Session Nineteen: The Bloody Parade

Session Date: May 18, 2008

Meta-game Issues (Rules Clarifications)

We reviewed Modifiers for Steel tests, and the use of Wises to narrate facts about the game-world.

We changed from a seasonal Resources cycle to a monthly cycle by mutual agreement.

Overnight Preparations
(14-15 Halane TR 720)

The session began with Jaroud, Kalrun, Maban, Judyn, Bowdyn, and Hillay leaving the scene of battle at Bowdyn's house, and again bribing their way through the gate to return by skiff to Judyn's clan house in Kuseme. Arriving there, they collapsed in among the throng of the Denach clan already there. In the yard, the taxidermist was working feverishly to prepare the Elder Brood's body for the parade the next day.

They woke in the morning still charged. Jaroud left early to meet with Senator Crasshic over the dogs he had promised him, saying he would return to join the parade in progress.

There was a last minute rush to find people to play drums and pipes in the parade. Members of the Denach clan, functioning as Judyn's household sevants, were found to play music for the parade (a successful Circles test). Judyn went with Maban into the basement to get out the drums stored there, where she had to dig into the pile of goods that the Nolah piled around itself. During this, Maban talked to the Nolah, interrupted with a few halting comments in Ivashi from Judyn. Judyn asked that it not go on the parade with them, and at the time it agreed.

Arguing over the Nolah
(Morning, 15 Halane TR 720)

Returning back upstairs, Judyn found herself in an argument with Olrau and Bowdyn. Olrau insisted that the Nolah should march with them in the parade, as a clear symbolic sign of Ilvir's living presence and power, and Bowdyn fully supported Olrau in this. Judyn retorted that they cannot both show that they have the Nolah, and also use the Nolah to help assassinate Analia's uncle as they had promised -- as that would be unique and clear evidence of their involvement. Their whole plan in going to Taztos, she reminded them, had been to recruit an Ivashu for this purpose. Thus, his suggestion was tossing out their weeks-long plan.

Bowdyn argued back the religious importance of displaying the Nolah, backed up by Olrau and Kalrun. Judyn's elderly mother Gwelen spoke up for her, but quickly became confused by the points. [It was discovered that she actually didn't have an effective Duel of Wits skill.' At first Bowdyn tried to anger Judyn, but she responded cooly. However, Bowdyn was inspired and argued with zeal and eloquence over the issue. Judyn pushed practicality, but eventually conceded Bowdyn's point and agreed that the Nolah come on the march. As a nod to her main point, though, Bowdyn agreed that the Nolah should not then accompany them on the assassination.

(A Duel of Wits that Bowdyn won with amazing luck on the part of Bowdyn's player Mark. He first used Incite vs Judyn's Rebuttal, then Point versus her Rebuttal, then Rebuttal versus her Point. In the second round, he used Rebuttal versus her failed Dismiss, then Point versus her hesitate, which put her Body of Argument below zero.)

Kalrun Tries to Meets His Boss
(Morning, 15 Halane TR 720)

As the parade was being prepared, with Elder Brood's body being placed in a gaily-decorated cart rented by Brother Olrau Kalrun dressed in civilian clothes and hurried to headquarters of the Red Guard in Coranan to speak with his commanding officer, Captain Brokman, who had urgently summoned him the day before. Knowing the parade's path, he planned to join it as it circled the city.

Upon arriving at the Palance of Mejenes, where Captain Brokman was to be found, Kalrun was told by an officer and a group of soldiers that Brokman was not there— but that he should wait until his return. Kalrun chatted pleasantly with the foot-soldiers, and discussed his killing of Tiny. He sought to persuade them that it had been a good move, but they remained uncovinced.

After waiting for Captain Brokman for approximatley an hour, Kalrun got up and left. He did so against the recommendation of the other Red Guard soldiers— but they did not seek to physically oppose him.

The Parade Begins
(Morning, 15 Halane TR 720)

The parade was assembled in Kuseme, taking a barge across the river to the village of Eldin north of the city. Besides the founders, much of Judyn's clan accompanied them. The body of H'flokgh'ka was displayed on a decoratedopen-sided cart, with its head mounted on the end of a long pole carried by others alongside. Judyn carried the Orb of Souls high in the cart, while Olrau preached from the other side of it. The Nolah followed behind prominently.

No one was armored, but there were many weapons discretely kept in the cart at close reach. The Nolah generally had people about it, to protect it from the audience and the audience from it.

They missionaries in a hurry because they wanted the march to begin before the arena games began at noon. They marched first around the walls of the city before noon, with Maban dancing naked in front of the procession. The pipes and drums blared, and the march proceeded around. They then planned to enter the city from the Walain Gate to the south, making a spiral path through the districts, ending near the arena.

They had all prayed earnestly before starting that the parade would impress the people of Coranan. Their prayers were answered strongly as Olrau's speeches resonated from the procession, drawing listeners to rapt attention, and gathering a large crowd who followed the procession.

The Faith roll for Aid resulted in an amazing +8d to Olrau's Oratory! With help and artha, he rolled 19d for his speeches to gain new converts, resulting in a stunning 10 successes. We agreed that this would eventually result in a dozen new converts, including a senator, two high-ranked officials, three patricians, four guildsmen, and two others.

The Parade Enters The City
(Early Afternoon, 15 Halane TR 720)

As they entered the city, Maban put her clothes back on. They passed Kotros Square and duly pointed out the future temple site and gave respects to the Umbathri. The Umbathri motioned to Maban to ask it be released from her command from many tendays ago to stay at its perch on the market columns. She agreed and released it, and soon it too would occaisionally appear in the procession.

As they passed into the north of the city, they noticed that they were being trailed by a number of tough-looking, discretely armed men. Speaking out to them and questioning them, they soon gathered that these were members of the Cohorts of Gashang -- the Agrikan fighting order of Analia's sect -- sent to guard over them in the city. After repeated invitations from the missinoaries, they reluctantly agreed to come closer and join in the actual procession.

Ambush by the Arena
(Early Afternoon, 15 Halane TR 720)

The missionaries' parade approached the arena coming down Medak Street from the north. Noise game from the Arena as the games had begun, though many came out from the stands to stare at the strange procession. As they drew closer, though, they were approached by priests dressed in black robes with frightening skull masks -- clearly Morgathian priests from the temple southwest of the arena. From the way they approached, they made it appear that they were seeking to prevent the missionaries from approaching further.

One of the dark priests came forward to speak with them. In a strange, mask-distoreted voice, he told them, "If you go further down this street, one of you shall die!" Kalrun hurled an insult at him, saying, [???]. The priest ingored the insult and instead approached closer. In a hushed voice, he gave a strangely courteous welcome, saying that "not all were opposed to the return of another 'dark god' in the city". As he spoke, he whispered forcefully, to warn the missionaries tha an ambush had been set for them on the road ahead— and that they would be advised to avoid it.

At this, Kalrun and Duglan ran ahead to scout for trouble. Kalrun spotted a crossbowman behind a shuttered window on the third floor in a tenement building due west of the arena. The two walked ahead, then broke for the main door to the tenement. As they got up to it, the bowman shot down and struck Duglan, knocking him down and unconscious. Kalrun broke in through the locked door, though, and began racing upstairs.

Meanwhile, people in the procession spotted this happening just over a block ahead. Maban prayed for Duglan's life, and then asked the Umbathri to go harry the bowmen.

(Note: Duglan had actually taken a mortal wound from the shot— and he did not have persona to spend on "The Whill to Live". However, it was agreed that Faith ought to be able to save his life. At the time, Maban's successful Minor Miracle was deemed able to convert this to a Superficial Wound and unconsciousness. However, further discussion after the session let to the conclusion that this intent should probalby have required at least an Intercession.)

Kalrun's Chase
(Afternoon, 15 Halane TR 720)

Kalrun, not having realized that Duglan had been struck down, raced up the stairs successfully despite his bad knee, Kalrun could hear the curses as the crossbowmen encountered the Umbathri come to harry them. By the time he reached where they were, they had left out through a window on the opposite side of the building, slipping away over the rooftops. Kalrun decided to singlehandedly give chase.

Jumping out a window onto the roof of an adacent building, Karlun initiated a chase across the buildings just west of Arena. Miraculously, depsite his bad knee, he managed to catch up to the pair -- professional killers by the look of them. He bravely charged forward, and drew his srt, but was felled when one of their crossbow bolts sunk into his torso (a Mortal Wound). The killers ran off at that point, leaving him for dead.

Meanwhile, the parade had proceeded on past the ambush point. Bowdyn considered taking a side route to avoid the ambush spot, but readily conceded when Olrau argued that they should not show fear and that Ilvir would watch over them. They picked up the wounded Duglan as they passed, and he revived as he was helped onto the cart. Bowdyn then became concerned over what had happened to Kalrun and went to find him, taking one of Analia's Cohorts of Gashang with him. He eventually found Kalrun, and signalled the Maban to come help.

Saving Kalrun's Life
(Afternoon, 15 Halane TR 720)

The parade proceeded on, while Maban and Bowdyn stayed behind to try to save the stricken Kalrun. Maban prayed and staunched the bleeding, but he remained at death's door. They took him out carefully and brought him to a physician nearby used to dealing with wounds from the arena.

[GM's Question: DId Maban really stay behind with Bowdyn. I don't specifically remember that.?]

(End of Session)