Tékumel Archive

The Book of Visitations of Glory

Issue Two | Winter 2001

A Little Knowledge

by Krista Donnelly

Author’s Introduction

I’ve taken some liberties with canon information, particularly in allowing a non-spell-caster to summon Qu'ú. If anyone objects, remind them that they should know better than to be misled by the textual corruptions of lazy scribes!

Referee’s Introduction

This scenario takes place in a small Thúmis monastery, set in a rural locale in northwestern Tsolyánu. The player characters are divided into two groups: the Thúmis priests and the villagers. For a smaller group of players, all the PCs should be priests. To accommodate larger groups, you can simply add more villagers with different concerns.

The gist of the set-up is this: a priest, Omél hiSayúncha, has had a vision. He is convinced that a new, hither-to unknown Aspect of Thúmis has visited him. He’s carved a statue to represent this Aspect and wants to start its worship in the monastery. Another priest, Bálesh hiTukkolén, also desires to have a vision and has been harmonizing on "Th." Unfortunately, due to his poor technique, he is reaching out instead to the demon Qu'ú. And Qu'ú, unbeknownst to him, has been happily engaging in manipulations. Things come to a boil at the annual Festival of the Illumination of the Mind.

Players’ Introduction

The Well of Knowledge is a small monastery set in the breadbasket plains of northwestern Tsolyánu. Like many Tsolyáni monasteries, its members perform a mixture of duties, ranging from scholarly studies to manual labor. In addition, the Well runs a school for the most promising children from the surrounding villages. Due to the poverty and low status of Flat Rock and Open Hand, the clans inhabiting the villages, most attendees stay just long enough to learn to read and cipher before returning to work for the clans. All the priests at the Well take turns serving as teachers.

Each year as summer nears its zenith and the calm between planting and harvest descends upon the countryside, the Well of Knowledge holds its annual Festival of the Illumination of the Mind. The highlight of the summer, many villagers flock to the monastery to give offerings, participate in the Following of the God ritual, and enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere of The Sublime Edification of the Populace.

Anticipation is running high this year for the Festival. Curious rumors have been leaking from the monastery, rumors that a priest has been visited with visions, that Pavár lives again, here, so many tsán from even Si'is. Could this be true? Is it a miracle? Or is it blasphemy?

GM Note: To help everyone understand what should happen during the day, give a copy of the following description of the Festival to each of the players.

The Festival of the Illumination of the Mind

This festival occurs every year in mid-summer.

The Opening of the Eyes of Radiance
The day begins as usual with the Opening of the Eyes of Radiance ritual. As the villagers will still be on their way to the monastery, this will be a private ritual for the priests and the resident students. Mottán, the head ritual priest, will lead it. You expect him to ask what you will do during the Sublime Edification of the Populace this afternoon.

When the ritual ends, you traditionally choose which Aspect’s statue you will carry in the processional known as the Following of the Gods. You stand by that Aspect’s statue. When the villagers arrive, Mottán dramatically throws open the main doors (The Doors of Enlightenment), you lift your Aspect’s statue to your shoulder, and follow Mottán out.

The Following of the Gods
The villagers traditionally approach the monastery and the Doors of Enlightenment are flung open to them. As the priests file out behind Mottán with the Aspects, the villagers fall in step behind them. Mottán will lead the procession around the main building counter-clockwise. He will stop at each corner, summon a priest/Aspect forward and offer up prayers in praise of the Aspect. (See the map for the traditional route). At the sixth stop he will offer up prayers to Lord Thúmis as a whole. Then the procession enters the main hall and the Aspects are returned to their places.

A table has been set up outside the main hall, manned by Hóru, where the villagers can buy tetél flowers to offer to the Aspects. There is a lull in the activities here as the villagers purchase offerings, give offerings to the Aspects, and beseech prayers from the priests. This also gives the servants time to bring all the food and drink out from the kitchens. Traditionally, the tables of food are set up in front of the Main Hall.

The Sublime Edification of the Populace
The rest of the afternoon has a semi-carnival atmosphere. As the villagers wander around stuffing their faces, the priests settle down on their mats and produce their offerings of knowledge. Sometimes they have recited from the sages, sung songs, explicated doctrines, answered questions, told fortunes, expounded on their academic specialty. The priests have wide latitude on what they choose to do. They will be expected to justify their selection after the Festival. This is an opportunity to shine or fail badly. Adults tend to stay for a while with one priest before rising to check out another priests; the children often run wild, changing groups every few minutes.

The Well of Knowledge

This monastery is really quite humble. Due to the small school it runs, no attempt has been made to hide it from the surrounding villagers. It consists of one main building with several side halls branching off from it. (See map). Currently, 6 priests staff it, and 11 children attend the school more-or-less regularly. The Well of Knowledge was set up in one of those consummately quixotic Thúmis crusades to spread learning to all the people. The Well is not self-supporting. The priests receive a salary from the temple in Chéne Hó, which is kept on the books, rather than paid out in coins to them. Basic foodstuffs are brought in from the nearby lands owned by the temple, supplemented by the monastery’s dlél orchard, vegetable garden, káika birds and hmá flock. The monastery also grows a magnificent garden of tetél flowers that are used for offerings. There are only two servants: the cook (a woman) and a handyman (a man) – both from Flat Rock.

The Aspects that have shrines in the main hall are as follows:

1. Armésh "The Jewelled Serpent" This is a gigantic coiling serpent with iridescent, many-hued scales. He is a legendary Aspect who appears only in the myths and exhibits a protective nature. He protected Hrúgga from the Demon Qu'ú and restored life to Lord Qón’s hero Jajél.

2. Muór "The Sage of Sages" He is aged man standing in a long robe and black skullcap. He represents scholarship and wisdom. Students often pray to him.

3. Majér the Maiden She is a sweet-faced, pretty girl wearing a simple grey tunic and sandals. She symbolizes youthful wisdom and the coming of age. Young girls pray to her for success and wise decisions.

4. Meshmúr "The Molder of Flesh; the Healer of Entrails" He looks like a snake with a large monocular head. With his single great eye, he heals internal injuries, such as ulcers, cancers and hemorrhages.

5. Chuharém the Diviner He is a stern man, seated, with a walking staff across his knees, wearing a hooded cloak thrown back to reveal a black skullcap. He stands for divination and the casting of fortunes. However, he may not decide to convey his knowledge.Anyone who can give the Temple an Insect of Qu'ú will avoid a black mark on their record. Or, in the case of the villagers, will gain substantial goodwill from the temple. (For instance, the Temple would pay for the powerful healing spells need to cure Fíru’s wife Halé.)

Priest Characters

1. Omél hiSayúncha
5th Circle Priest, Grey Wand, Thúmis

Strength: 3
Dexterity: 3
Intelligence: 7
Psyche: 7
Willpower: 7
Charisma: 6

Health Points: 50
Initiative: 4

High Pedhétl 6
High Status
Older (25 years)
Hard luck

Melee Attack 3
Melee Defense 1
Missile Attack 3
Missile Defense 1

Calligraphy 1
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Language (Tsolyani, read) 1
Etiquette (High Clan) 1
Etiquette (Temple) 3
Ritual (Thúmis) 3
Scholar (History of Tsolyánu) 2
Subculture (High Clan) 1
Subculture (Priesthood) 3
Theology (Thúmis) 3

You were born and raised in Béy Sü and began your career serving in the Temple of Eternal Knowing in that city. You are here at this monastery because several years ago your patron had the misfortune to fall out of favor, and you fell with him. You accepted this unexpected turn of events with good grace, and have made a home for yourself here. Every day you earnestly teach the villagers' children in the monastery school. They learn little and never stay for long, but you take heart that you are planting the seeds of knowledge in their little minds.

Then, one day, several weeks ago, all your noble actions were noticed. You were sitting quietly in your cell, gazing into a small grey mirror, harmonizing on "F," when you received a vision from Thúmis himself. (See separate sheet for the vision). From your time in Béy Sü, you had written out fragments from Kháriyelyal hiHáyasa (Appearances in Mighty Glory) by Cha'ánya hiNáshomai, which described all the known Aspects of Thúmis. You reviewed these writings and realized you had seen a previously unknown Aspect. You were so moved that you went out and labored carefully sculpting a figure of this Aspect. Though you never sculpted before, Thúmis himself guided your hand.

You know that you were given this vision to encourage the worship of Thúmis. Immediately after receiving it, you stood up at the appointed time in the daily morning Opening of the Eyes of Radiance ceremony and shared your experience. Reaction to your announcement has been subdued, save from your fellow priest Bálesh, who seems very moved and excited. You are not even sure if Mottán and Shémek, the head ritual and head administrative priests, have sent word up the temple hierarchy of this glorious occurrence. Never the less, your enthusiasm has not dimmed, and you tell of your experiences to everyone you meet. Your sole desire is to see the sculpture of this new Aspect enshrined along with all the other Aspects, and worshipped by the priests and villagers alike.

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Túplanin. It means, "loved."

2. Your star pupil in the school is 9-year-old Sánjesh hiNezár. He has real potential to go on to become a Thúmis scholar himself, if only his clan could spend the káitars on him.

3. Your statue resembles the boulder you saw in your vision, carefully replicating all its curves and bulges.

1. Get your statue installed in the main hall with the other Aspects.

2. Persuade the villagers to pray and give offerings to it.

3. Preach to as many of the villagers as possible.

Omél’s Vision
"As I meditated, darkness fell upon me. Then gradually, it lightens, as if the dawn is approaching. I can feel something watching me, observing me. It feels cool, remote, but vastly intelligent. I feel like if I could reach it, I would know everything. I cry out to it but all I can see is a grey mist swirling around me, suffused with light. Then I see something darker up ahead. I approach it, and it’s a mountainside. I start to climb, and it gets colder and darker. I can feel the cold piercing my bones, and enlightenment floods over me. I know so many things; I understand so much. I’m closer to it; I can feel it. But I can’t go any further – it’s too cold and dark. Then, before me, softly glowing in a pale grey light is a huge boulder, blocking my way. I realize that I am not meant to go further, that my Lord has given me all I can receive. And then I awaken. In my mind is the word pasqáikh. I know that it is the name of this Aspect."

GM Note: Omél has seized on his interpretation of this rather ambiguous vision due to his prior devotion to Thúmis. You will need to decide if this is, in fact, an Aspect of Thúmis only if Chashána achieves a major success in her fortune-telling based on Omél’s secret name.

"Pasqáikh" is the Tsolyáni word for boundary, end, limit. Anyone who chooses to go to the library will discover this in a matter of minutes. This can be interpreted as either an acknowledge of humanity’s limitations as compared to the power of the beings who are called gods, or a blasphemy which denies Thúmis' ability to spread knowledge to all.

2. Bálesh hiTukkolén
5th Circle Priest, Victorious Globe, Thúmis

Strength: 3
Dexterity: 3
Intelligence: 7
Psyche: 7
Willpower: 6
Charisma: 6

High Pedhétl 9

Melee Attack 3
Melee Defense 1
Missile Attack 3
Missile Defense 1

Health Points: 45
Initiative: 4

Calligraphy 1
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Language (Tsolyani, read) 1
Etiquette (Medium Clan) 1
Etiquette (Temple) 3
Ritual (Thúmis) 3
Scholar (Geology) 4
Subculture (Medium Clan) 1
Subculture (Priesthood) 3
Theology (Thúmis) 3

You came to the monastery to get as far away from the strictures of family and clan as you could get. Here you would not be overshadowed by arrogant clan-cousins or sneered at by those of higher clan. At first, you were satisfied with the quiet pace, dividing your kirén between teaching the children, caring for the hmá and studying the ancient scholars. But little by little, discontent began to creep into your mind, disturbing the peace of your meditations as you went about your daily routines. Was this it? This foolish, degrading, boring drudgery carried out among your inferiors? Was there no glory in serving Thúmis? Were the Ksárul scoffers right after all? You always pushed such thoughts away, refusing to entertain them for long. Yet they always returned.

And then it happened. Omél stood up one morning in the Opening of the Eyes of Radiance ceremony and shared a vision that he had experienced the night before. A vision of Lord Thúmis himself. And if that were not enough, it was a vision of a previously unknown Aspect of Thúmis, Pasqáikh. Your heart burned with an emotion you couldn't quite identify (Zeal? Envy? Anger? You refused to examine it closely.) Omél is a quiet, ordinary, dull colleague. If Thúmis has visited him, as he did Pavár long ago, then surely he would visit you as well. You began to spend all your waking hours in your cell meditating on "Th", harmonizing with Thúmis, gazing into your small silver mirror. You fasted and went without sleep. Finally, last night, after several weeks, when you were weak from hunger and dizzy from lack of sleep, you experienced the most glorious moment of your life. A great trembling seized you, and then the vision was upon you (see separate sheet).

When you recovered from the vision, you found a small pile of gifts before you: a scroll case cleverly worked with emeralds; three simple bracelets made of heavy gold with an abstract design of black obsidian and emeralds; and three necklaces with medallions intricately worked with small chips of black obsidian and emeralds. You reached out for your personal scroll and carefully inscribed the glyph you saw in your vision. You have never seen it before. That word, "tirrigáschè," continues to echo in your mind.

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Siyuzhárin. It means "intelligent."

1. Gain the glory and respect that is rightfully yours.

2. During the Festival, lead a public harmonization session so that everyone will have the chance to experience your vision.

3. Support Omél in his endeavors to achieve widespread acceptance for the Aspect that appeared to the two of you.

Bálesh’s Vision
"I cannot explain it well; it’s not as clear as Omél’s experience. There is something in the distance, large and dark – about the size of Omél’s boulder. I feel that I am small, nothing, before this great being. I fall on my knees and beg for enlightenment. I hear a sound, the distant roar of many voices. They are repeating "tirrigáschè, tirrigáschè." It is repeated five times. At the same time, before me in the air I see a glyph being written, and I know it’s important. And then I awaken. When I awaken, I see the gifts from my Lord."

GM Note: If Bálesh is honest with himself (at least a marginal success in Chashána’s fortune-telling on his secret name), he’s not sure this is Thúmis, but he has no other explanation for his vision This is not an Aspect of Thúmis. This is Thúmis’s enemy, the demon Qu'ú. Be sure to keep track of who carries the gifts given to Bálesh.

3. Shémek hiZhnáyu
6th Circle Administrative Priest, Grey Wand, Thúmis

Strength: 3
Dexterity: 5
Intelligence: 9
Psyche: 5
Willpower: 8
Charisma: 4

Health Points: 55
Initiative: 7

High Status
Older (25 years)

Melee Attack 4
Melee Defense 2
Missile Attack 4
Missile Defense 2

Administration (Temple) 1
Calligraphy 1
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Language (Tsolyani, read) 2
Etiquette (High Clan) 1
Etiquette (Temple) 3
Negotiation (Social) 1
Ritual (Thúmis) 3
Subculture (High Clan) 1
Subculture (Priesthood) 4
Theology (Thúmis) 3

You have always prided yourself on your pragmatism and your ability to see straight to the heart of matters. Born into a low lineage within a high status clan famed for its commitment to the Lord Thúmis, you quickly realized that the easiest avenue of advancement lay within the temple. Though others around you seem to have come to this monastery by chance or propelled by some vague notions of spiritual enrichment, you carefully maneuvered your way here. In a city, even a smaller one like Si'is, you would be competing against those of higher status before you even had a chance to prove your worth. Here, though the monastery is small, you are the head administrative priest and can display your abilities through your efficient and profitable running of it.

Lately, though, you have been presented with a puzzling dilemma, one which you believe can either weave the golden thread through your skein or unravel it completely. Several weeks ago, one of the priests, Omél hiSayúncha, stood up at the morning Opening of the Eye ritual and shared with the monastery a vision he had experienced. He claimed it was from a previously unknown Aspect of Thúmis, Pasqáikh. You are aware that all of the Aspects are not known. In fact, some are only known to those in the highest Circles. But it seems unlikely that such a lowly priest as Omél could have contacted the Lord of Wisdom himself. His foolish bleating could draw scorn and reprimands down upon all your heads. But . . . if he indeed had a true vision, it could bring great prestige (and many káitars) to the monastery, providing a tremendous boost for your career. In fact, it needn't even be a true vision, just one that everyone accepts as true. But do you want to stick your neck out first?

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Khotláng. It means, "to be honest."

2. You usually recite a tale or explicate doctrine at the Sublime Edification.

1. Run a profitable Festival of the Illumination of the Mind

2. Either silence Omél’s talk about his Aspect, or gain support for it from both the monastery and villagers.

3. See that nothing effects the smooth operation of the monastery.

4. Chashána hiKúrodu
2nd Circle Ritual Priestess, Moon of Evening, Thúmis

Strength: 6
Dexterity: 5
Intelligence: 4
Psyche: 9
Willpower: 7
Charisma: 4

Combat Limitation (weak attack)
Good with Animals

Melee Attack 4
Melee Defense 2
Missile Attack 5
Missile Defense 3

Health Points: 55
Initiative: 9

Calligraphy 1
Fortune-telling 3
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Language (Tsolyani, read) 1
Etiquette (Medium Clan) 1
Etiquette (Temple) 2
Ritual (Thúmis) 3
Subculture (Medium Clan) 1
Subculture (Priesthood) 2
Theology (Thúmis) 3

You have always been undistinguished, easily overlooked. You never excelled in school and were found to be utterly lacking in sorcerous capacity. You were married young as the third wife to a much older Moon of Evening man as part of a small ploy to increase the prestige of your lineage within the clan. After swiftly bearing him several children, you were overwhelmed by the emptiness of your life. Though you lived surrounded by your clan sisters and brothers, you found no solace in life. Frequenting the temples seemed to bring you some measure of relief, and finally you sought out the clan elders to see how opposed they were to you declaring Aridani status and joining the priesthood. To your surprise, no one protested your planned change in status, not even your husband. With little fanfare, you declared Aridani status and soon afterwards left the clan house to come live at the Well of Knowledge.

You are now only Second Circle, and doubt you will ever rise very high. Life at the Well has not been as you expected. You still find yourself performing onerous chores, just as you did at the clan house. You still find yourself teaching uninterested children, just as you did at the clan house. You still find yourself virtually ignored by everyone, just as at the clan house. Only now, you do not even have your clan sisters or fellow wives to complain to or your children to visit with you during the day. You are seriously contemplating leaving the Well and returning home.

The only talent that has ever brought you any attention is your ability to tell fortunes. You have learned the inner meanings of numbers and dates, and if people open themselves up to you, you can tell them much about themselves. Unfortunately, few people are willing to reveal their secret names to an unknown such as you, so many of the fortunes you tell are only for entertainment, lacking in real power. But still, it’s fun and is the only thing that really lifts your spirits. (See separate sheet on fortune telling)

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Zu'árakh. It means, "flower."

2. You normally charge 1 qirgál for a fortune. You have a supply of scrap pieces of vellum on which you write out the fortune and hand to the customer.

1. Lift your spirits by telling as many fortunes as possible.

2. Try to have a spiritual experience through having a vision too.

3. Increase your future opportunities by trying to find out the other’s secret names.

Fortune-Telling Through Numerology

You do not actually need to know the mechanics of telling fortunes to play Chashána, but it’s provided in case you're interested. If you do get a chance to tell a fortune based on someone’s secret name, consult with the G.M. The G.M. will let you know the modifier for the roll and help interpret its result.

From "Tsolyani Numerology" by Korumtai hiMettuken, Translated by Firu ba Yeker

There are three levels of divining the meaning of names: To Know, To Aver and To Harmonize. You have not yet reached the level of Harmonizing. Divining a fortune requires knowing the being’s secret name, not their ordinary name. A secret name is confided to a child upon reaching maturity and is carefully guarded. Only those who are truly serious about seeking their fortunes will give you their secret name to work with. You'll do fortunes on ordinary names if people ask (as they often do), but, if asked, you will also tell them of the limited value of such an endeavor.

Fortunes are told by drawing out the glyph you learned from your grandmother, and writing down the numbers, which correspond to the letters in the name. In a complex fashion, you add the numbers together until you arrive at the one true number which reveals which god’s influence is cast over your life. Your sessions have varying levels of success (you're not sure why), but sometimes the patterns of the numbers interwoven into the glyph reveal the future to you as well.

Meanings of the Numbers:

1 is unity, power, coming together
2 is female, loving, secretive, cherishing, and sincere
3 is male, mighty, vainglorious, brave and adventuresome
4 is transcendent, mysterious, beyond this plane, Godlike and abstract
5 is related to death, earth, filth, sorrow and decay
6 is thoughtful, bright, clever and wise
7 is dark, malignant, cold and turgid
8 is devious, calculating, powerful in knowledge, selfish and unknown
9 is fiery flaming, destructive, transitory, violent and final
10 is lascivious, female, wild, carefree, duplicitous and free
100 stands for elderly persons, priests, kings, captains, and warriors
1,000 stands for ships, palaces, goods, trade and daily matters
10,000 stands for children, youth, enjoyment, pleasures of this life and the love of one’s heart’s desire

1 is white and of Lord Hnálla
2 is sapphire blue and of Lady Avánthe
3 is scarlet and of Lord Karakán
4 is golden yellow and of Lord Belkhánu
5 is dark brown and of Lord Sárku
6 is grey and of Lord Thúmis
7 is purple and of Lord Hrü'ü
8 is deep azure and of Lord Ksárul
9 is red-orange and of Lord Vimúhla
10 is emerald green and of Lady Dlamélish

Meanings of Names:

The Schoolchildren
Since the children are too young to have secret names, no true fortune can be told for them yet. These fortunes are for entertainment only and only to keep the children from pestering you too long.

Balané hiArusá = 2, Avánthe
Dzái hiChánkalu = 2, Avánthe
Rayána hiChánkalu = 4, Belkhánu
Nélel hiKúrodu = 10, Dlamélish
Shánü hiKúrodu = 3, Karakán
Gayán hiNáshomai = 5, Sárku
Sáyi hiNáshomai = 7, Hrü'ü
Sánjesh hiNezár = 8, Ksárul [a PC]
Senértha hiNezár = 3, Karakán
No'ómu hiTuplángte = 5, Sárku
Tsodlán hiTuplángte = 2, Avánthe

The Priests and the Villagers
Again, this is the list based on known names and will not give a true fortune. If a player tells you the character’s true name, write it down and ask the G.M. for the associated god.

Bálesh = 4, Belkhánu
Omél = 6, Thúmis
Shémek = 8, Ksárul

Achán = 9, Vimúhla
Fíru = 7, Hrü'ü
Layéth = 9, Vimúhla
Zagár = Avánthe

GM Note:
The relevant stat for the Fortune-telling skill is Psyche. Reading Omél is going to be Extremely Difficult (+4), Bálesh is Quite Difficult (+3), and everyone else is Average (+0). Roll for Chashána so the player can’t tell if it’s a success or failure.

Interpret Chashána’s level of success as follows (use the same list for failures, but give the wrong information):

Marginal: She will get a vague feeling that all will go well/all will go badly/ all is murky, there are many possibilities. She’s not certain of the accuracy of her feelings though. Pick the feeling based on how you think the character in question is proceeding toward his or her goals.

Minor: She gets the same vague feeling as above, but this time she’s certain her prediction is on the right track

Major: Not only does she have a sense of if things are going well or badly, she can tell an action that needs to be taken to shift the course of events.

Extreme: She sees specific events that could happen as a result of specific actions taken.

Critical: She can divine which future the character prefers and tell two actions the character should take to obtain this future.

Naturally, this will be a bit tricky for the G.M. to achieve, but give fortunes to Chashána based on the character’s goals and what it looks like the character will need to achieve them. For instance, if she gets an extreme success for Bálesh’s player, have her see a vision of children dying during a meeting in the Festival that Bálesh is leading. Try to help what she sees come about actually happen.

Words Chashána might ask about:
Pasqáikh = 10 or 1, Dlamélish or Hnálla
Qu'ú = 6, Thúmis
Tirrigáschè = 2, Avánthe

Secret Names:

Hlássukh "Bird" = 2, Avánthe
Hrúdlakh "Well [water source]" = 3, Karakán
Khotláng "To be honest" = 10, Dlamélish
Siyuzhárin "Intelligent" = 4, Belkhánu
Ssángon "Crazy" = 10, Dlamélish
Tlángten "Flashy, Resplendent" = 9, Vimúhla
Túplanin "Loved" = 6, Thúmis
Zu'árakh "Flower" = 6, ThúmisAnyone who can give the Temple an Insect of Qu'ú will avoid a black mark on their record. Or, in the case of the villagers, will gain substantial goodwill from the temple. (For instance, the Temple would pay for the powerful healing spells need to cure Fíru’s wife Halé.)

Villager Characters

1. Achán hiNezár
Farmer, Open Hand, Thúmis

Strength: 5
Dexterity: 3
Intelligence: 6
Psyche: 3
Willpower: 7
Charisma: 5

Health Points: 60
Initiative: 3

Highly Skilled
Older (30 years)

Melee Attack 4
Melee Defense 2
Missile Attack 4
Missile Defense 2

Knowledge (Central Tsolyánu) 2
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Etiquette (Low Clan) 1
Merchant (Foodstuffs) 5
Negotiation (Business) 3
Occupation (Farmer) 5
Planning (Clan) 2
Subculture (Low Clan) 1

You are a tenant farmer from a small village a half day’s walk from the monastery Well of Knowledge. You have only one wife, but she’s successfully borne six children (four sons, two daughters), and you have two brothers who have sired three children and two children respectively, plus your wife has a sister who has had four children so you have 15 children in all. Though you're not an elder yet, your wise advice and careful planning has steadily increased your stock within your lineage and the clan as a whole. Careful deployment of your resources (the children’s labor) is also continuously increasing your family’s modest wealth.

Unfortunately, you do have one problem son, Sánjesh. He’s nine years old, but has spent the last two years idling his time away at the monastery’s school. You wanted to pull him out last year after you found out he could read, write and calculate sums already. To your surprise, when he protested vehemently and broke down in tears, his other fathers and mothers supported him and you were overruled. Since then, he has been distant toward you, spending many hours outside of class time at the monastery. You are beginning to suspect that he may somehow be under the influence of his favorite teacher, Omél hiSayuncha.

The whole family has come to the Festival of the Illumination of the Mind. Normally, you are only concerned with spending as little money on offerings as possible and avoiding the priests as much as you are able, but this year you are determined to withdraw Sánjesh from the school as well. You have no time for the foolishness of these priests. You have a family to run, and you will not lose the money an intelligent son could be bringing in to a minging priest-scholar.

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Tlángten, which means, "flashing, resplendent.”

2. You brought 10 qirgáls with you. You could have brought more, but why?

3. You don’t care about the controversy surrounding the vision that the priest Omél had. You'll echo whatever opinion your clan elder, Fíru, expresses.

1. Withdraw Sánjesh from the temple school.

2. Contribute as little to the monastery as you can without losing face

3. Enjoy the free entertainment of the festival.

2. Layéth hiArusá
Farmer, Flat Rock, Thúmis

Strength: 8
Dexterity: 6
Intelligence: 3
Psyche: 5
Willpower: 6
Charisma: 4

Health Points: 75
Initiative: 6

Older (40 years)

Melee Attack 7
Melee Defense 5
Missile Attack 7
Missile Defense 5

Artisan (Potter) 2
Cooking 1
Knowledge (Central Tsolyánu) 2
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Etiquette (Very Low Clan) 3
Occupation (Farmer) 3
Subculture (Farming) 3
Subculture (Very Low Clan) 4

You are a peasant. All your life you've worked hard in the dná fields for the Temple of Thúmis. From your early childhood years of following around your mothers in the clan house you grew enough to be assigned chores in the clan house, and then, as you grew strong and healthy, you were sent out to the fields to work for the Temple (Flat Rock gets to keep 30% of the harvest) as generations of your clan siblings have before you. It’s certainly not an easy life, but it could be much worse. You have a dependable husband, your clan house is generally amicable, your children are healthy and there have been no famines since that one when you were a child.

You have always enjoyed the Festival of the Illumination of the Mind. Since you had no schooling yourself, you love to sit and listen to the priests tell stories of times gone by. Many a year have you listened intently as they talked of ever more obscure things until you understood barely one word in three. But as a Thúmis worshipper, it makes you feel good to learn, and the priests are always so wise. This year you're especially eager since the priest Omél has been blessed by Thúmis himself with a vision of a new Aspect. You're sure this can only mean good things for the village.

You also religiously seek out the fortune-teller. So far, the fortune-tellers have always been right when speaking of your future. It’s always so exciting to learn what will happen next.

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Hrúdlakh, which means, "well" [source of water].

2. You have 15 qirgáls to spend at the Festival. You plan to spend most on offerings, but will leave enough for your fortune.

1. Be the very first person to give an offering to the new Aspect and pray to it.

2. Have your fortune told.

3. Enjoy yourself at the Festival – try something new.

3. Fíru hiNáshomai
Clan Elder, Open Hand, Thúmis

Strength: 4
Dexterity: 4
Intelligence: 5
Psyche: 3
Willpower: 3
Charisma: 6

Health Points: 35
Initiative: 4

Emotional Control
Older (40 years)
Highly Skilled

Melee Attack 4
Melee Defense 2
Missile Attack 4
Missile Defense 2

Dagger 1
Knowledge (Central Tsolyánu) 5
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Etiquette (Low Clan) 4
Merchant (Foodstuffs) 5
Negotiation 4
Observation 3
Occupation (Farmer) 4
Planning (Clan) 5
Subculture (Farming) 5
Subculture (Low Clan) 5

You are an elder in the Open Hand clan, living in a village about a half-day’s walk from the Well of Knowledge monastery. Though your clan is low status, and most of you are tenant farmers for the Temple of Thúmis, you are content. You know that the gods have provided well for you. The harvests have gone well for the last several years, and the weather has been excellent (praise Avánthe!). You are even able to begin building a new wing onto the main clan house in the village. It is only right and proper that you attend the Festival of the Illumination of the Mind to show your gratitude to the gods.

However, the rumors coming from the Well of Knowledge are troubling. Some of the other elders believe that Open Hand’s offerings should only be given to priests who are certain to be seen in the Eye of Thúmis. If these priests are following something else now, the clan’s few káitars should not be wasted. You have remained carefully neutral, promising to seek out the truth of the matter the best you can.

But, in truth, you are not neutral, for buried deep within your heart is a great fear. Over the last year, your wife Halé has been growing weaker and weaker. Sometimes when she is walking, a leg will suddenly stop working and she'll fall to the ground. You've taken her several times to the priests of Keténgku, but their prayers and spells seem to have no lasting effect. You're not sure if it’s because you can’t afford the more powerful healing spells or if her illness is simply beyond them. You know very little of theology but you reason that Keténgku is only a Cohort. Maybe that’s why his priests can’t heal Halé. Maybe a more powerful god like Thúmis could help. Maybe that’s why a new Aspect of Thúmis has appeared. You hope against hope that this may be the answer to your problem.

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Hlássukh, which means, "bird."

2. Traditionally, the village clan house sponsors the two brightest children to remain in school. Achán hiNezár’s son Sánjesh is the most promising child Open Hand has seen in quite a while. It would be good to check up with his teachers to see what they think of his progress.

3. You brought 5 hlásh: 4 hlásh and 10 qirgáls to spend on offerings on behalf of the clan, and 10 qirgáls of your own.

1. Speak to the priest who has had the vision since he seems to be the closest to Thúmis and get him to pray to the new Aspect on behalf of Halé. You are willing to promise all 5 hlásh to the new Aspect for this service.

2. Persuade as many villagers as you can that they should give their offerings to Meshmúr, the traditional healing Aspect (you want to cover all the bases).

3. Make sure the good name of Open Hand is upheld in this public celebration.

4. Zagár hiChánkolu
Elderly Clan Member, Flat Rock, Thúmis

Strength: 1
Dexterity: 4
Intelligence: 3
Psyche: 4
Willpower: 4
Charisma: 4

Health Points: 25
Initiative: 4

Very Uneducated
Older (70 years)

Melee Attack 3
Melee Defense 1
Missile Attack 3
Missile Defense 1

Animal Handling (Hmá) 4
Animal Handling (Chlén) 4
Animal Handling (Káika bird) 4
Brawling 6
Climbing 1
Knowledge (Central Tsolyánu) 6
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Etiquette (Very Low Clan) 5
Occupation (Farmer) 5
Subculture (Farming) 4
Subculture (Very Low Clan) 6

You have achieved the rare feat of reaching the old age of 70! In your younger days in Flat Rock, you put in many backbreaking kiréns of labor in the fields, but now you spend your days in front of the cooking fires, reminiscing and scolding the youngsters. You don’t usually leave the clan house anymore, but the promise of the Festival of the Illumination of the Mind has drawn you forth. You forced yourself to painfully hobble the entire distance (often leaning for support on the arms of younger clan-cousins) because of your deeply rooted devotion to Lord Thúmis. Now that you have the time, you often spend the quiet evening hours in meditation on the Ever-Present Eye. You learned your devotion at the knees of several of your mothers and grandfathers. Your own father’s death impressed you greatly as he peacefully and calmly looked forward to his journey to the Blessed Isles where he would sit for all eternity at the feet of the Teacher of the Gods, the True Sage of Wisdom.

In truth, though, you are glad of the timing of the Festival. Not long ago, at dinner you overheard the chattering of children as they speculated on whether or not they might see a vision of Thúmis at the monastery just as that priest Omél had. Just the sound of their impudent tones caused anger to rise in your breast. Meeting Lord Thúmis, indeed! As if they were the blessed Pavár himself. You whacked the closest one behind her ears and resolved to give those priests a piece of your mind. You're so old, what can they do to you anyway?

Additional Information
1. Like all other Tsolyáni, you were given a secret name by your elders at your coming-of-age Name Day ceremony. This name is said to reflect your inner being. It is rarely shared as knowledge of it can give others power over you. Your secret name is Ssángon, which means "crazy."

2. Your granddaughter Dzái is currently attending the monastery school. You'd like to have a few words with her to make sure the priests aren't teaching her any heresies.

3. You've spent several months carving a smooth grey stone into the shape of an eye. You intend to offer to one of the Aspects of Thúmis at the monastery (you haven’t made up your mind which one yet).

4. You have 4 qirgáls to spend.

1. Stop the foolish chatter about a new Aspect, whether it comes from children or even the priests.

2. Give a proper offering of tetél flowers (which you can buy at the monastery) to each of the Aspects.

3. Help preserve the proper reverent atmosphere at the Festival.

5. Sánjesh hiNezár
Student, Open Hand, Thúmis

Strength: 4
Dexterity: 8
Intelligence: 10
Psyche: 3
Willpower: 9
Charisma: 8

Health Points: 65
Initiative: 10


Melee Attack 6
Melee Defense 4
Missile Attack 7
Missile Defense 5

Calligraphy 1
Language (Tsolyani, speak) 2
Language (Tsolyáni, read) 1
Etiquette (Low Clan) 1
Ritual (Thúmis) 1
Scholar (Tsolyáni history) 2
Subculture (Low Clan) 1
Theology (Thúmis) 1

You are a 9-year-old son of Achán hiNezár. You have 14 siblings among all your fathers and mothers, and somehow you feel this should grant you more anonymity than it does. Unfortunately, Achán has never let anything or anyone who might profit him slip below his field of vision, and he almost always overrides the wishes of any of your other fathers and mothers. You dislike him for many things: when you were younger, he alienated all your friends by yelling at them for playing with you when you should have been working. When you came home from school last year, bearing a glowing letter of praise from your favorite teacher Omél, he tore it to shreds in front of you, stating that since you'd learned the basics, you didn’t need to waste any further time with the priests. You'd expected him to be angry since you'd never slipped away from school to come home and helped out in the fields occasionally (as many of the other children did), but you never expected that. You are smart, and you have a future, even if you're from a low status clan. You know this because Omél has repeatedly told you so. You threw a tantrum and for once in your life, Achán was overridden by your other fathers and mothers. You were allowed to stay for another year.

Now the year is up. You have dreaded the Festival for weeks since it heralds Achán’s coming visit. Your best friend at school, Dzái hiChánkolu, has tried her best to cheer you up but she can’t solve your problems. You've decided to go straight to your clan elder, Fíru hiNáshomai, to argue why the clan would benefit by allowing you to stay in school. In the meantime, you've spent much time in prayer to Pasqáikh, the Aspect Omél contacted. Omél seems confident that prayers to it will be efficacious.

Additional Information
1. Through doing extra chores at the monastery, you have managed to earn 2 qirgáls.

1. Convince Fíru to allow you to stay in school.

2. Avoid Achán as much as possible.

3. Publicly display your devotion to Pasqáikh.Anyone who can give the Temple an Insect of Qu'ú will avoid a black mark on their record. Or, in the case of the villagers, will gain substantial goodwill from the temple. (For instance, the Temple would pay for the powerful healing spells need to cure Fíru’s wife Halé.)


1. Mottán hiQolyélmu
Grey Wand, Thúmis

Mottán is the Head Ritual Priest at the monastery, complementing Shémek the Head Administrative Priest. He is here so that the GM can guide the various ceremonies of the day: the Opening of the Eyes of Radiance ceremony, the Following of the Gods ritual and the Sublime Edification of the Populace. He should announce what’s happening next and give guidance (i.e. move the players along when they seem ready for the next stage). Mottán should not be involved in any of the various power plays over the new Aspect. To this end, he should be portrayed as being officious, fussy, exacting in details, but impossible to pin down on any real decisions. He will equivocate, beg for more time, intone on the need for consensus or change the subject, if necessary. He is a master at this art; it’s how he has risen this far.

Though he’s from the same clan as Shémek, he’s from a different city and never met him before they began serving together at the Well of Knowledge. He will skillfully resist all pleas of clan solidarity.

2. Qu'ú

He Who Would End Wisdom, Master of the Forty-fifth Circle, He Who Roars

Qu'ú is the hidden villain of the scenario. He will be behind the scenes until the very end when Bálesh will potentially unwittingly perform the summoning ceremony.

From the Book of Ebon Bindings, p. 65:
The most common form for this demon is a great, shambling beast similar to the Sró-dragon, but much larger and possessing several more limbs, tails and heads. He is often pictured in temples devoted to Thúmis, since he figures in the epic poem cycle dealing with the hero Hrúgga. His powers include Numbing (stupefying a victim so that he can remember nothing, making no decisions, and cannot resist whatever the evocator proposes), Gifting (bestowing valued treasures upon the evocator) and Imperceptibility (making the evocator invisible for a time). Lord Qu'ú will include in his bequests certain green-hued gems of great beauty. These are invariably false and must be rejected; else they will become noxious vermin who will later slay the evocator or those to whom he entrusts this wealth. He may be invoked through the preparation of an eight-sided star in which his glyph is inscribed; then he must be offered five female sacrifices (human or sapient) each below the age of puberty. Thereafter one shall recite his Secret Name, Tirrigáschè, five times. He will accept further souls in exchange for his benefactions, and he can be dismissed by drawing the Glyph of Present Defence over his name-glyph, followed by the making of the Pattern of the Primordial Nexus in the air before him. He is ever true to his agreements and will not return to harm the evocator at a later time.

Qu'ú is irritated by Bálesh. Bálesh, unwittingly, has been improperly calling him. Since the Summoning ritual has not been performed, Qu'ú need not respond, and indeed, he has a hard time locating Bálesh among the Many Planes without the proper ceremony. It’s like Bálesh is a child who keeps knocking at his door and then running off before Qu'ú has time to answer. Qu'ú would just like to catch him and give him a good talking to. To this end, he’s reaching out the best he can to manipulate Bálesh into performing the proper Summoning Ceremony. If Qu'ú is successfully summoned, his surprise at seeing that Bálesh is a Thúmis priest, and not one of Grugánu or Hriháyal, will lead him to try and entice Bálesh into the paths of Change by giving him his heart’s desire.

The gifts that are left for Bálesh are one of Qu'ú’s little jokes. Try to unobtrusively keep track of where each "gift" is. If you can provide play aids to represent the gifts to Bálesh’s player, so much the better! On each item, one of the "emeralds" will actually transform into an insect (see picture) that will attack the nearest living body. Each hour, each fake "emerald" will have a 20% chance of transforming. These insects are deadly, but also unknown on Tékumel. Anyone who successfully captures one (particularly alive) can expect recognition and a reward from the Thúmis temple in Chéne Hó. This will be a task, however. An insect will burrow under clothing, trying to get to the torso or the inner thigh. It will then bite down hard, chewing out an opening, and proceed to burrow into the flesh, trying to find its way to the heart. The character will need to act quickly against this threat or he/she will face a very real chance of dying.

Insect of Qu'ú: Melee Combat Value of 5, Damage modifier of x4.
If the insect was near the throat (someone was wearing a necklace), the characters will have one free round to try and grab the insect as it’s scurrying around, trying to find a place to enter. If it’s further away, allow two free chances. Roll against Dexterity with a +3 modifier due to its speed and small size. Once the insect is away from the body, it’s easy to kill, crushing it underfoot will work. If it manages to burrow in, the characters will have to be creative to stop it: i.e. if it enters the thigh, the round after they can still apply pressure (a tourniquet) and work the flesh to force it out. If they're desperate enough, they can take a chance and stab the victim where they think the insect is located (+4 modifier). The character will, of course, also take damage from the stab wound.

3. Hóru hiGurúma
Blue Kirtle, Thúmis

Hóru is a 16-year-old acolyte from the Blue Kirtle clan house in Chéne Hó. He’s here because the temple finds him promising, and they wish to test him by immersing him in the most humble ways of serving Lord Thúmis. He is hard working, conscientious and eager to please. He’s been cheerfully working himself to the bone. He has no answer for the odd occurrences that have been happening on his watch, and will lower his eyes, cheeks burning, when he’s questioned about them (the tetél flowers, the water clock, the fruit or anything else). He will never speak disrespectfully to anyone, and, if asked, will not take sides in the Aspect debate.

4. The Schoolchildren
One child, Sánjesh, is a PC. The other 10 are NPCs. Remind the players from time to time of their presence by interjecting comments on the children’s reactions. Depending on the situation, make them fidgety, giggling, running around, crying out in surprise, bugging the players for candy, a fortune or a qirgál. You don’t need to go overboard, but keep them in the running flow of background description.

Each of the children has a favorite teacher. Unless rebuffed by that teacher, they will tend to hang around their favorite. This will be very important if Bálesh tries his harmonization session. Since Bálesh is handsome, he’s the favorite of many of the girls. Unless rebuffed by him or persuaded otherwise by Sánjesh, they will attend the session (and thus, may end up dying). Sánjesh has great influence among the children. Anything his player attempts with the children will be successful.

The Boys:
Gayán hiNáshomai, 12, Open Hand, Chashána
No'ómu hiTuplángte, 8, Open Hand, Chashána
Tsodlán hiTuplángte, 8, Open Hand, Omél

The Girls:
Balané hiArusá, 11, Flat Rock, Bálesh
Dzái hiChánkolu, 9, Flat Rock, Bálesh [Granddaughter of Zagár, best friend of Sánjesh]
Rayána hiChánkolu, 7, Flat Rock, Omél
Nélel hiKúrodu, 9, Open Hand, Chashána
Shánü hiKúrodu, 12, Open Hand, Chashána
Sáyi hiNáshomai, 10, Open Hand, Bálesh
Senértha hiNezár, 11, Open Hand, Bálesh

The Timeline

GM Background: Last night, Bálesh, through his presumptuous harmonization on "th", blindly reached out to the demon Qu’ú. Because his summoning was unwitting, he did not perform the correct ritual and while Qu'ú felt the call, he could not fully locate Bálesh and pierce the Skin of reality. However, the demon’s efforts to get through managed to suck a lot of the life energy out of the surroundings (Bálesh was meditating in his room). Qu'ú’s efforts did Numb Bálesh and Hóru, the only other person awake in the middle of the night, for an hour, and he managed to deposit the gifts for Bálesh. Hóru was awake because he was watching the water clock. The Numbing has left him an hour behind in his calculation of the time.

Additionally, the loss of life energy has destroyed the tetél garden outside of the main building. The rows closest to the priests' quarters are black and brittle. As you move further away from Bálesh’s room, their condition improves until they are only bent over and wilted at the far side. The flowers that will be sold as offerings tomorrow were harvested yesterday by Hóru and are being kept in a cool, clay container in the storeroom. They were close enough to the drain to be wilted, but not blackened. The near side of the orchard, the vegetable garden and the dná crops are all wilted.

The priests were all close enough to the drain that they will begin the day with headaches and a general feeling of lethargy.

The scenario will begin with the villagers arriving at the monastery for the Following of the Gods processional. Unfortunately, the main doors are closed as the priests, Sánjesh and the other children are just now assembling for the morning ceremony of the Opening of the Eyes of Radiance since unbeknownst to them, they are running an hour late. Stress to the villagers how empty the monastery seems, how unusual it is that the doors were not flung open as usual when you approached.

Observation for the villagers: "As you come within sight of the cluster of buildings which mark the monastery, you notice a gradual wilting of the plants around you. The closer you draw to the buildings, the more pronounced the wilting. In one spot, they have completely shriveled and died."

If they investigate, the pattern will be plain to see. They will find no evidence of insects, nor will the farmers remember seeing something like this before.

Opening of the Eyes of Radiance Ceremony
If the villagers are content to wait, this is how the ceremony will proceed. There is nothing stopping them (save reticence) if they wish to open the doors and enter in.

A. Start with scene with Mottán officiously rushing around, reminding everyone it’s time for the ritual. Mention their headaches and general fatigue. As everyone is entering the worship hall, Bálesh will unconsciously and unobtrusively turn the Armésh statue around to face the wall. This action is a residual Numbing effect from his contact with Qu'ú last night. Have each player roll against Intelligence (modified by Observation if they have that skill) to see if they notice the new position. If the roll is a success, roll again to see if they were watching when he actually turned it.

If the new position is noticed, Mottán will be upset and blame a servant (unless Bálesh was observed). If Bálesh was observed, Mottán will not let any accusations continue for long, as that will disrupt the ceremony.

B. Mottán will lead the opening prayers: "Otuléngba, Lord Thúmis! Otuléngba, Teacher of the Gods, True Sage of Wisdom! All praise to Armésh who protected Hrúgga and restored life to Jajél. All praise to Muór who reads eternally from the scroll of wisdom. All praise to Majér who guides the young girls. All praise to Meshmúr, may he see all and heal all. All praise to Chuharém who divines all Skeins. ”

After the prayers, Hóru will approach down the aisle with a double-handful of tetél petals to scatter before the statues. He will approach slowly and tentatively as the petals he is carrying are wilted. This is immediately obvious to the audience and the children will begin whispering. Mottán will be visibly disturbed and frown at the acolyte. After the ceremony is over, he will order Shémek to find out why inferior flowers were selected on this day of all days.

If Shémek questions Hóru, he will reply, "I don’t know. Last night I selected only the finest from our garden and laid them in the cool cellar for today, as always. Only this morning, when I went to retrieve them for the ceremony, they were wilted."

Investigations of the flower garden will reveal the devastation wrought by Qu'ú’s aborted entry to this Plane.

C. After the prayers and the offering, Mottán will speak: "In lieu of offering up our usual philosophical discussions this morning, let us hear what each will do this afternoon during the Sublime Edification of the Populace."

This is the chance for the PCs to propose their plans: harmonization session, fortune-telling, reciting of tales, preaching, etc. Omél can also seize this opportunity to advocate adding his statue to the Following of the Gods that will soon take place.

If the villagers have not entered by this point, the handyman Mikúnu will notice them, scurry around to the school entrance and go through until he’s at the library entrance to the main hall. He will appear at the door and signal frantically. Mottán will frown and shake his head, but the servant won’t go away. Finally, Mottán will signal Shémek to see what the problem is.

Most likely a hasty plunge into the Following of the Gods will result, but follow the players' lead. Mottán will continue to try to force all the decisions on Shémek.

If Shémek investigates to find out how this fiasco happened, he will discover that the clepsydra (water clock) is off. The monastery relies on this clock to tell time. It works as follows: a large bronze bowl is filled with water. The water is kept constantly heated and on it is placed a small empty copper dish with a very small hole in the bottom. The hot water percolates through the hole in the bottom of the copper dish and gradually fills it so that the dish eventually sinks to the bottom. When this happens, 15 minutes (10 yóm) will have passed by. An observer must watch the clock at all times and note the passing of time. It was Hóru’s turn to watch the clock last night. If questioned, he will swear that he did not fall asleep (He didn’t. He was an innocent bystander: Numbed for an hour with no memory of that time when Qu’ú almost reached through to this plane during Bálesh’s vision.)

If Shémek cares to share what he’s learned, Mottán will regard it as a bad omen since it means the timing of the Opening of the Eyes of Radiance was off.

Following of the Gods
The arrival of the villagers kicks off the Festival proper, which means The Following of the Gods ritual. Mottán will direct each priest to pick up one of the Aspect statues. Normally Hóru would not participate since he’s only an acolyte, but if Omél has been successful in adding his statue to the line-up there will be one extra statue. Mottán will be irritated but will add Hóru in. Be sure to ask which statue each person picks up.

At this time, hand a note to Bálesh’s player, which reads, "You feel a strange reluctance to carry the Armésh statue. The more you look at it, the more sinuous and sinister it seems. Catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye, it seems to slowly writhe. You feel a strong compulsion to suggest just leaving it out of the ceremony."

Once everyone has a statue, Mottán will lead the procession. It will wind around all the buildings, making a complete circuit, stopping at each corner to lift one of the Aspects and pray. Stress how heavy the statues are for the priests to carry, how long-winded Mottán is in his prayers. (This will make the contract with stop #5 all the greater.)

Seeing the condition of the gardens, Mottán will alter the course of the procession. Rather than walking next to the building (the route shown on the map), he will make a wide loop around the vegetable garden and then come back in at the second corner of the building. He will repeat the wide loop when he comes to the tetél garden. In fact, since stop #5 is right next to the worst of the damage, he will make his prayers very short here and hasten the procession onward. The villagers will follow behind. The Following ends by entering the worship hall and returning the statues to their place.

The Sublime Edification of the Populace
After the procession is a general milling around period. Poor Hóru will dash off (he'll be following the procession if he’s not part of it) to attend a table that the servants set up earlier where offerings of tetél flowers will be sold.

In the meantime, the servants will have laid out great tables filled with food: roast hmá, great tankards of Héngka (dná-grain beer), másh and dlél fruit, warm dná-grain bread, and plenty of dmí-sugar candy for the children.

This is the time the villagers eat, buy and make offerings, talk with the priests, check out the monastery and socialize. Any villager who gives an offering to Majér the Maiden will see tears slip from her eyes and fall down her face. (This is Thúmis’s warning of the potential slaughter to come.)

After a while, the priests will go and retrieve the proper number of mats to lie on the ground to form the daises from which they will conduct their presentations. When all is in readiness, Mottán will lift his hands and proclaim, "Let the scales of ignorance fall from our eyes. Let the shining radiance of knowledge bedazzle us. We gather together to sit anew at the feet of our Glorious Sage, He Whose Eye Sees All the World. Otulénga, Lord Thúmis! Let our Edification begin!"

Unless the players have been creative, Chashána will tell fortunes, Shémek will recite a tale or explicate doctrine, Bálesh will lead a harmonization session and Omél will preach about his Aspect. If Bálesh and Omél decide they want to combine their presentations, Mottán will not object. Mottán will simply hover about anxiously, hoping all goes well.

Unfortunately, all may very well not go well.

Summoning Qu’ú

Much will depend on how Bálesh conducts his ceremony. If he displays his scroll or traces out the glyph again in any way, this will suffice for the glyph portion. If Bálesh either meditates in the presence of the glyph or if Qu'ú’s Secret Name Tirrigáschè is chanted, and if at least five girls attend his session, Qu'ú will reach out and take them as sacrifices. They will start to shiver and then go into seizures. If they are not removed from Bálesh’s presence, they will die within 5 minutes. Make a stat check against Psyche for each of the boys to see if they also get claimed as a victim. If Sánjesh is affected, he will still have the power to run away and save himself, if he thinks of it. After that, if both the chanting and the glyph have been present, Qu'ú will manifest. The air will ripple as a nexus point forms and he emerges. Qu'ú will pace before Bálesh and roar: "What do you want?"

At this point, have everyone make a skill check versus Theology (Thúmis). Qu'ú is pictured often on the walls of Thúmis temples and may easily be recognized by the priests. Have the villagers roll against Intelligence with a +3 modifier (there are no murals at the monastery, but he’s often described in the tales).

Any material thing that Bálesh asks for will appear before him. If he refuses to ask for anything, or asks for anything immaterial (i.e. "Leave us alone"), Qu'ú will roar loudly enough to momentarily deafen everyone. Then he will render Bálesh Imperceptible to all watchers (he will disappear) and begin communicating telepathically with him. He will begin trying to entice the Thúmis priest, offering him fortunes, aid in advancing through the Temple hierarchy, anything he wants. And whenever Bálesh wants anything else, all he need do is summon him again, just as was done here. If Bálesh continues to refuse his advances, he will lash out with a claw to wound him. The attack is automatically successful. Roll the 10-sider and treat the result as the Degree of Success (ignoring critical successes or failures) and apply a damage modifier of x2. Thus, Bálesh will take 2-20 Health points in damage. Qu'ú will then leave and render Bálesh perceptible again.

Potential Defenses
1. The best defense is not to allow the preaching/harmonization session in the first place. If Shémek, Chashána and three of the villagers speak out against the new Aspect, Mottán will disallow it. (Of course, Bálesh is free to try and sneak away and perform it elsewhere. Mottán won’t follow him or try to force him to participate further in the Edification.)

2. If Chashána draws her fortune-telling glyph (which is actually the Glyph of Present Defense, though she doesn't know this) – tracing it in the air, drawing it in the dirt, on a scrap piece of vellum – while the girls are having seizures, she will save them and close the way to Qu'ú. If she does so while Qu'ú is present, he will turn, roar and then suddenly vanish in the shimmer of a nexus point.


If any children die, it will be a great blow to the villagers. At a minimum, they will need to get shámtla to recover the cost of the now useless education. The Grey Wand characters, Mottán, Omél and Shémek, are high enough status that they can get by with just paying a light shámtla and receiving a reprimand from the Temple. If Chashána lays low, she has a good chance of escaping everyone’s notice and avoiding any blame due to her low position and talent for anonymity.

Bálesh, as the perpetrator and a member of the medium status Victorious Globe, will have his prospects for advancement ruined due to his embarrassment of the Temple. Unless, of course, he realizes he’s now the proud possessor the knowledge of how to summon a Change demon. If he plays his cards right, he can parlay this knowledge into a much higher position within the Temple. And, of course, if Qu'ú has been successful in tempting him, he can also summon him in the future and advance even faster!

Anyone who can give the Temple an Insect of Qu'ú will avoid a black mark on their record. Or, in the case of the villagers, will gain substantial goodwill from the temple. (For instance, the Temple would pay for the powerful healing spells need to cure Fíru’s wife Halé.)

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