Chanda the Dark-Haired (KathyB) - Saabi Thief
Derori Bat Natanyu (Angela) - Shiradi Storyteller
Meheka the Wise (Ellie) - Saabi Sage, Sorceress
Menachim Bar Vidal (Mark) - Shiradi Physician
Erick Olafsson (Peter) - Orkadian Mercenary/Adventurer
(8th day of the second Ten-day of the 4th Month of the year 5997)
Edrick Olafsson is absolutely livid over the actions of Deborah Bat Miryam, but Derori Bat Natanyu is able to calm him down, barely. The various soldiers and mercenaries of the ex-Red Lion grumble half-heartedly about what she did to Idris, and Derori makes a somewhat incendiary speech about how she’s wrong and whether they should be following her and her “half-mad” ambitions [she uses a storytelling allegory, and rolls a 23 result with 6 Magnitude!], and many of those there are swayed by her argument. The soldiers and other hangers-on disperse for the night, but there is a definite sense of disharmony among those present. Menachim Bar Vidal is impressed by what Derori did, but she says that no good will come of this. Edrick agrees: the soldiers are too raw emotionally, and somewhat inexperienced, and this may cause problems. The player characters split up for the night, but Edrick has not forgotten what the “she bitch” did to young Idris. There will be payment rendered, this he vows.
The next morning dawns clear and warm, indicating another brutally warm day in the desert environs. The Dragon-Marked learn as they are preparing for the day that they are no longer welcome in the company of the ex-Red Lion and her people, Coros informing them that their leader has demanded that they move their camp area to the northern edge of the oasis, where the Carrassines and their peoole are not staying. Coros does tell the characters that he does not share his leader’s “exuberance” and that he was deeply disturbed at the manner in which she dealt with Idris. There is a lot of resentment among the men this day, and things are not settled in the camp. As Coros leaves, one of the soldiers approaches the group. Menachim Bar Vidal recognizes him as Ibar, one of the mercenaries that he treated the day before. Ibar asks him to come with him, and bring his medical gear; there has been an incident between some of the Agalanthian mercenaries and several of Deborah Bat Miryam’s men. As Menachim gathers up his materials, Derori gives him a look and tells him to be careful. Meheka the Wise says that she will go with him, as she can help with his work. Menachim is grateful, and the two set off with Ibar.
Chanda decides that the group needs more information on what’s happening in the camp of the ex-Red Lion, and goes and sneaks around the Carrassine agents’ campsite. She learns a little bit more about the people there, notably the fact that Deborah Bat Miryam is holding something over the heads of most of the mercenaries. She also learns more about the non-soldier contingent, and discovers some surprising information: many of them are temple servants or family members of the soldiers and mercenaries, and don’t really want to be here. She also realizes that more than they thought don’t approve and don’t like what the ex-Red Lion is doing, though most of them are completely in the dark about why she’s raiding caravans and what she’s searching for in the desert.
Meheka accompanies Menachim as Ibar leads them to the injured and the two talk. Meheka tells him that she’s going to pursue another course of action, and parts ways with him. She brazenly walks straight up to the tent of Deborah Bat Miryam and tells the two Carrassine bodyguards there that she wants to talk to their leader. She manages to persuade one of the guards, Eliahu, to at least go and see if the ex-Red Lion will see her and he does so. Meheka is surprised when Eliahu returns and says that she will actually see her. Meheka and Deborah drink a cup of mint tea, and engage in a conversation once more that gets the Saabi sage nowhere. Exasperated, Meheka gambles ad tells Deborah that she knows what the ex-Red Lion is up to and what she’s seeking in the desert [but of course, she’s bluffing about the latter]. She tells Deborah that her Carrassine masters have no idea what they are doing, and that the raids on the caravans are merely serving to sow the seeds of chaos. Deborah counters that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but she’s partially right; there’s more at stake here than the sage-cum-sorceress knows. Deborah says to tell her friends that their actions have made her cancel the next caravan raid, as she cannot take the chance the dissidents among her men will rebel outright while she is gone to pursue her mission. She tells Meheka to have the Dragon-Marked (for yes, she knows what they are) stay out of her way - or they’ll suffer the consequences. Meheka takes her leave of the ex-Red Lion, worried that she’s made a terrible mistake.
Ibar leads Menachim to a small pair of tents on the edge of the soldiers’ section of the oasis, where she finds 10 or so of the mercenaries, primarily Agalanthian but several from Carrassine, with injuries - some of which are quite severe. As he starts to treat the wounds, another physician, Shira Bat Mordecai, comes up to him and thanks him for joining them. He asks what happened, and Shira and Ibar tell him that the men here are some of those that disagree with the main group of Carrassine agents, and the two engaged in actions more clear than words. Shira confides on Menachim that their leader, Bat Miryam, is not what she seems. She’s afraid to say more for fear that it will get back to Deborah Bat Miryam, and besides, they have enough work to do tending the injuries of the wounded.
Meanwhile, as Edrick is sharpening his sword and maintaining his weapons, he has a visit from Sarah. The Carrassine agent tells him that his words have deeply affected both her and her brother, Shimon, and they have had second thoughts about the “mission” that Deborah Bat Miriam is on. Sarah says that the ex-Red Lion “has not been herself” these last few months, and they’re concerned. When he asks, she can’t explain it, as he wouldn’t understand how women interact differently together than when there are men around, but she says to trust her, there’s something “wrong” about Deborah Bat Miryam. In any event, they’ve decided to help the player characters. The two flirt for a little bit longer as well, but Sarah tells him that she needs to get back to her duties.
As the day winds down, the Dragon-Marked go about moving their gear and the campsite to the northern edge of the oasis. Once done with the process of the move, they settle in for their evening meal and enjoy some lamb and mutton that Ibar had delivered for their consumption as a reward for Menachim’s hard work and the gratitude of the injured that he helped and treated. After eating, they finish cleaning up the campsite - just as Eliahu comes running up to them. Meheka asks what’s wrong, and the guard says that Deborah Bat Miryam has sent a contingent of her men to kill them. He screams, and goes down as an Orkadian axe embeds itself in his back! As the Dragon-Marked grab up their weapons, they are rushed by a large group of Agalanthian mercenaries - led by Shimon!
The game session of the Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked Friday night campaign was a pretty good one, that saw the player characters take interesting approaches to the matter at hand. Peter said that he feels there is a reckoning close at hand between his character, Edrick, and the villain of the story, Deborah Bat Miryam. The other players are finding the roleplaying (as opposed to roll-playing) experience of the game so far to be quite entertaining and lots of fun, as they continue to come to grips with the Jazirati cultures and the social elements of the game play.
In any event, another good session of the Friday night Capharnaüm - The Tales of the Dragon-Marked RPG campaign. Even though I've got a ton of work to do on the games I'll be running at CanGames 2019 this year, I'm looking forward to the next session of the Friday night game in a couple of weeks.