Thursday, 10 December 2009

The last two chapters

Storyteller's note: Due to time, computer-SNAFU, and the actions of the last two chapters, I will combine these. Most of the last these were spent in in-character discussions, something that, while it is most interesting when it happens, doesn't necessarily make for a great narrative.

Lying off the coast of Corillia, the Company was faced with a difficult decision, that of where to go, and what to do. After some consideration, three alternatives had been defined, Wezell, Waymar, and Kithay. The pros and cons of each were thoroughly examined, and in the end, Wezell was chosen.

The main problem here was that they would have to sail through waters heavily patrolled by the Pendrellian navy, but here Galan had a solution. He created a magical displacement of the Pius' visual presence, in effect making the ship invisible, while simultaneously creating a red herring any would-be pursuers could follow.

Thus it was that the good ship Pius and her crew arrived in Zaarbrügge, van Zaar's hometown. To expand on the subterfuge the name of the ship was painted over, and the Saviour anchored in port. Further, new names were invented for both Galan and Banzel. Van Zaar, being an old spy, drew upon one of his old aliases, while Aegir limited his cover to a hooded cloak.

They were received with open arms by Jolander's mother, and her brother, Jaap, the head of the house, and one of the Onkels, was summoned. The following days were used to refit the ship, relax, and do various preparations for future adventures. Jolander spent most of his time at home with his mother, drinking fortified wine and telling her all about his life and the state of the world as he sees it. She listened attentively, though most of it was lost on her, while sewing, until her son fell asleep. Then she'd see him carried to bed by two of the servants.

When Onkel Jaap van Zaar arrived three days after the Company came to Wezell; they had a proper sit-down. The fate of Argos, and that of Man, was what was discussed. Jolander believed that in a matter of weeks, the Old One, the giant sea-monster that almost sank the Pius, would attack Eria. This would, he insisted, cause panic, disaster, and the destruction of the Worlds of Man.

The Host of Man was another item of concern. The Elendrine Prophecies say that, "[Caracalla] will defeat the Host." Jaap here raised the question of how to avoid this, and this on turn lead to the Company volunteering to kill him.

Several other issues were also discussed, but as the hour had grown late, the men agreed to continue the talks at the next day's breaking of the fast.

Storyteller's note: Here the chapter ends, and another begins. Jolander's player was not present.

That night, after Jolander had been tucked in, Galan sat in the library, studying, when a servant announced a visitor for him. This proved to be a certain Commander Sir Jasper Colomb, of His Majesty's Royal Guild of Argonauts.

He was at first interested in Galan's role in the Scutino Incident and in the recent murder of captain Ardyke. Galan swore that neither himself, nor any of his companions, had anything to do with the former (being an Adeptus of Mind, he has reorganised his memories of the incident somewhat). By now, Tradesmaster Drake and Prince Aegir had joined the two, while Banzel monitored the exchange from the roof where he'd been watching the stars.

On the matter of the killing of Ardyke, Galan claimed that he had given strict orders not to harm him, and that none of his companions had been involved. In fact, he went as far as to give his word on it.

The visitor then went in to tell of an imminent war between Wezell and Pendrell. This would probably start in Corllia, he said. He then claimed that the Pendrellian king had been isolated and that all power in Pendrell now lay with the Parliament and the Ministerium. The true nature of his visit, he said, was to enlist the help of the Company. The nature of the help was somewhat delicate, and the status of the gentlemen was ideally suited; he asked that they kill a certain Dr Ebeneezer Murdoch.

Dr Murdoch was to be found in a Corillian city right across the border, no more than a dozen miles from their current location. Sir Jasper provided maps of the city, Grasse, and the Palace of Reason, a fortress on a small island in the harbour, where Dr Murdoch resided. The doctor was the most prominent member of the Ministerium in Corillia, and he was the head of the duchy's Tribunal of Pure Thought. Gryff Galan accepted.

Once the Argonaut had left, and armed with the maps, Galan started scrying the location, something that proved to be somewhat difficult. There was a certain resonance about the location that directly opposed the magic. Nevertheless, the good captain managed not only to penetrate the fortress, but also the private quarters of Dr Murdoch. Having made it thus far, Galan was contemplating teleporting into the chambers and killing the sleeping man. As it happened, h contemplated long enough to allow his mark to wake up. Sitting up, he cried, "Witchcraft!" and Galan, sitting bent over the maps, was thrown backwards by a white blast, ending up sprawling on the floor. The map was destroyed, something Banzel (having entered somewhat ungraciously through the closed window a little earlier) fixed through magic.

After the failed assassination, the Company decided to call it a day, and to resume after breakfast.

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