An Inconvenience Rightly Considered
Donato and Kellendil
Meanwhile, in Sutton …
Donato de Casa-Branca, an eccentric distant cousin of the Lady of Sutton, an erstwhile monster-hunter, fencer, and eccentric-about-town, was out adventuring in search of a medusa in the mountains around Sutton. He returned from that hunt, laden down with monstrous remains and some Seldeze whiskey, to find that his atelier — a large, rambling abode that was his remaining legacy from his father and the mother who disappeared when he was an infant — was the subject of a nuisance complaint by his neighbors. Summoned immediately to a hearing before this week’s magistrate, Lord Borega, Donato quickly figured that the fix was in with the entire proceeding — someone was pulling Borega’s strings to have the minor nuisance complaint turned into an excuse to condemn the property and take possession of it away from Donato. Borega entered the order and invited Donato to take an appeal, which would be heard by the dotty Lady Eufemia who would almost assuredly rubber-stamp the order with no delay. Investigation gave Donato reason to believe that someone in the Jubileau family was using Borega as a puppet.
Donato enlisted the assistance of his cousin, Janne So — the Lady’s young, headstrong skalding daughter — to try to figure out why someone would want to take his property away from him. Wild speculation led them to conclude that there must be something hidden on the property that couldn’t simply be spirited away in the middle of the night. Perhaps it had something to do with that fantastical and hideous mural painted on one wall? Why, that must be it! Sledgehammers were brought out, large holes were created in the plaster, and … a mirror was found hidden in the wall. A mirror that whispered secret things to Donato and Janne alike, neither of whom made their Will saves against its enchantments. Janne and Donato nearly came to blows as the mirror’s effects pitted them against each other, and Donato’s assistant — the dwarf Balek — was forced to hogtie Janne, toss her over his shoulder, and deliver her to the Keep.
Donato, meanwhile, dressed himself in elaborate clothing and makeup and went to confront Mirabelle Jubileau, the head of the Jubileau family, and accuse her of being involved in nefarious schemes against him. Mirabelle, however, had no idea what he was talking about — until he mentioned Borega, and she revealed that her half-brother, the ne’er-do-well Felciano, had some sort of relationship with Borega. (Short form, Donato later found out — Felciano had loaned Borega a substantial sum of money to buy Borega’s son out of a difficult situation.)
Donato eventually shook off the effects of the mirror, found out that Balek had been tossed in the cells at Janne’s command, and that the Lady of Sutton — who was not due to arrive back for weeks — had returned via teleport (which is quite unusual, hardly any of the Politi powers-that-be like to use teleportation spells nowadays) when she learned of her daughter’s strange affliction. Uncomfortable conversations with the Lady’s Evandin, Manton, and the Lady herself led Donato to conclude that the mirror (a) had been found long ago by his mother, Elenha, on one of her treasure-hunts, (b) was something Ellinden had instructed Elenha to get rid of of, and (b) had instead been hidden by Elenha in defiance of the Lady’s command. Although the Lady was not otherwise forthcoming with useful information, she did make a point of showing local hangers-on that Donato had not fallen out of favor.
Donato also ran into his friend, Kellendil, a Politi mage and shop-owner, whose family had immigrated to Sutton after their home city, Bense, was destroyed in the war twenty years ago with Seldez. Kellendil did a bit of his own investigation with his mentor, Aishafiel, who had heard of the mirror but did not know any details about it. Kellendil visited Guilherme, a friend of Aishafiel’s and the librarian for the Jubileaux, and confirmed that Felciano had taken all information from that library regarding the mirror.
As of Message #282 in this thread, Donato and Kellendil are comparing notes, and contemplating a trip to investigate the circumstances under which Elenha disappeared … and the treasures she was hunting at the time.
And also in Sutton, Tandro Rynell makes his debut — a new PC for Aladar’s player. Tandro comes from a Shal noble family of Sutton; although his sister Larana was recently elevanted to the rank of Dominta in the Politi Order, Tandro himself never made it higher than a’dalin. Tandro spends most of his time playing the role of slightly dissolute and feckless nobleman’s off-spring. However, he also plays another role — occasional spy for the Lady of Sutton, expected to prove himself useful by keeping his ear to the ground for any schemes among his social cohort.
Tandro was summoned to a meeting with his contact, Nerian (almost certainly not the man’s real name) the morning after the Lady’s unexpected return to Sutton. The Lady wants to know who put Felciano up to his plan to take Donato’s atelier, because they are fairly certain he was just a stalking horse for someone else. She also wants to know if Mirabelle had any involvement. However, she does not want to do anything that might cause rumors to swirl about Mirabelle. As Nerian explains, the Lady faces a succession problem — her son, Kallin So, has not been seen for years and is in hiding because of the bounty on his head by Marren Savit, the former Lord of Bense (or the Lord of the former Bense), and her daughter Janne is widely viewed as not capable of ruling in the Lady’s place. As a result, the scions of various distantly related families are grooming themselves as heirs. The Madelano family, the most closely related, believes itself to be the front-runners. But Mirabelle, more distantly related, is also in the running — and the Lady would prefer to not cement the Madelanos’ favored position in the public eye.
Tandro decided to approach Mirabelle under the guise of seeking fencing lessons; she herself stopped her Politi studies once she achieved c’hanata status, and has since dedicated herself to studying the sword. As of Message No. 72 in this thread, Tandro has had his first fencing lesson with Mirabelle, and has assumed a cover identity as a way to approach Felciano.
When last we saw Veiled in the prior summary, he was on his way to Tivaris in the company of emissaries from Torei. Once in Tivaris, Veiled visited with his Temple for some advice from the leader of his Pater Raven Adder on how to approach the Morrigan. Through discussions with the Pater, and with Go’bluth — who had returned to Tivaris from Halveet — Veiled slowly and reluctantly came to realize that he could not assume the Morrigan would support his plans to establish a stronghold in the East Redding and provide shelter to escaped segnato out of a sense of mercy or kindness. Indeed, he was counseled quite strongly that the Morrigan could not be relied upon to show any kindness or gentleness of any sort.
With the advice he received, Veiled decided the best approach to the Morrigan was to present his plan as a way to expand the borders of Tivaris and increase her area of influence. His presentation to her goes fairly well until one of the grig who are in attendance upon her spills the beans about Veiled’s long-ago interference with a Skalding on a mission of parley. The Morrigan told Veiled that he would have to pay off his blood-debt before she could agree to have any sponsorship or involvement with him, because such a crime carries a curse that could be called upon the Quaj. She told him she would have to ponder the options for payment of the debt, and would have her people call his people to set up a future appointment.
Veiled also found out that the Raging Rock Clan of human barbarians in the North Redding — which had raised him — had fallen victim to some sort of sickness that had nearly wiped out the clan. He attributed this fate to the curse he had called upon them with his interference with Sam Franklin’s mission at the very beginning of the game.
In anticipation of being able to clear his debt through some grand quest, Veiled made arrangements with a merchant, Brais, to (a) purchase seeds and saplings to use in a project to extend the borders of Tivaris into the East Redding, and (b) enlist a druidess, Congalie, to assist with the project. A subsequent meeting with the rather gruff and unfriendly druidess — and her bear animal companion — ended with her telling Veiled that she could not assist until the Morrigan was satisfied that the blood-debt had been paid.
Veiled took a trip to Palderton, where he learned that his appointment as a deputy-at-large for the town had been revoked: Mayor Lammert Kullman, who had issued the commission, had fallen from favor. Veiled figured out that the true power behind everything in Palderton was Crevan Arnaud, who had been displeased to find out Kullman was lining his pockets from the public till. Veiled did some business — including purchasing some additional horses — and returned back to the encampment he and his men had chosen to locate their future stronghold.
The Morrigan had sent word for him to meet her, alone with only his own animal companion to accompany him. She told him he had three choices for how to clear his debt: (a) sacrifice his animal companion, (b) choose one of her own warriors — who had volunteered — and sacrifice them, or © allow himself to be marked on his face as a sign of his crime, with an accompanying penalty to his dealings with anyone who would recognize what it meant, forego divine healing, have no children, and have his name be forgotten after he dies. Veiled chose to sacrifice Crunch, the dog that had accompanied him throughout his adventures, and the Morrigan declared the debt paid.
The choice, however, had consequences for Veiled. One of his cohorts, Koethanna, refused to follow Veiled any further, convinced that Veiled would rather have others pay the price for Veiled’s mistakes rather than bearing the cost himself. Further, his decision caused a schism in the Temple of Shevaresh: When Veiled returned to the Temple of Shevaresh to recruit additional followers, he was denounced by Gavan, a Quaj ranger with his own hawk animal companion. In fact, Gavan and a number of other rangers and druids who belonged to the Temple decide to withdraw from the Temple rather than remain associated, even loosely, to a ranger who would make his animal companion pay the ranger’s own debt. Finally, Congalie and her bear are openly hostile to Veiled — although the druidess honors the contract she made with Veiled to assist with the reforestation project, she will not even talk to him and the bear seems intent on finding a reason to eat him.
As of Message No. 959 in this thread, Veiled has made arrangements to purchase stores for the upcoming winter and raw materials for building stables for his horses — the first part of his planned stronghold in the East Redding. He finds himself a bit shocked by the costs — good thing he has some money from Torei to help fund his efforts.