9th Eyre, 998YK
Bowie scouts ahead to the walls of Peakwatch keep, and finding the place reasonably safe, returns to the group. They’re met by disinterested guards who don’t even bother checking their papers, and are let inside to the courtyard, crossing to the keep proper. The party is met by another guard who seemed to want nothing to do with them, and after being antagonized by Lia, finally led them up to the chambers of Lord Jovan ir’Clarn.
Lord Jovan was unpleasant and dismissive, roughly ‘apologizing’ for the characters being sent to their deaths in the Greywall Mountains when he had specifically requested at least a battalion sized force. The Bowie and Lia took issue with that, as did a more subdued Sharra. Varus silently observed the details of the room during the brief-yet heated-exchange. The group left Jovan’s office after being told that there was no room for them to sleep save the barracks bunks or the stables.
Alone in the barracks, the party discussed their general dislike for Jovan and Varus’ findings-most notably the total lack of the King in any of the tapestries or war memorabilia strewn about his office. Varus also picked up on a primitive scrying enchantment in the barracks that just tells someone if anyone is in that room or not.
Seeking more information before their next move, the group headed to the mess hall for a quick look-around, where they met Jort. After a bit of “conversation” and some assistance with his chores, the very, very stupid Jort was convinced by the group to take them down to the larder/kitchen so they could fetch some wine for Lord Jovan. After taking the three most expensive bottles of wine he had, they got Jort drunk, took him back to the barracks and put him to bed so they could swipe his skeleton key. Key in hand, the party argued for a few minutes over how best to get Jovan out of his room. All options-including arson-were put aside for a plan revolving around Varus performing magical tricks for the Lord and his officers after dinner that night.
With Varus convincing the Lord and Captain DuMont to allow him to perform, the party decided to go about their business for a few hours while waiting. Sharra took a nap, Varus studied his spells, Lia and Bowie wandered around for a while, with Lia eventually making her way to the stables to brush the donkey.
After about three hours from when they left the barracks, Bowie and Lia spot Jovan and DuMont walking out towards the stables. Seeing her chance, Bowie raced into the keep, told Varus and Sharra to keep a lookout for Jovan and to stall him if needed, then made her way into his office.
In his office she found:
- Contracts and agreements (most notably a contract for a rider from a House Orien guild) and other mundane things in his desk.
- In a false bottom of a desk drawer she found a pin depicting a crown with a sword through it. (Later determined to be the symbol of the Swords of Liberty, an anti-monarch terrorist group.)
The cloak room and sitting room yielded nothing of interest, and she made her way into Jovan’s bedroom where she found:
- Letters from ladies he had courted, and porn.
- A pair of fantastically expensive gold-and-emerald cufflinks, and an encrypted letter.
- Letters from his uncle, not encrypted, but written in a way as to be so vague that the only people who can understand what they mean are the intended readers. (Everything is implication and tone.)
Under his bed:
- A trap door leading to a magicaly-lit crawlspace/escape tunnel. Within was a small locked chest with a large bag of gold and four letters written in goblin. (Varus later read these and determined that the letters came from Vash’al Spinebreaker, a hobgoblin who was paid to attack the farms and kill the other adventuring companies.) Bowie took this escape tunnel to it’s end and emerged about 100 yards from the wall of the keep facing the mountains.
Meanwhile, Lia overheard Varus offering his services to Jovan, stating that “his contract was up” (a lie, Varus has no contract with the rest of the group) and that he might be seeking employment. He later claimed to the group (who believed him) that he simply intended to get on Jovan’s good side after the unpleasantness of the earlier day. The last plan made was for someone in the party to offer a toast to the King during dinner and see who reacts, and how.
With a few hours left before dinner, and Varus’ show, the group now ponders what to do next.
Some ideas that were tossed out:
- Confront Jovan with the evidence.
- Assassinate Jovan and his Captains at dinner.
- Assassinate him that night.
- Leave and deal with the goblins, seeing what other information can be gleaned.
- Leave and head to a major town/city to request backup.
What will happen next week? Stay tuned when we return! Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel!