So, after _Camelot Court of Love_, we changed, grabbed a quick lunch, and went to our game. This is the part the GMs may tell you was a big problem, but it really was only a minor blip. The chairs were arranged in a big circle, and folks weren't entirely sure how things would start. So? We played around on the various drums, getting a feel for them, and for each other's style. I met the player of Reed, Rushlight's husband. He said that Rushlight had often said that all she'd have to do was tell him a few morre secrets, and he'd know all she knew. I'm not sure if that's in Rushlight's sheet. If not, it should be -- but I've not reread my sheet yet, so I don't know. Marriage is for the purpose of having children, and it is not a limit to the sexual promiscuity of the Leyanti, but it was clear that Reed adored his wife, and, as far as I recall, she had no lovers besides him. (She had been his first sexual partner, as he'd done what many young folks did, gone to the shaman for instruction in this. This was a minor squick when I read it, due to the young age he was then (not a problem, just something that made me squirm for an instant), but as of game start, both were old enough that a fifteen year difference was nothing.)
Everyone went around the circle saying who we were and who we were playing. Then, the GMs suggested folks head out, except for the shaman and the chief, Nightshade, so the two of us could do a quick "what we're trying to settle tonight" chat. This didn't take long, as, by and large, we both saw eye to eye on Anders, the stranger the chief loved.
Once folks were back in, after a bit of conversation, Rabbit's player (Sarah Butler?) said, "Guys? Could we maybe pull the circle in so that we can hear each other?" And, that settled the spacial issues for the evening, mostly. We did need to expand the circle several times, for reasons I'll get to later, and the acoustics combined with some players speaking very quietly were occasionally an issue. But, we had our space, we had lights low enough that we had Atmosphere, but high enough that we could read our character sheets as needed, and we were good to go. Oh yes, the GMs had turned all the emailed material into two small booklets in a pouch, and most of us had really nifty amulets with the sigil of our chosen god on them.
So, folks started drumming. Now, I've been in drumming circles before, so I'm aware that the drums talk. I've heard people talk with them, saying, "Speed it up." "Slow it down." "Build to a big finish." "Hey, guys, try this one." All mellow.
This was the first time I heard angry drumming. It was obvious that Redcrest was angry. Her posture made that clear. But, I could also tell this if I closed my eyes and just listened to the drumming. Not a great revelation, of course -- but really good roleplaying, and it helped set the mood.
Then, Chief Nightshade asked about any business, and Eagle (played by Stephen Tihor) asked why the four strangers were still with the tribe. The time had come for them to go.
Rushlight sat up and took notice of that, since Eagle was a fairly calm guy. Redcrest clearly wanted the strangers Gone. Now! This was not as surprising as Eagle's moderate, polite, but nevertheless clear opinion.
I don't think I'd realized that strangers generally only stayed a moon's length of time. Of course, strangers did sometimes join the Leyanti. Indeed, the Leyanti weree founded by various outcasts from various peoples that sort of just found each other and bonded with the cats. But, as Eagle noted, accepting one stranger, perhaps two, was quite different from adding four at once.
Rushlight decided to start folks looking at this as a case by case basis. She wanted Anders to join the Leyanti, and said that she wanted to speak with him about this. There was some hostility to this idea, and someone, I think Redcrest, said that it would be some time before he learned to walk as a Leyanti.
Redcrest: Let him crawl, first.
Kasimir said that he would have died had not the Leyanti found him, but he had no intention of staying. Rushlight seized on this eagerly, as it clearly showed that four strangers were _not_ going to join at once. Let Kasimir go so that Anders could stay, she thought.
This raised the question of why Kasimir was still there. Not being sure of how well he was doing, I said, as Rushlight, that he was better, but not quite healed yet. Leyanti asked when he would be healed. Improvising, I said soon, and certainly no later than the next full moon, e.g., the next council meeting. Eagle was satisfied with this, some of the others less so.
That left Lucius and his sister Umbra. Umbra was still ill. Redcrest seemed to be in favor of letting Umbra stay until she was well while Lucius left. However, there were a couple of problems with this apparently reasonable solution.
First, Lucius did not wish to leave his sister. Second, Rushlight explained that she still did not know why Umbra was ill. Redcrest and others noted that if Rushlight had done all she could, perhaps it made no sense for Umbra or Lucius to remain. Rushllight needed more time and more information to speak to this.
The problem was that there was some great mystery about the siblings, and Rushlight could see only enough to know that this was so, but not what it was. Umbra seemed neither human nor spirit. So, Rushlight turned to her sister, Stormlight, who could probably have been a far more powerful shaman had she wished. She had no idea that Stormlight was jealous of her -- or, at any rate, used to be. They had a good symbiotic relationship in the game. Stormlight found out what was going on, and Rushlight dealt with it.
Between her siste4r and a couple of other people, Rushlight learned that Umbra and Lucius might or might not be brother and sister, and that Lucius might or might not be the cause of Umbra's illness. Umbra had a scar on one hand that was matched by one on Lucius's opposite hand. Rushlight asked for someone to ask Umbra to come to her, and Umbra did.
Umbra assured Rushlight that she and Lucius were indeed siblings. She did not wish to be parted from her brother, saying that she would not feel safe if that happened. Giving Redcrest's attitude, Rushlight did not try to convince Umbra otherwise, but did ask if, even if Umbra were not to feel unsafe without Lucius, Umbra would sicken more and die without her brother.
Umbra: I do not know.
It became clear that Umbra did know something more, something about why she was ill, what she and her brother were, but she did not wish to say more.
Rushlight: How can I say that you should stay if you will not tell me?
Umbra: Perhaps you should not.