Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knights of Antiquity Part 5: The League of Night & Fog

When the Knights of Antiquity had first gathered together Dartek Thann paid very little attention to Aryana Rosznar. Her invitation to the group had less to do with her and more to do with her family. The Thann family had always looked down upon the Rosznars, claiming that they sold inferior wines, as well as raising their eyebrows in disgust whenever gossip arose regarding the Rosznar families connection with illegal slave trade. The original design of the group was to give them an advantage in any of Waterdeep’s palavers from a wide range of families, many of whom were publicly viewed as being adversarial. Artemus had suggested her as a trustworthy addition and at the time he had no reason to question the suggestion. In truth Aryana quickly became one of the more important members, providing information as well as direction. It was from her information that the group had started investing in recovery teams and adventurers. It was soon after this advice was given that Dartek starting watching the young noblewoman, recognizing not only her financial skill but how careful she was with words, always aware of others perceptions. Over the last three months Dartek had grown quite impressed with her, so much so that he actually brought her up to others in the League of Night & Fog.

Still Dartek did not expect to find Aryana in Skullport. Dartek had come to Bryntyn’s Brews to inquire after a unique poison that the alchemist had delivered to several of his agents. The League was very pleased with the poison’s results, incapacitating without killing and easily hid in alcohol. Dartek had come to inquire into the cost of either a large quantity or even an agreement to sell the poison only to members of the League. The years of living in Skullport had toughened up Bryntyn quite a bit yet the half elf was wise enough to fear the League of Night and Fog. Dartek received word yesterday that a meeting had been arranged at Bryntyn’s Brews today to discuss with the poison’s crafter the cost of the arrangement that the League sought. His shock and surprise was complete when Aryana stepped out from the rear room of the shop as the half elf Bryntyn left, locking the door behind him.

“I don’t know whether to be relieved or nervous as hell.” Aryana spoke first, “Bryntyn swore that the meeting was worth the risk but I’m sure he didn’t realize we know each other.” Dartek collected himself and replied, “While I am surprised, I’m pleased none the less, you have a fine product.” Aryana handed Dartek a wine bottle, labeled in her families vintage. “Don’t drink that but here is a fine start for what you want.” Dartek decided at that moment that he would offer her entry into the league, as well as a steady customer for her poison. He hoped she would be smart enough to accept. Dartek had made sure to have several of his agents close by, ready to move in on the alchemist’s shop should there be trouble. He assumed that she would have allies nearby as well.

“I wonder if our meeting each other like this isn’t actually an opportunity to place our cards on the table and further secure our alliance.” Dartek stated. Aryana smiled at this, the smile was short lived, overtaken by shock as Dartek handed her a silk purse, bulging with the obvious payment for the wine bottle of poison. The shock came from the runes on the bag, a symbol of a fabled, deadly organization known as the League of Night and Fog. Before this day Aryana had never known if the League was real. The look on Dartek’s face told her it was deadly real. In that moment Aryana knew it was Talona’s will she follow this new path. Accepting the silk purse Aryana replied, “This certainly solidifies our relationship, I hope to learn so much more, however to be fair, to have our cards on the table as you said, I should share with you my captive I have bound and prepared for delivery in back.”

Dartek quickly appraised his new recruit and decided to follow her into the back room from where she had entered earlier. Dartek could not hide his smile when he saw her victim. Bound, paralyzed but conscious was Hermindious, Genos Hawkwinter’s valet and spy. “Zak’s cousin is actually a Dragon Cult member, I plan to sell him to some underdark slavers unless you have a better plan” Aryana explained. “You will make a grand new member in the League” Dartek replied.

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