The Harness Bulls

Among the Faithful

The party sorts out some religious trouble in the town of Relyna

The party spent the night in the unwelcoming town of Relyna, an older settlement built by the faithful of Munachar. Those of Anzo’s order were clearly not welcome here, which troubled the cleric greatly.

In the morning, the party discovered another member of Anzo’s order, Trevis, sitting downstairs in the inn. He’d been on the plains for a couple years already, and in a shocking confession, revealed that he had begun to worship Munachar’s dark double, Manachar!

Anzo was greatly distressed by this news, but Trevis told him that he would understand if he went to visit Mae, a “visionary” leader, staying at the Mayor’s house.

Naeier and Lambert warned Anzo about the possibility of mind control, but in righteous fury he paid no heed. At the mayor’s, the party met Mae, glutting herself on a chicken in the middle of the lean months. Mae wore a patterned coat similar to that of Anzo’s order, but it appeared to be a knockoff. She was also armed with a Mantanya pistol, who was the half-elf nephew of the elf that crafted Nothenius’ gun and taught him to shoot.

It was soon revealed that Mae had claimed stewardship of this town in the name of Manachar, and that she’d been making trouble on the plains for a while. (She was the one who got Anzo run out of St. Olive’s Cross, prior to the start of the adventure.) Unable to sit by and let heresy fester in the town, Anzo challenged her for stewardship.

In the Writ of Munachar, Book Three, the Rite of Stewardship is described as a kind of collective augury, where the will of Munachar is divined from the outcome of a challenging task; the Great Kestral guides his chosen to glory, no matter the task. As the incumbent, Mae got to choose the task, and so sent the party on a suicide mission to free the town’s horses and cows from a cyclops who lived in the foothills. (The Shoanti ranchers who tended the animals had left early, which allowed the cyclops to steal them.) These plains once belonged to a civilization of Cyclopes, so the party was not surprised to hear one had been troubling Relyna

The party fought boldly against the cyclops, who could kill in a single blow. Naeier tried to distract the monster with an illusory cake made of meat, but he fixed his singular gaze on fresher faire. Anzo, filled with religious fervor and the notion that Munachar would make him invincible, tried to simply command the Cyclops to obey, but Munachar rewards those who back up their words with steel. Anzo was pummeled, and quickly changed tactics. As Nolthenius and Xanther fired away, it was Lambert (as Robusto) who carried the day, trading axe blows with the cyclops until the monster finally yielded.

In the cave, the party found and freed the horses and cattle. More importantly, they also found a old map on the cave wall! The map was dotted with settlements of the faithful, including one labeled “Driasrin; here lies Burskel.” One of the first members of Anzo’s order to come to civilize the frontier was Burskel, who is hailed as a legendary hero within the order. Burskel supposedly died defending Driasrin, a lost settlement. Of particular note was the fact that Burkel had a sword named Uhin, a relic of great power. The party contemplated seeking it out for use in the coming conflict with the forces of Skeltur.

The party also found equipment belonging to a former brother of the order, including masterwork chain mail, a masterwork long spear, and a Munachite coat of great beauty. Other items included: 760 gp in mundane goods (traded for coin in town), a divine scroll of Speak with Dead, and two potions: Bless weapon and Erase.

The party returned to Relyna and threw the cyclops’ head at Mae’s feet. Munachar’s will was manifest; Anzo was the Steward of Relyna. The new steward banished Mae and Trevis from the plains, and instructed them to carry the message of their defeat to Hester, leader of the Riddleport Munachite community, who is now in Roderick’s Cove. They were then to get on a boat and return to Korvosa to seek forgiveness from the Elders of the Faith. Mae retorted bitterly that Anzo didn’t understand the “Revolution of the true understanding of the gospel of Manachar.” She claimed that Munachar did not bless this land anymore, and that there was a new order here. Manachar’s stewardship of this land was over, she explained, and that’s why she lost the challenge. She handed over her gun and left with Trevis.

Anzo gave a short speech to the town, announcing himself as steward and indicating the party wouldn’t be staying to make problems; the Mayor would be in charge, as he should have been from the beginning. He warned of the dangers of worshiping Manachar, though his rhetoric wasn’t the most persuasive. There will likely remain a minority of Manachar-followers for some time. As the sun set over the plains, the party began to discuss their next step.

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obnorthrup

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