While Fareth was away at a meeting of the elves of Shal’Minar and Laramanus was practicing his martial skills, Kurz and Nimue attempted to convince Y’bbn of the importance of foreign concepts like “sneaking” and “subtlety.” Eventually, they hit on the plan of convincing the t’skrang that he needed to be like an actor in a play, portraying an honorably spy in a delicate mission. While Y’bbn did not seem to take the plan entirely to heart, he did at least wear a voluminous black cloak over his stunning crimson-and-blue outfit (both borrowed from the extremely helpful t’skrang Troubadour Ssat’na).
Y’bbn (with Nimue concealed beneath his cloak) and Kurz went to Jurok Ghal’s nightly meeting, while Fareth and Laramanus waited outside in case of trouble. Before Ghal himself arrived, there seemed to be a good deal of general discontent, but no particular sense of focus or imminent violence (except from Y’bbn, who managed to restrain himself from the slanderous words of one of the orks the group had nearly arrested the day before).
Jurok Ghal, for his part, was revealed to be a fiery, charismatic speaker who was passionate about the plight of his people, but did not directly encourage them to violence or revolt. Indeed, one of his first speeches was to lambaste the “fools” who had attempted to breach the kaer walls. Ghal’s intent seemed to be to convince the Kaer Council to let those who wished to leave the kaer do so, but he did not want to put those who remained behind in any danger. He mentioned the awakening of the t’skrang and the obsidimen as two signs that the Scourge had ended, and stated that there was no clear evidence that it was not over. The only information on which to base knowledge of the Scourge’s end was the word of the Therans – which Ghal clearly distrusted – or the status of the kaer’s elemental clock, which Ghal said the Kaer Council was unwilling to show publically.
Meanwhile, a sizable patrol of armed dwarves and elves led by Vunar approached and entered the meeting hall, where Vunar announced that Jurok Ghal was to be placed under arrest for inciting treason. Violence seemed imminent, but Ghal urged his people to be calm, at least for the moment. Calming words from Laramanus (to Vunar) and Kurz (to Ghal) may have helped defuse the situation; regardless, Ghal eventually agreed to go peacefully, if not quietly, to the Kaer Council, and stated that he would not go in chains. Vunar, for his part, accepted this, and Ghal was escorted peacefully out. He went to the Kaer Council loudly proclaiming his innocence and encouraging the people of Okoros to remember his fate in case anything happened to him in custody. His followers, meanwhile, milled about, obviously angry and frustrated but not showing immediate signs of violence. He was brought to, and imprisoned beneath, Council Hall without further incident.
Our heroes split up again for a short time before their patrol was due to begin; Fareth returned to Shal’Minar, while Kurz delved into his studies and Laramanus spoke at length with Vunar to try to determine who on the kaer council had first suggested that Ghal be arrested (Vunar could not recall). Y’bbn and Nimue, on the other hand, went out drinking. Afterward, as the group gathered for their patrol duty, Y’bbn (who may not be as immune to alcohol as he thinks he is) made a rather loud comment about stealing the elemental clock, which caught the attention of Tolooraateth. A brief conversation between the windling and Kurz revealed that the clock was kept in Prime Councillor Korun Delx’s apartments, and had not been seen in some time, largely because no one had asked. Kurz suggested that a viewing of the clock by individuals both on and off the Council might help calm emotions in the kaer, and Tolooraateth agreed to get him on the following day’s agenda.
The actual patrol was largely uneventful; the Deeps were more or less empty, and the streets of Okoros were curiously quiet except for a brief encounter with Ka’gath, the last of the kaer’s trolls. There seemed to be a larger-than-normal number of humans in Shal’Minar, camping outside of the human dwellings there, but other than that matters seemed normal.
On the following morning, Kurz had a brief conversation with Ulag Tok, the only ork on the Kaer Council. Like Vunar, Tok could not recall quite who first suggested the arrest of Jurok Ghal, but stated that it seemed to be a clear option and was reached by group consensus.
When the party began to address the Council, Kurz’ suggestion that the elemental clock be displayed was met with general approval, though Korun Delx stated that he did not think that the clock would actually clarify anything. His words were made clear when he returned to the Council chambers with the clock itself, which appeared to be “stuck” at the same level it had been at for the past 80 years. Delx had several suggestions for why this might be so – Theran ignorance or duplicity, a defect in the clock itself, deliberate sabotage, or a genuine change in the mana cycle – but in any case was not willing to open the kaer without more definite information. Tolooraateth believed she could come up with a ritual which would duplicate the function of the clock, at least temporarily, so that its accuracy could be tested.
In the middle of these conversations, however, Y’bbn pointed out the odd behavior of Kurz, who had been staring intently at Delx for several minutes and occasionally whispering to Nimue. When asked about his behavior, Kurz turned the topic to the detection of Horrors and their marks. Tolooraateth immediately began scrutinizing Kurz carefully, at which point Kurz suggested that she turn her gaze on the Prime Councillor instead!