A Bride for Merlin
Session IX, 3 March 2000
After taking care of his sister's protection, Lord Shandor sets about provisioning himself for Duke Flark's hunting expedition. As befits a Lord of Chaos, he will be expected to provide his own mount, along with any servants he may require. Having none of these items on his own account, he decides to borrow them from House Sawall.
"Cousin, it's good to see you again," Duke Despil greets him as he enters the Study. "Please have a seat."
The Duke gestures, and a large furry beanbag-looking thing moves towards him and settles within sitting range. Shandor sits down, and it forms itself into a very comfortable chair. "Thank you," Shandor says gratefully. He informs Despil of the hunting expedition, and explains his needs.
"And so, you would like to borrow a few retainers for the trip," the Duke ventures.
"Yes," Shandor affirms.
"For how long?"
"Just a few days."
"Very well," the Duke answers, and rings a bell on his desk. A servant answers the summons. "Lord Shandor will need three retainers for a hunting trip. Also, please provide mounts for all."
"Yes, my Lord," the servant responds, and goes about his duty.
Changing the subject, Shandor asks, "How are things with King Merlin's search?"
Despil frowns slightly. "I have decided to remain neutral in your campaign. Because Merlin is of House Sawall, there could be some concern that the House maintains imperial aspirations if he were to marry your sister. However, this is really none of your concern. You may continue your campaign on your sister's behalf."
"Thank you," Shandor acknowledges, and makes his exit.
Outside, he finds three of Sawall's Household Guards waiting, along with four wyverns. One of the retainers asks, "My lord, when was the last time you rode a wyvern?"
This stumps Shandor momentarily, but he quickly answers, "Quite a while."
"Right, then, we'll have to reacquaint you," he states. Shandor learns quickly, and they go to the Ways of Jesby to join the hunt.
They arrive, and are escorted to the courtyard. Duke Flark and Baron Laan are there, along with Tela and Kor. Andreas Chanicut and Fendrith have also arrived recently. Baron Laan has thoughtfully provided a mount for Fendrith to ride.
Lord Jendo of House Helgram arrives, accompanied by a half dozen retainers, all of them in demon form. When Jendo sees that everyone else (most especially, his host) is in human form, he and his retainers shift to human form. He greets each of the Lords in turn, then looks at Fendrith, obviously waiting to be introduced. Flark quickly says, "This is Fendrith, a personal friend and bodyguard to my niece, Seonaid."
"Ah, your foster niece, the, ah... musician," Jendo says.
Flark continues, "Fendrith, this is Lord Jendo, an Elder of House Helgram."
Fendrith bows and says respectfully, "It is an honor to meet you."
"Yes," Jendo agrees.
Shandor, meanwhile, decides that the wyverns are inadequate for the task at hand. Reaching out into Shadow with the Logrus, he fishes out a large, naturally armored horse and gives his wyvern over to the care of the Jesby stable master. His servants immediately transfer his hunting supplies to the new mount, and he is soon ready to hunt.
Seeing that everybody is ready, Flark proclaims, "Let the hunt begin! I have arranged a lodge for us in Axsum." The dogs, which look like miniature velociraptors, precede the hunting party. The quarry today is a medium sized, unnamed creature that looks like a gazelle (with poisonous horns).
During the hunt, Lord Jendo and Duke Flark were seen discussing certain matters at length. (Log Keeper's Note: I can't make out most of the conversation, as the tape is particularly bad at this point.) The conversation begins with talk of an alliance between House Jesby and House Helgram. During the discussion, Flark mentions that the Princess Dara is being watched by entities that bear a striking resemblance to his niece's attackers.
"Excuse me," says Lord Jendo, "But don't you mean your foster niece? She is not truly of the blood of House Jesby."
"Yes," Flark agrees, "But bonds of friendship can be stronger than bonds of family." Duke Flark continues, expressing concern about entering into an alliance with someone who might be trying to cause him, or those around him, harm.
"I can assure you," Lord Jendo says precisely, "that I bear you and House Jesby no ill will."
"I see," Flark responds. "Then there is still the matter of my niece, Seonaid."
"Your foster niece," Lord Jendo reminds him.
"Yes," Lord Flark agrees, and looks at Lord Jendo expectantly.
"I will respect her ties to House Jesby until such time as other ties are made public which would take precedence," Lord Jendo promises.
Flark asks, "And do you think this outcome likely?"
Jendo answers, "One has one's sources."
"Well, then," Lord Flark suggests, "let us pool our resources on areas of mutual interest."
"Certainly," Lord Jendo agrees.
A while later, Fendrith approaches Lord Jendo.
(Log Keeper's Note: I am paraphrasing from memory; the tape is absolutely unusable at this point.)
Fendrith compliments Lord Jendo on his command of the sorcerous arts, and mentions that he also is a magician, working in the employ of Seonaid. Lord Jendo seems irritated that Fendrith would even dare speak with him, although he maintains civility.
Fendrith continues, explaining how exciting things have been around Seonaid lately. He tells Jendo of the recent attacks on Seonaid, and how he was able to save her. When Fendrith decides that he has irritated Lord Jendo enough, he makes a cheery exit and continues the hunt.
The hunting is good, and most everybody manages to bag at least one of the creatures.
Before dinner, Lord Shandor decides to contact Lord Mandor with the Logrus. Before becoming aware that he has found him, he "feels" something "grabbing" his Logrus tendril and finds himself being rather unsubtly probed at the psychic level. Having established identity to his satisfaction, Lord Mandor finally greets him: "Oh, hello, Cousin, why didn't you just use a spell?"
"I didn't have one," Shandor explains. He notices that the contact is limited to Mandor's face, and that he is not being allowed to see any of his surroundings. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."
Mandor seems to think about that for a short while, but says, "No, not really."
"Well," Shandor begins, "I have been thinking of going through the Logrus again to attain better control of it's mystical properties. I was wondering if you knew of anything that would increase my chances of negotiating it successfully. Maybe some exercises or something..."
"What worked the best for me was to have the Logrus already up before entering the cave," Mandor answers. "It's a bit disconcerting, but it accelerates the process."
"Thank you for this information," Shandor says gratefully. "When I am actually ready to attemt the Logrus again, perhaps I will..."
"Come to my room and knock on the door?" Mandor finishes for him.
"Yes, that would probably be easiest on both of us," Shandor agrees.
"Have a good hunt, Cousin," Mandor says, and cuts off the contact.
Dinner is, of course, fresh game roasted to perfection. Afterwards, Fendrith checks in with Lady Anakara to find out how Seonaid is doing. She assures him that everything was fine "last time I talked to her".
The hunt continues.
(If anything af great importance happened, it is irretrievably lost in a garble of tape hiss. However, to the best of this logkeeper's recollection, we are not really missing much.)
(The GM did gives the players a bit of a footnote. Three houses in Chaos refer to the "PatternFall War" as the "War of Amberite Aggression" -- Barimen, Hendrake, and Helgram. These were the principal perpetrators of the war. How a lord refers to this war is usually a pretty good indicator of where their sympathies lie.)