The session started off with Tileavia Allamar standing on the balcony of the Church of Iomedae and starting a long sermon which the party watched. The following is a transcript:
_“Friends and neighbors, I have wondrous tidings to share! We have all known hardships in our lives—needless sorrows, injustice, even cruelty. Indeed, such is the struggle of all who live. But many among us have known more than our share. Many among us have shouldered burdens laid upon them not by the Inheritor, but by those who would curse her name and taunt her faithful.
But today, I bear a missive from champions of Iomedae’s faith, heralds of the goddess’s will, who know your troubles and would see them end. “I received this letter last night:
“‘People of Longacre! The time of your redemption is at hand. When the song of the Inheritor rises, you all must choose: live as complacent vassals of corruption and evil, or embrace honor and claim the glory that is your right. The Glorious Reclamation gives you a choice.’ “Signed, ‘Lencia Visserene, Knight-Inheritor of the Glorious Reclamation.’
“Friends, it is up to us to restore the worship of Iomedae to its proper place in Cheliax and reclaim our nation in the name of the Inheritor. But we have been given a sign—a sign that the ‘Angel Knight’ has come to Longacre to lead us to glory!”_
As her speech ended, her sons revealed an ornate silver helmet sculpted with angelic features and a halo of curls, a sign from the so-called “Angel-Knight.” She then went on to have her sons bring the body of Jabral Louslik, mostly cleaned-up, but in a coffin. She swiftly declared his death not to be random brigandage, but a politically motivated murder by the allies of House Thrune, provoked by Jabra’s open criticism of the Archbaron. While the party was under zero suspicion for the murder thanks to Cimiri’s bluffing, it did leave them to ponder if Tileavia was merely lying for political opportunism, or if Cimiri’s employer really DID have other motivations.
Though their job was technically completed, the party knew the purpose of the job was to show support for House Fex… and doing a little extra could go a long way. With that in mind, Lucia launched into a spot of counter-oration while the crowd was still assembled, noting that Thrune and its allies were the only thing that could stop a civil war that that rebellion could invite the same chaos Cheliax so desperately wanted to avoid. She made good points and people started to listen, making the chatter in the square far less one-sided.
As she spoke, Leah took the opportunity to talk with the Allamar sons as they were letting the crowd ask questions or observe the helmet. Leah took a long-form approach to asking leading questions in order to discredit the priestess’ claims of an angel knight. Of course, with her wearing the seal of House Fex, Loric Allamar was quick to accuse her trying to cast shade on the glorious tidings since she was just a minion to the current archbaron. The two of them had a long back-and-forth which highly amused several people given how red-faced Loric ended up being. By the end though, the brothers withdrew back to the church with the helmet and no small amount of frustration in tow.
With the sons gone, the party returned to the Ash House for payment from Razelago, after the party gave a brief account of what happened. The shadowy figure seemed concerned by the brazenness of Tileavia and the so-called Angel-Knight. He explained to the party that the Glorious Reclamation, a group of Iomedian fanatics bent on ousting House Thrune and Hell from Cheliax, was starting to grow more and more troubling as of late, as the sermon well proved. Though he could provide no information on the sploshing noises the party heard the previous night, Razelago allowed the party questions and hinted at more work in the future.
As expected, the party received a generous payment of gold for their work and were free for the rest of the day. Lucia took the opportunity to secure better lodgings than the Ash House and went to the Arch and Lark, the only “respectable” tavern in town. The proprietress of the tavern took one look at Lucia’s impressive dress and immediately set about buttering her up, offering fine vintages and fine foods for her clearly discerning customer. When asked about lodgings, the woman apologized for not having anything more than a place by the fire to sleep, mentioning the building was only the tavern, kitchen and her apartment upstairs. Hilariously, Lucia pressed the woman, knowing of her desperation for social mobility, and managed to get her to give up her apartment in exchange for a standard inn-room fare, all while incidentally securing the warm place by the hearth for everyone else, save for Cimiri and Rahl given that Cimiri wanted nothing to do with the fancy place and Rahl was amenable to spending another night in the Ash House, whether that be motivated by his coin purse or Cimiri is anyone’s guess.
Regardless, the party got a much better night’s sleep and was awoken, yet again, by Cimiri as she had another job for the party as soon as dawn hit. The party found themselves right back in Razelago’s office with yet another job: posting decrees written by the archbaron and full of a slew of brand new laws and restrictions for the populace at large. Though Razelago only offered to pay half of what he paid for the last errand, he hinted that if all went well, there might be a meeting with the archbaron himself. Asked if there would be violence in response to the postings, the shadowy figure explained that he expected grumbling but no violence, or at least nothing a bit of stern reminders and glaring couldn’t squelch. Though questioned of the wisdom of taking such a heavy hand with the populace, Razelago prevaricated a bit, saying it was neither up to him nor the party to question the archbaron’s judgement in the matter.
In addition, Razelago had one more decree… the dismissal of Cimiri’s aunt as sheriff of Longacre. Apparently, the woman is too soft for the kind of enforcement the archbaron expects and the party was sent with a hint that new civil positions may need filling in the days to come…
Unabashedly uncomfortable with meeting with her aunt like this, Cimiri coerced the party to start their job with the Castle Gate, which they promptly did. As they arrived, an older woman waved down from the top of the gate to greet the party and very, very slowly made her way down to them upon the mention of a decree. Once she read the part of the Castle Gate being closed until further notice, the old woman was incensed, shouting that she and her husband had done a fine job of guarding the gate up to this point and that no archbaron would tell her otherwise. She had many more unkind things to say about the archbaron and the party and her husband joined in as well as soon as he heard the commotion. Granted, it only took a little bit of intimidation to get the old couple to back down and return, grumbling, to their home. Haraka took it on himself to show off his strength and slowly pull the gate closed and lock it, after which Cimiri nailed the proclamation to the gate.
WIth the gate taken care of, the party needs only post the decrees at the local tavern, one of the squares and finally deliver the decree to the sheriff. It’s anyone’s guess what the party will face being the bearer of bad news, but we’ll find out next time.