Last week on the Thursday game...
After their long stretch in the Feywild, the party finds themselves back in Northreach, in a world that's suddenly found themselves plunged into a winter that has no signs of ending. The Baron spends some time reassuring his people that everything is fine, while Mordai convinces his thieves to start sharing food with the villagers through a bit of dark magic trickery.
As the Baron talk to his men, Mordai notices a man following the Baron. He ambushes the man, who does not resist but instead introduces himself as a messenger for the First Oligarch of Yaniel. Yaniel, it seems, has heard that the Dragonborn Baron and his knights have a reputation for being discreet, and the First Oligarch is currently in need of discretion: a certain contract is currently being stored in one of Islington's Merchant Guild's safehouses, and the First Oligarch would like to hire the party to... retrieve it.
After some negotiation, both come to the agreement that, in exchange for the party's help, the First Oligarch will ship 1500gp worth of grain to Northreach. However, in the very likely event that the ship is lost at sea, the First Oligarch will instead provide the Baron with 750gp instead. Mordai and the messenger shake on it, and the messenger heads back to Northreach, where he stays on as an honoured guest.
A day passes, and the Baron receives a messenger pigeon from the Duke summoning him and all his other nobles back to Islington. The party proceed henceforth, and encounter a large body of protesters gathering outside the castle demanding that the Duke come out and give them an explanation. Asking around, Mordai learns that just two weeks ago, the Duke's personal astronomer declared to the people that winter is not coming to an end; that instead of spring, the world will soon be plunged into an age of eternal snow and frost.
Telling them that they will convey their demands to the Duke, the party pushes through the crowd and make it to the hastily-lowered drawbridge, whereupon the captain of the guards hurriedly bundle them into the castle. The Baron is immediately shown to the council chambers, where a full row over the origin of the eternal winter is currently being held over the sounds of the Duke's astronomer being whipped.
The Baron's untimely arrival causes an awkward silence, and the Duke takes advantage of the silence to ask if the Baron knows anything about this winter. Following Mordai's instructions, Borock answers that he knows nothing about it, but that one of his knights may have some information to share. The Duke dismisses the other nobles, and Mordai is summoned into the council chambers, where he lays the blame squarely at the feet of the Countess Andmar and the Marquis Ald.
"Is it not strange," Mordai says, "that the world was plunged into winter just a few weeks after the two of them were married? I don't claim to know anything about magic, Your Grace, but surely this cannot be a coincidence. Give us leave to investigate this matter, and we will report back to you once we've found something." With few other leads to follow up on, the Duke agrees, and hands the Baron the statuette of a raven, saying that he should use it to communicate with the Duke as soon as they have anything.
Political obligations settled, the party now turn their mind to the matter of the heist. After scaring the guards of the safehouse into transferring its contents to another more secure location (by telling them that the whole safehouse could actually be a mimic), the party reaches out to the Thief's Guild to arrange a delay at the city's gates.
During the hold-up, Mordai distracts the Merchant Guild's guards while Borock and Cariel run into the carriage, replace the chest with an identical-looking one, and then run back to their original carriage with the chest containing the contract. This proves successful, and the party hightails it out of Islington.
Unfortunately, their troubles are not quite over yet. Two days from Islington, the party finds the roads blocked by a single elf who claims to be a "troubleshooter" for the Merchant's Guild. Thanks to some excellent acting on the part of Mordai, however, the troubleshooter dismisses the entire party as a bunch of idiots and lets them go unmolested.
After dumping the carriage and the chest two days from Northreach, the party eventually find themselves back in the keep. The messenger receives the contract gratefully, and the party collectively breathe a sigh of relief.