Campaign of the Month: December 2014
A Fool and His Gold, part 1
Following the attack on Blofeld, we began the cleanup of the town and the burial of the men we had lost in the battle. As we tended to these matters, Thaljun was visited by Prince Jaeger von Drachenfels himself. Prince von Drachenfels was one of the Commanders of the Glantri army and he said he had come to check on the attack. He inquired after the incident, what we lost and what we knew. Thaljun relayed the story of the attack to him, while the Prince listened patiently. Once he was finished, the Prince asked if we had found any golden tablets in the attack. At first, we were perplexed until the Prince produced a golden tablet, and once again asked the question if we had found any. The situation became clearer and Thaljun agreed that they had while accepting the tablet from the Prince. The Prince indicated that the Council would want to hear of the attack, and that we should bring any evidence that might help shed might on the attack. We agreed, and the Prince departed.
At the appointed day and time, we followed Thaljun to observe his report to the Council, and to be on-hand in case the Princes wanted our testimony. Once again, Thaljun relayed our story, producing the tablet for the Council to see. Reactions varied, from outrage to skepticism. Thaljun told me later that he believed that the Prince von Drachenfels wanted open conflict with Ethengar, something that many Princes were unwilling to take on. We knew, at that point, that our part has concluded and that we should go. On the way out, I mentioned to Thaljun that I remained concerned about the PSCC, the Karameikan traitor and what damage the fake gold might be doing to the economy there. He agreed with my concerns, and said he had been trying to think of a way that we might better track the issue there. His thought was that, since the gold was based in illusion magic, he might be able to find a way to create a wand that could detect these illusions. He set out to work on it immediately, but it still took time to complete. Once it was, we teleported directly to Specularum.
I was a bit impatient with my friend during this process, although I should not have been. I am finding that our adventuring has changed over the last couple of years. When we first started out, matters were much simpler. My enemy was easy to find, easy to discern and easy to dispatch. Now, we had politics, intrigue, plots and unknown parties involved. Things took longer to progress and investigate. I had to fight back a feeling of helplessness, the helplessness associated with waiting and the unknown. The helplessness of knowing that my enemies moved forward while I stood still, but knowing that there was nothing I could do until we were prepared. Accusations were empty until evidence was given, and threats were pointless as they would only inhibit us from looking where we needed to. Upon arriving in my native land, we found dissent and upheaval. Around the city, above the normal din of a place like Specularum, we found the sounds of the people raised against the government..a surprising development I must say. We found the a Traldar merchant named Davinos had filed a grievance of some sort seeking restitution for years of economic losses suffered during the formation of the Duchy. The restitution he sought was a 5 year tax break for Traldar merchants. Based on what I could tell, it was gaining support among the Traldar masses.
As interesting as this development was, we had a mission to see to. We elected to begin our search with the moneychangers. At the first both we arrived at, we had a brief conversation with the man, and asked if Thaljun could utilize his wand to check the money there. The man relented, reluctantly, and Thaljun’s spell revealed that a portion of the gold was in fact stone. We visited a second booth, where our findings were similar. As we walked about the area, I noticed a man being accosted by a group of thugs. I’ve always hated bullies. Big and small, and particularly those who had power and chose to use it forcefully over others. These thugs were of the fairly common variety, however, and we sorted them out in short order without the use of heavy weapons. I admit, I was rather surprised when the man identified himself as Davinos, the same we had already heard so much about. It seemed that he was preparing for his audience with the Duke himself. He told us that he was staying at the Golden Inn, which was located in a wealthier section of town called the Bricktop. We escorted him the rest of the way, after which he thanked us, and we went about our way.
After meeting some moneychangers, the trail started to become cold for us. We remembered that Relhor’s mentor, a man named Jax, lived in Specularum, and so we decided to pay him a visit. The man reminded a bit of Luigi, and not in a good one. He was every bit sly and slippery. He gave us some information regarding Alexander Torenescu which made little sense until we spoke with another contact named Rupert. Rupert indicated that there had been some upheaval in that family, with one brother suddenly passing and his son taking over. At the same time, the remaining brother helps the boy oversee things while Sergei, the Ambassador we met and another member of that family, is suddenly sent to Glantri. The whole business seemed suspect, and gave us pause. It was said that the family was doing well despite the economic woes of the nation, and so we considered how we might investigate that.
As we discussed what little we knew, we eventually passed a fortune-reading shop. A young woman called out to us. She was attractive, and so it was not difficult to follow her. She offered to read our fortunes for us. While I do not hold much for such things, Thaljun seemed more willing and so I sat quietly while she read the cards. With the heat and incense of the place, my head began to swim as she read the cards…she spokes of stones of diamonds and crowns of thorns and someone whose life we held in our hands. For my part, I could make little of her soothsayings. We left there, and I was confused as ever. We visited other locations and people, but did not glean much information except one piece from a jeweler, who told us that a ship called the Crimson Banner had left Specularum for Thyatis with a large sum of money where it would purchase diamonds. Thaljun and I pondered how me might address the ship, which might now be bound to a powerful foreign country with fake currency.