Last week on the Thursday game...
A hooded half-elf bearing the distinctive silver keyhole broach of the Wilders knocked on the doors of Northreach Keep seeking gold and a glimpse of the "feytouched one". Introducing himself as Ankers, he proved to be a wealth of information and, in exchange for 50gp, answered the party's many questions about the fey.
Crow's curse had advanced significantly, and although the Thieves Guild's potion had proved useful in slowing the development of the barkskin, Ankers assured her that the only way she was ever going to be able to permanently halt (and maybe reverse) the process was to kill the sea hag that had cursed her.
Robert learned that there were two fey monarchs: his patron Titania, the Queen of the Sidhe, and her husband Oberon, the King of the Sidhe. Even when the world was young, the two of them have been at each other's throats, and their war had raged across the multiverse, swallowing and destroying whole worlds. To ensure that this did not happen again, Titania and Oberon were forced to sign the Accords of Summer and Winter, a treaty that severely limited their powers across the multiverse.
In place of the huge armies that they once commanded, each monarch was now only allowed 28 mortal or fey pawns, each represented by a card from the tarot's Minor Arcana. To Titania were the suits of wands and chalices given, while Oberon claimed the suits of swords and pentacles. In addition to their 28 cards, the monarchs were also free to court the services of the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. Unlike the Minor Arcana, whose loyalties were easily ascertained, the Major Arcana were free agents, each capable of acting on the behalf of either monarch. However, Ankers warned that any attempts to doublecross or play the Archfeys against each other was foolish at best and not something that should be undertaken lightly, even for one of the Major Arcana.
Robert also learned that the 3 of Chalices was "his" card, whatever that meant, and that the card symbolised not only love and friendship, but also that of abundance and fertility. Inverted, however, the 3 of Chalices represented loss and betrayal, and warned against the dangers of being the third party in any relationship.
As a way of expressing his gratitude, Robert took Ankers carousing in the fishing village. It was then that Ankers let slip that he had once seen one of the sidhe in the flesh. It was a fey knight, a creature with the head of a great stag, and as it stood in the stirrups of the great elk that served as his steed, he had raised a hunting horn to his lips. However, the rest of the story was lost to the mists as Robert, having drunk more than he was used to, fell fast asleep in a drunken stupor.
The party then decided that it was time for them to deal with Crow's spreading problem. Stopping by in Islington, however, Robert found a bounty notice that promised a reward of 1,000gp in exchange for dealing with a rogue golem in the south. The party decided to take that bounty on, and quickly rode to the wizard's tower where the golem was running rampant in. A protracted fight soon broke out, and although it took the party a while to figure out the weaknesses of the golem, they eventually succeeded, but not before blowing the doors off the tower.
Spent and exhausted, the party decided to camp overnight in the tower before riding back out to Islington. This would prove to be an unwise decision, for their rest was soon interrupted by the weeping of a young elven woman just outside the tower. Robert, thinking to trap the creature, spoke unwisely and invited her into the tower: at which point the creature quickly revealed herself to be a banshee (bean sidhe) and rushed past the disarmed defences of the tower. With a single soul-wrenching wail, the banshee knocked both Crow and Borock unconscious, and before either Robert or Mordai could do anything, the banshee held her claws at Crow's neck.
"Bring me the wizard," it hissed at Mordai, "or the girl dies." Mordai told the spirit that the wizard was not in the tower, but if it would wait in the basement of the tower, it could ambush the wizard and possibly slay him. The banshee agreed, and as it floated away into the basement laboratory of the tower, Mordai and Robert took the other two unconscious members of the party and rode like hell for Islington through the night.
Back in Islington, the party collected their bounty - minus 200gp for the broken-down door - and thought about what they should do next. Although Mordai thought that they should let the banshee kill him, Robert and Borock both thought that it was only right that they at least warn him about the vengeful spirit waiting to kill him in his basement.
As it turned out, doing the right thing proved to be profitable. Both the wizard and the party managed to come to a mutually-beneficial arrangement: once the keep was fully restored, in exchange for access to his wizardly services, the long-term loan of the Draconic greatsword Oathbreaker, and the short-term loan of a magical lantern that could detect invisible creatures, the Barony of Northreach would house the wizard Egoveus in the watchtower of Northreach Keep, pay him a stipend of 200gp every month, support him in his research into golems, and provide him with a live-in personal assistant at all times.
Egoveus has promised to arrange for the delivery of Oathbreaker and the lantern to the Duke's Head within seven days.
Downtime Action #1
Robert spends 10gp lubricating the servants of the Baroness Andmar, Count Cydeb, and Marquis Ald. It proved easy enough: the servants all hate their masters, and Robert gathers a surprisingly large corpus of potential blackmail material on all three nobles within a few days. Of course, being made up entirely of rumours and gossip, none of this would ever hold up in the Duke's court, but it's something.
Borock reaches out to a few of his new political contacts in Islington in an attempt to find out more about the recent disappearances of the Dragonborn in the north of Druss. Unfortunately, the nobles proved to be remarkably ignorant about the disapperances: in fact, for many of them, the Baron Northreach was the first dragonborn they have ever seen in their lives. Disappointed, Borock was about to call off his search when he heard two of the Countess Ulster's servants gossiping about the "Fay Huntsman" being seen in the moors of Northreach just a few weeks ago, during the last full moon.
Crow pays the wizard Egoveus a visit and, after flashing him 50gp from the party's treasury, convinces him to at least give her the time of the day. After a brisk examination, he tells her that there's nothing he can do for her except make up another philtre of the potion that she consumed a few weeks before. However, because the "free alchemical compounds" of the previous potion has not yet worn off, the effects of the new potion will be unpredictable. At best, it will buy her another 28 days or so; at worst, it will do nothing and prevent her from being able to benefit all and any other potions for another 14 days. Brewing the potion will cost another 50gp and take Egoveus three days.
Mordai reaches out through the grapevine to see if they know anything about the rival organisation moving against the Guild, and as he compiles the snatched bits of rumour that make their way back to him, a picture begins to form. Calling themselves Vuloas' Knives, they have been nipping at the Guild's heels for the past two months now, and the Guild - either because it has become too large and thus slow to react, or because its senior leaders has deemed them below notice - has done nothing whatsoever in retaliation.
The only thing that ties the Knives together, Mordai learns, is a shared hatred of the Guild and three symbols of membership: a yellow scarf or bandanna, a dagger made from the tooth of a large creature, and the Thief's Mark (the tattoo of a dagger upon their swordarms). Nothing else is known about them save for the fact that they have claimed the sewers of Islington as their base of operations, and that all Guildsmen should be on high-alert when travelling through the sewers.
At the end of the week, Crow has 54 days remaining, while Robert has ?? days remaining. It is currently the third week of Mid Autumn.
The treasury currently has 170gp, while the party holds onto 742gp. As the keep is currently running at a deficit of -400gp, and the treasury does not currently have enough money to cover its expenses, the party must return to Northreach Keep before the next full moon, to ensure that the workers and hirelings are paid on time.
|Taxes - Fishing Village||1500gp|
|Taxes - Farmsteads||1500gp|
|Unskilled hirelings x20||200gp|
|Skilled hirelings x10||1000gp|
|Keep restoration (2 months)||500gp|
|Stipiend - Wizard Egoveus||200gp|