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 Online Recap 25.09.2018

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Slynt
GM of Awesomeness
Slynt

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PostSubject: Online Recap 25.09.2018   Thu 04 Oct 2018, 21:51

Tylendel is in his small chamber in the temple of Tamolyn, putting on the fine clothes he made out of the monk robes in the vault of the House of Martial Holies. He’s been meditating, legs crossed atop the bed, but it is time to pay a visit to Highwind Keep, where Duke Esmond awaits. Isolated from the sounds around the temple hill, he only hears the occasional footsteps of those walking inside the temple. Knowing they have water stored in the infirmary, he wanders there to go get himself the water he needs to refresh and wash himself. In the infirmary he sees Wilmar Wick, back to the wall, sitting on a drawer. The Holy Harvester captain, Ghoston of Rhuva, looks up with starting blue eyes as Tylendel enters. He is seated by the bed of the man Eämhyn had spoken about: There’s a Moonguard cloak draped over one of the bedposts; the man himself is asleep.
“Good evening, my lord,” Ghoston says as he rises from a bed, “How may I be of assistance?”
“I’m just looking for some water,” Tylendel says, and the Holy Harvester helps him to the water he’s looking for.
Tylendel returns to his chamber, shaves himself with Howler and washes the sweat and grime of himself. Shriek is used as a mirror; in the blade’s reflection, Tylendel notices three fingershaped marks across his face where his flesh is slightly whiter (where the spirit in the mirror touched him). It’s a strange feeling, after all that’s happened - and is still happening - to be dressing up for a formal dinner among nobles. It will be the first meal where Tylendel hasn’t worn his armor since he visited the port city of Mondas, far south on the western coast of the continent of Thuum.

It’s dark, the dim light of the moon visible in the north, in the gaping hole in the black sky. Outside the temple entrance, Tylendel meets a knight, Syr Thomark Dvorel, a horse-faced man with a missing ear.
“I am the knight of Sundered Gate. I am aware you once passed through my little holding on your way into the Valley of the Wolf.”
Tylendel remembers the place, a small village in the hills between Ivory Barrow Landing and the Manor of the Oak Knights, east of the valley. They speak of better times. Dvorel explains that he is the captain of the Seventh Company.

Approaching Highwind Keep he enters through a gate flanked by two slim towers and enters the keep’s courtyard. The yard is occupied by six large wagons, loaded with things the Duke Esmond brought north from Halinhaven. Three Sollani guardsmen flank the main entrance of the keep itself, but Tylendel also sees guards from the duke’s bannermen - two Baléres, five Iker archers on the walls surrounding the yard, three Brysks and six men in tabards he hasn’t seen before (later he learns these are men of two Sollani barons and one Blackstorm baron). One of the Sollani guards presents himself as Captain Ollyp.
“Greetings, my lord. We’ve heard much about you. I’m afraid they started without you, but my lord informed me that you are welcome no matter what time you choose. It will be my honor to escort you to the dining hall, if I may.”
Ollyp leads Tylendel into a grand vestibule dominated by a marble staircase, its steps carved with gilded lines that, from a distance, make up a woman’s face in a cloud, blowing wind into the sails of a ship crossing a sea below her. At the top of the stairs two more guards flank the door of the dining hall. A red carpet stitched with gilt, smelling of mould - the Imperial colors - cover the gallery surrounding the staircase. On their way up, Ossyp calls Tylendel a hero and that the people of Barosía - those still alive, at any rate - owe him ‘an endless litany of thanks’.
“Inform lord Dúsan that messire Tylendel Greyoak has arrived to partake in tonight’s banquet.”
Tylendel hears many voices from beyond the door, surprised the dinner isn’t as quiet as he expected. He knows the Sollani household has a herald with that name. After a few moments, that herald does indeed appear before him. He can’t be much older than Tylendel, has a short dark brown beard, wears a herald’s hat and pompous clothes in the Sollani colors. He looks down at Tylendel and smiles broadly. There’s something familiar about the man’s face.
“A fine evening to you, lord Greyoak,” the man says with a booming voice. “I am Dúsan Balére, herald of the House Sollani.”
“I’m pleased to meet you.”
“The pleasure is all mine, m’lord. The noise of roiling stomachs became too much to bear, and the Duke hopes you can forgive him.” The dinner has begun, and the Duke ran late himself after having visited the harbor district.
Dúsan leads Tylendel into the dining hall.
What a peacock, Tylendel thinks.

The dining hall is filled with people seated at three large tables. Young people are gathered at a table to his left along with one elderly man in their midst. He recognizes some of the faces from the night before, at the Feast of Saint Udolf. To his right, the table seems to be occupied by knights. He recognizes Syr Vilhem Rossyk, one of the men who escorted Tylendel to Bronzestar Tower, and Syr Linas Balére, the huge fourth Balére brother. Tylendel also recognizes Yosha Artamon, the Mirovní, the man who was sent south to Halinhaven to bring the artifacts back to Bormost, seated at one end with his two companions. A pillar in the center of the chamber leads up to domed roofs. At the main table, on a raised wooden dais, sits the Duke himself with his vassals - Count Andraw Iker of Kesh, Count Ruben Brysk, and the barons. On either side of him sit his children, Dorotei, who winks at Tylendel, and Esmond II, looking weak, maybe feverish. Along the western wall Tylendel sees twenty niches in the wall, each occupied by a statue of a saint lit by a candle. There are two lit fireplaces. A number of servant boys are busy serving food and drinks and keeping the fires alive.

Duke Esmond stands. The herald hits the floor with a stick for silence.
“My Duke of House Sollani, may I present to you lord Tylendel Greyoak…your guest.”
The duke steps into a pair of pantaloons by his chair and shuffles down the wooden steps toward Tylendel.
““My lord Greyoak, it’s a pleasure to see you. Please, we have a seat reserved for you. I apologize for starting without you, but stomachs were rumbling all over Highwind Keep. It must be said,” he adds, looking over the crowd, “That it was I who neglected to be specific, as I did not know how long I would be down at the docks. But here you are, and here we are, and we can continue. Please, come, sit with me.”
“Thank you, my duke Sollani.”
A chair is reserved for Tylendel at the Duke’s side at one end of the table. Before sitting down, Tylendel greets the duke’s son.
Shaking his hand, Tylendel says, “It’s good to see you up again.”
“Thank you, my lord Greyoak. It’s good to see you. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a talk.”
“So it has, so it has.”
Dúsan pulls out the chair for Tylendel and he sits down.
“Aren’t you going to say hello to the sister?”
Tylendel looks to his right, where Dorotei sits with a sly grin on her face.
“Of course, but it is longer that I’ve seen your brother than you, my lady,” Tylendel says, perhaps a little awkwardly.
“Now, now, my daughter, you don’t have to harry him,” the duke says.
Tylendel looks to see if anyone else is carrying weapons, but is distracted by the many people and voices around him.

A boy, around eight years of age, clings to herald Dúsan as he addresses the crowd.
“We have started the first course, I hope you will enjoy this meal.”
A servant brings a deep bowl of cooked mussels and crayfish drenched in butter, and the smell of garlic fills Tylendel’s nostrils. Most of the others have already finished their first course, but they are waiting politely for the latest arrival to enjoy the bounty of the Green Sea. Still, there are those who are still eating, and he can hear the clinking of spoons and forks - and everyone seems to eat with manners. Duke Esmond introduces the people at their table while Tylendel eats.
And so Tylendel formally greets the nobles of Kesh, Count Andraw and his wife Countess Silvja, whose lands lie ‘southeast across the bay’; Baron Flemmyn Saltcliffe, ruler of some of the Drowned Knight’s Islands and a vassal of Count Ruben Brysk. The man at the end of the table is Baron Rostek Polry. He is not actually my vassal. We met him on the road, he fled from the east. He served the Blackstorm, so technically, he is yours.” Tylendel does not recognize Polry. “You’ve already met my herald of course. At his side is his son Teódor. The Osprey is coming, that chair is reserved for him, next to Baron Gleb of the House Rossyk. Gleb and Flemmyn are not very fond of each other,” the duke says, smiling. “That’s islanders to you.”
“The noble lady and mother of the Count of House Brysk is Lady Salyma, seated with her son, the count. His father died too young, alas. And so, Ruben became a count far too young, alas.” The count doesn’t hear this; he’s busy talking with Dorotei. The Ikers seem a little somber by nature.
A servant asks what Tylendel wants to drink and he orders white wine, which he is served in elegant, long crystal glasses.

“A fine gathering, a fine gathering!” Dúsan calls. “One could almost dream away the woes of these lands and its unfortunate people!”
Servants began emptying the tables after the first course and preparing for the second.
A little while later, Dúsan calls again. “My lords, my ladies, good knights of the provinces, heirs, and siblings. I would like to propose a toast for the health of the young Esmond the Second. On this very day our young friend, heir to the seat of Halinhaven, once upon a time, celebrates his thirtieth name-day. Hence, the Duke’s insistence that we should dine well and long and better than we have done in a long time. We’ll cherish this night, my friends. Raise your glasses to Esmond the Second of Halinhaven.”
Flemmyn Saltcliffe quickly refills his goblet, and everyone toasts to the young lord, whose face reddens. “Cheers,” people shout. Tylendel had thought that Esmond was younger than himself.
The duke claps his son on the shoulder and whispers, “Surprise.”
“You didn’t have to do this, father.”
People congratulate the young lord who is clearly uncomfortable with the attention. The room is bright with candles and fires and torches.
“We are ready for the main course of the day,” the herald announces. “We will dine on deliciously prepared and seasoned bream, served with cabbage in tasty spices.”
A plate with a yellow-brown fish surrounded by artfully arranged cabbages (looking like roses) is presented, the smell delicious. The herald tells everyone to enjoy the next course, and people begin to eat again. Tylendel knows that Barosíans specifically are well mannered when it comes to eating; cutlery is not wide-spread, and many Barosían nobles used to take pride in their superior manners at the table, an etiquette possibly inherited from the Salt Coast across the Green Sea.

Tylendel’s sword, Red Dancer, stands scabbarded at his chair. Halfway through the main course a guardsman opens the door, and the herald goes to speak to the man. Yosha Artamon stretches his mighty arms and takes a walk around the chamber, looking bored. Tylendel notices this man is weaponless and armorless like most people in the room. Still, he seems a powerful fellow, obviously of the same stock as Black Jaquan, follower of Syr Dostan Anpetór. The herald returns, with the Osprey in tow, Syr Castor Harlow. He is well-dressed in gray, with wide boots. He looks around. His nose looks broken, otherwise Syr Castor makes a dashing figure as he bows deep before Duke Esmond and then Tylendel.
“I would apologize for coming late, but I won’t, because I was performing my lord’s duties,” Syr Castor says.
“You are quite right, welcome to the table,” Duke Esmond replies. “I hope you can forgive me for getting on with the second course, but there will be more food for you in the kitchen afterward.”
“No worries.”
Tylendel has heard of this man; Syr Castor, known as the Osprey, occupying a fortress somewhere along the coast, renowned for his chivalry. Syr Castor begins to eat, seemingly hungry. The small talk continues around the tables.
Duke Esmond tells Tylendel that there is a great hall below the dining hall, filled with desks - there was a school of theology there. Tylendel thinks of Maron who was sent here, years ago. He is also reminded that Florentyn Cavell had been an acolyte here, and that he most likely wouldn’t have told anyone else in the Company of Hope’s Beacon. He overhears the younger guests on the table below are discussing ghosts, and whether they exist. A boy insists he has seen ghosts many times, even here on the Holy Hill, for which he is teased. Then, an older man’s voice tells them to quiet down and “let the boy believe what he wants” - this is the priest belonging to the Iker household; Tylendel understands why he’s placed there; to keep the young ones calm. At the knights’ table it is quieter, with the three Mirovní talking among themselves. Tylendel has noticed that Syr Linas Balére continually looks over his shoulder, glancing at Dorotei Sollani - until he notices Tylendel seeing it, at which point he turns away quickly.
Tylendel is offered another glass of wine, but he decides that he won’t get as drunk as he did last night. The wine is a little sour, but still very good. Count Andraw bends forward and says,
“So, lord Greyoak. We all have heard so much about you and our liege here has nothing but good things to say about you. We have learned that you indeed guarded the province for a little while after the war began to unravel and the ashes began to fall. Tell us, what was it like? Were you in Camrey Castle?”
Tylendel explains how he managed to end up the Steward of the Province and how he planned the march north to the Morninglands. Duke Esmond adds his own memories to the tale. After a while, other stories begin to emerge from some of the other guests. Tylendel learns that Count Ruben Brysk lost his father the winter Tylendel was holed up in the library of the Hall of the Watchers, and that the Brysks and the Sollanis share a similar - but opposite - tale of love between people of different ranks. He also learns the names of Count Ruben’s three sisters, and notices that one of them - Sara - is being rather rude toward the elder priest at her side, shoving him off, barking at him.
“It’s time for something I’ve been waiting for all day,” Duke Esmond says - and Dúsan rises, hits the floor with his improvised herald’s staff, telling the crowd he’s absolutely delighted that “your tongues will taste the sweetest dessert. By the fortunes of Baron Flemmyn Saltcliffe, who discovered a beached coastlander ship, you’ll be treated to sugared plums and honeyed almonds.” He then asks the old priest, Skender, to say a prayer. Rising, crooked back, resting on a cane, Skender nods and clears his throat.

“No doubt I’m not the only one feeling privileged to be a part of this feast. How many years have we suffered? Long winters, poor harvests. Famine and war. Darkness and death. But this evening, we take part in hope. A glimpse of the Lost God Found’s will is shown here, my lords and my ladies. And he wants us to enjoy this evening, for not even He can say what tomorrow will bring. Make merry, my friends, and let the shadows wait outside.”
Skender adds a short prayer. “We thank you, Lord, for your providence. We beseech you Lord, to have mercy on us. Guide the light to us, so that we may again prosper as we await your return. And find it in your heart, to bring your generosity into the heart of the Duke, so that whatever food we leave can be distributed among those outside.” Then he shuffles back to his chair, while Sara Brysk squints at him.
The dessert is served, as if it was 1336 and nothing was wrong with the world. It is the sweetest taste Tylendel can remember having tasted. Almost everyone seems to enjoy it, relish it.
“About the docks, my lord,” Duke Esmond says. “I’ve inspected the harbor and I found out that much of the Bhoris warehouses and their wharf will be useful. I will need the quartermaster tao produce a significant amount of iron nails, rivets, fasteners…To build a fast ship that could reach the Western Straits in a decent amount of time is an almost impossible proposition, my lord.”
“But still, we must try,” Tylendel says.
“But, depending on how intact the wharfs are, and what materials we can use and what we can salvage, I’d say do not give up hope yet. Rushing production would be asking for trouble with the saints of the sea.”

“There is a galley that we may be able to raise and repair, which would make for a much faster process, if the rivets and nails aren’t rusted through, that is. And most of the hull would have to be replaced, I reckon. It’s one of the trader galleys that used to cross the Green Sea. With good wind every day, it could take a month, but two months if Saint Vasag isn’t with us.”

“I’ve built cogs in a month. As the Lost God Found would have it, Baron Flemmyn and Gleb are both skilled ship carpenters.”

“Of course, I think if we can make that ship seaworthy, maybe we can do it just in time before the enemy arrives before the gates and send it off with refugees, a bare crew, and a message. But we would be besieged or embattled long before that message arrives.”

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Slynt
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Slynt

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PostSubject: Re: Online Recap 25.09.2018   Mon 08 Oct 2018, 09:38

Duke Esmond continues to explain, as the shipwright he is, the materials he needs for the anchor, how they are going to repair any damage to the hull of the sunken vessel and so on. Tylendel listens intently, having no knowledge of this craft. It is clear that the Duke is passionate about ship-building as he explains, while the servants begin cleaning the table again. Tylendel suddenly feels the tip of a toe brushing against his leg. He pulls his legs back, then squints at Dorotei from the corner of his eyes, seeing her grin at him mischievously.

“You know why Halinhaven is such a good port?” Count Andraw Iker suddenly asks. “It’s because of the shelter given to it by the Scarred Headlands and the lowlands to the west. But I guess you didn’t know Halinhaven is quite known for its pottery.”
“Is that so?”
“You can see some of it even in this castle. It has to do with the fine clay.”
“Is it from there I’ve heard about blue clay?”
“Yes, indeed,” the Count replies.

Tylendel suddenly realizes that one of the knights in the hall is Syr Gindry, the man who escorted Tylendel to the tourney at Ylon’s Glen where Tylendel ended up fighting Aron Imlia. Tylendel learns that the herald, Dúsan, is a cousin of Syr Linas Balére. He sees a servant enter with a large, gaunt dog. It is fed, then it lies down by one of the fireplaces. The dog is named Ransom. Esmond II explains that it had belonged to a Glenmyr knight. House Glenmyr refused to pay ransom for the dog, and so the Sollanis kept it and named it as such. The man whose nameday is celebrated clearly loves the animal.

Dúsan rises and thanks, on behalf of all the guests, the Duke for the dinner. He then explains that it is time to move tables and chairs to the side so the guests can mingle, while the servants will continue to serve drinks. They are also looking for their currently “missing singer”. Baron Gleb Rossyk stumbles off to find a privy, stomach rumbling.
“If you send one of your boys to Nemeth Hold and ask for Florentyn Cavell…he’s a very good minstrel,” Tylendel tells Duke Esmond.
“Florentyn Cavell? All right, I’ll take your word for it. Our minstrel is a little… touched by all that’s been going on, and very old.”
“Florentyn is temple-trained and a man of the Moonguard, so he knows how to keep his calm,” Tylendel adds.
The duke tells Dúsan to arrange for Cavell to appear at the feast.

The three Brysk sisters leave the table and go to stand by the hearth near their table; servants keep the fires alive at their side as they begin to whisper and laugh. Tylendel turns to see if there’s life in the other hearth, and then he notices, in the pile of wood and scraps to be burned, a stack of books.
“By the saints, if you’ll excuse me, my lord,” Tylendel mutters and rushes over before the books are thrown in the fire.

Checking the titles, he tells the servant at his side not to burn books. He finds “Of Common Plants, Volume IV: Borovnia & Darovna”, by Ganak of Orgint, “Reading Common Signs and Omens”, by Nirosh of Rhindría, “The Life of Syr Pelvurias”, “Preparing for Birth”, “On the Nature of Imperial Dialects Volume II”, “The Prophecy of the Rivers Red Illuminated”, “Poetry: A Collection”, “On the Deathly Beasts of the Hammermoon Mountains”, “Potions Against the Sweating Sickness”, “Tears of the Maimed Lady: A Treatise on Saint Aysonah”, and “Hymns to the Lady of Summer”, by Father Aron Munt.
Tylendel picks the books on the prophecy and the book with the hymns. Telling the servant to take the remaining books away and put them somewhere safe.
Tylendel walks back, the eyes of Yosha Artamon on him. The brute Mirovni is drinking from a large tankard of ale.

“I’m sorry,” Tylendel tells Duke Esmond when he sits down again, “But I hate it when people burn books.”
The Duke is aghast, and tells his herald to inform all the servants that books are not to be burned, no matter how cold it gets. Tylendel tells the duke he kept two of the books, hoping he doesn’t mind.
Tylendel wonders whether the Lady of Summer was inside Ristina Goldhill’s body. Baron Gleb returns, sounding satisfied with his trip to the privy.

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Online Recap 25.09.2018
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