Somerville Burning Cabal

1: Welcome to Torberg
Let's depart as soon as possible.

Wilson Eckelberg returns to Torburg without any fresh kills or pelts. He finds a friendly serving wench from whom he bums a hot meal.

Brother Alinadro is laughed out of the church by the rich and greedy elders of the Church. As he leaves, he sees a mural showing the noble death of Saint Berengar and is inspired to acquire the relic of his skull in far off Salvora. He starts preaching for assistance on this quest in the Market Square, but eventually starts arguing with a heckler. Wilson overhears Alinadro’s preaching, and they discuss plans to leave the city.

Kall is unnoticed as she watches Lady Amandella leave her house. Her magic fails to provide a suitable disguise, so she barges into the residence and asks to wait for her sister’s return. After failing to convince a guard to give her access to the house armory, she is confronted by her sister and they have a falling out. Kall prepares to leave Torburg.

Alinadro’s begging for alms fails to be enough to purchase a new straw hat. Wilson finds a noble to knows Alinadro and starts a discussion about helping the preacher.

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Session 21
Paz Crowned

Taneskel makes a desperate attempt to convince Viceroy to go to Lord Paz. He succeeds and his exile is lifted, but he must face trial for his crimes to the Church. The Viceroy and Paz speak, but of what topics and with what outcome?

Farkas the Bastard is rescued from the King’s prison by Paz and his men. Paz greets him as a brother.


In a plaza ringed by hanging traitors, The Lion of Jeptha crowns Paz the King of Qom. Paz gives a speech declaring that all men are equal. Nobles line up to swear fealty to the Lion and Paz, and The Lion executes the liars among them.

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Session 20
Labor's Rewards

Taneskel’s sleep is interrupted when guards drop off Chancellor Marduke and shackle him to the post. Marduke ungags him to talk, and Taneskel reveals that he is one of Lord Paz’s advisors. In exchange for information about the parley that went badly, Taneskel states his name and summarizes his situation. No longer cut off from his magic thanks to the Chancellor, Taneskel warns him not to be bothered as he casts a spell. The Chancellor asks to be freed as well, and Taneskel acquiesces. Instead of the usual Fire Breath, Taneskel focuses the exhalation as a short blue flame that vaporizes the links binding them. Taneskel, with a white-hot chain trailing him, asks the guards outside the tent to notify Paz that he wishes to speak with him, and then goes to help patch up an injured Khunbish. After attempting to help, he confronts Paz for an apology. He gets tasked with bringing the Viceroy to Paz, and death if Paz sees him again otherwise.

Farkas wakes up in jail, still bleeding from his untreated wounds. He tries to convince the guard to get medical attention, and at least convinces the guard to go ask if Farkas’s life should be saved. Eventually the King of Qom shows up to question Farkas. Some hard questions are asked and go unanswered. No medical help is given.

Khunbish awakens to find General Atrius nearby. They talk. Atrius offers a position within his army, which comes with all the trappings of office and men under him. Khunbish accepts.

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Session 19
Downfall

Farkas and the Court Wizard speak with the King of Qom. Farkas fails to convince his half-brother to surrender, and the King likewise to convince Farkas to avenge him after his forthcoming death by the Lion’s forces. In line with his promise to General Atrius and the king during their argument, Farkas attempts to kill the king, but is instead injured and captured.

At dawn, Lord Paz, General Atrius, and Khunbish meet with Chancellor Marduke and the Constable to parley. During the introductions, the booming voice of the Court Wizard informs them that the king is under attack! The Constable says the parley will resume at noon, as their party returns to Qom. Khunbish sees this as an insult, and asks Atrius if they should be killed. Atrius tells him to hinder them, and so Khunbish rides out and shoots off the strap holding the Chancellor’s saddle in place. As the Constable flees, one of the guards turns back to attack Khunbish, plugging him with two arrows.

Taneskel remains tied up and watched by Paz’s guards.

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Session 18
To Meet The King

Farkas and Khunbish are in a room full of guards as the form of Marduke fades to reveal the Court Wizard. Khunbish grabs a bubbling green vial from a table and, while wrestling with the guards, throws it at the Wizard. The vial releases an illusion spell, which the Wizard manipulates into the form of Amara, injured and pleading for help. Khunbish stops resisting.

Farkas and the Wizard talk. They come to an agreement: If the Court Wizard takes Farkas to the King to convince him to give up Qom, and Farkas will do everything he can to make sure the Wizard can keep his position under Paz’s administration. Farkas asks the Wizard to find Taneskel, so that he may have his support for the conversation with the king. As dawn approaches, they go visit the King.

Taneskel and Kurtz escape the depths below Qom and enter the city. It is the middle of the night. They dally about Qom, looking for a source of medical supplies and for a contact within the church to learn about the Viceroy’s condition. After several hours, they discover a servant of the Court Wizard asking around about Taneskel. They manage to lie low and not be noticed, but they then tail the servant and are eventually discovered. He asks Taneskel to come with him to speak with the Wizard, but Taneskel flees. His time up, Taneskel returns to Paz to make his report at dawn. It does not go well. Confused and tired beyond caring, Taneskel does not resist as he is gagged and tossed into a tent under guard.

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Session 17
Into the Sewers

At the conclusion of the Paz and Atrius’s strategy meeting, Khunbish suggests that himself, Farkas, Taneskel sneak into the city tonight to obtain information before the planned parley. Farkas finds Kurtz and makes him accompany them.

Khunbish thinks he knows a way in used by prostitutes, thieves, and other unsavory folk. Approaching the entrance, they find Amara, Khunbish’s prostitute friend, unconscious and bleeding, but they have no useful tools to help her. Khunbish decides the mission into Qom is too important, and he leaves her there.

Once in the sewers, Khunbish’s claustrophobia kicks in, and runs deeper into the sewers in his panic. Catching up, they find a horrible, misshapen creature with a long tail and a mouth large enough to swallow a man whole. Taneskel wounds the creature several times before blasting it into ash with fire breath.

Eventually, they find a trapdoor on the ceiling made of stone, some distance up. They fail to open it, but they make enough noise that the trapdoor opens. Chancellor Marduke has a guard lower a rope and calls to them to come up. Khunbish confronts his old friend the Chancellor, and asks him to submit. While Marduke dallies, and Khunbish shoots him in eye with an arrow! And the Chancellor appears to shrug it off! Farkas and Khunbish climb the rope while Taneskel carefully and patiently casts and holds fire breath. As he climbs up, Marduke tells him to drop the spell. Taneskel asks, “Who are you really?” The stone is resealed, severing the rope, and Taneskel falls.

Taneskel and Kurtz start looking for another way out.

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Session 16
Qom's New King

General Atrius, accompanied by Farkas, Khunbish, and Taneskel, ride to Lord Paz’s camp to discuss battle plans for the next day.

Ignoring the rules of etiquette, Farkas immediately confronts Paz before proper greetings have even started. He claims Taneskel is an assassin sent by Paz that he is returning. Once the meeting starts, Farkas gets into an argument with Paz. Farkas wants to challenge Paz to a duel, but Paz wants Farkas to relinquish his claim to the throne and support Paz’s position.

Paz wins handedly.

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Session 15
Conflicted Instincts

Farkas keeps a look out for Rexar as he tries to find the city gates. He wonders if he knows the guard behind the gates. Taneskel searches for Farkas, hoping to find him before Rexar does. Both eventually find the walls of Qom in the darkness.

Taneskel attempts to take the form of the falcon to enter Qom, but right then a magical gust of wind picks up, buffeting him and causing the spell to fail. The magical darkness blows away to reveal three men on top of a parapet: the Viceroy holding a rod, the Court Wizard with arms spread, and Chancellor Marduke. General Atrius gives Khunbish permission to fire, and he shoots the Viceroy who almost tumbles off the parapet if not for the Court Wizard’s quick reflexes. Khunbish then shoots the Wizard. The three men retreat from the wall for cover.

Being tossed about by the wind, Farkas sees both Taneskel and Rexar crawling toward him. Seeing Rexar, Taneskel runs toward Farkas as Rexar starts to do the same. Farkas instinctively readies his spear, which causes Taneskel to reflexively breathe fire. The shock of this gives Taneskel a few moments to warn Farkas that Paz wants him dead and that he has until next sundown to kill Paz. And warns to not wave the spear in his direction! Taneskel tries to slink off but is confronted by Rexar. Rather than fight, Taneskel allows himself to be taken by Rexar and Farkas and promises to help them enter the city. Farkas and company try to convince the city guard to open the gate for them, but fail.

Taneskel attempt to find Paz’s surgeon so the he can obtain some healing supplies. Farkas finds the field doctor formerly in his platoon, now at Atrius’s camp. The doctor, with assistance from Taneskel, manage to patch up Farkas’s wounds. Atrius shows up and asks Taneskel who he is, to which he replies, “Nothing”. Khunbish reveals that he is a sorcerer from Qom, and Taneskel admits to being a vassal of Paz, but explains he no longs wishes to be. Atrius requests that Taneskel accompany them to a meeting with Lord Paz.

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Session 14
Darkness Descends

Rexar starts walking to Lord Paz to make a report of the situation, and Farkas accompanies him. Farkas convinces Rexar to join him after being promised a position in Farkas’s Qom. Rexar continues on toward Paz alone to make his report.

Taneskel is further questioned by the Court Wizard. Done with him, the Court Wizard drugs him and has him launched out of a catapult over the walls of Qom. Taneskel just barely manages to transform into a falcon before being dashed to pieces. As falcon, he searches for Paz.

Taneskel confronts Paz on a battlefield, returning to human form right next to him. They have a one-sided argument. Taneskel complains that Paz threw his life away by asking him to kill the Court Wizard and asks that he be released from service, but Paz convinces Taneskel to kill Farkas instead. Taneskel starts casting to return to his falcon form, when he is attacked by Rexar! The interruption of the spell causes a zone of darkness to appear midday, miles wide, centered on Taneskel. Taneskel reflexively responds with fire breath directed at Rexar before sneaking off into the dark.

The magical darkness brings an end to the fighting and shows no signs of clearing.

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Session 13
Capitulation

Farkas presses into the phalanx protecting General Atrius, which also contains Khunbish. Most of Farkas’s men have fallen to get him here, although he can hear Thorgrim fighting nearby. Farkas chops off an opponent’s arm to acquire a shield. Atrius calls, “Hold!” and his men stop fighting, but this merely emboldens Farkas, and he advances into the ring of guards around Atrius. Atrius charges him from horseback, and the fight begins!

Taneskel wakes up naked and tied to a table in yet another laboratory of the Court Wizard of Qom. Hours have passed. He is no match for the restraints upon him. The Wizard eventually arrives to gloat and question him. Taneskel reveals that he came back to Qom, under penalty of death, because he wants access to the secret library. The wizard questions him further on who sent him, and Taneskel eventually reveals that Lord Paz wants the wizard dead. Taneskel also admits that Paz must want him dead as well, otherwise, why would he have sent him to face a superior foe. Over the course of the questioning, the Court Wizard senses a glimmer of potential in Taneskel and decides not to kill him immediately.

The fight is not going well for Farkas. Atrius on horseback proves to be nigh-unassailable to Farkas on foot. As the situation worsens for Farkas, Khunbish cries out that Farkas should submit and join them, the alternative surely being death. Khunbish (with help from Atrius) and Farkas argue over terms: Farkas must have a higher position than Paz once Qom has been taken over, but Farkas must convince his half-brother, the King of Qom, to join forces with the Lion of Jeptha or kill him.

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