House of Cards

A Speculative End

Second Contract: Diplomacy

  • Far 3rd, Barrakas, 998 YK

On their way back to Wroat, Blackwood Company encountered a caravan of shady minotaur, closely guarded by a trio of trolls. While not immediately hostile, they certainly weren’t friendly with the group as they passed one another on the road.

Then, without any noticeable provocation, the caravan came under attack by a vicious group of gnolls. The caravan sturdily rejected the company’s offer to assist with the gnoll’s attack. The company, split between rendering assistance regardless and reporting their successful mission, seperated, with the Battlemage and the Monk headed onward toward town while the Assassin and the Artificer stayed behind.

The minotaur and the trolls easily ripped apart the gnoll forces, with the two remaining adventurers watching the proceedings more or less dispassionately, until they noticed a gnoll shaman at the back making an escape. They quickly followed him, catching up to him and demanding to know who he was and why he was attacking the caravan.

The gnoll named himself as Fangren, and he claimed that the minotaur were transporting fresh slaves into the Great Crag.

Figuring they’d heard enough, they two attacked him…only to have him vanish before their eyes. They managed to score a few hits, but eventually, growing tired with the farce, he grabbed the Artificer and effortlessly threw him 20 feet into the dirt. Asking the Assassin if it would be fine to leave things as they were, he then made his departure.

Once Battlemage and the Monk returned to Wroat, the Monk investigated the situation with the brooch Karlalel left behind after the Battlemage got up-in-arms with the Company’s contractor, Binwin Bronzebottom, who wouldn’t give them their pay. The dwarf insisted that a magical trinket such as a brooch was not enough to prove the mission a success.

Luck would have it that the Artificer had the vampire’s head.

The Monk went to the local monastery and found out from the head priest, Father Tristan, that the brooch was cursed, steeped in Karlalel’s tainted essence, was not to be worn under any circumstances.

The Battlemage would certainly attest to the wisdom of that proclamation, though if pressed, he swears he merely tripped after putting it on. Of course, he gave no one any particular reason to disbelieve him, at any rate.

Shortly after, the Assassin and the Artificer arrived at Wroat, along with the vampire’s head, and along with the Monk and Battlemage, collected their pay and assortment of magic items. Fortunately for the Company, Binwin had another contract at hand. According to the mission report, there was an issue to be resolved at a small village outside the Great Crag, and as Bronzebottom put it, was to be handled as ‘diplomatically if possible.’

Naturally, the report held as few actually useful pieces of information as possible.

They were told that they’d leave at first light, so that they should rest up now. The Monk, of course, had other plans. He sold some goods to an old merchant he frequented, Greg, gathering some information in the process before changing into more noble clothing and heading to a bar known as the Silver Unicorn. While there, after some digging around, he managed to learn of a party for a nobleman’s coming-of-age ceremony, Jarad Vincente, before making a hasty exit.

  • Sar 4th, Barrakas, 998 YK

The next morning, the group set out back into Droaam, specifically to the Great Crag, under the pretense of picking up more supplies while attempting to learn a few things about the surroundings and the situation in the village they were to ‘fix.’ There, a goblin name Thieorry befriended the Battlemage and the Monk, while another, more magically adept goblin named Sprugg told the Artificer, with the Assassin present, about a book he had that detailed his findings on the manipulation of space time.

And for the low-low price of talking to a Blue Dragon, they could have it rather than pay his asking price of 30,000gp, something any mage would know as a bargain if it were on the up and up.

While the Artificer and the Assassin learned this, Thieorry, making well on a promise to keep others at least five feet away from the trio, brought them to a familiar merchant: Greg. Here, the Monk was able to weasel a little more information out of him than the last time, finding out about the nature of the city, a little bit about the Dreaming Dark, and how he should look into the ranks of the Guild if he were so interested in them, and managed to make a little extra gold on the side.

Thieorry then let slip that he knew they were members of the Guild and were on a mission.

The Battlemage’s questioning was interrupted when the goblin pointed out that they were attracting some of his friends’ attention, in the form of four trolls and minotaur. They were allowed to escape, though Thieorry’s parting words about the Sisters who run the place and her information network left a chill in their bones.

They managed to regroup and exit the city with a bit more dignity, and made way for the village of Shardne, just north of the Great Crag.

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BlueRiddle

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