Thursday, 26 November 2020

Belswick 26: getting married

Last session in Belswick, our heroes escaped the collapsing lair of Xiximanter the Serpent Lich, hired a bunch of dwarves to turn it into a quarry for dressed stone and take care of their affairs in the villages of Crossroads, Culfield and Witmarrow, and blast to kill themself out of existence experimenting with Xixi's horrible fungal cloning chamber. This session, it's wedding time as Lomin the rogue's alter ego Olga gets married to Lord Kerjules the Hedgehog!

NEW CHARACTERS

Last session Morti the Artificer blew himself up and Tilbord the Cleric/Bard/Warlock/Abomination actually retired as an abbot and teacher of the new Open Book orphanage in Crossroads!

This session we see these players' new characters: wild and fey Pyrrha, wearing a sun dress, wolf-pelt cloak and conjuring arcane fire and flint weapons; and vulture-faced Ungulu the Cleric of the always understanding, always friendly Order of St Kurelda of the Light - the Inquisition. They have ties to both Lord Kerjules and Mother Iranelle of the order of light, which is enough to get them forced on the party! Ungulu brings with him a fellow Acolyte of the Light, one Harald who took his vow of silence so serious he cut out his own tongue.

LOOSE ENDS

Guy the wizard wasn't present for last session's haven turns, so we handle those now. He has regained control of his magic as something clicks in his mind and his graps of psionics fades...for now. He spends time recovering from this childhood-affliction grown stronger and exchanges letters with fellow student Ylaine de Nantres in Arrayne, who has spotted Guy's sister Josephine. But didn't Guy talk to her on the Isles of the Dead back at the beginning of the campaign??

Catching up with his mentor Fergus, Guy presents the spellbook of Xiximanter, which contains one very dangerous, very heretical spell banned by the Church of the Authority: Plane Shift. Both understand what they have in hand: a one-way ticket to they pyre. After coded correspondence with their August Lodge of Augurs and Diviners, Guy's remaining college debt of about 45000 gp is erased, he gains a nominal 4000 gp reward for the spellbook, and a position as Ardent Seer and Adept of the Lodge worth 30 gp/month!

We zap back to the end of last session, when Shams, Guy, Lomin and Tilbord each got woken up by the shattered ghost of Brent the Cloned Bandit! It's a bit of a struggle, but they manage to defeat the ghost wearing nothing but nightshirt and hastily scrounged weaponry. The last of this guy, hopefully?

WEDDING TIME

It's time to get married! Lomin has been playing the role of long-deceased Lady Olga of Culfield, who was a close friend and didn't have heirs or relatives who could inherit. Now Olga will marry Lord Kerjules of neighbouring Crossroads to cement the region against coming war with southern Arrayne.

We run through a couple of scenes during the wedding:

Tourney! Mostly good-natured archery, jousting and melee, until spurned inheritor Sir Drake Selbern steps up in his crude plate armor to insult the living daylights out of old, decrepid Lady Olga. This needs a champion to settle the guy once and for all. Eyes turns to Shams the Dwarf, but who steps up but newly introduced Pyrha wearing nothing more than a sun dress? It seems like an unfair battle, and it is - the barbarian girl absolutely demolishes Selbern as he hacks into her with his sword.

Wedding ceremony! The Crossroads church is packed as Bishop Urael - Lomin's brother - seals the two nobles in holy matrimony. Interestingly enough, both Olga and Lomin are seen in the church, a gift of the bishop. Afterwards, it's time to pay up: Urael wants the party to make sure Mother Iranelle of the Inquisition isn't present at the wedding dinner. After typical PC-debate, the group settles on tried and tested poison.

Reception and gift-giving, during which Lomin buys four potions of purgatives from Annabelle the potion maker, intimidating her with his knowledge of her link to the former goblin infestation in Xiximanter's tomb. Inquisitor Ungulu amuses himself intimidating a dozing guard at a cart - and discovers a hidden magic sigil below the wares. Before he can interrogate the guard, the guy disappears in a cloud of purple mist. Meanwhile the other characters each try to slip the old nun a dose. One attempt goes awry but two others via invisibility and sneaky disguise succeed, and soon the White Robe is waddle-running to an outhouse, not to return for the night...

Finally, a wonderful evening feast where the whole party is invited. Urael has one last gift to bestow: a dinner with the memories of the departed, to wish well and feel connected. It's a strange thing to see Olga dining with her dead husband Malcer, to see the shades of Brent the bandit and Vedric von Vermis the wizard harrassing Tilbord in a corner, for always-glib Lomin to have a tearful heart-to-heart with his murdered fiancee Valanthe, and for Guy to speak to his dead sister ("do not mistake the medium for the message").

Then a group of servers walks in from opposing doors and denounces these heretical proceedings in the name of unknown Zulin. Strange angelic creatures covered in wings and eyes start to swirl around their leader, before Guy dispels the cloud and Ungulu lobs a cleansing fireball into the mass - but not before one of the group shoots Lord Kerjules in the heart with a poisoned bolt. The hedgehogling goes down, frothing at the mouth - and that's where we'll continue next session!

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