An epic search for the Amethyst heptagon leads a party of fresh graduates through the northern reaches of Ustalav. Based in Karcau, the party visits places like the dark Castle Jarovich or the dangerous alleys of Carrion Hill.
A light lunch a fine bottle of wine, then rejoin the party at the tourney. At a point later on, Aramais and his Stablehand are seen walking quietly down the road in front of dozens of witnesses near the tourney grounds. They dont say anything of course, but their cocky swagger and demeanour is evident. Victoria smiles at her use of her illusion.
Our scouts report that the creature of the cold - snow goblins, ice trolls, frost ogres, wyverns etc. are driven south by fear of an evil greater evil that has risen in the far north. While goblins are normally no match for well-trained knights and easily scattered, in their panicked condition they could cause losses that will hurt us in the long run.
How will the illusion resolve? Will Aramis just leave the tourney never to be seen again?
"She demands payment...soon...we have to make it look like a blood donation...out of medical reasons." Sasandra is pale and her mind seems to race "I wouldn't do this, but her aid could really prove useful. She has told me about an ice-goblin warband close to Belfurth. If we act now we may be able to stop them, before they can reach the village."
"I am willing to gather up Karcau's chosen and head north. Naturally, I will do whatever you wish, but what should we do about the tournament? There are still a few events left to go. Is it possible to postpone them until a later time?"
No, the tournament has to end the way it was planned, we will just have to speed up a bit, maybe we can do all remaining contests in one day - and end tomorrow. However, you can already gather Karcau's chosen. Meet up with Tanor, St. Just and Dumitru and plan ahead what to do. Until then I will organise the blood donation...I'm so sorry for demanding so much from you, but there will be a time - I promise - when we have time for ourselves.
"No, the tournament has to end the way it was planned, we will just have to speed up a bit, maybe we can do all remaining contests in one day - and end tomorrow. However, you can already gather Karcau's chosen. Meet up with Tanor, St. Just and Dumitru and plan ahead what to do. Until then I will organise the blood donation..."
"Captain Dumitru and I will gather Karcau's Chosen and meet with Tanor and St. Just as soon as possible. We will be ready to leave when you give the word."
Sassandra Livgrace wrote:
"I'm so sorry for demanding so much from you, but there will be a time - I promise - when we have time for ourselves."
Solaric takes the Coutness' hand and gazes into her eyes, warly. "Sassandra, you may ask of me all you wish. I am here for you, and will do it gladly. For indeed, it is my pleasure and great joy to serve. So, please do not trouble yourself. I know there is much responsibility that we must both take care of. However, in the meantime, we must both do what we must to bring about that peaceful kingdom that the Inheritor has promised us! I will be patiently looking forward to that time when we may be together at last."
Solaric gives the Countess a quick embrace and holds her for a moment in his arms.
"We must depart from this place."
Solaric takes the Countess Livgrace by her hand and leads Johenric and Dumitru out f the crypt and back up to the academy square.
"There we are, back out into the light of day. Sadly, we must depart, but may our work bring about the peace that we seek for the people of Karcau! Farewell, Sassandra Livgrace! We will be in touch soon."
"Solaric? Will you accompany me to the judges then?"
"Most certainly, Gregori." Solaric replies. "Let us get on with our next event!"
Turning to Johenric, Solaric adds, "I am not sure when I will see you next, Johenric, but perhaps you could try to meet up with the rest of Karcau's Chosen and let them know what we need to be preparing for. It sounds like a trip north to Belfurth will be in order! We can meet together as a group as soon as I finish the next few events."
Solaric bids Johenric and the Countess farewell and accompanies Dumitru back the the judges and the Juggernaut.
I understand the need for gathering the Karcaus Chosen. Three points you have to do: 1st) if we want to do this we have to agree on time and date. I am not going to waste my time to be the kindergarten teacher. 2nd) I do not see why your tournament game is that important. 3rd) If you two are going to the tournament place anyhow, you have my trust that you find Vicky and her follower anyhow.
Male Human Hellknight 4 Bard 3 HP:71/71; AC:32/27/12
Solaric, are we leaving somewhere? Oooh! Should I go get my things ready? We could leave right after the tournament! Haha! Without waiting for a response, Flofer scampers off to the temple, calling over his shoulder.
I'll meet you at the end of the tournament! Good luck Solaric!
Well, if you have more important things to do, I could try to find them - I just thought that more eyes could solve the problem quicker. And the importance of the tournament might not be clearly visible for a bookworm like you, but for someone not as focused on old tomes and dusty volumes it's as obvious as a beacon.
I think different opinions are part of nature. Following what you have said about bookworms, the logical conclusion is that it is irrelevant if a bonehead attends the tournament or not. I do not see value in such games, they are boring. But other persons - like you - do see value in it. Dumitru, how much time does a horse need to overcome the distance between the academy and the tournament place?
"I understand the need for gathering the Karcaus Chosen. Three points you have to do: 1st) if we want to do this we have to agree on time and date. I am not going to waste my time to be the kindergarten teacher. 2nd) I do not see why your tournament game is that important. 3rd) If you two are going to the tournament place anyhow, you have my trust that you find Vicky and her follower anyhow."
"Johenric, my friend, please do not get upset. I will try to explain things as clearly as possible. First, please know that I am happy to agree upon a time. Let's meet tonight at eight o'clock. You can select the place, and I will naturally agree to it. As for the importance of the tournament, well it is a little complicated. Let's just say that it has to do with marriage to the Countess Livgrace. You see, I love her, and to be allowed to marry her, I must win the tournament. I know this is itself does not sound very important, but it is actually very important when you consider the urgency of uniting Karcau and being able to inspire and motivate the people of Sinaria. Together, the Countess and I will be able to battle the evil, guide the people, and bring peace to this great land. It is my calling and I know that somehow I will win this tournament! I understand from your third point, that you would like me to speak with Victoria and Mr. Stern. That will be fine. I'm sure I will meet up with them sometime after today's events. Please, Johenric, you are a fine wizard and I am most grateful for all that you have given to me and this party. I do not like to see you upset in any way. If there is something that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to let me know!"
Thank you Solaric. When I came back from Castle Jarovich the tournament was for me a tournament. I have participated twice at the tournament and I did not see why my attendance has been required.
And he continues...
To be very honest with you, I wasn't aware that the marriage to the countess will be decided by a tournament. I do not comment this. However as this torunament is obviously one very important event in the Chronicles of Sinaria - respective Ustalav - somebody has to ensure that the facts will be documented in an accurate way to reflext the happening right, allowing furhter generations to understand the past, - and this person will be me.
Johenric takes out sheets of paper and his quill. He can not wait to move on.
Dumitru, I apologize. My intention has never been to offend you; I wanted to make my position clear.
Diplomacy 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17
Prescience 1d20 ⇒ 3 So Johenric takes the 3 which result in 19
I need a chair and desk. Do you know an adequate position for my purpose? Or are you in the position to make such things available, preferrable under a roof?
"...so you see Cairn" Victoria continues whilst topping up bith their glasses of wine as they walk on "There are many great evils we face. I suspect that whilst we killed the Rag Man and my mother now toys with his soul in the Abyss, he was just one of many agents we have dealt with that speak of a greater darkness. Why even Jarovicha himself who was lord of his land seemed somewhat in league with a greater player, well he was, until we executed him and his nephew... yes I still see a dark and spectral figure about from time to time, whispering away at the edges. Even now his dark hand no doubt turns towards scotching Solarics plans of goodness" She almost absentmindedly reads the bottle "Not a bad vintage...oh yes, great evils, much peril a fair amount of blood and guts and we also manage to get a bit of coin out of the whole endeavour from time to time, so it's not all bad. So far we have only lost members to retirement, and all left significantly wealthier than they arrived, why even bitter Pitr managed to find the love of his life and settle down"
"So a thousand gold pieces for an hours work and you didn't even need to stab anybody, how does that sit with you? Reckon you are up for more? It wont always be so clean, but thats the nature of the game of politics"
Assume by now we are 'publicly easy to find in the open, if you need us, we are here'
No offense taken. I'll see if I can organise the things you need...and a roof sounds like a good idea, too.
Together you walk back to the tournament grounds where Dumitru leads Solaric to the judges and waiting knights and organizes a small desk for Johenric underneath the broad roof of a stand selling fried mushrooms.
Solaric arrives at the judges table and presents himself with a deep bow. "I, Solaric Zekkaran, am here to present myself for the competition against the Juggernaut. Could you kindly explain to me the objective and any pertinent rules that I need to be aware of?"
The judge looks up from the list of names and smiles
Sir Zekkaran, now that you have arrived, we only have to wait for Aramis. Meanwhile I can explain you the competition. It's a test of raw strength. The question is how long can you hold a wagon pulled by a yoke of oxen.
"Sir Zekkaran, now that you have arrived, we only have to wait for Aramis. Meanwhile I can explain you the competition. It's a test of raw strength. The question is how long can you hold a wagon pulled by a yoke of oxen."
"I have never claimed to be as strong as an ox, but the Inheritor willing I will do my best!"
Will Solaric simply need to give you a strength check?
"Forgive my suspicion, but with Aramis missing, perhaps it would be prudent to check the ox cart to check if anything is tampered with."
No one is as strong as an ox, but it will matter how long you are able to slow them. Please, come over here to this red line. Ok, can you see the second red line over there? the judge points at another line about fifty feet away. We will take the time the oxen need to cross that line.
Mhm...yeah, we should check the cart again...just in case...oh - and where is Sir Narumek? Is he also missing?
Narumek rides up on his steed, dressed in full plate as always and dismounts quickly. He approaches the judge with long strides.
What is the meaning of this? I was informed of a time change just now, and I nearly missed the event! he says, pointing at the judge accusingly with his taloned gauntlet.
"What is the meaning of this? I was informed of a time change just now, and I nearly missed the event!"
"Greetings, Narumek! It is nice to see you as well. Let us refrain from finger pointing. You are here now and that is all that matters. Join us if you like. We are about to inspect the wagons to ensure that nothing has been tampered with!"
Is your friend Sir Solaric up to it? He didnt seem the muscle bound type but one can't always tell with elves.
"Seems to do well enough when swinging steel to take flesh from bone, not sure he the labouring brute type though. I'll back Solaric with 5 gold too, have to always be there supporting your friends right?"
After Narumek makes his attempt to hold back the Ox cart, Solaric approaches the cart and says a prayer.
"Almighty Inheritor, you have given me strength in the past and once again I ask you to work through me. Give me the strength to do the work that you would have me do and hold back the Ox Cart as long as I may. I ask this that I may bring your glory to this realm in all that I say and do! Let it be so!"
Solaric gives the nod to let the Oxen begin pulling. Solaric, with his muscles straining, pulls on the cart doing everything in his power to hold up the inevitable rolling of the wagon.
"Thank you," Solaric replies. "I am honored to compete among such worthy knights. Now, kindly tell me what remains to be finished with this tournament. I mist insist that we move on with it, that we may free these men from their responsibilities and allow them to prepare for battle to defend our home land. Speaking of preparing for battle, has anyone seen Aramis? It is not like him to not compete. Furthermore, I doubt he would have simply given up. Even if he is only half as strong as he is arrogant, he would have fared very well with the juggernaut!"
"The tournament will decide who will marry the lovely countess...."
** Note: I have to review the exact law respective tradition of the rulers of Sinaria.**
"Ox competition: Solaric and Narumek have been rewarded with the 2nd place. The winner..."