Thursday, December 15, 2005

Conspiracy of Shadows (The City Ignites)

An interesting session this time, interesting in the Chinese sense. The session started with Anatoli visiting Bey Calan and asking him to help restore him to his former position and dismiss the charges against him. Calan seemed exceptionally eager to help and immediately put an apartment in the temple district at Anatoli's disposal. During the interview however Anatoli let slip the news of the unfortunate demise of al-Amayi before anyone else has yet heard of the death of the unfortunate widow. Calan seems surprised but says no more about it.

(Slipping tenses) Sister Eva does not want to know how Little Alexander has come by his wounds so she can avoid any difficult questions later. However given what she does know she tells Big Alexander to take Little Alex to the Little Kingdom where the laws of the Valdorians will hold over those of the city by the decree of the Sultan. Big Alexander sneaks Little Alexander into the Little Kingdom by covering him in a corpse shroud (one that is authentically bloodied). The Alexander's got to the Kingdom's "cathedral" to pray and encounter Sedziwoj there who is discussing matters with the Bishop Banuch of the City.

Anatoli takes possession of the apartment granted to him by Calan and immediately sends for his friends to celebrate his good fortune. His friends in turn send out the furniture of the new apartment to pay for wine and women of low virtue. In the midst of the gathering celebration Anatoli also sends several messages to the inn of the Little Kingdom informing his foreign friends of his good fortune.

At the Little Kingdom the Alexanders and Sedziwoj are deep in conference as to what they should do next and whether it will be possible to parlay with or deceive Calan so they can gain access to his house. After they break their discussion they go to the inn and discover the numerous messages that Anatoli has been sending them. Sedziwoj is furious and resolves to ride to apartment Anatoli mentions being given and killing him. Taking his "squire" Sergei to translate and guide he mounts his horse and departs. At the entrance to the Little Kingdom there is a small hostile crowd but Sedziwoj spurs on his horse and bursts through them easily.

Once at Anatoli's apartment though the large crowd that surrounds Anatoli (and who all seem well-disposed towards him as a fine host) makes Sedziwoj think twice and having to talk to Anatoli via Sergei he changes his mind and asks Anatoli to come to the Little Kingdom. He then returns on horse while Anatoli changes into a ragged outfit and follows him on foot.

The crowd at the entrance is larger and more aggressive when Sedziwoj returns and while he is easily able to force his way through one of the crowd members slashes his horse's side during the tussle. Seeing this once inside the Kingdom Sedziwoj sends Sergei back to the inn with the horse and instructions as to how to tend the wound. Then he charges from the shadows of the Kingdom's entrance into the crowd and rapidly puts the mob to flight after killing five of them in a matter of minutes.

Anatoli, on his way to the Kingdom, discovers the ripple of panic and anger that follows this incident. The poor townsmen are incensed by this brutal massacre by a foreigner and are making plans to gather together and burn out the Valdorians and seizing the murderer. Anatoli decides to return to his apartment and asks his friends and associated hangers-on to accompany him to the Old Town.

Inside the Little Kingdom the Alexanders and Bishop Banuch are immediately aware of the great danger that Sedziwoj has but the Kingdom in. Bishop Banuch arranges for Sedziwoj to be toasted in the tavern while arrangements are made. The Alexanders and Bishop Banuch decide to try and use Little Alexander's good favour with the Patriarch to make a plea that the Patriarch save the Kingdom from the mob. They leave via a secret exit from the Kingdom and start making their way to the Patriarch's palace while avoiding the angry townsmen.

Anatoli returns to the Old Town with a crowd of his own but when his group meet the angry townsmen the situation almost immediately ignites into a riot. Several of Anatoli's friends point out to him that this would be a perfect time to obtain the content of a few merchant shops in the confusion, not to mention looting some coin from the filthy Valdorians.
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