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Brad Murray (ref)
Byron Kerr (Pyrol of Jongg)
- Pyrol is on Jongg, recently having failed another attempt at the Arcane Games. The Arcane College is not amused
- Pyrol's father calls to warn him that there are contracts on his head now, noting also that they are tempting contracts and that he might want to get in on it; offers to send a driver; Pyrol declines.
- taking the warning seriously, Pyrol retires to his favourite dockside tavern; the cook, Hai Mong, shows him in through the back entrance to his velvet-curtained booth; Pyrol orders a bottle of old scotch which he knows will summon the Scotsman
- it does, the Scotsman arrives to take his share of the scotch; Pyrol mentions that he needs Bogg's Dice (in order to transit to Skrym — they are the gate key) which are being held in the Arcane College vault. The Scotsman, a member of the loyal opposition, suggests that his private bill might help as it would make the artifacts there public domain. Perhaps Pyrol could come and speak on the bill? Pyrol agrees and the Scotsman excuses himself
- a ruckus is heard outside and Mong appears, offering that there is some sport to be had outside — a dog fight
- Pyrol heads out back to find a crowd of dandies and two sportsmen with dogs — a young ragged man of 16 or so and a young hairless boy of 6 dressed in exotic robes. Both hold at bay enormous dangerous dogs
- Pyrol makes a bet with an old acquaintance, Jocelyn, wagering cash and information. Jocely accepts those stakes.
- The boy's dog wins (we use Burning Wheel's die of fate to find this turn of events — roll a d6 and 1-3 goes one way, 4-6 the other). The young boy enjoys the victory a great deal, especially the blood. Joeclyn and Pyrol retire to the bar to discuss information
- Pyrol demands the Jocelyn tell him about the youth in the alley but she does not know him. He asks about the contracts on his head and she says they started before he even arrived but they went up in price recently. Pyrol hints that he knows about the gate to Hothouse and that that might be something she's interested in; she reveals that she's trading real estate on Hothouse through a secret gate they have. The Arcane College doesn't like it, probably because on Hothouse everyone can do magic and the AC likes being novel and necessary. Pyrol asks if he can get in that and she sells him an estate in the empty plane.
- Pyrol prepares for parliament with a shave and careful selection of attire (free prep trait: "dapper as can be") and heads to speak
- We go to a Diplomacy conflict with Pyrol defending the opposition (S4;E2) against the government (S3;E3). The government opens with 8 dice in Diplomacy to Pyrol's 6 (spoiling a set) with a tirade on the irrelevance of a non-official speaking but is interrupted as Pyrol (Byron taking two dice for his prep and making a new set): Pyrol explains that he has come in the costume of his forefathers to celebrate the history and the reverence of convention that has apparently been forgotten. An eloquent speech proceeds (Pyrol uses his burn scar as well to point out his sacrifice at the hands of the college) and two hits on the government's essence are incurred. The government is in trouble!
- Pyrol sticks with Diplomacy and the government throws 6 dice with Subterfuge in an attempt to turn this into an assassination of Pyrol. If they score any hits at all, the context will change to Violence. Pyrol notices an enemy agent sidling up to him and, still extolling the virtues of keeping the interests of the common man, sweeps aside the assassin's knife with his walking stick (2d) and exposes the government's desperate attempt at violence. The government takes a hit on Essence and is defeated — the Scotsman calls a vote of non-confidence and advises Pyrol to get out of dodge.
- Pyrol returns to his penthouse and there are a stack of messages: congratulations, threats, and so on. The last is from Jirac, Dean of the Arcane College, swearing to destroy Bogg's Dice rather than make them available to the public.
- The concierge rings, explaining that a child is here to see Pyrol. He describes the lad from the dog fight and Pyrol has him sent up. The child arrives and his demeanor is distinctly haughty — he reveals that he is an avatar of Chal, god of bloodsport, someone that Pyrol knows well in another body — and hates, as Chal's domain, Skrym, is shattered by the god's senseles love of violence and death and chance. Chal advises that there will be discord at the college tomorrow over the dice, and that he will make sure it is terrible and bloody. There may be opportunity for Pyrol to get to the dice in the chaos and Chal would like that — he wants a confrontation on Skrym as badly as Pyrol does. Chal leaves.
- Pyrol prepares a costume as a street thug, planning to join in the chaos at the college, sneak in and take the dice (free prep trait: "disguised as a street thug").
- Reaching the college, Byron makes an inconsequential Subterfuge check to grab the dice in the chaos. He only has 2 dice and fails to get a set. he brings in his prep trait for 2 more dice but still fails. WE RULE THAT A FAILED INCONSEQUENTIAL CHECK TURNS INTO A CONSEQUENTIAL ONE WITH THE CONTEXT DETERMINED BY THE REF — WE ALSO RULE THAT ONLY THE FOUR SKILLS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH A CONTEXT (KNOW, RITUAL, SUBT, TENACITY) CAN BE USED FOR INCONSEQUENTIAL CHECKS
- So Jirac appears amidst the chaos, terrible, injured, and mad with rage and summons terrible energies to destroy Pyrol (Violence conflict).
- Jirac tolls 6d Violence and Pyrol rolls 4d Tenacity to change the context to Diplomacy — he will take the rage of Jirac and use it to show the rest of the college that Jirac is unstable and unfit to rule. Jirac rolls 5x6 and blows everything in his rage, ruining Pyrol's only set. A wash — both take a Substance hit (because it's Violence context) — the room fills with horrible energy and both are increasingly injured.
- Jirac again rolls 6d Violence and Pyrol tries again to shift to Diplomacy. This time Pyrol brings out the "undying ember" to prove there are other planes than Jirac knows and so more important things than the college games. He easily wins the contest and now a crowd of interested magicians, ragged and bleeding are crowding around.
- Jirac rolls 4d Diplomacy and Pyrol rolls 6d Diplomacy, bringin in his "Nightmares" trait from his time on Stark — he gives an eloquent and impassioned speech starting with his own terror at Jirac's threats, segueing into his concerns that the college cannot be ruled by terror but must be devoted to reason and the people. He scores 2 hits on the College's Essence, which is only 2. Jirac is ruined, disgraced, and removed from power. The remaining mages take Pyrol, shaking with fear and adrenaline, to a quiet room to discuss what must happen next.
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