RPM:21 Art Emergency
Starring: 🏹 Ehsan, 🐺 Ildefons, 🐘 One-Tusk, Renard
Guest Starring: Yasser Ajam, Sima Patil, Nabila Mahakala, Ridwana Al-Amin, Fa'iq Qarot
Challenge: Relations with Kirkush; Assassination attempt on Qamar Mahakala; Chasing Fa'iq down
Location: Mahakala (City), Wurud Palace, Crystal Rose Garden,
Date Played: 24 Jan 2018
Splitting the Party
🐘 One-Tusk talks trade with Ridwana Al-Amin
🐘 One-Tusk: I didn't expect success, and I wasn't disappointed. While we're here in Mahakala, there's opportunity to open trade, and it would be mutually beneficial. The Revolution has the resources to unleash the power and creativity of the citizens of Mahakala… which is exactly the opposite of what the ruling powers want.
They're reactionary, hidebound, and Ridwana strikes me as the kind of person who I'd feel bad sending to the guillotine… but I'd send him nonetheless. Our conversation is pleasant, but unproductive- wasting the wealth and strength of their citizens on scut labor is the foundation of the social order, and they're not eager to change it.
While I was waiting, I discovered he had a book written in Untari. That's… interesting. I've… "borrowed" it. To share with the Pride. This is something I haven't yet done, as other problems cropped up.
Renard wins soldiers over with his pistol
🐺 Ildefons talks medicine with Sima Patel
🐺 Ildefons: After changing into local garb, I made arrangements to meet with Sima Patel, the king's personal doctor. I took the voyage out of the city core to the outlaying lands, where I encountered him at a horse training farm, the Windswept Stables. (Ehsan later told me that, even here in Kirkush, they are not terribly common, and are quite valuable -- this man is rather wealthy.) Having been to Kirkush before, I remember their tradition of greeting one another with small gifts, often with the intention of making the other smile. I tease out one of Berta's loosening feathers and fluffed it for him. On being taken to him by his servant, I greeted him and place the feather nearby where he could collect it on his own. He enjoyed it, and I took him outside to meet Berta and gave him a short demonstration of her strength.
We talked trade for a while and he took me about his greenhouse, and discussed how sharing of medical knowledge could be mutually beneficial (though he was certainly more of the "learn" than the "teach" stance). During this talk, he told me that the king has bloodboils. I told him of the progress of Arkstone's doctors in successfully curing it more and more frequently, and sighed that, if we had known sooner, perhaps their king could have been saved. Sima got uncomfortable during this line of inquiry, as well as when I asked him (feigning ignorance) about his rather large stash of Gentle Nightroot, a toxic plant prepared to cause someone a painless, but somewhat prolonged, death. Some in an apothecary's garden is not unusual, but he had too much not to make me question his methods; it is quite suspicious. On my way out, I released my senses, as I have been learning to do, and took a census of his holdings to commit to memory, and to confirm my suspicions. There are a lot of poisons here; more than a typical apothecary should need.
I staggered out, barely able to hold myself together. While my senses were open, I was caught up in a mighty presence, something I should not have seen. I saw a large beast with an infinite eye, with some individuals (many? one? I couldn't tell) speaking to it, speaking of some conspiracy. The beast sensed me and cut me out, returning me to my senses [sic]. I returned to the palace with as much haste as I could.
On return (in the middle of all the other goings-on recorded), I called for a meeting with the artist sister of Ehsan that we had met earlier. She came, and I quickly explained my vision to her (after much surprise that one from Arkstone had such a vision), and asked her to illustrate it. I poured out to her as many details as I could. Before we could get to see the result, we were leaving to follow Ehsan's once betrothed.
🏹 Ehsan uncovers an assassination attempt
🏹 Ehsan: An assassination attempt on my sister?! What in the world is going on in this palace! I leave and my father falls deathly ill, there's a succession crisis, assassination attempt(s!), and not my pitiful fiance is back and evidently a traitor to the crown!
Fa'iq! I never held any kind feelings for that sad excuse for a man, but now I at least have every reason on this planet to hate him and wish his death. The scum invaded my sister's quarters and I caught them tangled on the bed, dagger in hand and ready to kill Qamar. I came in just in time to stop the fool, but the dagger was poisoned and the cut was deep enough to cause it to course through her veins. After chasing Fa'iq out of the room (unfortunately loosing him) I grab my sister and carry her to my father's wing. The healers are shocked at her state but assure me they will be able to stabilize her. I send for a few more guards to stand outside while I go to find a Captain to inform of the situation.
Chasing Fa'iq Down
🐘 One-Tusk: After the attempt on Ehsan's sister, Ehsan is incandescent with rage. Catching the culprits is well and good, but she hounds down the obvious trail, and it's a trail I fear will eventually come to a dead end, if not a trap. As is the trend in Mahakala, no one listens to me, so we go haring off. Eventually, we find Fa'iq at a way station in the hinterlands of Mahakala.
🏹 Ehsan: I care not if the person on that horse was simply a diversion, whoever is on that horse will give me the information I need and I will kill them myself. It may not be that traitorous bastard Fa'iq, but at the very least whoever is serving as the distraction will have information and I intend to get it.
The little shit drives us out into the desert but we manage to track and corner him in a small village where he's trying to get a fresh horse. Luckily the man is in fact Fa'iq. By the time I get to him I've already punched him full of arrows and I'm only able to get a bit of information out of him. He sites the Dragon King as the one behind all this...likely lies to distract me....but if my father has a hand in this, why would he want my sister, one of his own daughters, dead? There must be more to this and I will have to look into it more once we get back into the city.
🐺 Ildefons: Tracking, even on horseback (a very odd experience), here is trivial; much easier than elsewhere. Much of Kirkush is lacking in diversity, with mostly a single species of each role in a biome and an agricultural monoculture; so anything out of place is easy to notice (and, with my extended senses to call upon, it's even easier to sift through that information rapidly. Some of the commoners are bullied along the way by our group to giving us "foreigners" (despite Ehsan's being deferred to as lead). We catch up to -- and get ahead of - -Faillique, and set him in ambush. Ehsan takes care of him quickly (too quickly) and only gets scant information from him.
As we return to the city, we stumble upon a troubling fact: there appears to be an army approaching Mahakala.