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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:58 am 
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Arkady shrugs. "Unless we are needing the knights who witnessed the king's testimony, there is room on the back of that truck for the bike. He indicates the one that doesn't have a pintle mounted machine gun and grenade launcher affixed to the bed. "And if we are needing them, we can always borrow a cart. Are you a good off-road driver, Sam?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:07 pm 
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I’d say I’m pretty decent, pastures aren’t well known for their paved roadways. Is the pseudo-artillery actually necessary? The written reports didn’t make it sound like it was that bad out here.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:49 pm 
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"It's kind of bad," Felix says. "Wild animals and beasts are plenty dangerous and we've encountered bandit groups and mercenaries on a couple of occasions. You should have seen that giant Manticore that attacked when we first started trying to get the ship up and working, and that nest of Cockatrice was something else."

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:13 pm 
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Arkady looks...carefully neutral. "We recently faced an army of some 600 men who had been enslaved by the 'champion' of a dark god. It is much like a wasp enslaving a host for it's offspring; the champion is an insect and it's venom...wipes the original personality away. All of it was to help make sure the god's choice of a candidate is getting elected to be the head of the local Church. Things are interesting just now, and those weapons were depressingly useful."
Then he grins. "Oh, and where are my manners. This is Patriarch Ortzel, the other candidate for the job. This is Preceptor Vanire, head of this knightly order. He's traveled with us before. And this is Sir Ulath, who seems to be stuck with us until we solve yet another nasty mess involving regicide and corruption. Gentlemen, this is Doctor Redgrave, an accomplished scholar and farmer."

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:37 am 
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"Considering the gravity of the accusations against him, I imagine that anyone but Raven will, on becoming ArchPrelate, ensure that Raven stays in town long enough to face his accusers at trial," says Vanire. "We wouldn't need the witnesses until there's an Arch-Prelate to hear the trial, but they'll follow us on horseback anyway."

"A doctor, a farmer, and a scholar?" asks Ortzel, raising an eyebrow. "An... unusual combination."

--------------

Everything ends up squared away on the trucks, and there's room for everyone (though the bike does take up a lot of space). The journey is largely uneventful, though there seems to be a significantly higher guard presence along this road, and the only caravans you meet are well armed - presumably news of the number of farmers being killed along here by the Seeker has been spreading. On reaching Chyrellos, you check the date with the gate guards, and find that it's been six days since the death of Cluvonious; the gate guard in turn thoroughly checks both you and the trucks (presumably looking for evidence of the Seeker) before letting you into the city.

You could go to Patriarch Dolmant's estate and check in with him, or perhaps you have something else in mind?

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Felix turns to Ortzel.

"It's not unusual for Terrans to wear multiple hats, thanks to the peculiarities of our situation. I myself am an engineer, politician, soldier, and scholar."

Felix would like to move things along and head to Patriarch Dolamant's place.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:48 am 
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Arkady suggests to Ortzel: "Perhaps you should join us in paying a visit to Patriarch Dolmant. I think he will be wanting to share news."

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:22 pm 
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"I should," agrees Ortzel. "Patriarch Dolmant is a firm and loyal servant of the Church, his only flaw being that he is a little too willing to compromise at times."

--------------

The streets of Chyrellos have a nervous mood about them. On more than one occasion, a red-clad soldier attempts to stop you and ask your business; on every such occasion, Patriarch Ortzel delivers a withering glare and points out that no-one is legally permitted to prevent a Patriarch of the Church from fulfilling his duties in the Holy City. (One of the soldiers tries to argue the point, but Sir Ulath looms up behind Ortzel, and the soldier decides he has better things to do that pick a fight). Dolmant's estate is, in turn, guarded by another set of soldiers - but they welcome your party in with expressions of relief, and bring you straight to Dolmant.

You are not Dolmant's first guests of the evening - you arrive in his study to find that Sir Sparhawk and his party have themselves just arrived, and sat down for tea. More tea is rapidly procured for the Terran delegation as well, and various greetings begin to fly around the room; Lady Sephrenia, a short, pale lady in a white robe, zeroes in on Piper (perhaps because they are the only two Styrics in the room) and begins talking at her rapidly in some non-Elene language; after a moment taking out her handkerchief and cleaning a smudge off of Piper's cheek.

Now that you know what to look for, the ruby ring on Sir Sparhawk's finger is very clear to the eye.

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Keeping a weather eye on Talen, Arkady comments to Lady Sephrenia: "Lady Sephrenia. We were given another plan to save the Queen by the king's ghost. All we need is to find the Blue Rose and get it, and you, to her. He had no idea where the Rose is to be found, so it is simplicity itself to be making it work." He grins and adds "Happily he did tell us where to find the two rings, and both are in this room."

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:39 pm 
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"Another plan? Arkady, it's the same plan, but with extra hassle," Felix sighs. He turns to Lady Sephrenia. "Could you produce one of those sound proof bubbles? This information is worth as much as our lives and I'm feeling extra paranoid."

Once the bubble is up and surrounding the essential players, Felix launches into a much more long winded explanation. The visit from the ghost of Sir Parasim. The journey to the crypt and the meeting with the ghost of the late King. The late King's dire warnings concerning the Blue Rose and the fate of his daughter. The spear and the King's ring. Sir Sparhawk's ring. And finally, the ghost elaborating on the confession/gloating by Raven on the King's death bed and the recordings and presence of four Church Knights to witness this testimony.

"So the game has changed and the stakes are higher than we previously thought, though some of the work has already been done for us. I'll posit that the original plan of a lesser artifact and Terran medicine combination could still work as a last chance emergency option, but finding the Blue Rose is our top priority above all other priorities."

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:23 pm 
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While those who seem to know what’s going on have emphatic conversation and state things, Sam walked over and crouched down next to Piper.

What’s going on, Thing 2? What’s your opinion?

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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:50 pm 
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Talen appears to be Perfectly Innocently standing in the general vicinity of Dolmant.

Weremensh wrote:
"Happily he did tell us where to find the two rings, and both are in this room."


"Sparhawk has the one," says Lady Sephrenia instantly, "and I imsgine King Aldreas told you where the other one was hidden."

"You knew?" asks Sparhawk, looking at his ring.

"Of course I knew what they were," she says. "I gave them to your ancestor for a reason."

"That was several generations ago," says Sparhawk. "Just how old are you, Sephrenia?"

"Don't you know it's terribly impolite to ask a lady her age?" she replies.

--------------

Sephrenia puts up the soundproofing bubble when requested, though she does point out that it's only so good of a protection - it'll deter casual eavesdroppers but there are ways around it, some of which can't even be detected. She seems to take the ghost's words as mostly nothing unexpected, though she's not happy to learn that only the Blue Rose could fuel her spell.

And then Dolmant presents his summary of the situation in Chyrellos. Tomorrow, the Basilica re-opens after its period of mourning, and the process of electing a new Arch-Prelate will be underway. There were 127 Patriarchs present at the last meeting, of whom 67 are voting at Raven's direction; enough to claim a simple majority, but not enough to win the election for Arch-Prelate. "One hundred and twenty-eight votes now," he adds, nodding at Ortzel.

"One hundred and twenty-nine," corrects Vanire. "We Preceptors haven't deliberated in the Basilica for a while now, but I am still a Patriarch."

"Very true," agrees Dolmant. "It'll be good to have you in the Basilica with us, Your Grace. Very well, then. One hundred and twenty-nine votes can be expected to be present, in total."

Eleven more Patriarchs, it seems, are vacillating on most issues, but solidly voting against Raven's election - for the moment. Though Dolmant suspects that they're merely waiting for Raven to offer them a sufficiently large bribe. Another six Patriarchs, solidly voting against Raven, have gone into hiding somewhere in the city; apparently in fear of their lives (there was an incident in which the cook of one of the Patriarchs got poisoned, and several Patriarchs now suspect that Raven might be resorting to assassination to thin the numbers of the Patriarchs opposed to his election). If they can be found and persuaded that they are safe, they can probably be convinced to rejoin the meetings.

As to the meetings themselves; these can be held in the Basilica at any time during the daylight hours, and Patriarch Makova (Raven's primary mouthpiece in the Council) would probably call a meeting with five minutes' notice any time he thinks a vote could go his way; for this reason, the Primates opposed to Raven's election will need to spend virtually all day, every day, hanging around inside the Basilica just in case Makova suddenly calls on a vote.

--------------

feywinds wrote:
What’s going on, Thing 2? What’s your opinion?


"I don't think you really appreciate just how serious all of this is," opines Piper.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:43 am 
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You mean, where the one thing that could take down the newly arisen destroyer god and the one thing that can heal the only person standing between someone who counts regicide as a hobby are somehow the same? Where the evil human whose smart enough to have gotten to a place of power before starting such a hobby did the incredibly stupid thing of gloating over the king exactly his plan and how to thwart it? How the bad guy’s right hand man was in the only other place this very specific thing has been cured before? How this is totally not a trap, guys, I promise? No, Tiny, I wasn’t born yesterday, I just woke up then; you were there for that, remember? Which is strange, because there really wasn’t anywhere you could have secreted yourself away in, unless you curled up inside the engine block, which is amongst the many, many reasons I would like your take on this.

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:26 pm 
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Felix pulls the necklace with the ruby ring out from under his shirt to show Lady Sephrenia and Sir Sparhawk.

"The King was buried with it, so retrieving it was a simple enough matter. We were talking to his ghost mere feet away from his tomb," Felix says. "Now, onto political matters. What ideas do you guys have for diminishing Raven's support and bolstering Ortzel's? Do you think we could leverage the King's testimony to try and persuade some of his supporters from him? Bribed or not, surely some of them are good enough at heart to turn coat at these accusations?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:19 pm 
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Arkady contemplates Vanire. "Is there a pressing reason not to invite the other three Preceptors to the party? Are relations strained between the knightly orders and the synod? And as Patriarchs who is not apparently viable candidates, can you or Dolmant call the vote as well?"

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