GM's Note: This one actually covers two sessions, in which a lot of plans came to fruition. Enjoy!
Kraebor returned to the baker's shop on the morning of the 27th to look for more business while he watched Senator Gethedyle's house. He visited a nearby lace maker's shop just up the street, and inquired within to see if they also needed a sign made and painted, as they lacked even that. They were skeptical and saw no burning need for a sign but Kraebor was advised to come back when the patriarch of the family that ran the shop returned. Kraebor also visited a victualer and they too agreed to have him repaint their sign for a pittance, well below his normal fees. He started this new painting, glad to have the work and to have the opportunity to spy on the Senator's house.
Meanwhile, Kavon gambled some at the Apple Inn that dreary, rainy morning, but saw no one from Molis' crew, nor anyone he recognized as a crony of Koral. He decided to head to the east side of the city, wandering about to see if he could meet up with any of the Kotros criminals to pass a message. He stepped into Ty's Ale House and found Dalton and Big Zab there already having some ale. He sat with the two of them, sharing rumors and news, before Kavon fed Big Zab a lie to get him to the Malthain house to fetch Liakos. Liakos and Bail were there when Zab arrived, grabbing cloaks and heading out the door when the thug delivered the message. Tamora, aghast at Big Zab's leg after inquiring about his hobbling, stayed behind to cut the man, fixing up his infection. It took some time but she was confident his leg would mend if he kept the wound clean.
Liakos and Bail arrived at Ty's and asked Dalton to keep on eye on things while they spoke with Kavon in the backroom. The three were satisfied that they were able to speak freely in the storage room and they talked at length about the plot against Senator Tuvoth of Rylen and Argon's confinement. Sir Bail noted to Kavon that they had acquired a mace for him and Kavon decided to work his mastery upon it immediately, though he was told to gather more information if he could. In turn, Kavon asked Liakos and Bail stay with Dalton for a time while he left for the Malthain house, not wanting to be seen leaving with the two of them. Though he observed his cousin working on Zab's leg when he arrived, he went upstairs to begin engraving and bejeweling the mace at once.
After mending Zab's pustulent leg wound, Tamora went to the docks intent on speaking with Faygin of Beck about some incoming goods she expected. He had a package for her and it was an assemblage of poisonous ingredients from her contact outside the city. Faygin was willing to haggle over the price, as normal, but eventually they came to an agreement; For the mere cost of a 'love' potion and fifty silver Faygin was willing to hand over the lot. The potion was for a 'friend' of his of course, though Tamora wondered what Faygin's wife would think of the beefy longshoreman's request.
Kraebor came home while Liakos and Bail (having returned home from Ty's after a sufficient time to allay any suspicions) were trying to figure out what to do about the Morgathians. Senator Tuvoth was a lay member of their church and Koral's assassination order would have to make them concerned. Kavon was upstairs working on the mace and the house seemed strangely quiet, so Enthor stepped outside to stretch his legs and get some fresh air. A veritable gaggle of Peonian pilgrims were in front of the Halean temple, causing trouble as they milled about in front of the gates, and so Enthor decided to have a theological discussion with them. The discussion mostly revolved around fists and faces, however, as Enthor tried to threaten the pilgrims into taking their pilgrimage somewhere else. One small, female Peonian pilgrim stood up to him, proclaiming that she was not afraid and knew that her faith would overcome. Enthor tried to make her flinch, and when his first attempt failed the big thug decided that is it was time to put faith to the test. He slammed his fist into her gut, knocking the wind out of her and setting off a melee amongst the flock.
Tamora was returning from her foray with Faygin when she saw the fight break out in front of the Malthain house, bodies coming together in the middle of the street with fists flying. Enthor punched a man after trying to stare him down, intent on not getting arrested for once, but they began trading blows with the new intention of knocking one another out. The fight quickly escalated into more and more pilgrims piling on as Enthor laid about with an increasing rage and that all-too familiar boil that came from a good fight. Alerted by the growing din, Bail, Liakos, and Kraebor came out of the house and they too witnessed the brawl in disbelief. Tamora moved closer to the house, preferring to stay out of the fight, while Bail decided to clear the street with words, shouting at the top of his lungs.
Enthor continued landing and taking hits, fighting four men at once as the brawl grew with every passing moment. One man was knocked into Sir Bail and the knight spun the lad about, smashing him down to the street as he continued wading into the heart of the fray. He continued to scream and Kraebor tried to knock down one of the Peonians to get the press to lighten up against Enthor. The crowd finally abated under the knight's incessant haranguing, the combatants seeing the potential trouble of a noble becoming involved. Enthor snuck in one last punch, dropping one of his opponents to the cobbles before straightening and trying to separate himself from the fight. Sir Bail used his knightly bearing (and well-honed Legion officer's command voice) to convince the Peonians to take their wounded out of 'his' street and begone.
An old matriarch, the leader of the pilgrims, asked for the Guard to be summoned and Bail countered, summoning the Captain of the Solithar to come out. He asked the Solithar to explain what happened, but one among their number explained that Enthor hit a girl and started the fight. Enthor tried to explain himself, and while several of the peasant bystanders sided with him, others didn't. Kraebor recalled that Dalid of Kolfax was nearby and so he left to get the sergeant and his Hand of Red Guardsmen to put the issue to rest. Dalid was only too happy to help oppress Peonians, and he told the old Peonian woman to be gone before everyone was arrested and brought in.
With that ugly business done, Sir Bail was able to go about his original business. He and Liakos had decided that Bail would travel across the bridge to Caer Kuseme to talk to Joubar of Holsine and warn him of the plot against Senator Tuvoth of Rylen. He was able to get the story out without spilling the beans completely as to how he came across the information, and while he agreed to pass the information along to Marshal Kronas, Joubar warned that passing such sensitive information could have politically unpredictable consequences. Returning to the Malthain household, Sir Bail told Liakos about his meeting with Joubar, the two trying to find the appropriate angle to reach the Senator before he could be assassinated. Bail also quickly bashed a sign together for Kraebor to use at the lace shop, relishing once again the chance to work with his hands even though the work took him into the wee hours of the morning.
The rest of the family was busy as well. Tamora made the potion that Faygin requested, keeping some for herself in case she ever had a need to significantly lower someone's inhibitions and make them susceptible to suggestion. Kavon and Enthor delivered the finished mace to the Agrikan's and were introduced to the Hardeth of Alviol, high priest of the local Agrikan order of the Octagonal Pit. The introduction was perhaps typical of most when dealing with Agrikans who are scourging themselves. Hardeth was impressed by the mace, noting the craftsmanship, and intended to use it at the Pamesani games the coming weekend. Kavon mentioned that he was willing to craft more for their church but was out of supplies. Hardeth had a small chest brought out, full of gems, and asked Kavon to select some. He wanted his armor to be worked by Kavon, and the jeweler elected to use the forge in the temple to set some of the gems into the temple master's gorget.
The 28th arrived stormy and rainy as Kraebor awaited for Wysele of Nordaka and Kelen of Vanthes at the Halean temple, intent on delivering his painting to the Mistress of the Senate and speaking business with Senator Kelen, but neither showed up due to inclement weather. The weather turned even worse that night, prompting most of the family to stay indoors. Snow fell overnight, barely but present, and Kraebor worked on the sign for the lace maker that morning. He snuck away while his finishes were drying to see Senator Kelen, and she agreed to have him do some work for her. She wanted a 6 x 10 tapestry replaced with a large portrain, and she and Kraebor agreed on 180 silver for the job. He requested permission to set up in the servants' quarters on the south side of the manse, where the "light was best" and also where he could spy on Senator Gethedyle's house. Ever a patron of the fine arts, the Senator graciously allowed him to stay at her house while he did the work, providing him room and board for the duration.
Tamora went to the docks to visit Faygin to deliver the love potion but was told he wasn't around and that he might be sick, as none of his crew had seen him. She asked one of the dockworkers to escort her to his house to see if that was so. She went up the stairs of his tenement and knocked on the door but found the unlocked barrier swinging open under contact. The apothecary smelled the copper tang of blood, her skilled training telling her that it was old, and her fears were confirmed when she saw Faygin's dead body, as well as the corpses of his wife and three children. Amongst the contents of the thoroughly tossed room, Tamora spotted her package of the rest of the herbs on a desk near the door and so she scooped them up before leaving the house quickly, afraid that whomever killed Faygin may still be watching.
That afternoon, Kraebor went to Jond of Karin's shop, seeing how the apothecary did business to scope the place out for later when he planted the evidence that Tamora would supply. Liakos and Bail went to Kuseme to speak to Caldan since they had received his cryptic message. They met him at the Kuseme common where some caravans were already moving in. The salt route traders were back, some at least, and Caldan noted that the caravans all employed teamsters. He laid out a plan involving the teamsters not moving the traders across the bridge into Coranan and Liakos surmised this was Uven of Gelt's plan to unionize the teamsters, by stopping commerce cold in an audacious display of disobedience.
Tamora made more potions at the house for use by Liakos and the others when they ambushed Koral, while Kavon finished up his work at the Agrikan Temple. The high priest was summoned when the gorget was complete and Hardeth was so pleased he praised Kavon's work and gave the young jeweler a benediction and, though the benediction ended with a bone-jarring backhanded blow. Hardeth made Kavon promise to "let no man say you are unskilled," and then swore to show off his work at the Pamesani games the next day. Kavon retired to the Stake to recuperate and rest, glad to be out of the Agrikan temple and back in a soft bed.
Kraebor broke into Jond's apothecary shop successfully that night, planting the poison vials where instructed and making good his escape without anyone the wiser. Meanwhile, Liakos and Bail travelled to Omagil to speak to Trallek of Bolrin about helping in Kuseme and stiffing Koral at the regular Lia Kavair meeting the next night after the Pamesani games. It seemed a riot was brewing in Kuseme and someone spotted smoke rising. Liakos used this against Koral, telling Trallek that it could be the Guildmaster burning the city again. Trallek was not entirely convinced he should help. He likened Liakos' offer to a silver dagger, that could be used to slit his own throat if things didn't work out the way Liakos hoped.
Kavon and Enthor went to the Pamesani games on the 30th, but Kavon was interrupted from his normal work when he was invited to a private box. He made contacts and wagers with the nobles and other notables that were there, winning some money. He recognized a few of the others from a high stakes gambling game that Kelen of Vanthes had hosted some months back. Molis came up at some point to take wagers and Kavon took him aside as he was leaving, noting that he was sorry he couldn't help. Molis, however, was glad to see him in the private box, making 'friends,' though his surprise at seeing "Navok" there was evident.
Tamora had made a hideous poison the day before to coat blades for Liakos and Bail as the two men began making the appropriate plans for the coming night. They would ambush Koral in his tunnel system after he left the Apple Inn, knowing that Liakos' absence, and hopefully Trallek's, would throw Koral into a rage. Taking the man's metaphor literally, Bail bought a silver dagger to bribe Trallek with, and Liakos had Umis and his beggars tell his other underlings to go to Kuseme and help Caldan and the teamsters. Liakos, Sir Bail, and Kraebor all donned their armor and cloaks before departing for the building they had used before to get to the tunnel system. Synainova accompanied them, and they hoped the four of them would be enough to put and end to Koral the Bloody.
Molis had told Kavon to go to the Apple Inn for the meeting after the Pamesani games, and the jeweler had a front row seat to the plan working out perfectly, though Kavon had no direct knowledge of it himself. He saw Koral blow up on Dewell over Faygin's fate, the two arguing before Koral put an end to the conversation. Liakos' and Trallek's absence only further inflamed Koral and he sent runners to find both of them. The messengers soon reported that the two men were either unaccounted for, or were busy in Trallek's case. They also reported smoke over Kuseme and trouble brewing across the bridge, causing further confusion in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Synainova, Kraebor, Liakos, and Bail were sneaking into the tenement that granted access to the tunnels to and from Koral's home/guildhall. Kraebor picked the lock and opened the trap door down to the basement, hearing rustling noises and signalling to the others. Synainova rushed in, Liakos quickly behind her, and they both found targets, stabbing in the dark. Bail waded in, swinging his sword into someone as well. Synainova found the mouth of her target and covered it with a hand before slashing his neck, and Kraebor's lantern revealed that the poor fellow was the only one awaiting them.
Shortly thereafter, Kavon heard a number of Red Guard moving in lockstep toward the Apple Inn, with Koral announcing that was 'his man's' signal. Everyone at the meeting moved, some staying behind and others heading to exits. Kavon asked Molis what to do and Molis told him to come with him. The pair, as well as Gorn, a member of Gorn's crew, and Koral, hurried to the back of the inn to a trap door. A man, Drell, let them through and secured the door behind him after striking a lantern, accompanying them through a secret tunnel. The tunnel was short and ended at a door that Drell pushed open and walked through. The assembled and waiting party of Malthain boys and their compatriots, hidden in the room, saw the secret door open and then heard Kavon ask 'Where are we going?' from the tunnel. Drell moved to the opposite secret door but Molis realized their guard was missing, asking aloud, 'Where's Gent?'
As if in reply, the attack was sprung with Synainova jumping out, wielding her newly poisoned daggers. She slashed at Koral twice while screaming a curse. Kraebor threw one of his poisoned daggers into Koral, drawing a ragged line across his ribs before readying another. Koral's party was stunned by the sudden assault, with Liakos moving to stab Gorn in the shoulder with a poisoned blade. Sir Bail directed the team before moving from his cover to close with drawn short sword. Jerris of Hezaid, one of Koral's apprentices, was behind Kavon when the fight broke out, and the jeweler screamed as he turned around, pushing and grappling with Jerris to flee back into the tunnel. Jerris tried to get out of the hysterical jeweler's clutches but was unsuccessful.
Koral was the first to respond, driving knives and trading cuts with Synainova, knocking her down at some point. The woman had delivered a handful of blows with her poisoned blades but Koral was striking hard and true still, the poison not affecting him yet. Liakos and Sir Bail were fighting the other men while Kraebor looked for a good opportunity to throw a second dagger into someone. Molis had a dagger drawn but had not yet committed to an attack, and Kavon still grappled with Jerris, trying to get the man to run or at least get out of his way. Gorn's man Tolliver of Wentz moved to aid his boss, engaging Liakos in the process. This in turn forced Kraebor to enter the fray to keep his brother from being overwhelmed. Drell had a hatchet that slapped against Kraebor's leather armor once, then twice, but the wiry man shrugged off the blows and punched and sliced when he could.
Soon, Gorn was down and everyone was wounded on Koral's side, most notably the Guildmaster himself. Synainova had taken two brutal stabs to the midsection but wasn't out yet before Drell was felled by Kraebor. Jerris found himself in rather dire straits as Kavon had him in a choke hold, tightening his grip to cut the off man's air as he shouted to Molis to run. For his part, Molis took careful aim and threw his dagger, catching Sir Bail in the arm and wounding him slightly.
The fighting was intense until the poison coursing in Koral's veins finally hit his brain. The man staggered, blinking in confusion as his muscles suddenly seized and an intense shock of pain seemed to set his brain afire. It gave Liakos the opportunity he needed, and the big Malthain brother stepped in, driving his dagger into Koral's head and dropping him to the floor like a felled sow. Molis saw Koral's demise and he stepped back, flipping his remaining dagger around to offer the handle out as a gesture of surrender.
Synainova, still in a fighting fury lunged at Molis, though Liakos quickly shouted, 'Not him!'. Still, the wickedly-quick assassin woman scored a blow against the defenseless Molis, though in her weakened state it had little effect. Liakos and Kraebor managed to restrain the woman from killing their valuable captive.
Once the situation had calmed, Kraebor began to move forward to accept Molis' surrender but then stopped himself. Molis was a friend of his, but Liakos was in charge here. Liakos took the dagger and Molis turned to Kavon, telling him to release Jerris and calm down. Visibly shaken, Molis looked back to Liakos and crossed his arms, waiting for surrender terms to be issued.