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Old 11-04-2021, 02:57 PM   #208
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 69 (2021-10-30)

Yana and I went to look for the wagon, leaving the rest of our party in the guard tower. The guards were uncomfortable with that, but they didnít speak up. The wagon was still where we had left it and I asked the drivers if they had time to take us to the Terrace of the Evening Sun before leaving us. They said that would be all right, so Yana and I got the guards to clear the way through the gate for the wagon. With the crowd now departing from the temple district, Wolfram didnít want to leave the tower the way we came in, so he found another way out and we picked him up outside the wall.

The two guards outside the Terrace of the Evening Sun scowled at Wolfram while he strapped one weapon after the other to his looming figure, but Jaryn told them we were with him. A middle-aged woman hurried down from the wash basins when we approached, for she didnít recognize Jaryn in his disguise.

When we had all washed our feet and hands again, we descended the stairs. At the temple entrance, two young men Ė probably no older than me Ė challenged us and asked who we were. I told them my name and said these were my friends. They backed off and said we were welcome once Jaryn revealed himself.

Wolfram thought the temple was a little too crowded for his tastes and asked if he could remain at the door. The mood was quite different from the other temple; it was much noisier, and one man even shouted, ďWill there be a Meet, or what!?Ē I said to Wolfram that it was fine if he stayed outside the main chamber, and asked Yana and the others to find seats close by.

I asked Jaryn if I should open the Meet. He replied that I had fulfilled my earlier promise, but he would let me take the lead here too. He was feeling a disturbance that he couldnít quite place but said he trusted me to know what the right move was.

I went up to the altar and knelt, allowing the snakes to slither all over me while I prayed. I caught Yanaís eyes when I stood up. She smiled encouragingly, but I could tell she wasnít entirely comfortable with all the snakes, even at that distance.

My speech at the other temple had been directed at Jaryn and Audria personally, so I adjusted it slightly to encompass everyone here. I didnít tone down my wrath and I made the congregation feel my disappointment with them before challenging them to see past their differences with their brothers and sisters and encouraging them to cooperate again. Most people were receptive to my message, but I marked a few for further encouragement, including the two boys who had challenged us at the entrance and an older woman. Jaryn made no move to take over the Meet after my speech, so I continued by leading everyone in prayer. I may be young, but it was far from the first time I officiated at a Meet.

When the Meet transitioned to group discussions, I contacted the two boys and the woman and asked what issue they had with me. The trio were professional assassins, although they didnít phrase it quite like that, and they were upset about Jarynís ban on killings. They felt that the leadership of the cult bereft them of their livelihood. I reminded them that it was You who decided who should be sent to Your realm, but they werenít very devout. They had life and work outside the faith and disliked Jarynís interference in what they saw as worldly matters. They didnít seem to be conspiring with Tivito, so I gave them a gold coin each and thanked them for their patience in these troubling times.

I mingled with the other Ashtarites. Many just greeted me and moved on, but I had a longer conversation with the woman who had fled us at the wash basins. I completely understood; we could look like a menacing bunch, even when we didnít try.

Xipil waved me over and asked if it wasnít time to get back to the inn. I told my friends Ė not including Yana Ė that they should go in case Krago showed up with information, but I was going to spend the night in the temple. I think I triggered Xipilís curiosity, for he decided to stay with Yana and me when Hylda, Grogg and Wolfram left.

The assassins, who had gone up to the restaurant for a while, returned to the temple and asked if I had a job for them. They seemed competent but were probably not the best in the business considering how pleased they had been with a relatively small amount of gold. I had an idea for employment, but said I needed to discuss it with Jaryn first. The assassins had a table upstairs and would await me there.

I asked Jaryn if he knew who their target was. He knew only that it was someone religious. He told me that Audria seemed afraid of something, and I promised to check up on her. I said that with all the talk of danger I had heard lately, I would like to use the assassins as guards for the temple tonight. If it was all right, I would also stay in his apartment with Yana and Xipil so he wouldnít be alone there. Jaryn didnít want anyone to think that the temple wasnít safe, so I promised to phrase my request in a way that didnít imply any such thing. I said he could use the curfew as excuse to invite Yana, Xipil and me to stay with him.

In the restaurant, I sat down with the assassins and explained what I wanted from them. ďKeep an eye on the surroundings and make a note of anyone watching the building. If something happens, find me, either in the temple or in Jarynís apartment. Otherwise, Iíll take your report in the morning.Ē I had to describe to them which apartment was Jarynís.

Xipil had opened the door to the small veranda and was meditating when I got up to Jarynís apartment. Yana was preparing sleeping places on the floor, but Jaryn hadnít arrived yet. I told Yana that she could go to sleep; I would stay up until Jaryn came and when Xipil finished his meditation, I would talk to him about keeping watch through the night.

Xipil was still meditating when Jaryn arrived. The priest saw Xipilís glowing eyes and asked if it would be safe to go to sleep. He tried to offer his bed, but I insisted that we youngsters should take the floor. Jaryn asked me to close the veranda door when Xipil had finished whatever he was doing, and then he went to bed.

Come to think of it, I have no idea how old Xipil is, but he strikes me sometimes as immature. He doesnít act like a boy in puberty who behaves poorly towards the girls in a misguided attempt to get their attention, so maybe itís just his curiosity and the fact that our cultures are very different that gives me that impression. If I remember it tomorrow, I might ask him. Hopefully, asking someoneís age isnít a faux-pas in lizard culture.

When Xipilís eyes stopped glowing blue, he turned and said to me that the stars were waiting for the same things as us. That didnít mean much to me, and I asked if we could close the door now. Xipil asked what we should do about keeping watch, and I offered to take the first few hours. He went to sleep, and I woke him about three hours later. Nothing had happened. ďWake Yana for the last watch in a few hours,Ē I whispered before finding my place behind her. I put my arm over her and touched my palm to the floor so I could pray.

O Ashtar! We surrender our lives to Your coils. Take us while we sleep, or grant us another day in Your service, as You will.
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You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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