On the first day of Ascending Wood, Jin met with Sarnai to discuss the poisoned arrow that Kado had appeared to fire at Kalanthes. Sarai declared that no one should be able to reproduce a poison she had designed to be undetectable. Kalanthes pointed out that Sarnai herself could probably determine the ingredients of a poison designed to be undetectable and reproduce it, given her skill in the area. Jin stated that he intended to still honor his end of their bargain. Everyone agreed that Suto, either directly or via proxy, was probably responsible for the attack, with the “her” mentioned in his threatening letter referring to Suto’s betrothed. Kalanthes offered to speak to Suto in the interest of attempting to determine his motivations and see if a detente could not be worked out.
Kalanthes offered to stake Sarnai in the creation of her own Apothecary and Alchemist shop in Nathir, and she agreed. They first went to the guild, where Kalanthes made arrangements to meet with Suto and with Reluctant Dagger, head of the Administrative Branch of the Guild in Nathir (which oversees banking). They also started the process of acquiring Sarnai a business license to operate in the city. Next, the group went to the poor quarter where they went property hunting. Even with the recent improvements to the area, they were able to find an ideal location that presently stood empty. The site acquired, all that remained was to get the blessing of three ruling families, who oversaw the production of medicines (The Diep), poisons (The Bahn), and alchemical goods (The Pho).
Kalanthes then met with Suto at the bar that overlooked the Slave Pens. Kalanthes attempted to discuss their recent difficulties, but Suto (lying the whole time) denied any knowledge of any troubles, though he did evince interest in Kalanthes’s development project. Eventually, Kalanthes made a roundabout query about the potential costs of achieving some measure of detente for a season, which Suto set at [Resources 4] if it would be an ongoing thing, or a one-time purchase of [Resources 5]. Before Kalanthes could make an offer, Jin arrived at the discussions, informing Suto that he had to terminate his plans to join the Guild due to his new position as Minister of Emergency Situations. Suto expressed (false) regret and conveyed his (false) hopes for Jin’s success. Suto did express an honest appreciation for the slave trade, and Kalanthes was able to divine that Suto’s underlying intention in the exchange was to deceive him and Jin and hide the extent of his power. After Kalanthes informed Suto that Unfettered Horizon had offended him and she should not be used in any exchanges between the two of them, Jin seized the opportunity to drive an emotional wedge between his rival and his rival’s Dragon-Blooded aide, magically empowering it to ensure Suto would be angry with his agent of Chaos for days to come.
The Solars returned to Kalanthes’s compound, where Kalanthes made an amazing soup. Jin took a pot of this soup to pay a call on Unfettered Horizon. Between excellent soup and Jin’s even more excellent social machinations, He set Unfettered Horizon to questioning her service and persuaded her to join him for training.
The next week was taken up by training and getting into business. Jin trained Unfettered Horizon and the soldiers of the Dragon’s Coin, magically enhancing their combat skills. Kalanthes, through the use of his own growing reputation and the offer of food, drew thousands upon thousands into the great square of the poor quarter where, over a two-day period, he educated 30,000 of them in the basics of literacy, geography, and history. Sarnai, with the help of the two tutors, made arrangements with all three families to approve her license, and got the Guild on her side by agreeing to sell controlling interest in her shop in two years’ time.
And here we paused.