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 Online Recap 11.10.2018

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GM of Awesomeness

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Online Recap 11.10.2018 Empty
PostSubject: Online Recap 11.10.2018   Online Recap 11.10.2018 I_icon_minitimeSun 14 Oct 2018, 18:05

Tylendel is a guest at Highwind Keep, one of the fortifications surrounding the Holy Hill, seated at the side of the Duke of House Sollani. The two are in the middle of a conversation on the arcane and mysterious. Tylendel explains,
“When the gods came to Eras…they did not come alone. Others came with them, and these others had very powerful spirits. So powerful, that when their bodies died, they were able to take another. They killed the spirit of that body and stole it.”
“Some of them are almost godlike. Braek, the Lady of Winter, was one of these spirits. As she lived in Eras, she possessed other bodies. She would use a body until her purpose was done or the body failed, and then she would move on to another. Lady Gena Malgosia, my friend Hazel Whisper, Duchess Orsebeth Horvath….they were all killed by Braek. She is entombed beneath the Holy Hill now, in a prison from which there is no escape.”
“But I believe other spirits came as well, and not all of these are as malevolent as Braek was. These spirits don’t seek to control, but they help us mortals. They find people of great strength and guide them…and the mortals thus guided, we call saints.
Of course, not all saints are guided by these spirit beings - some have strong spirits themselves - but the reason I mention this is because of the Lady of Summer. I believe she is the spirit that guided Lady Ristina Goldhill, the Saint of the Mines. I don’t know who Lady Ristina was before these dark times, but from what I’ve been told she was a kind person. When the need was great she stepped forward to help others, and that may have been when the Lady of Summer found her. That spirit gave Lady Ristina strength to carry on caring for those that needed her, to give them hope in these dark times, long after an ordinary person would have succumbed.”
“But the toll on her body became too great to bear. Lady Ristina passed away last night, and just a few hours ago she was buried. But her spirit will live on, along with the spirit that guided her, here in the Everspring Gardens. What more fitting place for the Lady of Summer to rest?”

“It is an astonishing tale you tell,” Duke Esmond replies. “Not that I’m not expecting that from you…and at your side I have seen things I would have laughed at ten years ago. I take your word for this, my friend. So they are real, the saints?” He turns around to look at the statuettes in the niches in the wall behind them, their shadows playing across his face. “So we are not alone…”
“I would say most certainly not,” Tylendel agrees, stroking the white marks on his face.
“Well then, maybe Saint Vasag will keep an eye on us when we’re in Ilbié Mau to try and raise that Salt Coast transport,” Duke Esmond quips.
While they speak, the other guests at the table are engrossed in their own conversations, not heeding their words. The duke asks a few questions about what happened to Ristina. Tylendel explains it was Syr Morton who buried her, and Duke Esmond says he had heard of Syr Morton, “this knight who just could not leave her side, poor fellow.”
“I’m afraid he fell in love,” Tylendel says.
“Who wouldn’t, if she did indeed have a saintly spirit inside her?”
“And now she’s buried the ground,” the duke muses.
“I found it curious…but I had the feeling it was the right thing to do,” Tylendel explains.
“The good old Greyoak gut feeling?”
“Then I suppose that was the right thing to do.”
Tylendel picks up the Hymns of the Lady of Summer and leafs through it, reading a few lines from it to the duke. “Blessed is the lady whose basket does not empty. Where she walks flowers spring forth. Radiant like the sun. Blessed is the lady who serves the One who is Lost. Hah. I do believe it was the right thing to do.”
“Are you saying these gardens are somehow linked to the Lady of Summer?”
“Not necesarily, but, well, this says that the Lady of Summer is linked to the Lost God Found, whose garden this is.”
“It’s all very intriguing…the world has changed so much these last years. Mostly for the worse, but—”
“Maybe there is some light in the darkness. A sun cresting the horizon.”
“How can we make use of this knowledge, lord Greyoak?”
Tylendel sighs heavily. “I will speak with Syr Gylian tomorrow.”
The duke nods. “The Grosskomtur.”
“Maybe all the soldiers and everyone else who is here now, maybe it would cheer them, to know that spirits…well, the saints, are with us. That the Lady of Summer with the promise of warmth and light and ripening crops will give some hope.”
“We have more than enough temple chambers to bring people the message,” Duke Esmond suggests. “I’ve heard morale is something of a problem especially in the Prophet’s host.”
“Maybe this could be a way to stop it from escalating, I don’t know. Westlanders are, after all, well, westlanders.”
Tylendel taps a finger on the book. “Maybe after we let it be known, we let the minstrels and bards we have here learn these soldiers so they can play them to the soldiers.”
“Syr Gylian himself still has a minstrel at his side, does he not, the one you played with last night?”
“Yes, and then there’s Florentyn and I would be very surprised if there aren’t others as well.”
“Excellent. But if there’s one thing I’m certain of, none of them can match you when it comes to weaving tales and make people listen. My friend, even your enemies stop to listen to you.”
“Having lived most of the tales I tell, it does add something to the telling.”
“But still, many people suffered the Sea of Dust. Not all of them can retell it like you do. It is a gift, one of many. It is a chance to use it for the greater good. But this is just a lord’s humble appeal.”
After some thinking, Tylendel says, “I’ll learn the songs as well.”
“Speaking of singing,” Duke Esmond says as they notice Florentyn Cavell being led into the dining hall.
“That the man?” the duke asks Tylendel.
“Indeed it is.”

Florentyn appears in very nice clothes, a splendid dark green tunic with golden borders, a rich wide leather belt studded with gems, dark wide breeches and fashionable shoes. The herald, Dúsan Balére, hurries down to meet him. The minstrel has brushed his hair and wears a splendid cloak matching the rest of his set of clothes. Dúsan leads Florentyn up to the dais by Duke Esmond’s side.
“My duke, allow me to introduce you to Florentyn Cavell, a minstrel of Barosía.”
Florentyn bows deeply. “I am honored to be summoned,” he says, giving  Tylendel a quick look, who winks back.
“Very well,” says Duke Esmond. “You see, I do have a performer in my retinue, but the man is not who he used to be. I think he suffers a deal, though he wishes not to speak of it. Then my friend here suggested to bring you into our hall.”
Florentyn smiles, looks around. “I’m quite impressed, my lord. Verily.”
“I was wondering, then,” Duke Esmond says, “if… you would… be such a… hero as to… perhaps perform from your repertoire and thus entertain my guests?”
“Of course,” Florentyn replies. “I would like to have some time to set up a list…for you see, my repertoire is both long and wide, and I assume you would like a varied and interesting performance?”
“Sure,” the duke replies, a little unsure about this man before him.
“I can throw in some happy tunes to cheer up your people. Give me some time, a desk, I’ll be ready within short notice.”
“Very good. My herald will show you to a room where you can prepare.”
Dúsan escorts Florentyn out of the dining hall to prepare.
The duke looks at Tylendel and raises an eyebrow; Tylendel does the same to the duke in reply.

Count Ruben Brysk turns to Tylendel and says, “I hear you’ve garnered quite the attention lately.” Dorotei stretches her arms and leaves the wooden dais, her hips swaying more than necessary as she swings past Tylendel’s sight. At the same moment, Syr Linas Balére rises from his chair on the other side of the hall and walks to meet her. Tylendel sees Dorotei is trying to get past him, but he says something and she stops and they talk.
“Only last night I passed a group of … what do they call themselves…?” Count Ruben Brysk continues.
“Holy Harvesters,” Tylendel says to help him out.
“Holy Harvesters! Indeed, my lord. A flock, verily, I tell thee.A flock of young ones, and they were all talking about you, almost as if you were a god or saint.”
“Ah,” Tylendel says. “That’s not good. A defining characteristic of a saint is that you have to be dead to be one.”
“True,” Count Andraw Iker. “But according to the tales you’ve been dead more than once.”
An awkward silence descends as his wife, Countess Silvja, pokes her husband in the side.
“The rumors concerning my deaths have been greatly exaggerated,” Tylendel says dryly.
“Anyway,” Count Ruben says, “They had the audacity to stop me and ask me questions, and they were like how did Tylendel Greyoak become a hero? Why is his hair so bright? Is is true he is a wizard? How did he convince the moon to break through the darkness? And I told them they could ask you instead of me, and they asked where to find you. Then I realized it was perhaps not a wise thing to reveal, so…I told them that you were often seen outside the chapel, the one north of here. There you have it, if you want to bask in the adoration of young holy…harvesters..you should loiter around that chapel.” He chuckles.
“I think I will avoid it for the time being,” Tylendel replies. “I do have more important things to take care of.”
“My thoughts as well.” Count Ruben Brysk turns to Andraw. “Perhaps you should send one of your sons there, let them bask in the adoration.”
Count Andraw gives Ruben a strange look, but doesn’t reply. Ruben’s mother, Lady Salyma, pokes her son’s shoulder and whispers something to him.
“At any rate,” ignoring her mother, Count Ruben Brysk says, “One of them was an incredibly beautiful lady, just so you know. Nalka she called herself, from somewhere, I don’t know, on the other side of the world I guess. But the big question here, of course, is, how can we attain this kind of adoration?”
At that, his mother slaps his back. “That’s enough from you now, my son. You know perfectly well how to reach that kind of adoration. Be more like him!”
“Start by leading an army to the Doomed City and then back across the Sea of Dust and go on from there,” Tylendel says.
“See?” Lady Salyma Brysk says. Duke Esmond grins.

Tylendel notices that Syr Linas Balére is back at his chair, and Dorotei is absent. Then, he witnesses Yosha Artamon at the knights’ table bends over the table, quickly grabs the collar of a middle-aged knight on the opposite side and then pulls that man down so he crashes with his face into the wooden surface of the table. The noise makes everyone turn to look. Syr Linas reacts by rising from his chair and shouts, “What in the name of the saints are you doing?”
Yosha releases his grip and leans back, shrugging. The others around the table are stunned by the sudden display of violence.
Baron Rostek Polry rises from the table and looks about to shout at Artamon, but Duke Esmond gets up and stops him. “Baron Rostek, wait.”
Polry sits down again, fuming. Syr Linas seems poised to leap over the table to attack Artamon, but instead he helps the victim into the hands of a servant, who takes the man out of the dining hall. Bleeding from the nose, Yosha Artamon says, “What can I say? He annoyed me” as the knight is escorted out.
Syr Linas scowls at the Mirovní. “You’re not doing this again, do you hear me?”
Yosha drinks from his tankard as a reply.
“My lord, are we not going to do something?” Count Ruben asks of Duke Esmond.
“These Mirovní,” the duke replies, “are not easy to deal with. Let’s hope Syr Linas’ threat is enough to keep them calm. But if something more happens, I’ll have Dúsan call the guards.”
“Syr Linas is an incredibly dangerous man,” the duke’s son says, “but those Mirovní are three.”
“But look,” his father says, “we are many more. They wouldn’t stand a chance. Besides, we have the Greyoak here.”
Esmond II suggests to toast to Tylendel, but the duke thinks its wise to wait until after the minstrel has lifted the soured mood in the dining hall.

After a while, the small talk begins to pick up again.
“The Brysks are known as the Lords of the Highroad,” Count Ruben tells Tylendel, that road being the road from Halinhaven along the coast to the east. The Brysks come from Dalnísia, a magnificent castle built by his ancestors on a wooded hill overlooking the river separating the fortress from the town of Sixrivers. Apparently, that fortress is impossible to assault unless you cross the bridge over that river. After a while the conversation shifts to other topics. Tylendel learns that the island of Dhest Vennek was raided by coastlanders who left none alive. Baron Flemmyn says the same happened to the island of Mychel Darol. Just before Florentyn arrives, Tylendel learns that Duke Esmond’s uncle, Syr Wilhon Sollani, was the Knight of Riverroad before Syr Bohumíl Camrey. The duke talks about the Battle of Red Mud, and how Syr Wilhon assisted the previous Highlord’s attempt at rooting out the Myrhold Men. Kobian was there too, as a squire - which turns the conversation topic to the squires who were burned on the pyre and the squires who needed new masters. Syr Castor says he’s heard Syr Gombald Nobry has taken a young girl as a squire. This in turn leads to the realization that the island lords are somewhat more misogynistic than the lords of the mainland. Tylendel says that even Byrn Thennely has a woman as a bodyguard, surprising Syr Castor and the others with the fact that Byrn is still alive: “My heart sings,” Syr Castor proclaims.

At last Florentyn Cavell returns. Dorotei returns to the dining hall a moment later, sighing contentedly. Sitting down, she winks at Tylendel and tells a servant to refill her cup.
Dúsan bangs his staff against the floor to get people’s attention, then announces Florentyn Cavell.
“In the absence of our beloved but sadly indisposed minstrel, we have brought to you this young man, who goes by the name of Florentyn Cavell, of this very province I might add, and he has agreed to entertain us with song, music and even a little poetry.”
“Very well,” Duke Esmond says and raises his cup, at which point everyone else does too.
Florentyn bows, his fine cloak fluttering, displaying fine courteous etiquette. Tylendel sees that Florentyn perhaps doesn’t quite manage to come off with a truly impressive flourish, as he is a nervous about this - however, as Cavell admits later, he hasn’t performed in such a setting since before he was rescued from Wickmark years ago.
Duke Esmond has asked the minstrel to perform ‘Call of the Raven’. Florentyn has heard it before, but needed some help from Dúsan writing down the work’s lyrics. Tylendel remember it - a popular song from the coastlands about a shipwreck and a raven. Florentyn has a rolled up parchment with his setlist, poems and other preparations and tells the audience that he has strived to compile a short - but wonderful - list of songs, some familiar, traditional and fun, I’ve added a ballad and I expect to see many swing yourselves around on the floor here. I will perform one of my own compositions as well, and, well, you’ll hear. I’ll begin by playing a short piece on my instrument.” A little bit shaky, Florentyn begins playing the flute (he also has a lute).
“I just remembered, I don’t think he has performed for any lords and ladies in … six years,” Tylendel whispers to Duke Esmond.
“And now you tell me?” Duke Esmond replies, eyes going wide, his face a mix of amusement and shock.
As Florentyn launches into his first vocal performance of the evening, he is still a bit rusty but as the one-man show goes on he finds his calm and his powerful voice begins to dominate the dining hall. He catches the audience’s attention with ‘The Bloodsong’, about a legendary sword wielded a long time ago. It’s a challenging and brave choice for a first song, and while he isn’t able to keep it to perfection all the way through, it’s a solid performance. The ‘Bloodsong’ is about a Barosían lord who loses the titular sword, spends his life seeking for it, but he never does - the morale being ‘don’t waste your time on too lofty goals’. The applause is more enthusiastic now.
“I will now sing about the legendary Uliath Moon, who went to the edge of the world to see…the ‘White Abyss’!”
That song is followed by an interlude by flute, then he finds his lute which he strums while telling a ribald joke which makes the crowd laugh - Skender, the priest, the loudest. Then he plays a song with beautiful melodies, ‘The Year of Silent Owls’,  then the obscure ‘The Last Song of Syr Authron’, a song from the Murúvian highlands about a knight who descended into the Kerkor ruins to prove his valor and prowess. Here he met a giant wolf who tricked him into a conversation resulting in the knight being eaten. The wolf spat out the shield and helm and armor, which was later found leading to the composing of the text.
“But now I’m going to sing a song I suppose you all know, ‘Our Faire City’, and you can all sing along,” Florentyn announces. It’s a famous song in Barosía, originally written about Bormost, but that doesn’t matter - Tylendel hears people call the city in the song Halinhaven! And Dalnísia! A versatile piece, then. The servants begin to hurry as people demand more wine more often - Florentyn is lifting the mood in the dining hall, and people forget the sour mood Yosha Artamon created earlier.
Other classics include Apples, Pears, Red Ears and More Wine More Wine More Wine before Florentyn tells the gathered people that he will perform a song of his own making, ‘The Rivermaiden’s Song’. He says he hasn’t performed it since before he met Tylendel, and that he hopes it will be received better this time around.
“Oh?” Duke Esmond mutters.
It becomes quite obvious to Tylendel that the song has a second meaning - it’s about a brothel, and with that, the song’s lyrics become quite naughty - but most people don’t seem to catch that particular aspect of the song. Instead, people begin to leave their chairs and the dance floor begins to fill up.
Tylendel rises and walks around the duke’s chair, then stops at Dorotei, giving him a sly look.
“Would the lady be interested in a dance?” he asks.
Count Ruben on her other side was about to ask her the same thing, it seems, but she replies to Tylendel, “I guess I can’t say no.”
With elegance, Tylendel leads her down to the dancing floor and they begin to dance.
Tylendel dances with such a grace he catches other people’s attention as they swirl around him.
Florentyn begins with a new song, ‘The Lay of the Two-Faced Gods’, a song about the god “Coin” revered by merchants and nobles. The minstrel’s long hair is plastered to his sweaty face by now, as he continues to give his performance. Syr Linas Balére has positioned himself to grab Dorotei for this next dance; one of the Iker girls flees Skender’s attempt at trying to get a dance with her; new dancing partners are sought. As Linas approaches, slightly flushed, Dorotei flinches and begins to swing herself around so Tylendel comes between them, pretending to not see him.
Tylendel, noticing, swings around to face Syr Linas, then nods toward Syr Linas’ chair. Looking insulted, Syr Linas crosses his arms. Tylendel and Dorotei whirl around the central pillar. Syr Linas goes back to the chair.
“Thank you,” Dorotei says.
“You’re welcome, my lady.”
She smiles and Tylendel notices that she has a golden tooth; she seems irritated by Syr Linas.

Eventually ‘Call of the Raven’ comes up and Florentyn performs it well enough. “I did choose not to play ‘The Drunken Haliner’,” Florentyn says and grins. A good thing, Tylendel realizes, as that particular song is about pissing in the river that runs toward Halinhaven.
Now, several ladies vie for Tylendel’s attention, all wanting to dance with him. He ends up with Patrya Brysk, a more timid and shy lady especially compared to Dorotei. She’s a beauty, though, reminding Tylendel of none other than Renata in some way.  There is no playful, mischievous look on this one’s face, however.
“May I have this dance, m’lord?” she asks, voice low.
“Of course, m’lady Patrya.”
“You know my name?”
Tylendel smiles and they whirl off, Patrya blushing.
As they dance, Patrya keeps her eyes averted most of the time, face flushed. Not as graceful as Dorotei, Tylendel’s skill at dancing helps her seem better.
Florentyn wraps up his performance with one final, popular Barosían song and once more the dance floor is filled with dancing people in various states of inebriation. Once more ladies approach Tylendel, this time it is Sara Brysk, Patrya’s sister, who wins. Syr Linas hurries to grab Dorotei, but another young courtier comes slinking around the central pillar and snatches her up before the huge Balére knight can ask her for a dance.
At the knight’s table, an old ugly fellow is standing on his chair shouting and drinking and having a good time; the introvert Syr Vilhem Rossyk has even put his arm around the shoulders of a knight on his side and is talking.
Tylendel has never seen Florentyn look so happy - his grin goes from ear to ear, and Tylendel thinks he sounded better this evening than before. There is applause and Florentyn graciously accepts to play one final encore, ‘Our River’ a second time. At that, the third Brysk sister rushes over and manages to catch Tylendel before any other lady. She’s the least embarrassed of the three, it seems.
After the last dance, the atmosphere is a lot more festive, and people don’t necessarily go back to their appointed seats, instead mingling more.
Syr Linas stands with Esmond II, the herald’s son with the youngest Iker daughter, and many wish to speak with Florentyn who enjoys the attention lavished upon him.
“What do you think of the performance?” Duke Esmond asks when Tylendel returns to the table.
“It was good,” Tylendel says.
“I’m not quite sure about that song he made himself,” the duke says.
“What, the Rivermaiden? It was a beautiful, innocent song, my lord,” Tylendel says with an ironic smile.
“I’ll have a talk with him. I have to wonder how he got it into his head to sing that song here. Surely he knew he was singing about a certain…place in Halinhaven, to the duke of Halinhaven?”
“Oh my…” Tylendel says. “So that’s why I found it more amusing than you did.”
“I suppose. I wouldn’t have punished him for it, even in better times, I was just wondering where that insolence came from. What did he try to achieve? We’ll find out.”
“More wine?” a servants asks Tylendel from the other side of the chair.
“No thank you.”
Countess Silvja is resting her head on Count Andraw’s shoulder, eyelids heavy. Tylendel needs to empty his bladder, and goes off. Outside he asks the guards for the way to the garderobe. They send him upstairs. The hole through which he must relieve himself reveals the Novíla, a dizzying seventy meters below. Upon his return down the stairs he passes the knight who got his nose smashed by Yosha Artamon.

Back in the dining hall, Skender has fallen asleep, head on the table. Someone has pulled his cloak back over his head for a comical sight. It’s noisy; some are so drunk they are being escorted out of the hall by servants. At the duke’s table, everyone is sitting bent forward with Lady Salyma Brysk as their focal point. Countess Silvja has retired, but her husband, Count Andraw is present, and, as it turns out, the recipient of a Reading of the new Síst Sáhádá deck which Lady Salyma is shuffling.
Tylendel checks if Red Dancer is still resting against his chair, which it does. Tylendel remembers Kíus Oláres, Kessant’s servant back at Camrey Castle a couple of years ago, who was also doing such readings. It turns out that the Oláreses were vassals of Duke Esmond as well. The mother of Count Ruben Brysk is explaining the way this new variant works, and it’s clear that she’s only recently learned its intricacies. “According to the westlanders,” she explains, “This deck gives a much more accurate and profound understanding of one’s immediate future, heh.”
“Oh, mother,” Count Ruben says, rolling his eyes. The others look in turn skeptical and intrigued.
Duke Esmond gives Tylendel a polite nod as he returns to his seat. “Welcome back.”
“Thank you.”
The two rival barons, Flemmyn and Gleb, are arguing back and forth about the usefulness of this Síst Sáhádá.
“But don’t you remember that cog, that was found with all hands missing and nothing in the captain’s log? And we got her to port, and the next day it was just gone? That mystery is still haunting me. The lady who foretold it, she said there would be a disappearing ship in my future!”
“Come on, my dear friend,” Flemmyn says, sarcasm dripping, “You’re seeing and believing things when you don’t have to. Besides, there was probably someone aboard who sailed it out again. Pirates, smugglers, who knows.”
“There was no trace of anyone aboard, my dear baron Saltcliffe.”
“Says you who has a ship with a bird with tits as figurehead,” Flemmyn replies, grinning.
Tylendel chuckles as do others.
A little while later the two barons are at it again, when it is revealed that Florentyn’s song was actually about a brothel in Halinhaven:
"I'll never forget that night I threw away two gold coins, at Lady Ploebia's festhall,” Baron Gleb says.
Baron Flemmyn responds dryly, "That night? It was three nights, m'lord, and ten gold! And you were found sleeping on Skybeacon Corner caressing a trout’s head."
There is some talk about the missing noble families, such as the Obraths. This reminds the duke to mention to Tylendel that the Sollanis have warehouses in the harbor district and that he’s going down there the next day to inspect them.
Finally, Lady Salyma begins her reading of the reluctant, tired Count Andraw and explains that the first card tells her what influences the lord’s spirit at this moment. It will also show her ‘the direction of the Reading’.
“The second card will reveal the nature of the obstacles immediately before you, and their influence in your very near future,” Lady Salyma explains as she places the second card cross-ways atop the top.
“I’ll tell you what it is,” Baron Flemmyn says, “It’ll be dark and fucking cold.” There’s a little laughter.
Lady Salyma continues to explain how this variant of the Reading works, with Count Andraw looking nervous about it, and Duke Esmond a little skeptical.

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