Meddling In Local Politics…Yet Again
- near Mayfort, Selday, 22th of Hamsur, 8633 (day 50) –
Our adventurers advance towards Malloy Castle whilst still debating whether their ploy of the replacement C.A.R.T. they made is going to work or not. Whilst they walk through the gates, being led in by the castle guards, they know they have to run with it now.
They immediately are ushered to a large room near the throne room where a council meeting is in session, again being disarmed in the progress. When they walk in they see that Danius Romani (MoJ), Suaul Prius (MoU), Saundra Revell (MoE) and Dari Xarot (MoR&D) are present with the meeting being overseen by King Malloy.
Once greetings have been extended to the group they are invited to report back on the situation in Nidusu. They relay what they encountered in the caverns conveniently leaving out the bit where the main protagonist seems to be Faizo’s dad.
Once they’ve relayed the whole story and some clarifying questions have been asked Malloy seems to take a pragmatic almost casual approach to the situation informing the group he will send a MoU representative to Nidusu to check the situation out.
He simultaneously reveals he has some good news from Erech: An assassin has killed Colonel Orban. The assassin has disappeared without a trace and although the Councillors of Erech claim to know nothing about it this seems beyond credulity. The councillors have once again made a deal with the soldiers. They have retreated back to the fort however now 200 men from Erech will join them whilst at the same time releasing any soldier that wanted to leave and return home. A soldier has become a general but oversees the fort together with a local administrator who is named Sanna. Taxes will be levied at point of entry (either fort or harbour) and soldiers will receive a rather very good pay now rather than keeping tax money. Finally Malloy informs them that unfortunately there has been no progress on the information requests they had lodged at their arrival in Mayfort and that for now there is no immediate need for them. They are free to collect their pay for the mission and to go their own way.
Dari at this moment springs up and excitedly tells them he will come with them as he has something wonderful to show them. Leaving the council meeting behind them Dari first leads them to the MoE office where they each receive a bag of 5000 Gp. Dari then, whilst almost jealously glancing at the money, leads them to his R&D office.
Here he shows them a white lily. When the group, understandably so, doesn’t react very excitedly he starts to widely exclaim the purpose of this magnificent flower which he has called a Whispering Lilies. They come in pairs and grow within a day or two after being planted. When only one bulb is planted, both plants in a bonded pair appear white, but change colour when the other half of the pair is planted. If the one plant dies, then the other also withers and dies. When the matching lily is planted, the first changes colour so that anyone monitoring it will know to listen to it
The most interesting use of these flowers is that their roots transmit communication that can be only be heard and interpreted by the bulb’s other half. Speak into an open flower, and the message comes out of its twin.
Dari by now is almost besides himself with joy. The group however reacts luke warm to the idea although they (fain?) gratitude when they receive five seeds.
Dari then enquires where the C.A.R.T. and when he learns it’s in the courtyard he says that he will get Coryn to retrieve it as it seems he is already busy in his with his next project, whatever that may be.
The group leave him behind happy for him to retrieve the C.A.R.T. at a later time. When they receive their weapons back Dave immediately notices his beloved greatsword is slightly heavier than normal. Upon inspection he notices a small paper of parchment has been attached to the hilt.
When outside the castle he let Faizo reads it: “we got an interesting proposal for you. Meet us on the north side of the coliseum tomorrow at sundown.”
On the way to the Warrior and Pipe the group discusses what the note could mean and what to do with it. They agree to scout the meeting place first and they all agree they should see what the proposal is.
They walk to the coliseum and take stock of the meeting place but it’s rather unremarkable comprised solely of arid dry land and the outer wall of the coliseum which stands about 25 meters tall.
They discuss various options but in the end agree just to turn up and see what happens.
Back at the Warrior and Pipe Dave immediately takes out his lute again and starts to play two songs called ‘Whispering Lilly, don’t look silly at my willy’ and the more downbeat ‘Grandma ain’t fat, she is just undead’. The second song dampens the mood a little after it had been lifted by the first light-hearted willy song. He however still collects an impressive 14 Gp from the appreciative crowd.
Kai and Faizo have long since retired to their bedrooms, not wanting their eardrums to be damaged by the awful sounds of Dave’s lute and Dave decides it’s time to call it a day as well.
At dawn break they all go shopping together. Dave procures a better broadsword, trading his trusty old sword in for a discount. Kai stocks up on various items to be able to make potions. Faizo unsuccessfully tries to find a masterwork crossbow but puts in an order with a willing merchant, accepting he will pay a premium price for it.
When dusk sets in they make their way to the meeting spot and not long after having arrived a large man comes around the corner. He is an above average length heavily build male with curly brown hair to chin length. His eyebrows are thick and heavily arched and below them sit a set of electric blue coloured eyes. He has a hooked nose and you notice he also has a mole on his forehead above his left eye.
After exchanging uncomfortable pleasantries he immediately gets down to business:
I am a member of a group that is concerned with the future of Ergon. We are being led by a powerful person who is close to Malloy. This group was started by my boss when it came to our boss’ attention that atrocities were been committed in the name of urbanisation. My boss had first believed in the mission that Malloy has started but has now lost faith in that Malloy the right man for Ergon.
In fact my boss believes that he is actually damaging Ergon’s interests by obsessively focusing on the ‘war’ with the Freedom’s Alliance.
Now, we’ve been following you since your arrival in Ergon and understand you to be morally correct group and have seen how you’ve dealt with the situation in Samadea and in Nidusu. We have also heard about your role in Erech.
This has led us to believe that you are the right people for our cause.
Now before I go ahead it would be silly to assume you would just voluntarily throw yourself into local politics without proof of these atrocities and a reward. I can therefore reveal that we know that you’ve requested certain information from King Malloy at your arrival in Ergon and that he has told you that he could not find what you were looking for.
But we know in fact that there was information found that is now purposefully being withheld from you. We also can get our hands on this information, information that we believe is very important to you. This then shall be your payment for helping us.
Of course there could be other rewards in the future but for now this will do I hope.
If you are willing to help us please travel to Tungar and ask the warden of the Silver Sun and order a plate of mutton and ale. After this has been served go to the warden and ask if he is sure if the mutton has been well cooked today. Things will take care of itself then. Our local contact will then lead you to the site of a massacre so you can see for yourself what evil is hiding beneath the veneer of urbanisation.
Having finished the adventurers ask some clarifying questions and sniggering a bit at the, perhaps a little too presumptuous, naming of the group as the Justice Collective.
The man is all business however and pins them down for an immediate reply to his proposal. When they ask if he can give a hint as to what the withheld information by Malloy might be he says that it might be regarding the location of the village where Kai says he is from. This makes the deal and they agree to the deal.
They however have not promised to act on it as soon as possible so the next day they all go their own way. Fayzo stays in his room the whole day apparently crafting an item. Kai goes outside the city to make healing potions and Dave dresses up as a hobo intent on hitting the street trying to learn some more about the alleged massacre in Faeryl and / or the Justice Collective.
After a few days they reconvene and Dave says he has had three confirmations of the rumour but had a total blank on the Justice Collective. They decide this is enough information and they go to a stable where Dave surprises everyone by buying a round of horses for everyone. Faizo in the meantime has gone back to the merchant and to his joy he has a masterwork crossbow. Some clever negotiating brings the price down to an acceptable level for Faizo and a deal is made.
Faizo requests a white horse but not appreciating the apparently arrogant request the stable owner gives him his blackest horse. Faizo defiantly names it Snow Flake. Dave calls his horse Dave and Kai doesn’t want to name it (yet?).
They set out to Tungar and on the way sleep over at the Blue Axe. Nothing out of the ordinary happens and the next day they ride into Tungar and have no problem finding the Silver Sun.
They walk into the pub that is empty and order mutton and ale. Dave is very conscious to order ‘mutton and ale’ specifically. The barman seems to get what Dave is hinting and merrily walks off to shout the order through to the kitchen.
Once the food arrives Dave walks up to the barman and asks if the mutton has been well cooked. He in turn says that they should follow him to the kitchen where he can show them how the mutton is cooked, giving a big wink in the progress.
Faizo proposes to eat the mutton first however as they are very hungry as they’ve travelled all day. They wolf down the food and then follow the barman into the kitchen. He disappears and comes back down and shouts that’s ok to come down. The local contact is surely to make an appearance now.
Faizo mouths drops when the person who comes down the staircase is instantly recognisable as the half-elf cook Luthien who they had met on the Providence on their journey from Erech to Mayfort. She lets out gasp as well as she momentarily cannot comprehend why foreigners she barely knows are contacting her with regards to the Justice Collective.
But the upshot is that what could have been a tense situation is instantly transformed in a casual affair. They go to the bar area and share a drink where Luthien explains that the massacre site they want to visit is near here and that she had first hand seen the horrible carnage. She had made a complaint to the local Urbanisation but she had been fobbed off with a cursory ‘we’ll look into it’. Later she had, out of the blue, been contacted by a agent of the Justice Collective who had recruited her. Their visit had been the first ‘assignment’ since joining about eight months ago.
Having told this Dave and Kai exchange glances and proclaim they are really tired and are going to sleep. They leave a slightly awkward feeling Faizo behind who, when prompted, tells his whole life story to Luthien. She is taken aback at the misfortune he has had to endure during his life and a Faizo feels a warm feeling emanating from her. They then also call it a night.
The next morning they rise early and after eating mutton, yes mutton, for breakfast, they head out towards what used to be Faeryl.
They enter the woodlands area they recognise as the same kind of woods that they have liberally burned to the ground further east. The whole rides takes no longer than 20 minutes.
In small clearing in the forest the remains of three burnout farms can be seen. Luthien explains that for generations the same families had lived here and that was the reason why they refused to move to an urbanised town. Having initially been left alone they were in for a horrific surprise when it seemed the hamlet was ambushed, it’s residents (23 in all) escorted away and the building razed to the ground.
Luthien explains the mass grave is just minutes away. The adventurers decide to investigate the scene and they all take a farm to have a closer look at.
They find nothing of interest apart from Kai who finds a hidden cache of items that contains:
- A book with an indecipherable first page. It tells the story of the Oracle who now lives on Krogh Rise
- A sling glove with bullets (1 x smoke, 10 x moaning & 10 x plain)
- 2 x bolts (hushing, sleep)
- Magical growing beans x 5
Kai keeps the book and the sling glove for himself whilst giving the bullets to Dave with Faizo receiving the bolts. Faizo is very intrigued by the book as it’s emanates a strong aura. Kai is at first unwilling to even give it out his hands causing instant suspicion as to the book’s power. When he eventually allows the others to look at it Dave decides to try to read the first page. He instantly gets a splitting head ache and has light blotches in his eyes.
This makes them decide to put the book away for now until perhaps the next day when Faizo can use this identify magic spell again.
Luthien then demands they move on, seemingly a bit irritated over the squabbling over dead people’s stuff. She leads them further into the woods until they reach the site. She explains that they’ve left the site as it is to serve as proof this really happened. They briefly move away some of the earth but as soon as the earth gives way to bones they decide they’ve seen enough.
Luthien is then finally ready to give them their mission. The Justice Collective has reason to believe that this was done by a rogue element of Malloy’s army called The Enforcers. They are currently believed the be operating in area where the ‘war’ with the Freemen’s Alliance is being fought. She asks them to find this group and kill them as it is believed they have and are committing similar atrocities over there.
The group eagerly accepts the mission and with that Luthien turns to Faizo and asks for a personal favour. She wants to visit the Oracle for guidance from Gozreh, who she serves. However the journey there is very perilous, Gozreh according to legend made it very difficult as he wanted his advice not to be an easily claimed privilege.
Faizo without consulting, and possibly love struck, loudly proclaims that he is more than willing to follow suit. Dave briefly queries if the party will be split then but Luthien assures they all need to come as it will need all them to make it through the dangerous journey alive…