An Inconvenience Rightly Considered
Veiled, Sam Franklin and Wynnder Darcy returned to Palderton, where they parted ways. In a bit of political manipulation, Veiled managed to get the Mayor to issue a writ designating Veiled and his Quaj companions deputies of Palderton. This resulted in the Mayor directing Veiled to ride south to Obber’s Mill to collect some prisoners who had attacked League-affiliated caravans and to deliver those prisoners to Tarrish for trial.
In Obber’s Mill — after annoying Deborah and Jinni (the latter of whom is the new sheriff, and whose head deputy is the now-sober Hilt) — Veiled took custody of Seril and Cloten, broke their fingers, threw them over some horses, and rode hell bent for leather to Tarrish. There, he turns them over to meet their fate at the hands of the League. (Cyrus Fletcher, the crooked sheriff, kindly saved everyone the cost of a trial by hanging himself in the Obber’s Mill jail.)
Somewhere along the way, Veiled used a spell to translate the letter he had stolen from Erlenn Halderson’s journal; it was a letter of introduction, sent by a representative of the Neridi sea clans, to be passage for Erlenn to approach the Neridi to find out about something called the “Ebon Pearl.” Veiled asked his two Quaj cohorts, Koethanna and Selvin, if they will join him in trying to negotiate a relationship between Torei and Tivaris, to ally together against Sa’iph. They agree, despite Koethanna’s misgivings that the Morrigan — the leader of the isolationist Quaj — may be displeased to have them opening up a political dialogue with another state without her knowledge.
After dropping the prisoners off in Tarrish, Veiled, Koethanna and Selvin traveled along the border between Sa’iph and Torei, collecting rare plants and capturing a Shal border scout (also a segnato) along the way. Koethanna protested when Veiled planned to kill the helpless prisoner, and Veiled ultimately decided to set the man free. Eventually, they met with a group of Torein guards when deeper into the country, Veiled declared their intentions to parley with Arkus, and were taken to Hatham.
In Hatham, Veiled first tried to sell from of his plants to Marissa Stonbrok, a young priestess of Hamal, but his insistence upon gold — which was in short supply for Marissa — tanked the deal. After mentioning the Ebon Pearl to a different cleric — one who works for Kardinal Wyn Youngman, the head of the Temple’s Storico or historians — Veiled was “summoned” to meet with Kardinal Corrado Rovati, who leads the Inqueridore. He declined the invitation.
Veiled fared better in negotiations with Arkus and his advisors (Rahjir, Ivo, Saiorse and Mansel Cooke); he was paid well for delivering the letter regarding the Ebon Pearl and reached agreement on Torei sending a delegation to Tivaris, in the hopes of (a) Veiled constructing his own stronghold somewhere on the eastern edge of the forest, and providing haven to segnato fleeing from Sa’iph, and (b) Torei possibly opening formal relations with the Quaj.
Veiled has recently departed from Hatham, traveling with a Torein contingent led by Mansel Cooke and two clerics from the Temple of Hamal, Archmater Freida Norris and Archpater Abramo. As of Message #507 in this thread, the party has passed the WayStation of Kalle and is on its way to Obber’s Mill.
Aladar’s story began in Halveet, later in the spring, when he and Maeva arrived on board a ship. Having realized that someone close to him was feeding information to Sa’iph, Arkus had decided — upon Rahjir’s advice — to try to protect his daughter by obscurity, placing her in the care of someone who could be trusted utterly, but who had been away from Hatham for so long that he would not be connected to Arkus and the girl.
Under the names Marcus and Corinne, Aladar and Maeva looked for a place to live. Maeva was less than cooperative, first trying to veto every option and then (after they took rooms above a stonemason’s) trying to run away. One night she was caught by the widow living in the rooms directly below theirs (she was hanging from a sheet that did not reach even halfway to the ground), Penelope Shaw, only to be promptly returned to Aladar. (Penny’s own son, seven-year-old Ollie, seemed inclined to help Maeva with her shenanigans.)
Eventually, Maeva settled in, to riding and archery lessons and regular visits to the Temple of Hamal in Halveet, a small congregation of escaped segnato or expatriate citizens of Torei under the guidance of Pater Ethan Seer. Maeva approached the cobbler across the street, asking for the location of James Laibrook’s shop; before she had left Torei, she had overheard her father talking about an old family friend, Daned Thand, working for Laibrook, and wanted to seek out someone she considered almost an uncle.
Maeva came to her senses, however, and rather than running off to find Thand herself she told Aladar that she wanted to see him. In an effort to make the girl happy, Aladar took her to Laibrook’s shop to see Thand. Aladar had been given Laibrook’s name as a Torei-friendly contact in Halveet.
Maeva has settled in more in Halveet now that she has regular contact with Daned, who is a much friendlier fellow than the rather <s>dour</s> <u>stoic, possibly impassive</u> Aladar.
Recently, however, Aladar realized that the cobbler across the street became quite interested in Daned Thand when the younger man visited the Temple. A bit of glowering and a successful Intimidation roll later, and Aladar learned that the man had been asked by parties unknown to keep an eye out for Daned and to let him know that his family in Sa’iph wanted to get a message to him.
Aladar told the cobbler that either he or Thand would be back for the message when it came. The message has come: A Shal woman, Sura, who is a Politi c’hanata, has asked the cobbler to tell Thand that an “opportunity” has arisen if he can act quickly. As of Message # 166 in this thread Aladar is off waiting to see if anyone is watching the cobbler.
Mobley and Jonathan
Leaving Bianchi’s apartment, Mobley encountered Finnella, who was on her way to deliver a horse. Before leaving, however, she wanted to relay some additional information she had learned. First, a member of her Skaldings’ Hall, Sam Franklin, had recently returned from the North Redding on a trip to find out what had happened to a scholar, Erlenn Halderson, who had been hired by the Temple of Hamal to conduct some research into something called the “Bloody Orb of Hamal.” Second, gossip was that the Sajeem had not yet reissued the appointment of Antazos as Sa’iph’s representative to the High Council for the next season.
Mobley continued to the Libraries, where he learned of Daris’s arrest, Mobley sought out both her and Iminye, and then circled back to meet up with Jonathan. Jonathan had spoken with Dusan, whom Jonathan himself knew through past dealings in local criminal circles. Jonathan led Dusan to believe that Jonathan represented other buyers who were interested in purchasing the stolen books. Dusan told Jonathan that the books had already left Halveet, on their way to be delivered to a “crazy mage” and “his man,” who would then deliver them to a representative of the ultimate buyer. Thinking he had struck a deal with Jonathan to double-cross the mage and re-sell the stolen books, Dusan let slip that the “mage and his man” would pick up the books in a town further east along the coast, Hanport, and then would deliver them to the buyer’s rep in another coastal town even further east, HInderlet.
Tara, Jochim, Amira and Go’bluth
Tara, Jochim, Amira and Go’bluth arrived in Halveet, and promptly split up, the Quaj and gnome to seek out a mage who could cast some enchantments upon weapons and armor and Tara and Jochim to deliver the news of Aureus’s — or Seran’s — death to his family. Bianchi and Theo were still reeling from the news of Daris’s arrest, and the revelation of Seran’s death rocked them even more. Tara and Jochim agreed to try to intercede with Lady Iminye (in part, to head off Theo’s impulse to attack her).
Mobley and Jonathan showed up, and it became apparent that swift action needed to be taken to intercept the books before the Dreamsong fell into the hands of whoever had arranged for it to be stolen … and who had, most likely, killed Ned Foster. Tara and Jochim were also willing to help with that project.
With the assistance of a divination spell by Bianchi, Tara and Jochim (who are re-joined by Amira and Go’bluth) knew where to find Iminye. The ultimate result of that meeting was an attempt to first see Daris in the local jail, and then an appointment to all meet the next morning at the offices of the Governor — Richard Oberuc, a human who had recently taken that office — with the Governor’s Secretary, Helen Breese. Though Daris proved more cooperative during that interview, but Iminye declined to drop her accusation of murder. Oberuc and Breese, however, seemed skeptical that Daris had anything to do with Foster’s death, and reassured Jochim, Tara, Amira and Go’bluth that Daris would not be rail-roaded.
Amira and Go’bluth lingered for longer discussions after Tara and Jochim left to return to Bianchi’s. Go’bluth (whose player withdrew from the game) agreed to return to Tivaris with a League delegation to assist in negotiations. Amira was still on the scene with Iminye’s father, Leonardo Shal Tamasi, arrived to claim his nephew’s body. Amira diplomatically mediated the situation, and convinced Tamasi to permit speak with dead to be cast on the body, by a priestess mutually acceptable to all parties. That questioning confirmed that Daris was not involved in the death and that someone named “Clea” had given Foster the sealed document containing the fatal rune. Tamasi also asked the body a question in Neridi, which Amira could not understand. Afterwards, Tamasi stated that he wished for Daris to be released, cautioned Amira about having any other involvement in the matter of his nephew’s death, and left town.
Richard’s story resumed a couple of months after his initial appearance. His scars have now been healed, by priestess Marissa, is favored by Arkus, and has been working to retrieve children whom Sa’iph indentured servants leave at secret places along the border. He returned with a young girl, Amber, to find Marissa unsuccessfully bargaining with Veiled. After the Quaj went on his way, Richard made his report to Arkus and the council of advisors. Richard reported that a number of the drop-points used for leaving children had apparently been uncovered — Sa’iph forces had raided them. Only a few people doing the same job as Richard knew where they were. Richard also learned that the Freeman, the first Jotunn ship completed for Torei, which had set sail for Tarrish while he was away, was unexpectedly several days out of touch.
Within the next couple of days, Richard was given a new assignment, to accompany Archmater Retta Pierce on a journey north on a quest for something unspecified. Accompanying her are Skalding Sam Franklin and a Shal scout, Wynnder Darcy. As of Message #168 in this thread, Richard is getting to know Wynnder.