Thursday, July 28, 2016

07/27/16 Virtues Session 53: Ferryman's League Quandary

We begin catching up with our characters the morning of the eighth day since our first appearance at the trinity of large wells Naper’s Dawn developed around. It is also the first day Kyras, Syrendross, and Barit Coinmail are fully recovered from the dread wraith, the undead form of Rakil the local half-elf druid.

The Druid Ashlye
During the course of the past few days our characters watched the swell of people gathering in advance of the League Summit, merchants and brokers with the promise of new business; there seemed to be a sincere feeling of gladness had by all. Otherwise, individually our characters had other personal tasks to attend to...

Kyras took the Green word to the masses, a gesture that has been greatly received while in Tier Ne Somenhiem, and attracted a half-elf druid by the name of Ashlye. She confirmed to Kyras most of what he already knew of Rakil and asked permission to take on the mantle of Rakil’s old druid grove; a decision Kyras would have to pray upon. Over the remaining days Kyras would use his Tongue of the Land that he and Ashlye could spread the news of the transition among the Green followers (including one cat-man).

Dolgrin, and sometimes Barit, socialized mostly with the Road Marshals collecting information while the rest of our characters wrote scrolls, renewed skin book tattoos, and honed their social skills as well as making key changes to their hero’s outfit. Dolgrin was not able to kick up any dirt on the Ferryman’s League, but learned they are the true power behind the Duke and the League’s only true rivals are the Bankers of Somenhiem. The people largely indicate to Dolgrin that trade along the road is brisk and that nearly everyone prospers because of the monopoly held by the League, and that the only true dark element to be had would be politicians in general.

It was Dramen who asked about the ‘elephant in the room’ i.e. the floating citadel and the winged minotaurs. “Oh, that’s a skylord”. The ‘a’ was disheartening at first, but soon our characters began to uncover the trade agreement the Ferryman’s League has with this particular skylord. Descriptions abound but to our characters this skylord and winged minotaurs sound like outsiders.

But on the morning of Day 165 our characters are woken to early wafts of food, streams of the Bouvaldian Anthem, and the true formality of which our characters only had experienced the impromptu ‘dress rehearsal’ only days ago when our characters first arrived.  It was the ceremony that kicked off the League Summit. Our characters are left to roam until that night’s formal meeting with the League attendees.

Our characters decide to visit the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn, but when our characters arrive the heroes see visitors have set up their camps around the two story structure. The neglected building was formerly a spice house nestled in a residential area. There was a loading dock, a front office, store front and a place for a banner. With a flash of magic Syrendross appeared past the visiting campers to affix the Bouvaldian banner; this had the desired effect and many of the visiting campers politely moved their party elsewhere.

Inside, after Kotri gives access, our characters find spicy odoriferous rooms, a receiving bay, the afore seen front office and store front, a masterwork lockbox in a space fit for a floor safe and a spice slide that originated from a now gone mechanical pepper grinder on the second floor. Four private quarters filled the remaining second floor. There was also a trap door leading to the flat roof. Kotri breaks open the lockbox exhuming three gems suitable as elemental gems

Dramen and Syrendross study the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn for teleportation purposes as Dolgrin tables the idea of having the alchemist Nobyka set up a shop and maintain the Embassy. This sounded like an excellent idea; so much so that Syrendross matched Dolgrin’s investment of 2,000 gold to fund the renovation of the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn, renamed Casa de Calias. Kyras recommends going to Labiatar’s Hope for understudy candidates.

7pm our characters in their finery, the heroes return to the Grumblebelly and down a secret staircase disguised as a marble dining table. Rich colors of the League and subtle lighting added ambiance to the lower chamber that contained lavish chairs tailored to each attendee including small humidors and other personal conveniences.

Our characters are introduced each accompanied with the long list of titles and accomplishments before they do likewise. Although not the entire League is present, enough relatives and appointees are here to speak for those absent. Present are Baron Sambrial Zarl, these individuals, as well as Baron Dackary Lawson. Baron Zarl first states what he understands of our needs then finally comes to why they require our aid in exchange for what is essentially the affirmation of Duke Somenhiem toward our efforts.

They have a ‘quandary’ a warlord by the name of Larosse Se-MarQuay has seized Ferryman’s League holdings of Tower Falls and an area called Ground Zero (five miles north of Naper’s Dawn). These are trade locations where the League trades water and livestock respectively for exotic trade goods provided by the skylord and the trade agreement gives the banking clans of Somenhiem access to a world economy. First and foremost if any employees can be rescued, that is paramount; furthermore if the violent and vicious warlord can be stopped then trade with the skylord can recommence on the next full moon (in 32 days.).

While yes, Jeshel Macrear suffered territory loss after the Sundering, the warlord Larosse Se-MarQuay claims his heritage and nobility was dismissed. Se-MarQuay is assumed to hail from Verik Ny, has aspirations for the crown, is quite powerful and is described as a gnome surrounded by minotaurs. The Baron Zarl is hopeful the warlord would not be prepared for our characters. Everson Lawson adds that the warlord was well informed as to the value Tower Falls and Ground Zero possess- but by whom he does not know. Thus far the League has lost fifty men to Se-MarQuay but the underlying goal is to save the Baron's people and succeed at the next trade event.

Dramen asks who is the current Duke of Jeshel Macrear and is told of Duke Misky a kenku whose family, in the Twin Cities, was raised into nobility but hold little power. Twin Cities is roughly populated by one hundred thousand individuals of humans, half-orcs and a variety of other monstrous races and outlaws.

Our characters are allowed to confer privately and pretty much decide our characters require liquid funds to further our character’s quest, but obviously our characters would agree hoping it would further the plot. They initially offer shares in a coldstone mine, but in the end they promise 10,000gp each if the trade with the skylord is completed. Ickarth Hassis draws up the contract and our characters each put our names to the document, but before all is complete Baron Zarl asks that should all else fail that our characters spread word of the vile warlord.

Later, at Everson Lawson’s home our characters are given maps of Tower Falls and Ground Zero. Everson struck our characters as a person of heroic level; he has theorized the warlord may be a Spriggan. The heroes learn that the first water tower was raised 700 years ago and eventually learn it was upon foundations created by Keltischer Sanger at the top of a two tiered 175’ waterfall at the end of Vicar or ‘Holy River.’ Our character’s visit was short and amiable.

Later that night our characters rejoin Naper’s Dawn nightlife and festivities around the three Great Wells giving our characters time to mingle in the carnival-like atmosphere. Our characters treat the people with tales from Bouvaldia and field questions regarding fables that come out of the western duchy including stories of drow that most believe the dark elves of the Isles are from.

A half elf by the name of Gazalcia catches Syrendross’ eye and his curiosity; they spend a few hours together, Syrendross learns the woman is approximately the same power as the arcanist but her catalogue is light when it comes to uncommon and rare spells. The drow learns that Gazalicia is a transmuter employed by the Ferryman’s League, and coincidentally sold Nobyka a bag of holding II that eventually will end up in the arcanists possession. Syrendross agrees to afford her deep magic spells in exchange for services: adding an extradimsensional space to the floor safe at Casa de Calias, also setting up a meeting with her tomorrow morning.

Rydin and Dramen finally make iContact with Tristor Von Kreighton and learn the who’s who in the League as Grand Eye Affairs members. Kyras meet a man named Tonorris who names Ash and Cinder as the cause of Rakil’s demise and indicates three areas the Hag of ash and cinder was seen: a pond near an old farm populated by her minions, a broken bridge over a dry river (trolls), and a small and narrow valley that had once held enchanted waters all within five miles of Naper’s Dawn and within Rakil’s territory.

The next morning (Day 166) our characters are greeted by more salutations and friendly goings with the arrival of gifts from various merchants: cufflinks, chains and accessories to adventure in. Our characters agree to check out of the Grumblebelly and make our temporary home at Casa de Calias where our characters find Nobyka busy making plans for the new lab and floor safe. It was not long before Gazalcia arrives to take measure of her task and meets the rest of the heroes of Virtue as our characters formulate a plan of reconnaissance. Syrendross fails to scry on Se-MarQuay before Dramen teleporst our characters (invisibly) to a location one hundred feet into the air forty feet above one of the water towers.

Larosse Se-MarQuay Gnome Warlord from Verik Ny
Keltischer Sanger’s ancient work is evident as our characters look upon the towers erected by the skylord on top of Sanger’s old unused work, a tower floated above it all. Log cabins, docks and structures populate the shores of the Vicar River before the falls as well as a deep depression that seems part of Sanger’s work but it largely avoided. Our characters see folk, winged minotaurs and sense undead; a storm giant ‘skylord’ in extreme armor flanked with two similarly outfitted troll minions stand at the giant’s call each looking up at the watertower. Our characters see a gnome speaking with minotaurs then without warning winged minotaurs can be seen taking a cage of prisoners up to the floating tower hanging lazily over the two water towers of Tower Falls...

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