Interrogation of Ninaran
Ninaran had been captured.
The party wasted no time in taking their prisoner – their bitter enemy – to Lady Gardelaine, certain that she would have the evidence they needed to bring before the Thagoryne Council. Into the long hours of the night, they interrogated the elven woman, finally getting from her two names: Mortimer Fenn and Gherrakos Phyre.
Mortimer Fenn, co-owner of Ramak and Fenn Mercantile, is stockpiling weapons and supplies, which he will be providing to Ninaran’s contact within the city. This contact will be using them to undermine the city’s defenses, and bolster the strength of the invading army. Furthermore, Fenn has been buying out the various trade guilds that support this contact’s opposition, weakening them.
Gherrakos Phyre, a high-ranking scholar at the Kytanos University, has been training up a group of his students to act as magical soldiers in the service of Ninaran’s contact. Ninaran claims that a list of these students can be found in his possession, labeled as “Honor Roll Students”.
Faydra and Tierriaryi set out to investigate Mortimer Fenn. In the dark of night, they infiltrated the Ramak and Fenn Mercantile building, ultimately finding the contract validating Ninaran’s claims. The contract also revealed Ninaran’s main contact, Veronica Raspin. As Faydra and Tierriaryi were snooping about, however, they set off a magical alarm. They tried to make a quick getaway, but there were agents of Ramak and Fenn waiting for them at the door. They turned and ran back the other way, searching for another exit to the building. Faydra assumed the form of a panther, and Tierriaryi hitched a ride on the panther’s back. As they leaped through a second-story window, the agents of Mortimer Fenn managed to strike Faydra with bolts of fiery magic. Despite this, they managed to escape, into the snowy night.
Tierriaryi handed the contract over to Lady Gardelaine, who almost laughed as she read it. “Of course it would be her – that two-timing, pitiful woman.”
Lady Gardelaine explained what she believed to be Lady Raspin’s motives. House Raspin had once been one of the most prominent of noble houses, but now it was declining in power. Lady Raspin was seeking to use the invading army, or perhaps orchestrating the whole invasion to begin with, in order to seize power over the city, reclaiming what her house had lost.
The next step would be to acquire evidence against Gherrakos Phyre. His office was in Farsight Tor, the tower at the center of the Kytanos University. The party decided to orchestrate a distraction, so that security was light when they made their move. While the distraction was in place, they would use Delia Mockingbird, a Kytanos scholar with whom the Consortium had connections, to infiltrate the tower and search Gherrakos’ office.
Tongar volunteered for the distraction. The half-orc would cause a scene by running about the university campus, stark naked. In the frigid air, no clothes to keep him warm, Tongar sprinted past the campus students and guards, around the tower, twice, before being tackled by a burly guard with a handlebar mustache. The guard was unable to discern the intentions of the naked half-orc, and simply tossed him at the entrance to the local frat house, under the assumptions that he was just another of their pledges. The snooty elven frat boys were most impressed, and made Tongar an honorary member.
Meanwhile, Delia Mockingbird led the rest of the party into the university, with Belias posing as a guest speaker for her class on Intermediate Arcanometric Theory. Gherrakos was lured away from his office, and Tierriaryi slipped in to find the evidence. The list of “honor roll students” was found, and the party made their way out of the university. A very uncomfortable Nathan retrieved Tongar from the frat house.
With only a few hours left before the council meeting, the party located and questioned some of the students on the list. While some of them claimed to know nothing, they managed to get a confession out of a few of them, including one Leroy Junkins. Gherrakos Phyre had coerced Leroy and the other students into joining this secret army. A number of the students on the list were suddenly nowhere to be found.
The Meeting of the Thagoryne Council
As the day turned into the evening, the Thagoryne Council commenced. The format for the council was for a representative from each council seat to state their business and concerns for that meeting, after which the floor opens up to any guests. The meeting was presided over by the representative of the First Seat,Lady Rosalyne Vadalla, who prefaced the meeting with concerns of the approaching army, and raised the question of what the council would do for the defense of the city.
From the Ninth Seat, Kytanos University, Lyria Veyne was first to speak: “Should the city come under attack, the Kytanos University offers the support of its mages, for healing or for battle. Furthermore, we may even call upon the power of some of the ancient artifacts in our possession.”
Next to speak was Melchior Wist, of the Alchemist’s Quarter, the holders of the Eighth Seat. The diminutive creature stood upon a small podium to offer his support, “The Alchemist’s Quarter can offer great support, in the way of healing alchemy. However, if you would expect alchemical weapons from us, I’m afraid there is little we can do. We are not typically in the business of such alchemy, and would not have any of the required materials available to us.”
Andrelus Tyrnov spoke for his house, holders of the Seventh Seat. “The defense of this city should be our highest priority, yet we possess little in the way of manpower, to defend it. I would suggest what some of you may consider a drastic measure. It is no secret that, in the wake of the great war, the rulers of our nation, Karrnath, have resorted to the use of necromancy, creating undead warriors to bolster the ranks of their army. I have the connections, and could call upon the aid of a state-sanctioned necromancer, to provide us with the army we need.” To this proposal, a great majority of the council members were visibly taken aback.
House Gardelaine was next to speak, with Victor Gardelaine being the representative of the Sixth Seat. Lady Anissa Gardelaine had opted not to attend the meeting. “House Gardelaine will offer its full support, including the aide of our private house militia.”
From the holders of the Fifth Seat, the Old Smith’s Guild, Brogan Hurstwile spoke, in his gruff voice. “As it is, already, we’re the main suppliers of arms and armor to the Wyrmclaw Legion, but I’d like to be able to say we can offer a lot more. We’ve got developed artillery, great cannons, that could be used in the defense of the city. Unfortunately, we’ve got no munitions. A shipment was supposed to arrive a week ago, but there’s not been a word of it. It pains me to let this city down, like that, but there’s little I can do.”
Of the Fourth Seat, held by House Raspin, it was Lady Raspin who spoke. “While I’m not going to dispute the rumors of the approaching army, I remain confident that the ”/wikis/wyrmclaw-legion" class=“wiki-page-link”> Wyrmclaws can repel any invaders. I do not believe these matters of war are what’s most pressing, at the time."
In contrast to Lady Raspin’s lack of concern, the holder of the third seat, House Oldorran, had a very passionate stance on the defense of the city. Lord Gosric Oldorran asked, “Is it not our first and most important duty, as members of this council, to see that the city is safe? There is nothing that we should not be willing to do to protect our people. Those of you who would withhold your resources are failing at your duty.”
Ludwig Holm, of the Westward Trade Charters, spoke for the Second Seat. “We have offered enough of our resources, already,” he insisted. “We’ve provided weapons and supplies to the militia, and to the ”/wikis/grey-sails" class=“wiki-page-link”> Grey Sails. With this cursed weather, we’re doing all we can to keep our own trade fleets afloat. I’m sorry, but I believe I’ve already done my duty, Lord Oldorran.
Finally, Lady Vadalla spoke, reaffirming her stance that she would do all she could for the city. After this, the floor was opened to any guests who would speak. It was at this time, that it was noticed by Faydra that one of Lady Vadalla’s sons, Lucien Vadalla, was in whispered argument with his mother. Faydra put herself into a place to overhear their conversation. “This is foolish, mother. We should not be wasting our family’s wealth and resources for the defense of the city. Let us accept Ludwig’s offer, and get safe passage out of this city!”
The first guest to speak was Hekhan Whitescale, champion of the Wyrmclaw Legion. “As we have for four-hundred years, the Wyrmclaws will proudly stand in the defense of this city. We will stop at nothing to defend it. However, our scouts’ reports of the invading army grow more dire, every day. It is no small army that approaches, and they are now bolstered by the Goliath Tribes. Many of you are holding back; we need your support!”
“Holding back? That is a bold accusation, Hekhan!” argued Nibara Vashti, of the Alchemist’s Quarter. “We offer all that we can; as Melchior said, we don’t even have the materials to offer anything more than healing. You, however? In the vaults beneath your precious university, you hold great power! The Eye of Koreph is all that we would need to defend this city!”
With mention of the Eye of Koreph, the council devolved into argument, before finally, Gosric Oldorran’s voice was heard above the fray, “She’s right. The Eye of Koreph is the best chance for defending this city. I pledge my support to this notion.”
“Are you mad?” argued Gherrakos Phyre. “If we calling upon the Eye’s power could put the city into even greater danger than the threat of invasion. None of us posses the power to control the Eye.”
Another character, Esther Shvard, of Westward Trade Charters, spoke, “There is more that the Westward Trade Charters can offer, as well. Our greatest trade vessel, the Mocking Dragon, could be outfitted for war.”
“Silence, Esther!” shouted Ludwig. “That’s absurd. Our prize ship is not a warship!”
Once things had calmed down, a bit, the floor was open, once again. Nathan took the opportunity to represent the party in making the accusations against Ninaran’s conspirators. First, introduced the party, and spoke of their heroic deeds in fighting Kalarel, in order to establish credibility. Then, he made his accusations, against Lady Raspin, Gherrakos Phyre, and Mortimer Fenn.
This threw the meeting into an uproar. The party wasted no time in presenting the evidence, including the testimonies of Leroy Junkins, and Ninaran herself. Hekhan Whitescale sent Wyrmclaw guards to apprehend Mortimer Fenn, as well as to check on House Raspin, wherein Ninaran claimed they would find agents of the Goliath Tribes.
Lyria Veyne spoke, over the clamor, “If these accusations are true, and we are being undermined from within, then I, too, believe that the use of the Eye of Koreph is justified. This threat is great, and must be combated at all costs.”
Lady Raspin continued to argue in her defense, whilst Gherrakos Phyre simply appeared to be confused. First returned the guards sent to Raspin Manse. Sure enough, the Shield of House Raspin had been found in council with agents of the Goliath Tribes, plotting their coup. Shortly thereafter, guards returned from tracking down Mortimer Fenn, badly burned. When confronted, Fenn had unleashed a barrage of magic, then disappeared.
This was proof enough. Lady Raspin and Gherrakos Phyre were to be detained. The entire council was in agreement that the city was in great danger. Many were leaning in favor of using the Eye of Koreph.
“This meeting is over; we will convene again in one week. At that time, we shall make our final decisions on what measures should be taken for the defense of our city.”
As everyone was leaving the city, Tierriaryi noticed Monty Banes, of the Old Smith’s Guild, in conversation with a guard from the Wyrmclaws. She tried to listen in, only hearing something about “the bridge.”
The party headed back to Gardelaine Manse, where they had been offered a place to stay. Ninaran would be held captive in their house prison. As the were crossing the bridge that spanned between the Dragon’s Ward and Vedolis Isle, great plumes of water shot up on either side, and great shards of ice came crashing down onto the bridge. The ice cracked open, and from them burst several goliath warriors, and a few other armed men. One last figure was among them, a familiar face, but an unfamiliar body.
Irontooth stood before them, his body changed and twisted, hulking at the same height as the goliath warriors.