than Garryx.

Later in the summer, Maban sought the aid of her fellow missionaries (save Kalrun) to pay for the love potion that Fargil had brewed for her. Hwever, she was tight-lipped about what the money was for— other than that it for an apothecary's preparations involving 'feminine matters'. Judyn wondered whetherthat Maban might be pregnant and paying for an abortificiant potion. Maban encouraged her in this belief, although Judyn remained skeptical, and privately questioned the truth of the matter.

The First Council on Ivashu
Early Larane (Middle of Summer), 720 TR

In early/mid-Larane (the second month of summer), the missionaries held a counsel to decide what (if anything) they should do to do about the fact that Ivashu, Ilvir's blessed beasts, were captured, sold, and then made to fight and die in the bloody gladiatorial spectacles of Coranan's Pamesani Arena.

The need for a council arose from the fact that Maban was extremely passionate regarding the issue. She felt that the missionaries must do something to stop the Ivashu trade— and even more, to save the Ivashu already in the Arena pens. In her prior discussions with the other missionaries, however, her passion had met with skepticism and outright disagreement. Judyn had pushed for a meeting among all the temple founders so that everyone could have their say on the subject— and, if possible, come up with a policy that all could live with.

The Council revealed that the temple's founders' opinions on the subject of the Ivashu trade and their use in the Arena were wide and varied.

Maban, needless to say, was outspoken in her views. She insisted that the arena should be torn down, and said that she would chip at it with a hammer no matter how long it took, whether with their support or without.

Jaroud opposed Maban strongly. He maintained that life and death were equally a part of Ilvir's design and the great cycle of life. Who were we, he asked, who so little understood the whole of Ilvir's plan, to say that it was not precisely his intention that the Ivashu should be caught, sold, and killed in the Arena? Quoting the teachings of Olrau himself, her further added each person should find his or her own path and criticized of the idea of even holding such a meeting and trying to come up with a temple doctrine on the matter— or any matter. He further insisted that criticizing or opposing the use of Ivashu in the popular Agrikan spectacles— would distract from them more immediate needs and threats, but also make them unpopular among the people of Coranan.

Kalrun was sympathetic to the plight of the Ivashu, and generally supported Maban— though not quite so loudly or strongly. He sought to moderate her desire with a more practical outlook.

Judyn was also sympathetic to Maban's position, but said that simply denouncing or fighting against the Agrikans would do no good. She suggested that a practical plan would have to address the source of the Ivashu— the merchants and the suppliers. She suggested finding a way to learn more about how the Agrikans actually get Ivashu, and see if there might be some way those sources could be persuaded to desist.

Bowdyn was more overtly utilitarian, saying that the founders should all do whatever they could to amass power first, which they would then use for the good of Ilvir. His implicit argument was that the missionaries were currently too weak to do anything regarding the Ivashu trade, but that when they had more social power, they could turn their attention to it.

Olrau, curiously, was silent throughout the debate. When prodded for his insight, he confessed to having none. “Ilvir has never given me visions or spoke to me through my inner voice on this, nor does he speak to me now. I do not mean to say that his will is that we do nothing because he is silent— only that he has not chosen to reveal his will to me on this matter— perhaps because that is not my part to play. But that does not mean that it may not be your part to play. It only means that I cannot say either way.”

As the arguments continued, young Kara spoke with a shocking suggestion: “Why don't we start our own Arena, were people can come and see Ivashu kill people, without the Ivashu getting hurt? We could just get some slaves, or get the courts to give us some criminals, and we can have the Ivashu kill and eat them, with no risk to themselves. We can feed them and keep them all nice and happy, so they don't get hurt— and get people to pay us to watch it! Then maybe no-one will got to see the Agrikan shows where they kill the Ivashu.”

Although Maban seemed supportive of the idea, Judyn dismissed this as impossible to succeed (as well as somewhat disturbing) and most of the other missionaries agreed. Kara, however, was insistent that the idea was a good one. “If people will pay the Agrikans to see Ivashu fight, then why shouldn't they pay us to see them eat, or jump, or do whatever? I mean, we're the ones who can speak to them and befriend them! Surely we can put on better shows than them? Maybe they don't even have to kill and eat people! Maybe they can just come and see one up close and touch them— or talk to them? Or maybe the Ivashu can do plays or dances for them?”

There was still great skepticism among the other missionaries at Kara's idea, but there was gruding admission that the idea might not be as wholly crazy as it had first sounded— and that perhaps some sort of “Ivashu circus” might be a possibility.

Ultimately, no decisions were made on whether the temple should support or oppose the ongoing use of Ivashu in the Agrikan games— or whether to start an Ivashu circus. Opinion was simply too divided. However, there was at least general agreement among the missionaries that there was no harm in looking into the Ivashu trade itself— and the whole process by which Ivashu got from the wild to the Arenas.

Maban indicated that she had learned from Garryx and others in the Demon Pameshlu that they got their Ivashu from two main sources: (1) from hunters who went into the wild and just caught them, and (2) from their fellow temple in Shiran, which had an arrangement with a small Ilviran temple there, which supplied them with Ivashu. That corresponded with Judyn herself knew from her contacts in the mercantylers' guild who traded (or wanted to trade in) Ivashu.

Discussion led to the idea that perhaps they should send an 'envoy' to Shiran to meet with their fellow Ilvirans there, to find out more about their temple, and perhaps to gain aid/support from them. There, they might also learn more about that temple's role in the Ivashu trade— and that trade itself. Olrau spoke out in strong support of this plan, and the others agreed.

Kara volunteered to be the envoy, but was told by the others that she still too young to take on a mission to a strange city by herself. “Well, then, Maban can come with me! She can handle any trouble.”

The thought of Kara and Maban going on their own to represent their nascent Order before an older and established Ilviran temple in Shiran filled most of the other missionaries with a sense of impending disaster, so a decision was made that Kalrun and Judyn would also go. The embassy to the Shiran temple would leave in early Agrazhar.

The Other Ilvirans: Laranz, Punat & The Khonary Clan
Summer 720 TR

Several times over the summer, Bowdyn and several other temple founders talked at length with Laranz of Khonary, the son of Punat, who they had learned were in a secretive rival Ilviran sect.

To their surprise, this rival sect turned out to be really just be the Khonary Clan-- consisting of Punat, Laranz, and Laranz's sister Selyn in Coranan, although there were many Khonary kinsman outside of the city, including two who were of senatorial rank. In short the sect was not so large or diverse as they had feared— but the Khonary clan was a powerful one in the Republic and its influence not to be taken lightly.

Laranz agreed to secretly come to one of the missionaries' worship ceremonies, which was led by Olrau. . In turn, Bowdyn and Judyn came to his house to watch him perform a private ceremony of his family's cult in a secret chapel under the family house— a simple underground room with few decorations along with a deep pit where sacrifices of animals and dead people were thrown in. Laranz's ceremony was simple and unadorned (and performed somewhat awkwardly, with him stumbling over words. It was obvious that he was not used to performing it himself). The ceremony essentially consisted of a thanksgiving prayer to Ilvir for having blessed the Khonary clan, and a flesh sacrifice (this time it was a dead body from the Arena) to ask for that continued blessing. (Bowdyn and Judyn were only permitted by Laranz to witness the ceremony; he felt it would be grossly inapproprriate for them to participate since they were not members of his family.)

They also heard once again from the lips of Laranz a portion of the the text of the prophecy that had convinced Punat that they were bringing doom to the Khonary clan and Coranan itself: “False prophets from the East shall come. They come with knives; they come with fire. With them, the faithful shall fall and the city will burn.” Judyn and Bowdyn could not help but think about how uncanny it was that their plot to make contact with the cult members had involved using knives and fire.

One thing that surprised the missionaries was that there was little in the Khonary cult's worship that seemed to connect them to the Brotherhood of the Elongated Adder, whom they believed had come to the city from the east a half-century before. The Khonary cult did not appear to scorn woman or marriage (although the cult only included individuals born into the family, not those who came in through marriage). The fact that they appeared to have at least two objects (a tapestry and seal) depicting elongated (i.e. non-circled serpents) that were iconographically associated with that old order seemed rather odd. Neither Bowdyn nor Judyn, however, sought to persue that issue further as they could tell that Laranz was already nervous about having showed them as many family secrets as he had.

At the same time as Bowdyn and Judyn were speaking with Laranz on friendly terms, they and the others were troubled as to how they should proceed in their dealings with Khonary clan more generally— and in particular, with the father, Punat, who had aparently tried to have Olrau assassinated. They knew from Laranz that he would be staying at the family's villa in the village of Thoth, just a few leagues north of Coranan .At length, they called another meeting o the temple's founders. This meeting did not include Kara, due t the likely violent nature of some of their called of the founders. This did not include Kara, due to the likely violent nature of some potential plans.

At this meeting, Jaroud and Maban were in favor of killing Punat— and in doing so outright. Kalrun also spoke in favor of this plan, which shocked the others, as he had always previously spoke about the sacrality of human life, and the need to resolve conflics without killing, even if violence were needed. Bowdyn and Judyn were hesitant about such an aggressive move against Punat. While they agreed that it would be reasonable and just to kill Punat (either for revenge, or as an act of pre-emptive self-defense against further assassination attempts by him), they wanted to try other options first, including a meeting, or at the very least a letter.

Jaroud and Maban argued that attempting to contact Punat would only serve to warn him that they might be coming for him. The others argued that a gesture of peace might ease his fears. Judyn wrote an unsigned letter that referred in veiled ways to their clash, and pleaded with him to negotiate with them. (However, she gave it to Jaroud to have delivered anonymously. Jaroud had continued to become increasingly suspicious of Judyn's designs to power, and though he was loath to argue with her -- he was determined to undermine her in this matter. He destroyed the letter without delivering it, thus ensuring that Punat would not respond and they would move ahead with a plan to kill him.


Postscript: The Fate of Hondash
Late Summer / Autumn 720 TR

At their various meetings, the temple founders determined that it was necessary to let Hondash know, at some point, that his lease would expire on the first of Ilvin, so that he could make preparations to move his business in a timely fashion.

Although some of the missionaries felt that it would be sweet 'revenge' to tell Hondash themselves, after he had caused them so much trouble, they agreed that it should actually be Lady Alys who would informHondash of the ending of his lease— not only because she held the lease and was subleasing to him, but also because she was still his nominal patron.

Judyn went to talk with Lady Alys on the subject. Alys insisted that it should not be necessary to do so, since Hondash would die before Ilvin. She repeated her story from before that a soothsayer who read cards had told her many years ago that Hondash would be dead by this fall. Thus, the expiration of the lease should not be an issue.

A little shocked that Alys placed so much stock in this old soothsayer's prediction,Judyn pointed out that it would be terrible for Hondash's family to lose him and lose their home in quick succession, and that they should at least be told. Lady Alys releuctantly agreed to tell Hondash and his family— and to assist his wife in daughter in finding a new place. Judyn offered to help, but Alys insisted that it was her responsibility.

Hondash was duly informed by Lady Alys, not long after his daughter Hida, her belly already swelling with child, was married off to a tanner in Ostenor (with, apparently, a very high dowry). He apparently took the news with a sense of resignation, showing no anger at either the missionaries, or at Lady Alys. Many of those who knew him said that his spirit had been broken.

Hondash, his wife, and his apprentices, made arrangementsin the early autumn to move to the west side of town, in a small shop/house not far from Bowdyn's workshop. The building was much less spacious than his old shop The high costs of trial, the judicial fines, and his daughter's dowry had clearly imposed on him a heavy financial burdern. The missionaries also heard rumors of him falling deeply into debt

Late in the autumn, Hondash was one day found dead in an alley in western Coranan, apparently having been murdered in the course of a robbery. There were persistent rumors, however, that he was killed because he could not pay his debts. His wife, not trained in the art of shoe-making, continued to reside in the new home, using the 'widow's pension' provided to her by the Hideworkers Guild (and with some help from Lady Alys) Hondash's business, however, was closed.

(End of Session)