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Session Chronicles (Et Ordine Rite)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:38 pm
by Velocirapture
In the hopes that this board isn't completely defunct, I'm planning on posting my session notes/write-ups for my current running game.

This game started about a year ago with four players. The first two players were introduced in the first two sessions, and the second two in the second two sessions. We’re all, including myself as narrator, experienced role players but new to the HotB system/setting.

I’m getting ready to try and start the game back up in earnest after a long holiday break, so I was going through my session notes and I decided that I should share them with the community. Some of these sessions were conducted in person in a single block of time. Others were conducted via e-mail and the “session” summary represents a compilation of what happened over the course of many weeks and dozens of exchanged e-mails.

You may notice, toward the end, that two of my players have been spotty in terms of attendance – which is what happens when your players are post-30, married and either have kids or are trying to have kids – and so the later sessions have some blank spots that I haven’t been able to fill in. I’m hoping to fill in those gaps soon (fingers crossed).

I’m also in the process of adding some new blood to the game so it doesn’t completely fall apart.

I note, in the session write-ups, that I don’t always have flagged where wagers and formal declarations of Truth were made. I will say, however, that most of the details introduced were provided by the players. Facts which are not yet determined, usually Houses for specific NPCs, are marked with ??????.

I also note that we started the game (session 1) with the suggested Althua from the corebook, so that should look fairly familiar as should the various NPCs and plotlines. I have also mined this board from time to time for NPCs and potential plotlines; and I have used the NPCs, and suggested plotlines from the 6 Ineffable Lessons of the Hidden Moon. My thanks to anyone and everyone that I have borrowed ideas from.

Enjoy, and if you have suggestions for ways the various plots could move – either for myself or the players – go ahead and post them. Other random feedback is always more than welcome too!

I hope to post one session summary every day or two until I'm up to current.

Re: Session Chronicles (Et Ordine Rite)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:39 pm
by Velocirapture
Session 1 (Ira & Edgar)

We began with character creation, wherein we discovered the following facts about our initial protagonists:

Baron Edgar “The Steadied Hand” Steele
Third of Four Children, with an older sister, an older brother and a younger sister.
Child of a Marquis.
Married with no children of his own.

Baron Ira “Desires Hunger” Thorne
Fourth of Four Children, with two older sisters, and an older brother.
Child of a Baron.

Ira and Edgar were requested by their Countess to attend the coming out party of newly of age Baron Shara Yvarai. It turns out that their Countess wants Shara to pledge fealty to her, and she has requested that two of her current Barons help her. Upon making rolls/wagers, the following was determined:

Their Countess wanted Shara because of a rivalry with Shara's mother.
Their Countess is a Blooded of the Fox.
Shara's mother is desperate to get her married.
Ira's brother (Haroon) is going to attend the party as well.
The puzzle house where the party is being held is well known for people going missing.

Upon arriving at the party our protagonists scanned the crowd and made note of the fact that Lady Shara was speaking with a rather dour looking young Blooded of the Bear (Baron Valin Burghe) who kept a firm grip on his orichalcum sword. They also make the following determinations:

Edgar's older sister (Abendago) is here.
Abendago is Edgar and Ira's Countess.
Ira's older brother has indeed shown up at the party.
Abendago has not yet introduced herself to Shara.
Abendago just let Haroon out ...
...of her dungeon.

Edgar introduced himself to Lady Shara first, and presented her with a gift of wine from one of the finer wineries in the region. They exchanged pleasantries until Ira approached and presented Lady Shara with a gift of a sonnet composed in her honor. She was clearly delighted by the gift and laughed joyously - although Ira had not intended the sonnet to invoke laughter, he decided to roll with it. Feeling cut out of the conversation at this point, Lady Shara may have been flirting with Ira - he's uncertain of this - Edgar went and had a few words with Baron Valin.

Meanwhile, Lady Shara and Ira were interrupted by the approach of Countess Abendago who chose that moment to make her introductions to Lady Shara. Although the conversation was polite there was a definite tension between the Lady and the Countess. The one high note of the conversation was when Countess Abendago praised Ira's musical and compositional abilities, and Lady Shara readily agreed. Shortly thereafter the Countess moved on to another conversation, and Lady Shara moved on to great other guests who had newly arrived.

At some point Ira noted that a group of Blooded of the Serpent were huddled in the corner talking among themselves and pointedly ignoring the rest of the party.

Ira joined Edgar in a conversation with Duke Dannin Steele, and a handful of other Ven, about the potential existence of smart Orks. It is common knowledge that Duke Dannin - an extremely well liked and powerful noble, who is due to become Earl of House Steele any season now - has embarrassed himself on the Senate floor by trying to warn others of smart Orks. A thing that most Ven believe is an impossibility. His refusal to back away from these warnings is starting to damage his reputation, but he doesn't appear to be willing to abandon them. Indeed, he had brought a spear, etched with what appear to be writings, in an apparent effort to continue warning Ven at this party.

After making some well considered wagers, Edgar remembered some old legends that talked of smart Orks wandering Shan'ri prior to the death of the last emperor. But he died 200 years ago. Edgar and Ira also realized that the spear itself was carved from crater wood, and that that wood could only be found on Ira's parents' land. Upon speaking this revelation aloud, Duke Dannin confirmed that his lands abutted Ira's parents' land.

Ira was approached by Lady Shara during this conversation and offered a tour of the Puzzle House's makeshift opera house. He readily agreed and they both left the great hall. After a few mis-turns and wrong doors they finally found the opera house. It was clearly smaller than normal for an opera house, but the acoustics were perfect and Ira could clearly picture how a grand opera could be staged here. In investigating the room he occasionally saw Lady Shara giving him odd looks, looks that she had given him before (at an undefined point in the past). He also was able to identify carvings on the stage of the seven Ven Opera Archetypes, alongside several more apparent Archetypes that he did not recognize.

During this time Edgar weighed his political future (it was determined that Duke Dannin is not in his chain of fealty) and decided to throw in with Duke Dannin in his hunt for these smart Orks. Edgar also saw Haroon, brother to Ira, and it was established that Haroon had been feeding Edgar information about Countess Abendago's Court. It was also established, although not known by Edgar, that Haroon has been feeding him false information. Interestingly, Haroon's position in Countess Abendago's Court has not been established, nor is it known why he was in her dungeon.

At this point, everyone hears a piercing scream from the hall. Rushing out of the opera room and great hall (respectively), Edgar, Ira, Lady Shara, and several other Ven find two bodies on the floor. One that looked dead, and another which was gripping a knife. Upon investigation it was revealed that the body was that of Lady Shara, and that the woman gripping the knife had black, black eyes. The sign of Revenge blessed by Ikhalu. One of the Serpents that Ira noticed earlier approached and used a ritual that allowed him to see sorcery. Upon examining the body, he declared that it was a Tulpa - a sorcerous clone.

The woman quickly regained consciousness and, screaming, pointed at Duke Dannin. As she moved forward, Edgar noticed that the black surrounding her eyes was smeared and he could see unblemished skin underneath. Realizing that this was Murder disguised as Revenge, he positioned himself - sword drawn - between the Duke and the crazed woman.

...and that was where we ended. The party is still in its first night. There is still the remainder of the evening, a hunt the next morning, and then pleasantries the following evening before Lady Shara's introduction to polite society has concluded.

Re: Session Chronicles (Et Ordine Rite)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:01 pm
by Velocirapture
Session 2

The session opened with Edgar facing down the unknown would-be murderess with his sword drawn. Dagger in hand she attempted to push past him in an effort to get to Duke Dannin. Given that he was armed and she was unarmed, it was a simple matter for him to flick the dagger out of her hands. At which point the house guard entered the scene and surrounded her. By this point the crowd began to realize that she was faking the visible signs of legitimate revenge. Ira also noted that a noble in the crowd, whom he did not recognize, appeared to be disappointed in the outcome of the conflict. Finally, although not known to PCs, Duke Dannin was suitably impressed with the finesse shown by Edgar in his handling of the situation.

Having regained her composure, Lady Shara stalked forward and interrogated the woman in full view of the crowd. It turned out that the woman's name was Ddwyer "Hold Fast" Adrente, Blooded of the Wolf, Baroness of the Endless Plains. Upon being asked what she was doing in Lady Shara's castle Lady Ddwyer shrieked at Duke Dannin that he would never live to see his son be Blooded (as a result of this accusation it was determined that Duke Dannin was a widower). Lady Shara turned to Duke Dannin and received his unspoken permission to proceed as she saw fit. Ultimately, Lady Ddwyer was escorted to the edge of Lady Shara's lands by a retinue of house guard and was warned against ever trespassing upon those lands again.

As the crowd began to disperse, Ira was approached by his brother Haroon, who wanted to introduce Ira to his ward. It was established at this point that Haroon's ward was responsible for his lands continuing to function while he was a ... guest ... in Abendago's dungeon. At this, Ira was introduced to the young Cavala "Worthy of Love" Rusu. She was wearing what appeared to be a new sword, was classically beautiful and - as the conversation between Ira and Cavala progressed – found to be dull as dish water. Before excusing himself from the conversation Haroon warned Ira, under his breath, that their mother was in negotiations with Cavala's parents to betroth her to Ira.

During the course of a lengthy conversation with Cavala, Ira found himself doing the lion's share of the talking and determined that she lacked the inner fire to truly interest him. Although she did perk up and seem genuinely interested in Ira taking her on a tour of his domain. It was also determined, as a result of various wagers, that she was a source of temptation for Haroon while she was in his court, and that she was jealous of Shara for some reason. At this, Ira excused himself and made his way over to the orchestra's conductor - where he asked them to play a song fit for dancing - before moving over to Lady Shara.

Meanwhile, Edgar had a conversation with Duke Dannin about who Lady Ddwyer was, and why she might want to cause him or his son harm. Duke Dannin explained that he suspected his son, Lisle "Appointed One" Steele, of having had a romance with Lady Ddwyer which had recently ended. A fact which made him believe his son was - perhaps - smarter than his years would otherwise imply. Upon hearing Duke Dannin remark that he would have to find a way to safeguard his son for a while longer, at least until he was properly Blooded, Edgar volunteered to take Lisle on as his ward. He made a convincing argument, and Duke Dannin agreed to have his son present himself at Edgar's court before the end of the next season. He also offhandedly mentioned that his son may make a good Master of the Road for Edgar's domain, and that it may teach him some self-reliance and burn off some youthful energy. Duke Dannin also commented that, although on the same island, Edgar's lands were about as far from Lady Ddwyer's lands as you could get and still be in civilized territory.

Duke Dannin also mentions that he will likely be assembling a hunting party to scour his lands for the smart Orks, and that this hunt may stray into the lands of Barron Tjal (Ira's father), which is where the crater wood can be found. The Duke offhandedly invited Edgar to attend, but stated that this was neither the time, nor the place, to discuss the particulars.

Having approached Lady Shara, and asked her to dance, Ira complimented her on her taste in dancing partners. At which they began the fairly intricate process of beginning a formal Romance. Edgar's wife was also introduced for the first time (Baroness Gwanal "My love will give you no rest" ?????). Although her house is undetermined, it was discovered that she is a good dancer, that she loves parties, and that she often nags Edgar because she's bored.

[This process moved too fast for me to get accurate/good notes. I will say that it generated some fantastic roleplaying and - were this the type of game to generate experience points – the players would have absolutely cleaned up. For example, after delivering a witty one-liner (something about how Ira would never abandon Lady Shara) he spun her in Edgar's arms and smoothly took Lady Gwanal for a spin around the dance floor. For the record, Lady Gwanal thinks that Ira is just fantastic and has informed Edgar that Ira will be a guest of honor at her next Althua. At some point in this, Cavala sees the two of them on the dance floor and looks singularly unhappy about that fact. Ultimately, Lady Shara and Ira establish a rank 9 Romance.]

Edgar, perhaps growing tired of Ira flirting with Lady Shara on the dance floor, perhaps out of frustration that his wife is so taken with Ira, pointedly suggests to the conductor that everyone could use a break from dancing. The song ends as Ira and Lady Shara are next to Lady Shara's mother and father - who have just recently made their entrance - where they are speaking with Count Kether. Ira has noticed that Lady Shara's mother has been staring daggers at him for a while now, and is clearly unhappy that Lady Shara is spending so much time with him. Perhaps knowing this, Lady Shara asks Ira if he would get her a glass of wine.

Ira and Edgar meet by the bar - for those Ven who wanted something harder, perhaps, than the wine being circulated by the castle servants. Edgar asks Ira if he has made any progress with Lady Shara and, when Ira says that he has, congratulates him on convincing her to swear fealty to their Countess, the Lady Abendago. Ira looks a little confused and says that he hasn't broached the subject with her at all; and points out that that is why he ensured that Lady Shara spent some time dancing with Edgar ... so that he could mention it to her. It is at this point that it occurs to both Ira and Edgar that Lady Shara is being chatted up by Count Kether. It is also determined that both Countess Abendago and Count Kether are sworn to the same Marquis - Isla "ever watchful" Steele, Blooded of the Elk, and mother to both Edgar and Abendago.

Ira returns to Lady Shara's side with the requested glass of wine and attempts to interject himself into the conversation with Count Kether.

Meanwhile, Edgar sees Lady Abendago and Lord Haroon speaking in the corner of the room. He approaches and has a brief conversation with the two of them. During this conversation it is determined that Edgar is only sworn to his sister because of his mother's desire/request/command.

At this, the evening ended, and the various party guests went to bed to prepare for the hunt the next morning.

The following morning at breakfast Edgar spent some time going over the various maps of the game preserve prepared by Lady Shara's road men, and questioning them on the nature of the Ork they were to be hunting. Apparently, a race of massive (between a large dog and a bear in size) ground squirrel had infested the local forest. Although they weren't singularly dangerous, they bred extremely fast. Part marsupial, each female had between 8 and 12 pouches that it used to carry its young. The internal gestation period and external maturation period was timed so perfectly that a female was always pregnant and surrounded by young almost ready to go off on their own.

Ira, meanwhile, seated himself at a table with Count Kether and had a rousing conversation on the virtues of opera and the necessity to truly live life to the fullest in order to be able to compose the greatest of operas. During this conversation Countess Abendago joined the table and conversation. She mentioned to Ira that she would be honored if he would draft a new opera for her annual spring Althua, a mere 11 months hence. She offered to provide both her opera house, and the various actors who worked there in order to assist, since she was giving him such a short amount of time to prepare. Ira told her that he would be honored and that he would be more than glad to do this thing for her. Turning to Count Kether, she commented that she always tried to push her Barons to reach their potential and truly stand on their own. Which was all part of her belief that their boldness and successes reflected positively on her as their Liege. Both Ira and Edgar seemed vaguely confused about this, until they noticed that Lady Shara was standing scant feet behind Ira and had clearly been listening to the conversation.

Following this exchange the various nobles and their road men and/or personal guard readied themselves for the hunt. Lady Shara's father, an apparently religious man, gave thanks to the Suaven and asked that they watch over the honored guests in their labors. Edgar commented that his first kill, as always, would be dedicated to his wife (who was attending the hunt as an observer); but that the remainder of his kills would be dedicated to their hostess, Lady Shara.

After some hours in the forest, Count Kether and group of nobles ended up getting separated from the main group. Shortly thereafter the nobles found a breeding ground of the infesting Ork. Both Ira and Edgar carried themselves with honor and dignity (even if Ira was using a bow and not a sword); and, while numerous vassal road men/personal guard were killed, not a single Ven noble lost his life.

The session ended shortly thereafter with the various nobles taking their leave and making their way back to their own lands. Ultimately, it was determined that Ira and Edgar had failed in their task of ensuring that Lady Shara swear fealty to Countess Abendago. Rather, Lady Shara has sworn to Lady No "Forbidden Kiss" Ballan, Countess of Ival, and Blooded of the Elk. Which is odd, because neither Ira nor Edgar saw her talk to Lady No at all - although it is known that she has some sort of relationship with Count Kether. It is also determined that Countess Abendago blames Ira for his outcome, even though Marquis Isla blames Abendago. It is currently unknown why Marquis Isla was taking notice of this particular event.

Re: Session Chronicles (Et Ordine Rite)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:33 pm
by Velocirapture
Session 3 (William & Cale)

We began with character creation interspersed with some fairly abbreviated summaries of what has been going on with Ira/Edgar and what the setting/Ven are like. That said, I introduce:

Baron William "The Watchful Eye" Yvarai
First born of five children, the last two of which are twin boys (and a source of great shame for his parents).
Child of a Marquis

Baron Cale "Reverence or Consequence" Mwrr
Youngest, and only surviving, of five children
Child of a Marquis
Widowed with no kids.

Cale and William have been requested by their Count Tzao "Born of Fire" ?????? to attend a spring "May Day," or planting festival, Althua. This party, and its sister Althua, the harvest festival (held at the end of Fall) are annual events hosted by a different Ven each time (the host for the next Althua is chosen at the end of the current Althua). It captures the feel of peasant life, and their various rituals, as viewed through the eyes of the opulent and wealthy and with all the rough edges filed off. They are informed that a Ven, Lady Alexai "The Hand and the Sword" ???? will be in attendance. She owes a debt to Count Tzao that is now precisely one season past due. Cale and William are asked to collect on their Count's behalf.

They were given the following three truths about the May Day Althua:

Peasant thematic, but opulent
Held outside in massive pavilions
Several Veth will be in attendance as honored guests

By way of their initial wagers it was determined that:

Lady Alexai is aware of William and Cale and respects them
The debt owed to the Count is not for resources (i.e. not for lumber, food, or the like)
Alexai believes that Cale is a murderer
The debt - Alexai had agreed to gain Edgar Steele's confidence and start an affair (a Romance perhaps) with him.

With the above established, William and Cale made their preparations for the Althua and presented themselves at the appropriate time and place. Upon being announced they noticed that their host, Lord Drial "I am your friend" ?????, and Lady Alexai were attempting to have a discrete conversation in the first pavilion (i.e. where you go to first join in the party after arriving) that was very poorly timed and placed.

As I have found, character creation can eat up a lot of time if you’re unfamiliar with all the ins and outs, so that’s as far as we got in third session.

Re: Session Chronicles (Et Ordine Rite)

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:34 pm
by Velocirapture
Session 4 (William & Cale)

This session started where the last one ended, as William is introduced by the herald at the May Day Althua. Both he and Cale, who will be introduced next, have seen Alexai "the hand and the sword" ?????? speaking with their host, Drial "I am your friend" ?????, in the main tent.

Upon seeing William and Cale, Alexai ducked away into the crowd and left the main tent. William and Drial spend a few minutes exchanging pleasantries, and William is able to determine that Drial knows that the PCs are there to collect a debt, but that he has no idea what that debt is. As Cale is introduced William excuses himself from the conversation, pours two glasses of wine and begins to scan the crowd for Alexai.

Cale's conversation with Drial is much more abbreviated and direct. In essence, he thanks Drial for the invitation to the party in spite of his reputation, and then excuses himself for the express purpose of not taking up Drial's time with meaningless chatter. We know, by this point, that many in polite society believe that Cale had some hand in the death of his siblings; and we also know that that is not true.

Drial remained poised composed during this minute long conversation and it's impossible to tell if he took offense. As Cale made his way out of the main tent, in pursuit of Alexai, he hears the herald announce the presence of Abazai "the cherry blossoms fall" Yvarai. Cale knows that Abazai is trying to raise the necessary ransom to free his brother (Lonor "I am the rival" Yvarai) and that Abazai doesn't wear a sword. All that he knows about Lonor, however, is that he's alive and that his current whereabouts are not a well kept secret (although Cale doesn't actually know where that may be).

As Cale and William moved through the crowds, Cale noticed that Alexai had paused near a group of acrobats in one of the grassy fields between the various tents. Seeing her, and realizing that she was working to keep the bulk of the crowd between her and William - because she hadn't noticed Cale leave the main tent - Cale began to maneuver behind her. More than that, he started subtly using his unwelcome presence to shift the crowd so that she needed to keep backing up closer and closer to a tent wall that didn't have any openings.

William, meanwhile, hadn't seen Alexai yet, and was drawn into a conversation with Baroness Niassa "the ungentle night" Steele. Their conversation was brief, and she seemed to be interested in finding out whether he had an opinion on Duke Dannin's revelation about smart orks at the last Senate session. William responded vaguely and suggested that it would behoove the Senate to assign some of its Vashna (roadmen) to the question, so that an answer could be had one way or the other. Niassa seemed to find this suggestion amusing, but allowed William to change the subject to the party itself and whether it lived up to previous May Day celebrations.

At around this point, William noticed Lady Alexai and excused himself from the conversation with Niassa. Cale also decided that there are too many people around, which may allow Lady Alexai a chance to elude them again. Thinking fast he notices that a great number of servants in this area are carrying empty, or nearly empty, wine bottles, that all of the wine appears to come from the same winery and that it was all bottled in the same year. With these facts in mind, he approaches the nearest Ven, Baroness Maura Burghe, and comments loudly about his vintner warned him about this vintage because, apparently, it was bottled improperly, and tends to cause nightmarish gastrointestinal problems. Maura looks inordinately panicked about this revelation, and hurries into a nearby tent; meanwhile, many of the other Ven move off to - at least - seek a better vintage of wine.

William, clearly the more socially adept representative of Count Tzao, approaches Lady Alexai who appears to concede that she has been caught fair and square. They converse, and she readily admits that she knows why William and Cale have come looking for her. She also directly challenges William's ability to ensure that she pay her debt. After all, this isn't some mere case of wine, or shipment of granite that can be transported by servants from one domain to another. That notwithstanding, William and Cale know that their Count has ordered that the wheels for repayment be set in motion before the end of this Althua. It is determined in the opening salvo of this conversation that she and William have a romantic history and that he views her as "the" woman in his life (i.e. the Irene Adler to his Sherlock Holmes). It is also discovered, although un-revealed, that William is extremely upset about this debt owed, but that he is determined to see his responsibility through to the end. Likewise, it is discovered, but un-revealed, that Alexai is willing to play along and pay down this debt in order to cause William pain.

During this conversation Alexai and William walk into one of the nearby tents - followed by Cale - where they continue to talk on the dance floor. In response to the question about the actual repayment of this debt, William offers up the fact that Lady Gwanal (Edgar's wife) has gotten into the habit of hosting an autumn Salon every year, to which William is always invited. Thus, if Alexai attends as his guest, all of the necessary parties will be present to allow this debt to be repaid. William also notes that this Salon is gaining credibility in the artistic community due, in no-small-part, to Ira's attendance and presentation of some of his smaller works. Further, to ensure that Alexai attends, William insists that she summer with him in his domain. Thanks to some well used risks, Alexai agrees to this plan and the following facts are determined: Alexai is married, and her husband is a Count who is sworn to William's parents. It is also determined that she is barren, but that her husband doesn't know that.

Cale, not wanting to stray too far from William and Alexai simply walks onto the dance floor and stays near enough to them that he can hear most of the conversation. However, he is so focused on what he's listening to, that he stops paying attention to what is around him, and he is run over by Baron Torr " iron does not bend" Adrente and his wife (an unnamed Baroness). Cale manages to remain upright, but the Baron and his wife both end up on the ground. Upon standing, it is clear that Baron Torr is fairly inebriated but he nonetheless squares his shoulders and loudly informs Cale that he believes that his honor has been insulted. Cale responds by questioning Torr's priorities (his wife is still on the floor), and deliberately insulting him for being a drunken boor. Baron Torr responds by declaring that he is no longer insulted, but that he is now well and truly injured by Cale's behavior toward himself and his wife. Cale, once again, responds by deliberately and loudly insulting Torr before helping Torr's wife to her feet and into a chair (it is determined that she has a twisted ankle).

At this Lord Drial makes an appearance and calls for volunteers to sit on a jury and determine whether Baron Torr's complaint of injury is valid. William volunteers on behalf of House Fox, and the following jurors are: Lady Niassa (Elk); Lady S (Falcon); Lady Maura (Bear). Cale and Torr then present their arguments to the Jury (and the assembled Ven witnesses) and Torr's performance is head and shoulders above Cale's. Guilt is all but assured at this point. The Jury deliberations come down to an argument between William, who wants a finding of Insult, and Lady Maura (remember her from earlier) who wants a finding of Injury. Fortunately, William prevails and the Jury orders Cale to pay one-quarter of one season's production of timber to Torr in recompense, and to publicly apologize for his insult.

Cale does so, although he couches it in the most sarcastic and false voice he can muster. Fortunately for him, Baron Torr is just drunk enough not to catch the innuendo, although his wife certainly does. It is determined, however, that his wife isn't going to tell her husband that he was publicly shamed again. Of course, it is also determined that Torr is still seething at everyone involved; up to, and including, the jury.

Cale is then accosted by Baron Abanzai Yvarai, who congratulates Cale for putting that bastard wolf (Baron Torr) in his place. It is revealed that Baron Torr is seeking a formal declaration of revenge from the Senate against Lonor Yvarai for his liaison with Torr's wife. The only thing stopping him is his need for his Count's approval, and his Count is Lady Alexai's husband. Abanzai then explains that he's trying to free his brother, who has been kidnapped by Duke Vangalio Mwrr, without actually having to spend the entire ransom. To that end, he has gathered a group of interested Ven who are willing to risk life and limb to rescue Lonor in exchange for a part of the ransom money (Abanzai reasons that he'll keep a share of the ransom himself, so he's saving money this way). Cale determines that Abanzai's plan is shaky at best, but decides that he's nonetheless interested in helping out. After all, these young Ven seem foolhardy enough that he might be able to make use of them later if he can gain their trust now. Remembering, however, that they're in public, they agree to talk later about the details.

William and Alexai are, at this point, leaving the tent and they see her husband, Count Dosajee "in the Suaven I trust" Steele coming across the lawn with two of his advisers. It is determined that Count Dosajee is a "silly wee man" whose advisers are deadly, effective and may be responsible for his current position in society. He has five total advisers, they are never seen in groups of less than two, and Count Dosajee always has at least two of them with him at all times. They are also completely unknown. That is, they always dress in deep hooded cloaks and robes with expressionless masks. The only differences between them are their various heights and the fact that each mask is of a different precious material. He approaches his wife, nods dismissively at William and, commenting that the hunt is about to begin, escorts her away.

William and Cale spend some time familiarizing themselves with the premise of the hunt that is about to take place. Several peasants have been in attendance at the party as guests (they have been seen from time to time), and they are now preparing to take the place of the traditional fox in the dog hunt. William sees an older Falcon - the Master of the Dogs - tending to the massive canines and is told that all of the peasants are volunteers. They are given an hour head start, and may go in any direction they wish. If they manage to evade capture (and, thus, death) for a full 24 hours then they will have earned the right to be blooded by Baron Drial.

This is where the session wrapped up. Both William and Cale decided not to try and interfere with the hunt in order to give one of the peasants a better shot at winning. Ultimately, none of the peasants survive, but a good time was had by all of the Ven nobles and, really, that's what matters. William was chosen to host the next May Day celebration in the spring. A week after returning home, Lady Alexai honored her agreement and has joined William at his home with her retainers.