Session Twelve: Scenes from the Summer (2)- Individual Pursuits

Session Date: January 26, 2008

(Please note: This is still a rough draft in need of polishing!)

GM's Note: As with the prior session, the focus of this session was to take care of actions that happened during the summer (which had previously been played out on a broader scale). Whereas last time, the plan was to focus on too specific activites involving the group (or large sections of it), this time, the focus was on individual pursuits. (There as also an introductory 'flashback' to the group's recent visit to the Temple of the Seafarer Ibenis in Shiran. We also did our first lifestyle maintenance checks— and for some PCs, “Get a Job” rolls.)

At the end of the session, the players collectively voiced a desire to return to more group-oriented activity at the next session.


The Library of the Seafarer Ibenis
(18-19 Agrazhar, TR 720)

[At the end of last session, the missionaries departed from Shiran. The scene that follows is a 'flasback' to some activity that occured during the two days prior.]

While staying at the Temple of the Seafarer Ibenis, the missionaries were invited to peruse the temple library. The library was sizable, with approximately 50-60 complete texts in various forms (some as scrolls, some as bound librams). However, most of the manuscripts were old and in poor condition, with damp rot and fading ink. Few, if any, appear to be recent copies.

Those who could read (i.e Judyn and Kara), noticed that the collection of texts was quite diverse. Some were texts on Ilviran matters (theology,folktales, songs, etc.). Others seemed to be texts of non-sacred interest— chronicles of Corani history, heroic poetry, and even a manuscript on hunting, that was decorated with beautiful illuminations.

Judyn (and Kara, under Judyn's direction) looked through the texts and spoke with Gwydion and the other priests, to ascertain whether any texts dealt with the old Ilviran temple that used to stand in Coranan. Their attention was drawn to two specific writings. The first was the Life of the Blessed Ulam, a chronicle of the life of a 6th century Ilviran mendicant who traveled the extensively and spent significant time at the Corani temple. The seond was a manuscript on architecture, by an unknown author, which discussed the construction of Ilviran temples with an emphasis on ensuring that the structures were as symbolically meaningful as structurally sound. The author, on several points, alluded to the Corani temple.

Judyn, realizing that their future tmeple should have a library, arranged with Gwydion to have copie made of many of the Seafarer Ibenis' texts, with the Life of the Blessed Ulam and the architectural text, being the first two to be copied. Judyn arranged to pay the Ibenis temple a generous sum for the text copies.

Much to the surprise of all, Kara volunteered to stay at the Ibenis temple to assist in the copying of these texts. Judyn had grave reservations about leaving Kara alone (i.e. supervised only by the seemingly incompetent priests of the Seafarer Ibenis) in Tharda's “City of Sin” particularly when tensions between the Ilvirans and others were likely to increase. But Kalrun supported Kara in her decision and arrangements were made for Kara to stay for several months, to assist in the copying of the various texts. However, Kalrun did give Kara a lengthy lecture on 'dos' and 'don'ts' before he took leave of her on the 20th. Judyn also arranged to leave one of her female servants behind, to look after Kara, both physically and morally. (She also gave the servant a generously filled coin purse to use, if it should be needed.)

The Return from Shiran
(22-23 Agrazhar, TR 720)

Although their departure was preceeded by a brutal Ivashu rampage through the streets of Shiran (see last session), the return trip of Judyn, Kalrun, and Maban to Coranan was uneventful. There was some sadness and uneasiness about their decision to have left Kara at the Seafarer Ibenis temple, however.

They arrived in Coranan on the evening of the 22nd. The following day, the returning missionaries met with Olrau, Jaroud, Bowdyn, and Hillay to discuss what had transpired in Shiran.

Lifestyle Maintenance and Working Off Debts
(23 Agrazhar - 1 Azura, TR 720)

Following the embassy to Shiran, the mission's members resumed their various business activities. Olrau preached in the square and the streets; Jaroud trained and bred his dogs; Bowdyn worked on shoring up his guiild ties; Maban worked in Fargil's shop, and Judyn took care of selling some of the dyes she had brought back from Shiran. Karlun worked on his guard duties. In the process, they all dealt with various monetary issues.

[This was the group's first lifestyle maintenance check in the campaign. (Checks will be seasonal, starting on the first day of each season.) Since many of the group's members had been working since the month of Nolus, it had been determined that if they failed their lifestyle maintenance checks, they could apply the time they spent working during the summer to "Get a Job!" rather than as practice to improving skills. This provded necessary for some members of the group.]

Bowdyn: An Offer from Laranz
(3 Azura TR 720)

Bowdyn met with Laranz. Laranz updated him on his family situation, revealing his father's death. He is now head of the household the family business, and the chief priest of the family, but his cousin, the Senator Withas, is still the clanhead and seems to think he needs assistance. His uncle would like to see if he could take the senatorial seat that his father had been seeking, but it seems unlikely given his youth. A more realistic goal is that he will first seek to succeed his father's place in the post of Inspector of Public Works, while currying favor for a senatorship.

Laranz also revealed that, as head of the household, he would now have to get married soon, so as to begin producing heirs. His cousin and other relatives were looking to pick appropriate matches. He was not looking forward to having to spend time on such matters.

Because he is going to be so busy with political and familal matters, Laranz will need assistance with the family business. He offers Bowdyn a position as a full-time master, with appropriate wages. He offers this effective immediately, as it is not necessary for Bowdyn to be granted his own franchise in order to work for someone who already has a franchise.

Bowdyn is a bit reluctant, as he does feel it important to establish his own franchise, but Laranz tells him that he will continue to push forward with that. He indicates that he'll be having a banquet with the other Mason masters mid-month, to celebrate his taking over his father's franchise. He invites Bowdyn to come. He also suggests that Bowdyn properly bribe the other guild mastes.

Bowdyn accepts Laranz' offer and the banquet invitation. He also suggests that Judyn be invited to the banquet, as she would be the one paying for the temple, which Laranz would be commissioned to build. Laranz hesitates, voicing the opinion that the banquet was really to be for other Mason's, but gives Bowdyn a firm embrace, saying, "I'm sure we can work someting out."

While they are standing close, Laranz whispers to Bowdyn in a low voice: “Though I am now priest of the family, my cousin would not give me back the book of Prophecies! Partly I think it's that he does not trust me fully— he thinks I am young and untried. He has sent Stevis back to 'asist' me in various matters, although I think he is also here to keep an eye on me. You see, I fear also that my father may have told him of my friendship of you— and that may sit ill with him, for many reasons, not least of which is that my father told him of his fears that your group's plan to build a temple coming bodes ill for our family!"

A few seconds later, Laranz added: "Or, it could be that he plans to try to decipher the prophecies for himself. He did mention that he was interest in finding a tutor that spoke Old Jarinese. Strange, though, for this would be the first time he ever showed interest in such things."

Jaroud: A Meeting with a Senator
(4 Azura TR 720)

Jaroud, while passing through the streets of the Agrikan district on his daily affairs, witnesses a strange spectacle. On a small wooden wagon, surrounded by a number of men, some poor, but others more respectable, is a middle-aged manwearing an elegant outfit with purple and gold trim— the signs of a Senator. Several other wagons filled with sacks stand hearby.

The man, Bowdyn learns is Senator Crasshic of Kainel,tells the crowd of poor urban dwellers who have gathered to hear him how he, though rich, sympathizes with their plight and how they have been ill-used. He tells them of how he and his brother have fought and continued to fight in the Senate for the sake. He tells of his anger at how they have been dispossessed of their land, brought into debt, and even slavery, through the machinations of the greedy rich— by merchants, and guildsman, and patricians alike. "You are citizens of Tharda—you deserve better as your birthright, and through the labor of your hands, you have earned better."

The crowd seems mildly amused by the spectacle of the Senator addressing them. Jaroud asks if the Senator is running for some office, but one laborer laughs: "Nay, he jes' be likin' to talk at us about what much he cares for we'uns. Makes him feel better 'bout being so rich, I reckon.. Ye don't see him cummin' to live 'ere in he Quarter, do you? Besides, it's not as if the likes a we'uns got any say on any office-holdin'. Only other Senators got say in that! I'm jus' here for the free grub." Several others nearbyin the crowd laughed in agreement, although 1-2 others, aparentlyless cynical about the Senator''s words, scowled disapprovingly at the quiet heckler,

The Senator went on to tell the ground about the laws that he and his brother planned to fight for— again— in the next session. These included a wide range of reforms, including:

  • Senate-funded public dispensation of grain for all in the city who earn fewer than 20 d per week
  • Granting Republic-wide recognition to a guild for longshoreman and teamsters.
  • A blanket forgiveness on all debts currently in existence, made retroactive to 50 years, so that all who have lost farms, land, and property can reclaim it.
  • The creation of new office in the Republic, to be elected by the ordinary citizens of Coranan, with the authority to veto any vote by the Senate, and the authoirty to fill any public offices left vacant for more than three months.

Most in the crowd (even apparent supporters of the Senator) laugh out loud or shake their heads at some of these suggestiions, beliveing them to be impossible dreams, a very few seem to be nodding vigorously.

The Senator then tells the assembled crowd that he knows that it will be a long and difficult fight before the Senate grants these simple requests, and that what they deserve is justice— not charity. But until the Senate is persuaded, he will, of his own expense, continue to provide free grain to the people o the city who need it. (At this point, many of his own men begin taking sacks of grain from the nearby wagons and distributing it to the crowd, which has no qualms about accepting it.) He ends his speech on a rather strident tone, exhorting the crowd, "But my brother and I are only two men. No matter how hard we fight, we may never, on our own, be able to persuade the Senate to do what is right. There may come a time, when we need your assistance— when we need you to come to the Senate, to make sure they have no choice but to do what is right!" This gets a few isolated cheers, but mostly produces a number of nervous looks, including those from some of the wealthier looking individuals who are obviously the Senator's client.

Jaroud is impressed by the Senator's speech and ideas. To his surprise, the Senator gets down of his cart and begins to move through the crowd (albeit with a pair of bodyguards close behind him.) The Senator speaks to Jaroud and Jaroud expresses his approval. The Senator, upon learning he is a foreigner— and an Ilviran to boot, seems a bit surprised, but expresses a surprising warmth and friendliness. Jaroud, thinking he sees an opportunity, lets the Senator know that he is raising great guard dogs, bred from a wolf, that are excellently trained. The Senator pauses for a hearbeat, and says, "Wait! Are you that fellow with the black wolf who threw a feast in the street a few months ago?" Jaroud confirmed that it was indeed him, and the Senator heaped praise upon him, telling him he was a 'hero' and tha such actions should be rewarded. He asked Jaroud to take him to his shop immediately so he could see his dogs. Jaroud did so, while the Senatr and his men looked at the new pups. Although Jaroud strongly suspected that the Senator knew nothing about dogs, the man agreed to buy at least two, for a genrous price'.

He then took his leave of Jaroud, much to the relief of his men.

Kalrun: An Unexpected Promtion & A Strange Meeting
(Azura 3-7, TR 720)

On the morning of Azura 3 Karln reported for work and found that he had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He is delighted but surprised, as he had not saved up nearly enough in bribe money, let alone given it to anyone, for such a promotion. From what he know of the Red Guard's plicies, it seemed unlikely that he should be promoted on the basis of merit.

A few days later, however, during one of his regular 'chats' with the Eight Demons priestess Analia of Urm in the Glaive & Sickle Inn, Kalrun learned that it was she who had paid the appropriate people for his promotion. He asked why, and she said had meant it as a token of friendship, but that, if he did not wish to consider it so, he could repay it for a return favor in the future.

The two then chatted about a variety of subjects, including Kara. Analia was surprised to learn that he had left Kara behind in Shiran, and asked about that. She also told Kalrun that she thought Kara was much too young to be betting married. Kalrun asked what she knew of his plans, and Analia responded, "I know what Kara has told me. The girl is not stupid, Kalrun. She is very clever and observant— and she sees what you are planning. She deserves more education— and a chance to make something of herself first, so that when she does enter into marriage, it can be as someone of importance, and not as a helpless waif." Analia went on to suggest that that if Kalrun waited until his temple got better established and more influential-- and until Kara bloomed until womanhood's full beauty, it might even be possible that Kara could be married to someone of importance, possibly even a greatclan. Analia implied that she might even be willing to help set up such a marriage.

Kalrun asked Analia why she was so eager to help Kara, a barbarian-born foreign girl, with n wealth of her own, arrange such an advantageous match. Analia replied and said in a soft voice, "I have a daughter too. She is still several years younger than Kara, but I would seek that she be given a chance for greatness, either through her own merit, or, as a match to a great and powerful man, who regards her as she deserves."

Kalrun was intrigued to learn of Analia's daughter, but he was still suspicious. Analia, picking up on his skepticism, said: "Kalrun, I get the feeling that you just don't trust me." Kalrun replied: "I do not wish to be mistrustful, but I cannnot see why you should seek to do so many things for me and Kara. In my experience, people are rarely so helpful unless they expect to get something in return."

Analia looked momentarily flustered but then and sighed softly. She remained silent for a moment, as if collecting her thoughts and then began speaking, in low voice, almost a whisper: "Kalrun, I understand that ou do not have visions, but that two of our brethren do— and that you believe their visions true. Well, I am not given to visions but I did have one, and… Oh, this is stupid!"

With those words, she stood up and stormed out of the inn, without looking back. Kalrun briefly thought about following her to ask more, but decided against it.

Maban: A Seduction Gone Awry?
(1-7 Azura TR 720)

Maban received the promised love potion from Fargil of Krunos, which he gave to her in a sealed vial. To her surprise, the potion itself was not a pure liquid, but rather a collection of small gelatinous orbs, roughly the size of salmon eggs, kept in a slimy water. Fargil assured her, however, that the pearls would dissolve in hot liquid or strong drink, however.

Armed with her new potion, Maban went to seek out Dagnard, the Telen of the Demon Pameshlu, who was "Master of Beasts" at the Pamesani. Her plan was to attract his attention with her feminine wiles, and then to find some occasion where she could pour the potion into a drink of his. She regularly attended practices at the arena, where many gathered to watch the gladiators fight, and hope to catch his eye— but unsuccessfully. On the 6th of Azura, she took a new tactic— trying to meet him as he left the arena on his way home. (Maban had learned that he has a small house, which he shared with a wife his same age.) She tried, once again, to allure him with her body— but again she failed. [Note: This was, again, the result of a failed Seduction roll.] Instead of attracting his interest, she only received insults, as he told her, “I have no time for garlic-loving arena whores!"

Frustrated, Maban headed back to Kuseme, but en route, she realized that she was being followed. She turned around, and saw that her pursuer was a man in merchant's clothing— but then he came up to her and spoke in perfect Ivashi, and she realized it was Ro'agg! Ro'agg chided her, much as he had done in her recent dream, about 'not knowing who she was'. Specifically, he told her that she failed at what she tried to do because she was afraid of using her 'true strengths' because she was afraid of them. He then quickly vanished into the crowd.

Maban meditated upon Ro'agg's words, and decided that she should use her skill as a diviner to attact Dagnard's attention. That evening, she cast her bones and sought to divine something about Dagnard that would be sure to get his attention, if she mentioned it. From the strange pattern the bones left, Maban learned that Dagnard had apparently lost one of his testicles in an animal injury many years before, and that he has since been impotent.

The following day, she took her rug and set up 'shop' outside oft he gates of the Pamesani Arena, telling fortunes for any who were interested. When Dagnard came by, he at first scowled at her disinterestedly, but then she called out to him, "I see that Dekejis' mark lies upon you!" (This was a reference to popular Harnic folklore in which it is said that Dekejis, the immortal cat-servent of the god Naveh, devours the eyes and testicles of human men.)

Upon hearing this, Dagnard stopped in his tracks. (The result of a successfu test of Maban'sl Ugly Truth skill.) He turned to Maban and demanded accusingly, "What did you say?!"! Maban repeated her words and he approached her menacingly, "Who told you that?!?” Maban told him that she had divined it through casting her bones (her hope was of of getting him to sit down and let her cast the bones for him, giving her the chance to offer him some cider with the potion in it, but she failed her persuasion roll.) Dagnard grabbed Maban and shoved her against the wall of the arena and again repeated his demand thta she tell him who she heard this from. Terrified at the prospect of being harmed by the man, Maban decided to lie and said "Garryx told me!"

Apparently satisfied, Dagnard let Maban go and stormed off, but not without warning Maban, “If you ever tell anyone, I'll kill you!" Although Maban, had not yet succeeded in getting Dagnard's affections, or even getting him to drink the potiion, she certainly had gained his attention!

Judyn: Spreading the News of Punat's Faith
(7-8 Azura, TR 720)

Following her return from Shiran, Judyn saw to many of her family's business endeavors, including plans to sell some of the dyes and perfumes from Shiran locally, as well as to ship some back to Kaldor for resale at a higher cost there. In doing so, she worked with her fellow mercantyler, Indros of Obyrne, to ensure proper arrangements were made.

When speaking to Indos about business, they also discussed the death of Punat of Khonary, the various rumors surrounding it, and the possible implications of it on business and local politics. Indros mentions that he is disappointed, as Punat was a good friend, and they had many mutual business interests.

Judyn decided to tell Indros that Punat, despite pretending to be a follower of Halea, was actually a secret Ilviran. He is quite suprised by this news, and at first appeared incredulous, nothing that there are many rumors about that important people secretly follow unpopular gods. He cited as an example he Nordakas, who are well-known Haleans, but who are constantly rumored to be Laranians. Judyn implied that she had direct knowledge of Punat's true faith because she herself was an Ilviran. Upon further reflection, Punat did cncede that he always thought that there was something a bit 'odd' and 'private' about Punat.

Judyn, acting on her belief that Ilvir and his people should never be hidden, sought to subtly and very indirectly persuade Indros to spead word of Punat's Ilviran faith so that it became known in the city—, but Indros seemed more inclined to keep the matter private, saying, "it is not the business of others what a man's faith is in private". (This was the result of a failed persuasion roll.)

Undeterred in her plan to make Punat's faith known to all Coranan, Judyn decided to pay a visit to the wastrel patrician Barrius of Krenna. Barrrius greeted her politely and was eager to chat and gossip. He was extremely interested to learn of Punat's true faith from Judyn, and Judyn left quite convinced that Barrius would be certain to spread this news, particularly in Halean circles.

(End of Session)