The Fall of Jiara

Fall of Jiara Act 2 Session 2-1
Calm Before the Storm

After the kinship has been sworn, V’neef Kai and Peleps Maera reveal the discovery of an ancient armory to the other Dragons. It notably contains a Warstrider, an ancient relic of extraordinary power. The kinship discuss the ramifications of this and consider what should be done with the remarkable relic. They decide to take some time to tie up loose ends before they make the journey to see it.

Lynn visits V’neef Kai and announces a surprise visit from his siblings.

Tepet Sanzo invites Peleps Maera to tea, under the pretext of getting to know her better. Maera carefully questions him and is able to gain insight into the workings of the mind behind Sanzo’s ever-present mask.

Mnemon Sarissa completes a major rebuilding of the city gates. Mnemon Zuri is very pleased with the results.

Cathak Shao Dun receives a visit from Cathak Jul-To, prospective suitor of Prince Osria Khidara, and receives a moving letter from his beloved aunt.

Peleps Meara
Tepet Sanzo
V’neef Kai
Mnemon Sarissa
Cathak Shao Dun

Mnemon Zuri
Cathak Jul-To
Cathak Alzandara
Lynn

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Fall of Jiara Act 2 Session 1-2
Oath of the Elements

Podcast Episode: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-26

Mnemon Sarissa, thoughtful and creative as always, crafts an amber rose as she he heads to V’neef Kai’s villa; Kai accepts the gift graciously. The two enjoy a cordial discussion and begin to reconcile their past differences.

The Dragon-Blooded gather and enjoy a delicious meal with chilled wine; a fitting prelude to a great proposal.

After dinner, Peleps Meara and V’neef Kai take the Dragon-Blooded aside and propose an oath of kinship. The others express surprise and curiosity about the motivations driving Kai and Meara, but are respectful and receptive to the idea. Only the cynical Tepet Sanzo is truly skeptical. He questions whether the oath is a scheme of Kai’s to improve his political position, although he cloaks his suspicions by claiming he is simply surprised be included in the oath.

Shao, still Meara’s loyal lieutenant, is the first of the other three to commit to the oath. Sanzo and Sarissa, convinced of Kai’s honorable intentions, soon agree.

The oath of kinship is sworn, and the five dragons feel the pull of the elements binding them together. They look at each other in silent reflection, well aware of the importance of what has been done.

Mnemon Sarissa
V’neef Kai
Peleps Meara
Cathak Shao Dun
Tepet Sanzo

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Fall of Jiara Act 2 Session 1-1
Elements Converge

V’neef Kai and Captain Peleps Maera discuss their discovery of the warstrider and the impact it will have on the Dragon-Blooded. They consider proposing an oath of kinship with their comrades, hopeful this will bring the group closer together and ensure that the warstrider does not become a source of contention among them.

Cathak Shao Dun and Desai Pavrani finish up a long training match. Pavrani asks Shao to introduce her cousin to the Prince’s court as a potential suitor. Shao agrees, although he is concerned to vouch for a mortal he does not know.

Tepet Sanzo and Mnemon Sarissa share a pot of peppery Puer tea, giving Sarissa a chance to blow off steam about the administrative tasks she is doing with on behalf of Mnemon Zuri. Sanzo proposes finding her more interesting work, but Sarissa is skeptical of the need, as she considers the work to be mere annoying. After she leaves, Lynn visits Sanzo and leaves him with a letter from Gauntlet.

Kai and Maera return to the city and invite the Dragon-Blooded to a semi-formal later evening dinner.

Tepet Sanzo, disguised, meets with Gauntlet, who encourages him to do what he can to support Desai Pavrani’s cousin, Kadajin, in his bid to wed the Prince.

The Dragons gather and reacquaint at Kai’s villa in anticipation of an interesting evening…

V’neef Kai
Peleps Meara
Cathak Shao Dun
Tepet Sanzo
Mnemon Sarissa
Desai Pavrani
Desai Kadajin
Lynn
Gauntlet

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Fall of Jiara Interlude
Between Rebellion and Courtship

Mnemon Sarissa utilizes her remarkable crafting skills and substantially upgrades her weaponry. She meets with Mnemon herself to discuss the developing political situation in Jiara. When her matriarch asks her for her opinion about V’neef Kai, she describes him as a skilled albeit hot-blooded politician. Mnemon asks Sarissa to watch Kai’s moves and report on him.

Tepet Sanzo uses his free time to gather information on Jiara, both generally, and with a focus on the city’s underworld. Sanzo learns the political situation in the city has stabilized, and there is a prevailing atmosphere of cautious optimism. Tepet Indaro arrives and beseeches Sanzo to return to the service of his house. The meeting remains civil, but the frustration among Tepet leadership for Sanzo’s independent behavior is clear. Sanzo later meets with Gauntlet, a representative from the White Veil Society . They have a discussion regarding the highly complicated and everchanging political situation in the realm. The Society does not want Mnemon’s power and influence to grow.

After a week of mandatory drinking, Cathak Shao Dun undertakes a recruitment effort among the local population, and is able to supplement his troops with another auxiliary unit. He leads them off into the wilderness to conduct training. After returning to the city, and he reconnects with and duels against Desai Pavrani, who proves to be an able sparring partner and agreeable companion.

While off on a solitary mountaineering expedition outside Naathul, Peleps Maera discovers a cave. She returns to Kai and they explore together. They head deep into the mountain where they find an ancient manse containing a wonder far beyond what they could’ve hoped to find: a warstrider. As they explore the manse together, they discuss the difficulty and remarkable potential of a possible excavation, and consider how best to enlist Sarissa’s help with such a project…

Peleps Meara
V’neef Kai
Tepet Indaro
Lynn
Tepet Sanzo
Mnemon Sarissa
Mnemon
Laconic Ibis
Cathak Shao Dun
Desai Pavrani

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Session 10, Part 3
A Bird in the Night

Episode Link

Outside the Prince’s palace in Daric…

Unseen by the Dragon-Blooded, a small bird alights upon Prince Osria Khidara’s balcony.

Mnemon Sarissa, inside the Prince’s apartment, hears light sounds of metal clinking not far away. Her suspicions aroused, she looks around and sees something small and unwelcome trying to stay hidden on the balcony just outside the curtain. On guard and expecting trouble, she raises her flame piece and opens fire without hesitation. The resulting conflagration is visible from all over the city, and the rest of the Dragon-Blooded rush to the scene.

The bird transforms into a woman. She brandishes an assassin’s dagger and prepares to go after the Prince.

Captain Peleps Maera encounters another group of assassins in the hallway, V’neef Kai and Shao Dun reach the balcony, and the Prince wakes and screams. Chaos reigns.

Tepet Sanzo, unseen for the moment, enters the fray, easily dispatching one of the assassins.

After a brief but wild period of combat, the Dragons emerge victorious. The bird woman, revealed as a lunar, is killed by Tepet Sanzo as she tries to escape. The mortal assassins are easily finished off as well.

The shocked Prince confirms that the bird woman was one of the foreign advisers who fled from her. One of the assassins survives the fight, and the Dragons are optimistic that he may provide valuable information.

Mnemon Sarissa
Cathak Shao Dun
Peleps Meara
V’neef Kai
Tepet Sanzo

The Bird Woman
Ozria Khidara
Laconic Ibis

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Session 10, Part 2

Episode LInk

As the Dragon-Blooded enter the city of Daric…

Cathak Shao Dun thoroughly examines the defenses of the city, appraising its ability to hold out during a siege and taking note of critical points of strategic interest.

The rebel adviser Firat leads the Dragon-Blooded to an assembly chamber where they are presented to Prince Ozria Khidara. To their great surprise, the Prince decides to personally negotiate with the representatives of the Realm. After this demonstration of trust, Captain Peleps Maera introduces the Dragons to the Prince, who greet her with diplomatic courtesy.

As the hours pass and late afternoon comes, the Prince invites the Dragons to stay the night in her city.

Tepet Sanzo looks over the Prince’s advisors and is alarmed that the ones V’neef Kai spoke of are nowhere to be seen.

Mnemon Sarissa candidly tells the Prince that she fears Lunar assassins or other evildoers may attempt to disrupt the negotiations. When the Prince asks what should be done about this, Sarissa suggests that no one should be left alone overnight. The Prince declares that she is placing herself under the protection of the Dragon-Blooded, Sarissa specifically. She also mentions that her foreign advisers abandoned her when the Realm’s legions approached.

Peleps Maera catches V’neef Kai up on the day’s events. The optimistic Maera and the cynical Kai muse about what’s to come and hope that Kai can come to a lasting understanding with Sarissa.

Inside Ozria Khidara’s quarters, Sarissa conducts a security inspection, prepares additional defenses, and chats with the Prince about her missing advisers.

As night falls, Shao Dun heads out on a late-night walk with a small escort. He leads them up to a scenic bluff where he chats with Laconic Ibis about his future in House Cathak and enjoys his wine.

The session comes to an end as the Prince heads to sleep and the Dragon Blooded prepare to get what rest they can. Out in the seemingly peaceful night, the figure of a bird, alights on the balcony just outside the Prince’s quarters.

Cathak Shao Dun
Mnemon Sarissa
Peleps Meara
Tepet Sanzo
V’neef Kai

The Bird Woman
Ozria Khidara
Laconic Ibis
Firat

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Session 10, Part 1

Episode Link: Shall We Spare the Ravages of War?

Determined to ensure the success of his proposed marriage alliance, V’neef Kai retires to his quarters and begins the difficult task of coming up with a list of potential mates for the Rebel Prince, Ozria Khidara. Working deep into the night, he manages to narrow the list down to three possible choices.

Kai meets with a disheveled, somewhat troubled Captain Peleps Maera and goes over the three candidates with her. He understands that it’s imperative to make a choice that will please Mnemon. The conversation moves on toward Maera’s relationship with Shao Dun and her lingering anger over his rude, insubordinate behavior. Eventually, the two reminisce about old memories of good times spent together at school.

Maera and Shao meet up for the first time in days and are able to have a civilized, if unusually formal discussion, although both are aware of the bittersweet undercurrent of emotions and unresolved issues running between them. Shao reiterates his distaste for Kai’s plan, while Maera lowers her guard and expresses her own nervousness and fear about the consequences of resolving the conflict through violence. Eventually the two share memories of simpler, happier days spent together on the ocean, and resolve to work together, at least one more time.

Maera and Shao approach Sarissa, who is still upset and aggrieved over the way V’neef Kai has treated her. Shao goes to find a Tepet Sanzo, and the Dragon-Blooded, minus V’neef Kai, gather together to prepare for their pivotal meeting with Mnemon Gia’Senai. Maera asks Sanzo to help her during the upcoming negotiation; Sanzo, playing his role as the humble teamaster, expresses nervousness and surprise at this idea. After further discussion on the people of Daric and their impressions of the conflict, our heroes proceed to the meeting.

The Dragons, along with the Rebel Adviser Firat, head to Gia’Senai’s encampment to begin the negotiations. Everything proceeds relatively well, with a few unexpected twists: critically, Firat mentions that Prince Khidara’s foreign advisers are strongly against the proposed peace-through-marriage agreement, but that the Prince herself would not be opposed to denouncing voices on the rebel side that call for further aggression and militance. Firat also concedes his belief that the foreign advisers have led his Prince astray, and that it was their influence preventing peace talks from beginning earlier.

Ultimately, the first stage of the negotiations is a success, although the session ends with the Dragon-Blooded preparing for a far more difficult and dangerous task: heading back into the city for the next phase of the peace process.

V’neef Kai
Peleps Meara
Cathak Shao Dun
Mnemon Sarissa
Tepet Sanzo

Mnemon Rulinsei Gia’senai
Ozria Khidara
Firat

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Session 9, Part 2

Within the boundaries of the Dragon-Blooded camp…

Feeling like she’s been caught in a difficult position, Mnemon Sarissa tries to come up with a compromise between the Realm and Rebel factions that would allow a peaceful resolution while satisfying Mnemon’s political need for a glorious and highly public victory.

Tepet Sanzo seeks out Sarissa. His pointed “philosophical” questioning of the morality behind Mnemon’s motives presents a strong challenge to Sarissa’s beliefs, but she ultimately continues to support her Matriarch.

Peleps Maera and V’neef Kai meet with the Rebel adviser Firat to better understand his position. After carefully convincing the Firat to open up to them, he gives them some unsettling information: Prince Khidara’s new advisers from outside the Realm are strongly encouraging her to take an aggressive, militant posture. Firat names the Bird Woman as the advisor he considers most dangerous. Kai and Maera skillfully instill a strong feeling of doubt toward the Prince’s new advisers in Firat’s heart.

As Sarissa and Maera converse, they discover that they’re both growing weary of war and are increasingly unsure of the righteousness of the Realm’s crusade and their own past actions.

V’neef Kai and Cathak Shao Dun sit together while spectating an impromptu martial arts tournament. They have a surprisingly genuine heart-to-heart talk, bonding over the most important thing they have in common: a love for, and dedication to, Captain Peleps Maera.

Later that night, Lynn meets with Tepet Sanzo in his tent. She mentions that what Mnemon cares for above all else is the throne, and that if following Kai’s plan will bring her closer to her ultimate goal, she will most likely be willing to go along with it. Their discussion turns from political to personal matters, and the two come together and share a romantic moment.

Sarissa and Shao continue to build on the friendship. Even Shao’s drunken and thoughtless references to V’neef Kai, made in apparent ignorance of Sarissa’s conflicts with him, can’t sour the mutual respect between the two. Shao reassures Sarissa that the Dragon Blooded are all allies, although he wonders how long their alliance will last.

V’neef Kai
Tepet Sanzo
Mnemon Sarissa
Peleps Meara
Cathak Shao Dun

Mnemon Rulinsei Gia’senai
Firat
The Bird Woman
Ozria Khidara
Mnemon
Lynn

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Session 9, Part 1

Episode Link: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-19-dragons-divided

Fresh off their victory against Garafano, Peleps Maera, Mnemon Sarissa, and Cathak Shao Dun are reunited with V’neef Kai and Tepet Sanzo, who arrive after their time in Daric with Firat, emissary for the rebel Prince Ozria Khidara. The Dragon-Blooded gather together and Kai explains his plan for peace: Marry Ozria into one of the great houses, making her an adopted dynast. Firat insists that the Prince be allowed to approve her match for the marriage, drawing a surprised reaction from Kai.

After the emissary leaves, the Dragon-Blooded passionately debate Kai’s proposal. Sarissa insists that Mnemon will never go along with the plan, while Kai, in frustration, wonders if Mnemon is hoping for a long, drawn out siege heavy with casualties. Tensions rise and eventually Kai storms out the room. As Gen. Gia’Senai approaches, the Dragon Blooded find themselves profoundly divided.

The Dragon-Blooded greet Gia’Senai and catch her up on the recent political developments. After the general leaves, Sarissa and Kai continue their dispute. Feelings are strong on both sides, and the argument ends in a stalemate with no apparent solution to bridge the gap between them.

Sanzo seeks out Shao Dun and, finding him unusually uninhibited, gathers information from him about the fight against the Anathema, along with hints of Shao’s lingering bitterness toward Maera for restraining him before the fight.

Kai meets with Lynn and then Maera. These discussions offer insight into his thinking, especially his deep-seated dissatisfaction with the nature of the Realm’s political status quo, his worry that the Dragon-Blooded are only interested in ruling through violence, and the likelihood that this may bring about their downfall. While not as passionate as Kai, Maera is clearly sympathetic to his viewpoint. The session ends with Maera heading out into the night, lost in her own thoughts.

Mnemon Sarissa
Peleps Meara
Cathak Shao Dun
V’neef Kai
Tepet Sanzo

Mnemon Rulinsei Gia’senai
Firat
Ozria Khidara
Laconic Ibis
Lynn

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Session 8, Part 2

Within the city of Daric…

V’neef Kai enters the hallway of merchant clans and prepares himself for an audience with the Rebel Prince’s advisers. He is interviewed in a small meeting room by a group of three representatives, one of whom he quickly realizes is actually the Prince herself, and he addresses her as such. Both sides decide to drop all pretense, and Kai admits his own true identity as he makes his proposal for peace: A political marriage that would increase the Prince’s power in the Realm.

The Prince agrees to consider this and informs him she will let him know by the next day. Kai tells her that he will be staying in Geode Court if she needs him.

Sanzo returns to the inn to continue gathering information from his contact. As they discuss the situation in Daric in one of the back rooms the end, Sanzo learns of possible foreign influences over the Prince, and is also told that she may be hungry for glory. Not much is known about the Prince’s advisers, but one is said to come and go in the form of a bird. Sanzo considers the possibility that more Anathema After further discussion, Sanzo heads back and regroups with Kai to discuss the situation.

The next morning, one of the Prince’s advisers greets Kai with the happy news that she has agreed to his proposal. The adviser will accompany Kai as the Prince’s negotiator, and the session ends with the optimistic hope that war might be avoided.

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