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Dice [Lore/Houserules/Recaps/XP] The Fajadi Affair of Descending Fire RY 768

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The Fajadi Affair of Descending Fire RY 768 takes place in, funnily enough, the Satrapy of Fajad, although with some deviations and embellishments on the material as presented in the previews from the upcoming Realm book and the DB:WFHW material. (Also as I have recently learned, potentially the material presented in the Lunars: Fangs at the Gate kickstarter, as it confirms that Aqadar is in fact a No Moon.)

This is an Ex3 Dragon-Blooded campaign using the currently unreleased, yet previewed to backers, Dragon-Blooded: What Fire has Wrought. I am taking inspiration from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Hamilton and less dramaticized depictions of American History, Brtish Occupied India, Kingdom of Heaven, other various tales of revolution/civil war, and the occasional shameless expy or two.

First, I've taken the story hook of heterodoxies cropping up from time to time, and turned that into a full fledged socio-economic/ethnic divide within the city of Fajad itself. Taking inspiration from the geography of Istanbul, I have the Spire and associated vivisection-mines on the northern mainland bank, populated and staffed by the lower class consisting predominately of an ethnicity differing from the Abhari adherants on the south bank. Those on the north bank are shorter, with rounder features, similar to Inuit, and have stongly taken to a recent un'Atzali heresy that has been spreading. This heresy raises concern of a peasant revolt, as it flouts the religious and societal structures of the Abhari. Vivisection-Miners are provided pale fabric scarves to filter some of the noxious fumes produced by Pyrevein, which eventually dye the scarves a deep red. Adherants to the un'Atzali heresy have taken to wearing these scarves in public as a calling card/sign of solidarity.

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The literal powderkeg thrown on this situation is a recent discovery that certain regeants found inside the behemoth Pyrevein can be processed into a substance very similar to Firedust. This has served as a massive economic windfall for Fajad, which is desperately needed after the way to the West through Wu Jian was rediscovered, but this also serves to cheaply arm any dissidents on the North Bank, as they have easy access to the substance.

The gentry of the south bank, originators and adherants to the Abhari Creed, include the ruling and religious class. They ethnically present somewhat similar to proto-indo-europeans: tall, generally thin, with a swarthy skin tone, and fair occurrence of green eyes. The role of the qadis is somewhat expanded into a holy peace-keeping and judiciary force not unlike the judges of Ivalice from final fantasy, or to jump genres, a religious Judge Dredd.

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There is some academic debate on which was the native people, with conflicting histories supporting either group migrating to the area for various reasons. I don't anticipate this coming up in play, but there ya go.
 
Houserules-

- Removed Scaling XP costs for Abilities and Attributes. All dots after the first cost the same as the 3rd dot would under the old scale.
- Air Dragon is compatible with Elemental Bolt.
- Users can go into XP debt, but cannot make additional expenditures once they are in debt (you can go negative, but you can't spend again until you're positive. This also applies to Craft XP.
- Instead of Dragon XP leading to disparities in awards, qualifying story beats instead contribute to a party wide pool that is awarded in full to each member. (If character A would have earned 1 DXP, everyone earns 1 DXP). A rising tide raises all boats.
- Dragon XP counts towards the total for raising Essence.

- When posting, you can and should generously assume a 1 point stunt so that the additional dice can be included in your initial roll. I can and will come in after to add any additional Successes or willpower points from 2 or 3 point stunts.
- Feel free to roll Perception, Read Intentions, or any other kind of check you might like in your post. If I decide the check was unnecessary any motes or willpower will be refunded. This would eliminate any wait for feedback.
 
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The Story So Far

On a day that will most likely garner an ominous name when recounted in histories, sagas, and scrolls, the vessel meant to ferry home the primary annual tribute moored at a dock in the Imperial Satrapy of far Fajad. This landing brought together our ostensible protagonists as they met on the pier, either having disembarked from the newly arrived ship, or gathering to welcome it. This arrival aroused some lurking tension: a smaller than expected protection detail compelled the Garrison Commander, Mnemon Senesh, to confront the Satrap, Cathak Mei, in full view of our assembled players, the humble Talon of Cathack soldiers, the bustling market, and the lurking qadis nearby. This compelled their cousins, Mnemon Syan and Cathak Alys, respectively, to offer council, and transition the confrontation to a more private venue.

While en route to said private venue, Mnemon Syan's well appointed manse, our detente of dragons stumbled on a scene of accidental civil unrest. A trio of drunken miners from the North Bank flouting several decrees of decorum, public drinking (verboten on the South Bank) and drunkenness (in the late morning no less) were confronted by a nearby qadi. The youngest of the miners, a boy, screamed words of treason and sacrilege when the qadi started to manhandle him, prompting an intervention by Cathak Alys. While the Fire Aspect dressed down the awestruck qadi, our keen-eyed magistrate, Ledaal Tomiko, spotted the next youngest miner, also male, preparing to escalate the exchange by drawing a flame piece. After being called out the would-be revolutionary froze in his tracks. The qadi declared the weapon contraband, confiscated it, cut his losses and retreated. The third miner, a matronly older woman, gathered the shocked and shivering youths about her, and ushered them back home across the bay.

An opulent vista unfolded as our Dynastic Scions settled in for tea and moderated conflict resolution. Although the Satrap was not yet present, Mnemon Senesh decided to air her grievances anyway. Her affection for and affectation of the Abhari Creed made her keenly concerned about the growing heterodoxy on the North Bank. This potentially disproportionate concern mixed with her feelings of inferiority to the military veteran Cathak Mei, spurred her outburst earlier. Somewhat perpetuating Senesh's feelings, Cathak Mei arrived late, dismissed the Garrison Commanders testimony, and delivered some devastating news. Two of the three miners from the earlier exchange had been found publicly executed, in a seemingly religious manner. Mei noted that the Satrapial and Legion hands were tied in this matter as per Fajad's treaty, but that a loophole allowed the Empress's Magistrates to intervene if they suspected any wrongdoing. And suspect they did.

Alys, Axan, and Zakas accompanied Tomiko to the Plaza where the incident occurred while Sayan split off to meet her associate, a local celebrity and secular power broker who just happens to live nearby.

The magistrate and company find an improbable execution. The two male miners from this morning crushed to death by large stones in the center of the plaza, attended by a lowly immaculate monk, laying what small rites were allotted by the complicated interplay of the foreign and local religions and governments. Although this had all the trappings of an official execution perpetrated by the local religious authorities, the particulars just weren't adding up. Tomiko's acuity and intuition combined with Axan's architectural and engineering knowledge proved the narrative as presented impossible, as the stones used in the act would have been impossible to move with the manpower and equipment available to the qadis. Following the evidence into a nearby meeting hall, Tomiko discovered the matronly miner, keening in the corner, even more drunk than she had been that morning. The survivor seemed to be in no state to give them any assistance, but Alys and Zakas tried their best to engage the mourning miner. Meanwhile Tomiko and Axan discovered a false wall, with all signs pointing to this being where the real conspirators either came from, left to, or both. Bracing for trouble, Alys brought her incredible might to bare, destroying the false wall and revealing a sinister group of peculiar individuals. Among them a massive man of stony complexion that no doubt committed the heinous act. The guilty and the accusing arrayed against each other, and conflict commenced.

As Sayan approached Yasimin Tariq's compound, she encounters Yasimin's eccentric valet, Guillard, returning from the opposite direction. They exchange pleasantries, until with much self-flagellation and begging for forgiveness the Valet asks that Sayan follow him around back to the garden, as the main entrance is in no state to be seen. While being lead through a side path, Sayan cunningly sneaks a glimpse through a window, spotting a mysterious and shrouded figure sporting the Red Scarf emblematic of the miners. Guillard disappears momentarily, returning to usher Sayan inside to the drawing room, where no sign of the figure can be seen, but a lounging and somewhat disheveled Yasimin awaits.

After a familiar greeting, the two sit down to discuss the ghoulish goings-on. Yasimin's ignorance of the events that transpired a stone's throw from her villa appears genuine, prompting Guillard to divulge his supposed findings. He presents the obvious, and known to the Magistrate and company to be false, version of the execution. Yasimin balks at the audacity of corporal punishment being issued for such a, in her opinion, mundane crime, and wishes that the Green Demon meter out their justice on them. Being unfamiliar with the local legend, Sayan inquires, and Guillard obliges with an alarmingly detailed, and most surprisingly firsthand account of this folk tale. A Demon that holds vigil over Fajad, doling out punishment as it sees fit. As the valet continues, it is made clear this no true demon, and that the eccentric and seemingly abhuman valet encountered the entity himself 75 years prior.

The conversation drifts back to the supposed Execution, and Guillard divulges that while he doesn't know the exact identity of the qadis, he knows that they were disciples of the Prophet Metsa'an, a particularly martial sect. These combative religious judiciaries have a redoubt not too far from town where they would most likely close ranks after such a public and contentious event. If anyone was going to seek out those seemingly involved, they would go there.
 
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