Sunday, April 4, 2010

Play report: More intrigue in Khanbaliq

Both Gwinch and Kishi competed in the second day of the tournament. Kishi showed well against a fierce, “Iron Fisted” barbarian, and Gwinch was defeated only by Sensei Lu-che, the local favorite who went on to win the tournament. Among their fans were a group of hungry monks from the Temple of Two-Fold path who begged Gwinch to let them join his household. While this annoyed their superior, and caused some consternation at the gates to the green city, Gwinch rode the way of popular enthusiasm and no one raised any outward objections.
In the weeks that followed, while Kishi was off on secret business of her own, the new sohei made themselves at home in Gwinch’s compound. The quarters were tight, but the food was plentiful, and while one disappeared, the other 14 remained. They explained that things weren’t good at the Temple, and that Sheeva, the foreign priestess was keeping all the Temple’s money for her own use. Kishi and Gwinch resolved to make a reconnaissance mission to find out more.
Before they could put the plan into effect, Saisho alerted them that someone was spying on them. Saisho made them invisible and they chased the spies through the green city, and over a wall into the outer city, where they managed to apprehend one of them. Sure enough, they were from the Temple, and had been sent to see what Gwinch’s teaching were. When pressed, the captured spy admitted that conditions at the Temple were hard, but expressed confidence in his own master. After washing up his wounds a little, they let him go.
And the next day, they made a call at the Temple. The monks at the gate were suspicious, but after some waiting, Gwinch and Kishi were granted an audience with Sheeva. She met them in the courtyard, then walked them down a corridor lined with fearsome statues and into the great temple room—a three story chamber dominated by the monumental statue of a robed figure holding a sword. Sheeva was supercilious and curt; after silencing Gwinch with her magic, she lectured him on the place of adversity in seeking enlightenment and on the paramount importance of respecting his superiors. She suggested that he should invite her to his compound so that she could further enlighten him.

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