Mythic Russia playtest session 2
Back at the riverside, Viktoras persuaded the Teutons to return triumphally to Novogorod, to give Count Orekhov a decent Catholic burial. When they left the barge at the ford (where Janovarich attacked Henrik), Vladimir and his men attacked the Teutons. Janovarich and Bear joined in the fray (with Bear using his great strength to take out two Teutons by knocking their heads together). Giovanni hid on the outskirts of the fight, while Viktoras hid in the woods. The fight left one Teuton dead, three wounded, and one that escaped into the woods. Janovarich chased the fleeing Teuton. He was nearly unhorsed by a swinging branch (which Viktoras, with his _Hide in Shadows_ ability, had nothing to do with), but lost the Teuton's trail. Meanwhile, Vladimir executed the Teuton prisoners and towed Henrik back to Novgorod by his entrails.
When the party returned to the chapel in Novgorod, they found waiting for them Irina (Orekhov's widow), Lena (his daughter), and Grigori (his brother), together with several men-at-arms. Vladimir led Irina away to 'comfort' her, vigourously, in the adjoining outbuilding. Just after she left, Orekhov was heard saying 'Giovanni.' Viktoras urged the onlookers not to rush to conclusions that Giovanni was a foul poisoner who had left Orekhov's soul unquiet, and that it was just a coincidence that Giovanni was the last person to have seen Orekhov alive. Janovarich urged restraint and agreeded that Giovanni's rooms should be searched. A small stoppered bottle (that Viktoras had earlier placed there) was found and taken to an apothecary, who confirmed it was a deadly poison. Father Fyodor, the priest in the chapel, set to work to quieten Orekhov's soul.
Giovanni agreed to remain under guard in his rooms. Janovarich reported the findings to Grigori, who urged him to gather more evidence against Lena, as the ringleader of the plot. Janovarich then went to his father, Duke Henriakas. Henriakas urged Janovarich to forget his meddling in the affairs of the Russians, to renounce his Mongol affiliation, and spend the rest of the day hunting with him. Janovarich agreed, and left his father's presence to prepare for the rest of the day's activities.
Meanwhile, Viktoras went to Irina's chambers where he found Svetlana. He quickly ascertained that she had not deliberately given him false information about the late Count's drinking habits, leading to his death. He also found Batu, son of Guchugir, the Mongol khan, to warn him of a possible impending attack by Teutonic knights. Batu relished the chance to cover himself in glory in the fight.
Vladimir returned to the church after his assignation with Irina, just as Fr Fyodor discovered that it wasn't Orekhov's immortal soul that was unquiet, but a pagan spirit. Fyodor started to drive out the spirit by smashing it with a ceremonial mace, which passed through the Orekhov's flesh to splatter the spirit within. Vladimir decided to help him, but the joint of ham he was using as a bludgeon just smashed Orekhov's face. Vladimir stopped bashing, washed the ham with vodka, and carried on eating it. With the pagan spirit driven out, Fyodor and Vladimir decided it was all a pagan plot and the only thing to do was to burn out all the pagans.
At this moment, Janovarich returned, dressed in his Mongol clothes, ready to interrogate the spirit in Orekhov's body. He was attacked by, and quickly disarmed, Fyodor, then caught Vladimir's spear out of the air. There followed a great contest in the spirit of 'Oscar Wilde vs. the Great Troll' as Janovarich urged restraint on Vladimir, while Vladimir tried to skewer Janovarich.
Hearing the commotion while standing outside Giovanni's door, Bear punched out the guard, unlocked the door, and he and Giovanni went out to the street. Bear stood between Vladimir and Janovarich and gave a Terrifying Bellow. Janovarich cowered, Vladimir continued trying to attack him, then Viktoras suggested that Vladimir was a better man than he was showing.
At this point, Fyodor spotted that Viktoras isn't really the Orthodox Yuri he's pretending to be, and denounced him as the pagan who put the spirit in Orekhov's body. Viktoras denied it, Fyodor continued his haranguing, but failed to convince the onlookers. People left to conider their options.