Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Multitudinous Seas Incarnadine, Session 6

19 Feb 2008

New Characters
  • Nimrod: Security specialist, formerly employed by Anvil Lord Omri

Session Summary

The Humans choose Take Action against the Vaylen.
The Vaylen choose Flak.

Paul's Interstitial (Daniel) : Late at night at the Temple, Levi hands over a datapad to Daniel. "You're right, Levi," says the Archcotare. "The time to take action has come."

Christina's Interstitial: In the family throne room, Tay reluctantly accepts his orders from Miriam but blames her for his current state.

Tay: "I don't understand. Why won't you let me see my father?"
Miriam: "I don't trust him."
Tay: "Like you didn't trust me? Maybe you could send him to the moon."

Before he leaves, Miriam gets Tay to admit his role in the smuggling operation, which was entirely commercial: buying stolen goods, money laundering, etc.

Tay: "What do you want me to do? Stop selling them grain or poison it?"
Miriam: "They don't all know that you've turned yet. I say we insinuate ourselves deeper. I presume it won't be too much of a burden on you to pretend disloyalty to me."
Tay: "Before we do, I'd like to speak to Grandmother."

Roy's Interstitial: Somewhere in Jael's chambers (where Jael's Kerrn-scale workout equipment has been brought), Jael questions Tay yet again about the pirates. "I owe your mother the loyalty of a daughter, but I don't owe you the loyalty of a sister," says Jael. Tay tries to get Jael to question Miriam's loyalty towards her. "You hate the Muhkadish, don't you? Doesn't it grate on you that she goes and listens to them?" Tay asks. But Jael is having none of it.

Tay admits that Miriam was the Pirate Queen's next target. "She wanted you for what you did to her, but then she saw that you were merely the knife, not the hand that holds it. She has grand ambitions. I spoke with her once. She is a driven and dangerous woman. She rejects the teachings of the Church. She sees the Wheel as slavery. She would break the chains of this world. But, I sensed in her a tiredness. A sense that perhaps time had passed her by. Perhaps this world no longer had room for her. Perhaps she'd grown to big for it. Perhaps she was like the [fish], that when it grows too large and too old is nibbled to death by its children. Perhaps she could sense her children coming for her. . . Children. . . She has a daughter in the Church."

Based on this recollection, Jael and Tay identify Uriel as Hagar's daughter.

Ted's Color: Tay, wandering the palace, checks the old dead-drop caches that he and Erik used as children and finds a message from Michael.

Roy's Color: During a training exercise, Michael's computer systems alert him that Jael has run a security scan on Uriel's records.

Paul's Interstitial (Omri): At a secret meeting in orbit, Makeda introduces Security Specialist Nimrod and Jael. Makeda has drafted him into service (which doesn't come cheaply) from her ex-lover Lord Omri to help repay her debt to Miriam. Nimrod is deferential to Jael and enthusiastic about the idea of working together. Nimrod hands over communications data from Omri's files to help spy on the pirates. He admits his previous employer had problems with the pirates. Miriam is outwardly pleased but inwardly frustrated with Makeda: "She's outwitted me again. First she gives my son back to me, and now she gives this other man."

Paul's Conflict (Hagar): Michael forces a meeting with Jael and Tay about Uriel, with Uriel listening through the curtain and speaking in Michael ear. Tay is eager to prove himself to Michael and reveals the information about Uriel's parentage. Tay says, "We thought you should know there's a possibility of a spy in your ranks."

[Duel of Wits: Tay's Persuasion, 1 Routine; Michael's Persuasion, 1 Routine; Jael: Persuasion, 1 Routine; Uriel's Oratory, 1 Routine]

Tay tries to press the issue, but Michael shows them the precautions he's already taken, but Jael realizes that when it comes to his family, Michael's intentions are to be trusted.

Michael: "She married another because of my failure."

Paul's Color (Daniel): Simultaneous planetwise sermons condemn the ancestor cult and announce an upcoming address by the

Paul's Interstitial (Daniel): Daniel calls his brother to discuss the sermons. "I know we disagree about many things, brother, but can we not agree that this is an abomination?" he asks. They spar about the relationship of Muhkadish to the Wheel. ("Do you question my authority, Cotar Fomas?" "Not at all, Daniel.") They eventually agree that the ancestor cult is tantamount to slavery.

Christina's Building: Miriam talks with Jael about the sermon.

Miriam: "It's obvious what they were aiming at. Do you understand why? ... You realize the face of politics on this world relies on the negotiations between our families, between our long-lived clans and our ancestors. And that the easiest way for the Church to regain power is to destroy the political bonds that everyone else works to ensure they can't."
Jael: "Would you not have the same ancestors without these Muhkadish to speak for them."
Miriam: "If you can't bring your ancestors to the table and they have no voice, then how can you possibly form bonds with them?"
Jael: "Come. You must know what they are like, as I know about my Motha, and my Motha's Motha, all the way back to the Kerrn who stood before the Emperor. I can speak for them without any alien to speak for me." Miriam: "You were there when we welcomed Makeda. You've seen that happen a millions times. Explain to me how we could have done that, where it would have had that sort of effect on her, on us, where it would have affirmed those bonds without..."
Jael: "You know I haven't seen what goes on in that chamber! I see what happens afterward, but what they say there..."
Miriam: "They say the same thing as if you loaded a brain tape on you computer, I suppose. That's not the point. The point is that the Church is trying to take away one of my most valuable political tools, and they're trying to do it through the realm of doctrine, which is how they always do it."
Jael: "Well, can you not, as they say, each two fish with one gulp? What if you did use a computer?"
Miriam: "The palpible prescence of our ancestors is what gives them their power."

Miriam encourages Jael to attack the Church's position by making it an attack on the ancestors rather than their representation, thus angering the populace.

Roy's Conflict: Jael, having discovered that Levi is the originator of the sermon, contacts him. Jael, playing off of Levi's hatred of the Muhkadish, whips him into a frenzy.

[Duel of Wits: Jael's Persuasion, 1 Challenging; Levi's Oratory, 1 Challenging]

Michael becomes aware that this call happened.

Ted's Building Scene: Michael, concerned about the fate of Muhkadish, approaches Tay about setting up an "underground railroad" for them. Tay agrees and spends a sizeable fortune to set up a secret training facility for Muhkadish forces on a small, out-of-the-way island. [Michael's Scheme-wise: Ob1 on 3d; Resources: Ob 8 on 10d; help from Tay, failed by 4; Michael taxed 2, Tay taxed 4]

Later, Michael confronts Uriel in her lab about her mother. "This is what I was born to. She abandoned me to it. I have no bond with her. I owe her nothing. Tell me what to do." [Uriel's Pharmacology: Ob6 on 5d]

Christina's Color: Miriam uses the ancestor cult to mobilize protests against the Archcotare's address, particularly war veterans.

Paul's (Daniel) Building: The Archcotare implores the faithful to reject the cult's teachings. "For too long, the Church has remained silent and allowed these dead voices to speak and to be heard. ... I know that many of you long for the touch, for those voices of those you held dear, those who have left us, those who have gone to the sea. But we must not, we cannot, we shall not let the living be controlled by the dead." This goes well until he brings the Forged Lord into it, at which point it looks like a blantant political move. [Daniel's Oratory: Ob8 on 8d vs. Miriam's Propaganda: Ob2 on 8d + 2 Persona]

Remaining rolls:

Michael contacts Cedric, the Muhkadish leader, who leads a troop of Muhkadish to the island [Michael's Circles: Ob4 on 10d; relationship established]

Miriam checks on Tay's activities and discovers the island. [Miriam's Accounting: Ob1 on 5d]

End of Maneuver

Jael's Investigative Logic: Ob1 on 6d (3s)
Daniel's Oratory: Offense: Open on 5d (2s), Defense: Ob3 on 5d (1s) (help from Levi with Oratory and Locals-wise)

Vaylen: 21, Humans 17

Epilogue: Levi calls Jael to apologizes for his failure, and Jael realizes Levi is in her power.

Things we learned (fiction)

The land around the Temple is always frozen.

There are multiple throne rooms in the palace.

Nimrod is very competent but has a history with Pitr.

Conversations with the dead are more private than conversations with the living.

There is both a braintape and non-braintape method of channeling the ancestors.

Things we learned (rules)

Thinking about each maneuver as an issue of a comic book helps.

If you can't immediately set the stakes, you probably shouldn't have a Duel of Wits (yet).


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