Blood of the Senate

The Opera

A week after having returned from their voyage, the party attends an Opera about The Wife. During an oratorio performed by The Husband, he is assassinated by a black-clad figure hired in the play by the step-son. The scene is set to end with The Husband’s death, the lights fading to black to end the scene. When the lights come back up, The Husband is still there. He’s been assassinated for real.

These facts were determined about the scenario
-The actress portraying the Wife is only pretending to be shocked at the death
-No signs of violence are present on the body
-Foam has formed on the corpse’s mouth
-This Opera had been advertised as the murdered actor’s final performance
-He is one of Praetor Valar’s close friends
-Amid great controversy the actor had decided to retire
-He did not want to do this performance and only agreed to it on the stipulation that it would be his last one
-The man who played the assassin had nothing to do with the actor’s demise
-He was killed because Sepheir Q’n thought it would be the greatest tribute to the actor’s career
-The actor was born Veth and managed to catch a Ven’s attention due to his talents as an actor and was Blooded because of this
-Sepheir wrote the Opera with the intention of it being this actor’s final, fatal performance
-He had a blood contract with the actor in regards to the on-stage death
-Tammel’s gauntlet is locked onto his arm

During the intermission, a woman’s scream is heard. The actress playing The Wife has been brutally murdered.
-Did not happen back stage
-Duke Alexandros Tammel, Blooded of the Fox and Zyll U’Saer are alone in a balcony together
-The actress was stabbed in her lower abdomen
-Audience members are wearing masks as if at a masquerade
-The Wife is not in costume and is wearing a mask
-The murder weapon is lying next to her
-Her murder had nothing to do with the previous one
-She was killed in the balcony next to wear Eschyr Ballan is seated
-The murder weapon is another of [[:the blacksmith|The Blacksmith’s]] daggers
-Vaderic’s husband was contracted by Zyll U’Saer to kidnap The Wife’s understudy for some purpose unknown to Zyll U’Saer
-The actress was murdered because she saw the understudy being kidnapped
-Tammel’s wife is a sorceress who knows a ritual to reattach limbs

The following was determined about Vaderic’s cult
-It is fairly new
-The members largely do not know one another’s identities
-There is a senior council with selective membership
-Less than ten people reside in the city with knowledge of the cult’s members
-Cassian Sheeda is one of those people
-The list he has is inaccurate
-Vaderic knows the list
-He got the ball rolling on the kidnapping because the understudy was penning play to expose his cult
-Sepheir Q’n is the work’s actual author
-His name is on the list
-He is Cass’s inside man
-The understudy is to be a blood sacrifice
-The cult has splintered, unbeknownst to Vaderic
-Sepheir is leading the splinter group

More goings-on involving the Opera House after Zyll U’Saer steals Tammel’s silver gauntlet.
-Tammel shows back up after the theft covered in blood
-He starts shouting “Where is he?!” and brandishing his sword at whomever gets in his way
-He is ultimately killed
-By Dalin’ar Adrente
-Tammel rises again later that night
-His wife is missing
-Most of Tammel’s personal guard is dead

A committee is formed regarding recent developments consisting of most of the characters. Vaderic’s husband has surfaced in Eschyr’s lands. The group heads off to stop the ritual before it can go off. They come across a grisly scene. All of the cultists are dead. The understudy sits on the altar, holding her knees to her chest and rocking back and forth, covered in blood. The following was determined with wagers to further define the scene.
-Vaderic’s husband is not among the dead
-Understudy keeps repeating “he said he did it for Vaderic”
-The building is hidden in caverns beneath the Mountains
-There is a pool of blood in the middle of the atrium with a drain
-The drains lead to ancient catacombs that no one knew existed
-In the catacombs sleeps Sora, the Suaven the cult venerates
-Tunnels lead out into the Winter Veil
-On an altar sits a leather-bound tome entitled “Sora: Lord of Nightmares”
-In the tome is a passage that leads Cassian Sheeda to suspect that the ritual is the first step to awakening Sora
-One set of Ven footprints and several sets of Ork footprints lead into ork lands
-Sora’s sleeping form is gone
-None of the dead have faces
-Their faces are simply blank, not cut off
-The nightmare-inducing chest is in the room
-It has been opened, its contents removed
-Unbeknownst to EVERYONE save for the person who performed the ritual, it was to prepare its target (the understudy) to be the vessel of Sora
-The chest appears to have once contained an eye
-Dalin’ar’s wife is among the dead
-She has been replaced with a spectre who mimics her form
-Yet another of the Blacksmith’s ritual knives is here
-There are six other bodies
-Each of the dead have been replaced with spectres

Vaderic’s husband shows up on the scene with four other people in tow. Two of them are the strangely tattooed men from the previous session. One of them is Basilious’s wayward grandmother.

The following information is what {{:cassian-sheeda]] gleaned from the tome he recovered.
-The ritual to make someone a vessel for Sora is not mentioned
-If the girl is killed Sora immediately awakens filled with rage
-The text indicates that it is possible to “cleanse” Sora of his darkness

Also determined about current events in general
-The The Black Widow is working against the cult

Vaderic calls a meeting of his senior council to see if any of them have word on where his husband has vanished to.
-Praetor Marcus Valar, Blooded of the Serpent knows
-Refuses to talk
-At least not without some sort of compensation
-Valar tells Sepheir Q’n

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Hunting Pirates

This session started off with a meeting of the Senate. Each of the characters was present with the exception of Sepheir Q’n. The following was established about the meeting with wagers made by the characters.

Senate Meeting
-A full contingent of Duke Alexandros Tammel’s personal guard is present
-The Consol is missing his ceremonial scepter
-Tammel’s wife is seated close to Eschyr
-Eschyr has not noticed that she is carrying a poisoned dagger
-Uther (Kevin Parrot’s character) has the scepter
-Duke Alexandros Tammel, Blooded of the Fox gave it to him
-Dalin’ar’s sister accompanied him to this meeting
-Dalin’ar has noticed the dagger
-Tammel has chosen to groom Uther as his successor

As the meeting proceeded, Zyll U’Saer stepped forward to state that his lands had been Troubled by raiders. Cassian Sheeda put forth the motion that a party be put together to deal with the threat. This force consisted of the PCs and Praetor Marcus Valar, Blooded of the Serpent. During a break in the Senate meeting, the duchess made her move, attempting to stab Eschyr with her poisoned dagger. She was stopped by Dalin’ar who cut off her hand.

The following was determined about the crime scene.
-The knife is new and prominently bears the blacksmith’s seal
-The hilt is old and has the same unreadable language as a poem that Eschyr owns
-The blacksmith works for Eschyr’s father
-The poison on the blade was actually intended for Duke Alexandros Tammel, Blooded of the Fox
-The knife is a ceremonial blade
-There are two other people who want Duke Tammel dead
-The blacksmith’s mark has a very subtle and hard to spot Spider motif
-The knife was purchased by Baron Rue, Eschyr’s wife’s brother
-Count Valar also wants Duke Alexandros Tammel, Blooded of the Fox dead
-He wanted the Duke dead so that he could marry his wife, Duchess Fallow Vera
-Cassian has been suspicious of the Duke for some time
-And was led to these twists and theories during his investigations
-But he has no concrete proof to tie the duke to anything
-The other person who wanted [[:alexandros-tammel|Tammel] dead was Zyll U’Saer who suspects the duke of murdering his father
-Several swordsman present took note of Dalin’ar’s move
-The knife is made of orichalcum
-The move is being called Dalishana or Dalin’ar’s Beautiful Disarm

The following was also established during play about the party that Palatine Corana Eshu held.
-There was a horse race that resulted in a Ven injury
-There was a second duel
-The party is one of the most talked about and well-received of the season due to all the bloodshed
-Dalin’ar Adrente was in the second duel
-He won the duel despite having drank quite a bit from the wine fountain
-Dalin’ar dueled Cassian’s brother
-The brother was angry about the marriage arrangement between Dalin’ar and Cass
-Duel was to the blood
-Dalin’ar was the challenger on the basis of dishonor
-He gave Cass’s brother an injury that resulted in a scar
-Cass’s brother also tried to duel him but was denied
-His brother discussed entry into the sword academy that Duke Tammel’s wife runs
=He publicly embarrassed himself and was “escorted” away
-Uther was Dalin’ar’s second
-Valar was the second for Sheeda’s brother

The following was determined about the pirates that the Ven had set out to deal with on Zyll’s urging.
-They are not sailing warships
-The “pirates” were hired by Dalin’ar Adrente
-Their goal is to kill Praetor Marcus Valar, Blooded of the Serpent
-Their armaments cannot be traced back to Dalin’ar
-All of the pirates’ provisions are of high quality
-The four boats maneuver at high speed
-There is a powerful sorcerer on board
-The boats were made for boarding, not ramming
-The flags are repurposed livery of Duke Tammel’s
-The sorcerer is from the cult of Sora
-The wind is in the favor of the PCs
-When Valar notices the flag he smiles
-The sorcerer is Vaderic’s “husband”

A Mass Murder ensues which sees the pirates fought off, but not without some of the Ven taking serious injuries. Praetor Valar and Dalin’ar get into an unsanctioned duel. Dalin’ar cut off Valar’s hand but ended up loosing an eye in the duel. Cass made the two Promise not to seek to do harm to one another until Summer. Both agreed. One of the pirates was taken alive and wagers determined the following.

-They were hired through intermediaries in the city port
-They were sent specifically to kill Praetor Marcus Valar, Blooded of the Serpent
-He does not believe his employer is present
-They were being payed with non-Ven currency
-Recognizes Vaderic’s robes
-They set sail with six ships but lost two to pirates
-They were joined by ten very strange, tattooed men
-The ships are carrying all-female pleasure slaves
-Tattooed men claimed to work for an individual they called the “Black Widow”
-Most of the weapons are from a blacksmith in Uther’s district
-The ship that bore the sorcerer also carried a chest that gave the crew nightmares
-The chest was brought by the tattooed men
-That ship got away
-Dalin’ar doesn’t know that these are his pirates

About the tattooed men
-The tattoos are in the same language as the poem and the etching on the dagger
-The tattoos are blessings from the Sorcerer Kings

Other established facts
-Valar also hired pirates and they now have the nightmare-inducing chest
-Dalin’ar hired his pirates in response to Valar’s
-Cass’s sister is madly in love with Uther
-The only thing she loves more than him is justice

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