Session Eighteen: Dealing with the Lia-Kavair

Session Date: May 4, 2008

Meta-game Issues (Rules Clarifications & Voting Followup)

We went over clarifications to Range & Cover rules and the Circles rules.

The previous session had included end-of-adventure voting for for new traits. However, the MVP and Workhorse awards were forgotten in this. The MVP award was given to Maban by consensus, and the workhorse to Judyn with two votes for Jaroud.

Back Home for the Night
(past midnight, 14 Halane TR 720)

The session began just after Jaroud, Kalrun, Bowdyn, and Olrau left the Halean temple with their friend Laranz after he publically renunciated worship of Halean. They were still just barely cleaned up after having killed the Lia-Kavair boss Tiny earlier in the evening. However, they accepted Laranz's invitation to celebrate and stay at his home.

Maban, meanwhile, was staying at Judyn's clan house in Kuseme, and knew nothing of the events of the evening. She did receive a message from Judyn that also went to the city house that she and her clan would be arriving in

From Laranz's house, they did arrange for two messages to be sent in the morning -- presumably with Laranz's servants. Jaroud sent a message to Senator Crasshic of Kainel, the rabble-rouser of the west side who had promised to buy some of his dogs. He said that his dogs were ready. Bowdyn sent a note to the young patrician Barrius of Krenna, more bluntly saying that he may need help, though not explaining what or why.

Judyn returns with her clan
(Morning, 15 Halane TR 720)

In the morning, the male founders woke up at Laranz's house and take their leave of him. They heard -- presumably from stopping at her city house -- that Judyn was to arrive that morning in Kuseme. They all went out there to meet with Maban and her.

Judyn arrived mid-morning with the cart holding the body of H'flokgh'ka (and secretly the Orb of Souls), surrounded by people of her clan and in high spirits. At her side was a older man whom she introduced as her cousin Cobart, the head of the Denach clan. Despite him being the nominal head, he and others treated Judyn with measured respect.

Once they were inside, they told her about all that had happened. As the problem with the Lia-Kavair became clear, she asked that her clansmen still hear details -- as they might be affected by the issue as well. Immediately after hearing this, she questioned Kalrun about his superior in the Red Guard. Kalrun described Captain Brokman as an older man with no obvious vices or ambitions, and asked back why she wanted to know.

Judyn explained, "For the Lia-Kavair to maintain face, someone needs to be killed. It's not just paying them for the loss of a member. Their livelihood depends on their clients being too afraid to take direct action against thugs or especially bosses. If you (i.e. Jaroud, Bowdyn, and Kalrun) aren't killed, then the person who ordered Tiny's death has to be killed."

So she was looking for how to frame someone as secretly having ordered Tiny's death. She reasoned that to appearances, if the killers turned traitor to the person that hired them -- then that person could then be killed, and his hired goons (i.e. us) forgiven.

As a member of the Mercantyler's Guilde, she had pay her protection money scrupulously. She wasn't sure who to talk to, but she did have a contact trusted within the Lia-Kavair to deal with money issues. From there (via a successful Circles roll), they hear of a boss on the west side nicknamed "Tower" who hated Tiny.

Bargaining with Tower of the Lia-Kavair
(Afternoon, 15 Halane, TR 720)

Judyn, Jaroud, and Kalrun then carefully headed into the west side to talk to Tower. Bowdyn stayed in Kuseme, as he still hoped that he had not been identified as the third killer -- since he was not a patron of the bar, and had not been dressed identifiably like Kalrun in his Red Guard outfit.

They found Tower playing dice with a bunch of people in the Northwest of the city. Judyn identified herself to him, and then said aloud that she wanted to talk to him about Tiny's death. He perked up, and agreed to talk to her in private. There, she told him that the two downstairs were the ones who had killed Tiny, and that they wanted to collaborate with him to frame someone else for Tiny's death. He asked what was in it for him, and she replied that they would pay him well for it, whereas there was no profit in revenge -- especially for someone he hated.

They discuss options for a bit. She suggested Captain Brokman as a scapegoat, but Tower rejected that as he was in thick with the guild. He at first asked an exorbitant fee in pounds of silver (Ob 7 for Resources). Judyn worked to convince him that by framing someone they could all profit. He suggested "the hothead" -- a former underling of Tiny's named Lester. Judyn suggested that he call for Jaroud and Kalrun, and pretend that he learn from them that Lester ordered the hit. They are brought up, and Tower keeps one man whom he trusts.

Judyn then haggled with him over the price. She pointed out that he stood to gain from Tiny's territory in addition to what she pays -- and also that since they were dealing with only him personally, they would have no protection against the rest of the Lia-Kavair, and that conversely no one would take a share of this money.

In the end, having talked him down, she paid him on the spot with a prize jewel she had hidden in her dress. (Extra successes on the Ob 4 Resources roll.) Preparing to leave, Judyn asks Jaroud to be doused as if he had been held underwater while being questioned. However, he refused and walked out, and Judyn followed his lead walking out proudly. She thought to herself that Tower might be thought ill for this among the Lia-Kavair, but it didn't harm their cover story per se.

While walking away, she talked more with Jaroud, and agreed with him that they should leave the Nolah out in the wilderness during the trip out to assassinate Analia's uncle and return the Orb of Souls to Araka-Kalai.

Leaving the City
(Late Afternoon to Evening, 15 Halane, TR 720)

Leaving Tower's place, they went to wrap up some errands in the city. They arranged with a taxidermist to polish up the body of H'flokgh'ka for their parade around the city walls the next day. In addition, Judyn tried to find a very large and solidly built trunk -- thinking that it could be a good way for the Nolah to hide during their journey. It could pass through any crevice and seemed to enjoy being in an enclosed space. However, she belatedly realized that she had given all her gold to Tower, and she looked bad as a result together with Jaroud and Kalrun. (This was a Resources roll that failed by 2. The GM offered the kindness option, and we chose Tax 1 and failed to get the trunk.)

They then headed out towards the house in Kuseme. At the gate, the guards there told Kalrun that his captain wanted to see him on some urgent business. Judyn whispered to him that Tower had said that Captain Brokman was tight with the Lia-Kavair, and going to see the captain alone was likely to be a death sentence. Kalrun decided not to see the appointment. However, they went back into the city, because the incident had convinced Judyn that she needed to get her mother and servants out of the city house for their own protection.

So the three went back into the city house, where they collected her mother Gwelen, their guest Father Gwydion of the Shiran temple, and all her servants. She left her hired guard on duty, but all the others took what valuables they could quickly collect and carry and went together to Kuseme. Gwydion told Judyn that he had a message for Bowdyn, but she simply told him that Bowdyn was at the Kuseme house and he could deliver the message there.

They went out through the gate just as the gates were closing for the night. The guards there assumed Kalrun had been to his appointment, and asked what the Captain had to say. Kalrun mutteringly dismissed it as "the usual".

Rescuing Hillay
(Late Night, 15 Halane, TR 720)

Back at Kuseme, they were just settling everyone into the house and preparing for dinner when Gwydion delivered his message. He told Bowdyn that his wife Hillay had gotten back to Coranan from her holiday in Shiran. He then realized that her life was in danger, and he would have to go save her.

The others all agreed to go with him.

They hired a skiff to take them across the river to the south side of Coranan. They then walked around the walls to the Impaler's Gate on the west side, closest to Bowdyn's house. Talking their way past the gate guards on Kalrun's authority and a bribe from Judyn, they stealthily approached the house. They saw no one on the street, but the windows on the front of the house were broken. They slipped inside and went upstairs, where they found Hillay tied up in the bedroom. Then they heard the tramp of feet up the stairs behind them.

Judyn was in the back and rushed to close and latch the door at the top of the stairs, which she reached just in time. Taking her for a servant, they pounded at the door and threatened her to open it. She kept them talking for a minute while the others prepared, then opened the door and hid behind it while four thugs armed with clubs charged in. Bowdyn stood facing them at the end of the short upstairs hall, while Jaroud and Kalrun lurked behind the hall doors to attack them as they approached him.

Judyn tried to close the door on two of the four thugs, but they easily brushed past her. The thugs tackled Bowdyn and were going to hold him down to beat him, but Jaroud and Kalrun attacked them from the sides. In a quick melee, they wounded several without taking damage themselves. The thugs then fled down the stairs.

However, Judyn prayed for a minor miracle that the downstairs doors would be locked, and her prayer was heard. The thugs were confused and called out angrily to a companion they had left downstairs. Jaroud and Kalrun then descended on them and began beating at them more, joined by Judyn wielding her cudgel. They quickly surrendered.

They pleaded for their lives, while Jaroud and Judyn conspired to convince the thugs that they had been hired by Lester. They to tell the thugs to deliver a message to Lester: "We did your job for you -- Tiny's dead. Now back off!" They also tell the thugs that if they ever see them again, they'll be in trouble. The thugs leave with their skins mostly intact, convinced of Lester's involvement.

(End of Session)