[Session 90, cont'd]
The Patriarch makes a formal statement: "I declare you Blessed of Light, and Supreme Commander of the Forces of Glor'diadel on Drucien south of the barrier mountains." The latter is almost entirely ceremonial, but it may carry weight and shows the support of the Patriarch for the Archduke.
Afterwards, as they talk in private, the Patriarch says, "We face 4 challenges: One is on Drucien, where we have been greatly weakened by the Order of the Ram; one in the Eastern Reaches of Khamista; one in Zest'Qua, where the Shadow always waits; and one in the walls of this Court.
"The bureaucracy has become very set in its way. And, though this cannot extend beyond these walls, I believe three assassinations have taken place within these walls since I took power--all of people who were trying to move the bureaucracy forward to a usable state. The Chancellor of the Basilica of Light is also the Minister of Security and is investigating. One of the ones we believe was assassinated was a cardinal; there haven't been assassinations of Cardinals in almost 700 years, since the split of the Council."
They inform the Patriarch of the corruption of the Blue Sun and of its spread through the followers of Sytry.
Alistair suggests that it might be better to include women more fully in the hierarchy.
The Patriarch replies, "In the early days of the Church, there were women cardinals. They were not bishops--but they were canons and cardinal-electors. It could be done."
They bring up Bishop Simmons.
"Their patron is a major noble from the Trade Federation; one of the nobles of the Spice Lands. Tulani? Ulani? Some city like that. He might be .... well, it rhymes with dastard."
The Council also suggest the Duke of Mortrose for King of the Eastern Reaches. The Patriarch agrees to appoint him and deflect as much blame as possible to the Council.
The Deathlord Umaroth Moriquendarim is the official representative of the First Lord of Death. He cannot attend himself, because he would cause people to start dying. He will be represented instead by Duagloth, a drow of a cadet branch.
They then travel to the Ecumenical Council with the Patriarch and the Cardinal, while the rest of the group breaks off.
Alistair informs the Council of Arthranax and the One Other, and of the destruction of Berta. (He leave out the Blue Sun.)
The Legate of Paranswarm confirms that the usurper of Hanal is an imposter.
"Umaroth confirms that Morgroth and his enemy threw back the Pariah deities after they consumed six worlds, and that the Council should heed us. Still, we must act." The drow then collapses.
The rainbow clad women shakes her head sadly. "It's true, true, true. They have broken through, they are reduced. I can see him, and much as my mistress might wish, I cannot change him into a bunny rabbit."
The Elven priestess nods thoughtfully, and a cooler, gentler mental voice speaks to Kit. <<Tell your beloved that the Creator shall hear his words, for we have been much troubled by a sense of wrongness in the fabric of reality. We shall speak of Arthranax to him, and the Knights of the Elven Steading will do all that they can.>>
Alistair also tells them about the corruption of the City of Life; of corruption within the the Temple of Sytry; and of the need to recover the Throne-Globe in order to close the gates of the Pariah deities.
Alistair proposes organizing a military push, along with a small team to actually recover the Throne-Globe.
The Star Priestess says that they will send a psion and a man of war to bombard the enemy's position.
The drow becomes a puppet again, and promises a necromancer and a man of war captained by one of House Aufaulgautharim to bombard.
Whimsey offers to send an illusionist (and to turn some of the enemy into bunny rabbits, and maybe mice or octopi)
Gunnora offers some midwives, or maybe a cook? And then decides to send supplies and sit out the special mission.
Paranswarm offers a warrior.
Glor'diadel offers a priest.
Dain agrees to send a representative as well, as well as some ground troops. [People who count carefully may notice that this is exactly a 6 person group. People who played in RPGA tournament adventures back in the day may understand why specially formed groups of non-PCs for side quests on Aphonion seem to so often be exactly six people... This adventure has not yet been played, but will presumably show up at a convention or three at some point.]
They tell the drow privately about the Blue Sun. Lord Morgrath and his saints and demigods are very concerned about anything that might disturb the balance. It is because of the Pariah deities that the temple of Morgrath participates in the Ecumenical Council in the first place.
They also talk to the priestess of Gunnora.
They then talk to the Star Priestess, and tell her about the Blue Star as well.
The Archducal Council then travels to the Basilica of Fate. It's a modest size for a basilica. A very tall, thin priest greets us at the door. "Are you here to adore the Hair?"
They discuss whether people try to steal the Hair of Fate (Hairs of Fate have major magical uses), but they're told that it is fated to remain here until the end of time or until the basilica collapses upon it.
They watch at the service, while the hair is processed, and then a sunbeam reflected upon it.
Dame Brionna has a vision of a beautiful woman in a glade. "Protect your sister's womb." The rest is caught up in magical static.
She then leaps in front of Kit.
The Council asks the priestess of Gunnora to attend on us. She examines Kit, and confirms that Kit is pregnant, with a healthy boy. The priestess of Gunnora also agrees to provide several scrolls of a spell to detect any harmful herbs or other matters that could harm the baby.
The Council plans on asking the Patriarch to bless Kit and Kit's child.
[End session 90]