Monday, February 18, 2013

The Riddle of Blood e06 : Houses of the Blooded

The Riddle of Blood
Episode Six
"The Insult"

The sixth session was intended to be a celebration as Madelyn Yvarai hosted an Althua to honor Baron Kithranus Yvarai, Senator and Ork Hunter.  Given the party was a very sudden event (something Matt, Kithranus' player, threw in as a Beauty wager in the previous game) the invitation that was given out clarified that a simple Gift was all that was necessary.    Kithranus, of course, was supposed to receive all such gifts.

Of course, the other players scoffed at the idea that Kithranus should deserve such a thing.     This clearly made for an interesting Beauty wager to determine the Things That Are True about the party.

The Party's Things That Are Truth:

People generally don't get the point of the party.
They mostly like him.
Josephine Yvarai is there.
Most of the Senate did not show up.

It was Summer.

Baron Kithranus Yvaria decided to spend some time engaged in an Espionage Action.  He sent out spies to infiltrate his ex-wife, Scarlet, and learned that she spent the Season building what seems to be an army.  He also started construction of a Glass Throne, something which he planned to show off in time in another Althua.  There was some debate as to the new wife, Sapphire, as new facts were stated about her.

Sapphire is not a Fox, but the House of the Fox secretly favor her as she could have been a perfect Fox.  Her mother was a Fox, but having been murdered in cold blood, the Secret Council finds her useful but fears that Kithranus might be her next victim.

Baron Viktor Krev finds new romance blooming with Ti'Ann Burghe's resurfacing.  The two awaken in the shared bed with Ti'Ann reminding him to be present for the party.  When Viktor asks her if she is staying for breakfast, she reminds him, "You haven't Romanced me yet," and throws him a knowing look.  He realizes she will look forward to the Game of Romance in the Party.  The two, however, are clearly out of practice as they stumble and trip on each other's attempts to win the other's attentions.  In the end, they decide to postpone any romances for now and focus on the matter at hand.  A matter that is elaborated further below.

Baron Gaius Mwrr is happy that his lands have recovered from the plague.  He wonders if it is starting to spread in the other Provinces however, given the visitors and messengers he had and had come to his Barony.  He finds himself much amused in the party, but this merriment fades as the matter turns serious when calls for Insult are raised.

Baronness Quan Wei Yvaria finds a glowing mark present upon her brow once again. She wonders on its meaning and learns from her mother that there was once a thing called the Dara.  The Dara was a powerful force that some felt was evil in nature given it was not from the Suaven.  But Quan Wei's mother, Josephine Yvarai, who confesses that an old friend of hers named Jessica Sinjin was touched by the Dara.  She would float, and at times seemingly have the power to heal wounds.  It was believed the Dara was in response to a threat that was beyond the Ven to battle alone.  But their discussion and their attempt to leave is interrupted by a matter of Insult.

The Baron Reidon Yvarai had brought Kithranus' ex-wife Scarlet with him to the party.  Scarlet asks Reidon if he desires to lead the Senate.  And offers him the opportunity to have the power to do so.  "What are you willing to do to get what you want?  Are you willing to sacrifice your dreams?"  He responded, "Anything." And so she handed him an obsidian dagger, told him all it took was to cut himself with it, and to embrace the End Pact and call for, "Liliandra."   Reidon does so.   As the night unfolds, Scarlet and Sapphire meet, with Reidon relishing in introducing the two.  At first Sapphire seemingly has the upper hand, until Scarlet begins to throw question to whether or not she truly is Kithranus' ex-wife.  "If I am recognized to be his wife, then you dear Sapphire are proof of his... affair.  Such an act is not welcome in the Senate halls."   This matter is the catalyst to the cries of Insult.

When the doors slam open as a young Veth drags a bloodied Ven into the Althua, most are aghast.  But the Veth calls for Baron Reidon Yvarai and declares he has achieved the quest given to him.  The man behind the Invasion, Marcellus Steele is dead, and the Veth, Yves, son of Scarlet, wishes to be recognized.

And as it so happens, one of the Vashna is present.

The Insult

Kithranus and Scarlet both call for Insult, and the Vashna present calls for a tribunal to be formed to judge on the matter.  Given the circumstances of the aggrieved, the Senator Quan Wei Yvarai is called to the task. Baron Viktor Krev is also called to the task.  Ti'Ann Burghe too was called to be in the tribunal.  Finally, to determine falsehoods, Gauis Mwrr is called to the task.    Much talk is bandied about, with questions of Yves' actions being called out, whether guilt has been proven, and whether or not Scarlet is recognized as the Yvarai the Senator was once married to.    A few times, Kithranus is over-wrought by anger and speaks out of place, testing the Tribunal's patience.  But when a new voice joins to question the Senator's validity, many stare and gasp at Armand Steele's return.

Long thought dead in the Old Land, Armand Steele, former War General of the Ven, walks into the room and speaks in support of Scarlet's anger.   All stare in shock to see him still alive.  Quan Wei, however, sees not the man but a extremely beautiful ven woman with vibrant red hair that has a white stripe on its middle.  Every motion seems to cry out, "Love me."

Yves and Armand speak of the dead Marcellus to have been building an Ork Army and Armand subtly muses that Kithranus was allied to the man.  He even suggests the Senate can have the Serpents determine falsehood and ask him how his daughter truly died.  Kithranus stares in horror, wondering how he knows of that secret!  The Vashna raises the need for proof, and calls for Dano and Obus Sinjin, whom all remembered to have been given generous gifts of Food by the Baron Kithranus, to check the bodies.  They return, claiming to have seen proof and in agreement of Yves' accusations.  But again, only Quan Wei sees that neither have returned, and she starts to wonder if her being the Dara is related to this incident.

Quan Wei decides to speak up, and Armand Steele recognizes the mark of Dara upon her.  Suddenly, the whole room breaks into chaos as Ven and their personal guards begin attacking one another.  Besieged by attackers none else can see, many of the Ven begin slaughtering each other, as Bloodswords clash and blood splatters with wild abandon.   Scarlet unfurls and allows her Ork side to manifest.  She transforms into a massive Burrower which Armand Steele, now manifest as the beautiful Liliandra, rides with Yves and Reidon to escape the building.  With the commotion, Gauis Mwrr moves to exit the area, using his Ring of Phobos to help him when needed.  He finds a companion in Cavilo Steiner, the man behind the creation of the Airships.   Quan Wei and Viktor Krev are joined by Ti'Ann Burghe and Josephine Yvarai, and the four make their way to Talida Mountain to visit the Suaven Jessica Sinjin, Viktor's wife from the past, in hopes of finding answers.  Kithranus breaks down laughing as the whole room becomes painted red.

The Vasha approches the laughing Kithranus, and admits to him, "I had hoped to... accomplish something else,  but I too am of the Serpent and I can see you were not lying.  You are innocent in these matters.  My... request will wait for now."  When Kithranus asks him to identify himself, he merely mutters, "I am Vashna.  Nothing more."

Elsewhere.  Reidon speaks with Scarlet and Yves, who tell him they have done enough.  "This is where our roads diverge.  Our vengeance is different now from yours.  I thank you..." she glances at Liliandra, "...for being willing."  Reidon does not comprehend much but watches them leave.  Liliandra offers to take his Province away from its current location, admitting the events of the night are sure to have the Senate strip his lands from him.  "All you need to do is ask and I will bring it here."  Reidon does so and finds the forest around him suddenly replaced by his own Province.    "Now what are you willing to do to get what you want?"  Liliandra offers him frightening Strength, sensing it has always been his weakness.  A massive oak tree falls upon them.  Reidon discovers with the Strength this demon has given him, he suddenly has the power to reach out and swat it aside.

"Now, what do you really want?"

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