Session Twenty Two: Building the Temple

Session Date: July 19, 2008

Meta-game Issues

We discussed the ending of the campaign. The GM Jim would be moving in September to Portland, so over email and at the start of the session we discussed about how to wrap matters up. We agreed to resolve quickly several months, picking up in detail in late spring -- as pilgrims to Araka-Kalai begin passing through, and we want to return the Orb of Souls to Araka-Kalai, and need to judge the priest Gwydion on his suit for Kara's hand.

Return to the City
(Late Halane TR 720)

When the others returned to Coranan after assassinating Drayas, they found that Maban and Olrau had found and exhumed Mykel's body. At first, the two had offered it to the Nolah to eat as a proper Ilviran burial. However, the Nolah refused to eat it. They then disposed of it by dropping it into the pit at the secret Ilviran chapel in Laranz's basement.

During the next tenday, the founders stayed in Kuseme. They met discretely with Analia, who was overjoyed when Jaroud handed over her uncle's finger with his signet ring. She tossed the finger in the fire and pocketed the ring, and agreed that she would help us in return in the future.

After a full tenday, the situation with the Lia-Kavair seemed to be settled. Judyn moved back to her house in the city, and Bowdyn moved back to his shop (without Hillay). Maban went back to her work for the apothecary Fargil. Kalrun went to work for Captain Jenkyn, the new Ilviran convert, who soon began organizing a task force to deal with the increased violence in the west side.

The Nolah was kept in the basement for the time being. Kara, Duglan, and Judyn's servant Tisane stay in Shiran, working with the temple there.

Occupying the Temple
(Savor to Ilvin, TR 720)

As winter approached, the founder's prepared to take possession of their temple. Bowdyn began making plans for the stonework construction of the new temple. Kalrun made plans for security. Maban still plotted on her own how to free the Ivashu. Judyn schemed over how to get their temple socially and politically accepted. She had two plans for this. The first was to foster new Thardan converts into positions of leadership in the church, in particular bringing Laranz out of his depression and into leading church efforts within the city. The second was to get the founders married to native Thardans -- in particular finding a woman to marry Olrau. She wanted any citizen of respectable birth who would be a good match, and looked first for an older widow of little means but good birth, who would be drawn to his spirituality.

As foretold way back in Session 10, the cobbler Hondash and his family moved to a much smaller house in the west side of Coranan - not far from Bowdyn's house. He was deeply in debt after the costs of the trial, the fines, the loss of his shop, and his daughter's dowry. In Savor, shortly after moving, he was found dead in an alley -- 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.

Politics in Winter
(Ilvin/Navek/Morgat, TR 720)

In the north, the results of the Hefiosan Massacre played out. Harmon Kainel -- commander of the Ostenor Company of Coranan legions and cousin of Senator Crasshic of Kainel -- launched a Hefiosan campaign that continued into the winter. Harmon was widely criticized in Coranan for sending trops into wild mountains in middle of winter -- though no sympathy was given for the Hefiosans.

Rumors of war from Rethem seem to confirm that the Earl of Tormau indeed had captured Ithiko and, moreover, executed the former Earl of Ithiko. There are reports of Ivinian raids on the west coast.

In Coranan, the Senate met for its primary session of the year. Many issues were debated, but none of significance were resolved. No new Warden of Coranan was appointed. There were two main candidates. The first was Harmon Kainel, the commander of the Ostenor Company campaigning in the Hefiosa, who is regarded as in the camp of General Kronas Elernin. The other was another fellow from Clan Soria assumed to be in the pockets of Clan Nordaka. Neither could gain a two-thirds majority, however. Senator Crasshic of Kaienl put himself forward after his cousin was passed, but he also was rejected by by the Senate-- largely because of of his rabble-rousing.

The Senate declined to recognize the so-called Hauler's Guild, consisting of longshoremen and teamsters. Senator Crasshic motioned for laws for land reform and debt forgiveness that got nowhere. There were many calls to remove Jithias Mariam, the Marshall of Gerium province (in the west) from office for both "incomptence" and "ambition". The main fear seemed to be that he was preparing to launch an attack on Themeson, now held by the Cohorts of Gashang, in the spring-- but without Senate authorization. The calls failed.

Laranz's uncle led a proposal to "proscribe foreign cults and banish their proslytizers from the City of Coranan". The Ilviran missionaries were not mentioned by name in it, but it was clear they were the target. It failed but got surprising support (32 votes out of 66), apparently because of eager Halean support from the measure.

A friend of Crasshic's made a proposal to recognize the Ilviran's as a legal church and even to grant funds for the building of a temple, "To restore our city more like it was in the glorious days of Empire". It failed, but did muster 10 votes.

The only significant decision was made was that the former haruspex retired and was replaced by Jerran of Mohr -- who had interacted with Maban back in sessions 2, 5, and 6 -- and had converted to the church recently.

The Seduction of General Kronas
(mid-Navek, TR 720)

For a mid-winter holiday, Judyn threw a party at her clan house in Kuseme for friends and relations of the new converts. Many of Senator Krasshic's friends were there, including General Kronas. Kronas was a rising figure within the military with great ambitions. Given his prominent connections, Maban decided on Kronas as the best target for her love potion - him having the power to do something real about the Ivashu-hunters. In the arena, the young centipede-like Ivashu in the arena had been killed in late Ilvin despite her efforts to save it.

She began by quietly helping to serve drinks. Having no hint of Maban's potion, Judyn as host was delighted that Maban was talking to the guests. Then Maban slipped off at one point and dosed a drink with the love potion where no one could see her (a Stealth test). She then returned and gave the drink to Kronas. Created with her blood, it would create in him a strong fascination for her.

Over the course of the rest of the party, Kronas began giving more and more attention to Maban -- to the horror of Judyn. Among other reasons, Kronas was married and an affair could be an embarrassment -- never mind an affair with a crazy witch. She tried to cover this by directing attention elsewhere, but Kronas' attraction was soon obvious to most at the party.

As the party wound down late in the night, Kronas discretely asked Maban to come to the castle with him, where he professed his love. She acknowledged his affections, but did not share his bed. Over the next few tendays, theirs became a known but not flaunted affair. Kronas' marriage had been political, his wife living outside Coranan.

Olrau's Marriage
(Morgat to Nuzael, TR 721)

After some looking, Judyn found a candidate for Olrau's wife in Lady Alys, formerly the owner of the temple ground's and Hondash's landlord. (A major success on Circles.) She was an older widow inclined to superstition and belief in fortune-telling. Also, as they learned later, she was mildly addicted to a heroin-like drug.

Alys easily became fascinated with Olrau and his philosophies. However, the idea of marriage had to be subtlely introduced. Judyn subtlely helped it seem nicer to Olrau to be staying at Alys' house than at her own. Lady Alys likes the idea, but was insistent on a contract beforehand that secured rights for her.

Their marriage ceremony was in Nuzael (early spring) - a public civil affair that was not an Ilviran ceremony per se, but much of the congregation was naturally in evidence.

Unearthing the Basement
(Mid-Peonu, TR 721)

During the winter and early spring, the ground had been frozen and unsuitable for excavations to find the old catacombs foreseen under the temple site. The founders had instead worked on the upper structure, including renovations to make the existing structure seem more proper as a temporary temple. Bowdyn had knocked out the walls of a back room in preparation for stonework.

Once the ground was thawed, though, they immediately began to excavate to find the basement and the labyrinth predicted in the book, "The Life of Blessed Ulam", that they had brought from Shiran and translated (in Session 13). They removed a large stone block, under which was an entry to an underbasement, which was of dwarven construction, and miraculously dry despite its proximity to the river. Bowdyn, Maban, Judyn, and Olrau were the first to explore it. They found a long corridor that ended in a chamber with two labyrinths, as predicted in the book -- complex patterns carved into the floor. It was implied that walking the second could mean death. Judyn urged caution until they could study further, but first Olrau and then Maban and then Bowdyn went out onto the labyrinth.

The Journey to Araka-Kalai
(Mid-Peonu TR 721)

The three walked carefully to the center of the labyrinth, and found themselves mystically transported to the plain in Araka-Kalai. Though to Judyn worriedly standing on the stone to the side, they appeared to only be standing in the center, staring about strangely. To the three, they were standing on a pattern on the ground, in the pit of Araka-Kalai not far from the tower. They walked to the tower, and took stairs down leading into a series of caves. There they eventually came to a large underground lake with columns in it. A skiff came to them, piloted by a hooded figure showing neither hand nor face -- that they immediately identified as the Seafarer Ibenis. He asked them for the Orb of Souls, but they did not have it with them. Desperately, they retraced their steps and eventually came back to the underbasement. They told Judyn what they had seen, and then they all quickly went and got the Orb of Souls. Judyn joined them in walking the labyrinth a second time.

The four were mystically transported and found their way again to the Seafarer Ibenis. At first, Olrau told the others that he must go with Ibenis and the orb, and that he would not return. The others were all shocked. Judyn looked stern and reminded him of his wife and responsibilities, asking him to think carefully over his visions whether this was really what he must to. Olrau relented, but that left the question of what to do with the orb. Ibenis gave no instructions.

Judyn then stepped forwards with the orb and said that she would go with the orb and deliver it herself into the hands of Ilvir, but promised that she would return. Ibenis took her in his skiff, and she was gone a long time. She did return, though, with her eyes glazed over with a milky color. As she returned, Bowdyn asked Ibenis to see his face. Ibenis tilted his head to gaze at him, and he could see eight eyes peering out from within the hood. He fell over at the sight of this. The four then retraced their steps once more.

Politics in Spring
(Peonu/Kelen, TR 721)

More rumors of war come from the west, as everone suspects that the Marshall of Gerium province is going to attach Themeson, to reclaim it for the Republic. However, actual war comes from another direction. At the end of Peonu, news comes that at the end of the month, an army of Tulwyn warriors attacked and razed Taztos and were marching towards Moleryn.

Commander Ostardas, Marshall of Ramala Province, summoned troops to face them -- but even more shocking, so did Marshall Kronas despite being commander of Eidel Province. He led them into Ramala to face the Tulwyn threat. As his diviner and love, Maban went with him -- and the founders sent with her the imperfectly-preserved body of H'flokgh'ka. They hoped that driven at the head of the army with its head as a standard, it would strike fear into the hearts of the Tulwyn.

A decisive battle was fought at the Ramala Gap by the forces of both legions and the Tulwyn were defeated, but commander Ostardas was killed. The Ramala legion proclaimed General Kronas to head it, making him (albeit without Senate authority) commander of both the Ramala and Eidel Legions.

As many of the Tulwyn fled, Kronas led the joint armies of the two legions into the hills of Athul. He took still the body of H'flokgh'ka and Maban with him, but after it went on one tour of display through the heart of Tulwyn territory, she went back with it to Coranan protected by his troops.

This was followed by war in the west of Tharda as well. Just two weeks after the The Battle of Ramala Gap, the Marshall of Gerium drove his armies towards the keep of Themeson on the border of Rethem. This was expected, as Themeson was disputed territory held by the Cohorts of Gashang. What happened next was quite unexpected, though. Instead of attacking the keep, the forces of the Cohorts joined with the legions and marched west. In a lightning attack they seized the bridge over the Imris river, crossed and attacked the keep of Senun, which was undisputed Rethemi territory.

The Senate was convened, and many members returned in the light of these unexpected events. There were strong calls to censure both Kronas and the Gerium Marshall, but they were not able to muster enough votes for either.

(End of Session)