April 10, 2010
The group enters the city of Corvis, or City of Ghosts. Gunner is pleased with their work protecting his caravan and gives each member 30 gold each instead of 25. He then introduces the group to Father Dumas at the cathedral where they unload some crates from the caravan. Gunner tells Dumas about the group’s work, and Father Dumas offers to put them up in the cathedral. He brings them into the cathedral ordering some dinner to be brought. As they eat, Dumas tells them that there is a great deal of preparation for the Ascension, three days hence, and says that he would appreciate any help they may be willing to give.
The group offers up their services; Wren helps with decorations and a little cooking, Inara helps with lots of cooking, and Mishka helps with odds and ends, lifting things, setting up, punching dough in the kitchen (at Inara’s request), etc. Jurg heads to the Steam and Iron Workers Union (Chapter 18) and seeks out volunteer work to satisfy his yearly quota. They send him to Engines East, an impeccably organized mechanic shop where he helps, Skat, to build a worker jack. Kale does a lot of shopping. In particular, he negotiates the prices of two specially-made daggers in “his” size.
The Day of the Ascension comes. The morning and lunch go smoothly. Wren sings with the choir and performs beautifully. Kale and Jurg attend the party for the food and enjoy it immensely. Mishka meets an Umbrean woman, Kiera , whom he feels he’s seen before but cannot place her. Inara sees them, approaches, and enters the conversation. They learn that Kiera is a seamstress and a teacher. They talk for awhile and decide that they’ll meet later in the evening for dinner. After the chat, it is break time, so Inara and Wren decide to go to their rooms for a nap. When Inara gets to her room, she finds two vials and a note that says: “Faith in Morrow only brings suffering and death – no power. You and your Umbrean companion may find this useful.”
The note alarms Inara, and she goes down, gets Mishka, and brings him to her room. Mishka thinks Inara is bringing him to her room for a DIFFERENT reason, but she quickly tells him that the situation is serious and shows him the vials and the note. They decide to go directly to Father Dumas and tell him what is going on. Inara also decides to fill Father Dumas in about her sister Mara.
After hearing Inara’s story, Father Dumas brings in Sister Arten who is usually in the area near Inara’s room. As Sister Arten enters the room, she looks at Inara and says, “You’ve already slept and changed clothes!” Father Dumas questions Sister Arten who says she saw Inara and helped her find her room. Of course, Inara was nowhere near her room at that time, so the three immediately realize that it was Mara, Inara’s twin sister, the Thamarite. Father Dumas sends the vials down to be evaluated. Thoughts are that the vials hold something meant to protect Inara and her “Umbrean companion.” He then sends Mishka to alert the city guard, and Inara goes quickly to inform the rest of the group about the threat.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Jurg catches sight of Inara hastily crossing the bridge and sees Mishka follow shortly thereafter. Jurg casts “Message” to speak to Mishka from afar in his head. Mishka is a bit surprised when he hears Jurg’s voice in his head, but quickly fills Jurg in on the situation. Jurg and Kale stay near the bridge guarding it, while Wren and Inara stay inside, waiting on the evaluation of the vials.
Mishka meets Captain Julian Helstrom and alerts the guards. Then he runs back to the cathedral, proudly beating the guards there. He reports to Father Dumas, then goes up to his room to change clothes as he’d gotten sweaty on his run. There, he finds a note in his room which says: “Ruins and destruction – Morrow cannot protect from these. Suffering from his bowels. He is barren and in his emptiness is destruction.” He takes this to Father Dumas since it is written in Cygnaren (which he cannot read) and has it translated for him.
The meaning is ominous, so Mishka gathers the group together to decipher its possible meanings. They eventually decide to check the ruins/empty buildings around the cathedral. Eventually, they enter an old dorm with ten rooms, furnished with empty beds and closets. The group searches, and finds that inside the mattresses are massive chambered bombs of black and red powder!
Mishka runs to alert Father Dumas while the other group members work on disabling the bombs. One of Father Dumas’ clerics comes to “Dispel Magic” while the others work on the bombs. All the bombs are disabled one way or another, and three of the mattresses are taken down to the river’s edge while still under the “Dispel Magic” spell. The group discusses what to do with the mattresses. Shara looks to Father Aaron and gets a silent “ok” to speak with the group. She then tells the group about the Inquisition room, in the “bowels” of the cathedral, where magic doesn’t work. When she said “bowels,” this alerts the group. They follow her down to the room while the cleric stays to babysit the mattresses. Before going, Kale secures the doors to the house where the other two mattresses are so no one can get in.
April 11, 2010
The group follows Shara into the second level of the basement and into a secret room hidden behind the wall of a wine cellar room. The room has a field around it that does not allow magic to be cast. This would make the gunpowder inert. However, the group has reservations about placing so much explosive material in the cathedral’s basement. They leave the basement and head back to the riverbank. Much to Jurg’s dismay, the group sinks the three mattresses into the river, destroying all the gunpowder.
After disposing of the mattresses, they leave a small page boy near the building that contains the remaining two mattresses of gunpowder to come find them should someone try to enter the building. They then head back into the “bowels” of the church. They search room after room, to no avail. Once or twice they sense that something is wrong with a room. Kale and Jurg try some of the ale but nothing seems wrong. They continue searching the second floor, but find nothing. As they go up to the first floor, they inspect three more rooms. Kale and Jurg try a few more samples of ale. As Mishka and Inara realize that there is something wrong with the crests on the barrels of ale, Kale begins to vomit. Shara immediately runs to the alchemy lab to get something to help Kale who is incapacitated with sickness.
Meanwhile, Wren, Inara, and Mishka continue looking at the barrels and find more with crests that appear to be fake. They conclude that the wine and ale are poisoned. As they come to this conclusion, Shara returns with some vials. After four attempts, Kale keeps the elixir down and ceases to vomit, but still feels ill. Inara gives Shara the second vial of antidote and leaves with Mishka and Wren to remove all the poisoned ale/wine from the feast. Jurg remains with Kale who is still feeling ill.
The Ascension Mass is finished and people are heading for the meal. Wren and Inara begin to perform in order to keep the people from leaving the room. Meanwhile, Mishka has run to the cook and ordered her to have all the kitchen help remove the drinks which are poisoned. He then runs out to the eating area to help remove liquor. As the job is finished, Mishka signals Inara and Wren who close up the performance. As the three walk outside, Mishka hears the sounds of retching and heads to the noise. There he finds Father Dumas violently ill. Mishka, Inara, and Wren take him down to Shara who panics at seeing the ill priest and sends Mishka running for more vials of anti-nausea. She administers this to Father Dumas who tells Mishka, Inara, and Wren that there are four others that are ill.
They run in search of the other members of the clergy. They find Father Aaron, and two women. Only after a second search do they find Sister Arten hiding in the back of the cathedral. Shara treats all of them and Father Dumas prays over Sister Arten, restoring some of her health. Father Dumas and Aaron return to the party, but the women head to their rooms. Soon afterward, Father Aaron retreats to his room as well.
The group now heads up to the party. Kale is feeling much better after drinking the antidote that Inara left with Shara. They mingle with people, keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior. Kale encounters one man headed alone towards the back of the cathedral. He follows him, but the man is just visiting his grandmother’s grave. The man becomes alarmed at the ogrun’s presence and then misunderstands Kale and believes the giant to be a Wurm-worshipper. Only after Father Dumas comforts the man and walks with Kale for a time does the man calm down.
Meanwhile, Inara and Mishka sit with Kiera who was in the chapel for Father Dumas’ sermon. They question her about her most recent work as a seamstress. After a time she seems somewhat uncertain of their questions. Eventually they leave off with this line of questioning and continue with the evening’s celebration.
Kale and Jurg sleep outside the building that was rigged with the mattresses. The next day, the group assembles with Father Aaron to discuss how to preserve the gunpowder contained in the mattresses. With some very clever magic work and planning, they are able to separate the powders into individual barrels – though it still contains some hay.
Mishka carries some messages from Father Dumas to Captain Helstrom and does other general work. The group does some odds and ends for the day and rests after their long Ascension Day.