An Inconvenience Rightly Considered
Jonathan spent midsummer’s day on board a ship, sailing to Darilei. After having Theo make a copy of the painting Hugh Vernon had tried to take from him, Jonathan had sent the original to a business acquaintance in Darilei — a young woman with her own roguish tendencies named Jillian (as an aside, Jillian was Morgana’s roommate) to hold for him. Jillian, though curious about the package he had sent, turned it over to him unopened and untampered with.
Jillian asked Jonathan if he had the time and inclination to help her with a job — she had been hired by someone to investigate a local lawyer, Allenel Gilford, to see whether he and any of his clients were involved in anything shady. Jillian explained that Gilford, the son of a late and greatly respected local judge, had been recently connected to events in Chatterton, a town lying far northwest of Darilei near the border of Seldez. Darilei and Seldez had been fighting for control of the area, and some of the local community leaders had not been properly supportive of League efforts to annex the territory and had the gumption to advocate for independence. Gilford had been rumored to be involved in the resistance against the League, and to be advising several of the “Chatterton Six” — all of whom were wanted for unspecified crimes against the League, and some of whom were still missing. Jillian wanted help to look into a few of Gilford’s clients, since she thought she was best suited for investing those of the lower social strata while Jonathan could easily navigate the more socially advantaged
Jonathan began by looking into Lawrence Becker, a successful and retired businessman with a pretty young trophy wife. Apparently Gilford had helped them recently with some changes to Becker’s estate plan. Jonathan made his way to Becker’s business offices, where he found the man’s three adult children — two sons and a daughter — arguing; the daughter and younger son were complaining about their new stepmother while the oldest of the three cautioned his siblings to simply mind their own business. Jonathan portrayed himself as someone who wanted to know about Gilford before hiring him, and — during a subsequent conversation with the youngest of the three, the younger son, confirmed that the children suspected Gilford and their new stepmother of robbing Lawrence Becker blind. Jonathan suggested to the younger son that perhaps he could obtain some of the accounting books to see whether money had indeed been moved around or gone missing, and made his way to the Beckers’ house.
There, Jonathan met Lawrence, who seemed a little dotty and well infatuated with his lovely young bride, Marian — whom, Jonathan learned, had once almost married Allenel Gilford. Marian, polite to Jonathan in her husband’s presence, turned openly hostile when alone after she found out Jonathan was looking into Gilford. She immediately accused him of working with the children, and was suspicious throughout their entire conversation. She rebuffed any suggestion that Gilford was up to something shady, and sent Jonathan on his way to talk to Barnabas Portnoy for further references about Gilford.
Barnabas Portnoy, a portly former cleric and wool merchant with muttonchops, a mustache, and a taste for pipe tobacco, was amiable enough, and invited Jonathan to sit on his porch while they talked business. Inside, crashes and sounds of break glass presaged the appearance of a ten-year-old boy, Toby, and a dog, who seemed to be Portnoy’s charges of some sort; trailing destruction in their wake, they sped off down the street. Barnabas accepted Jonathan’s story of being a businessman looking into Gilford before hiring him, and explained that he had known the lawyer since he was a boy. Jonathan learned that the conflict between Seldeze and Darilei over Chatterton related to copper and silver mines in the area, and that many in the League thought Gilford should be run out of town for working with the locals who had resisted League efforts to annex the territory.
Jonathan then made his way to the Sleeping Steward, where he took rooms — the same place where another of Gilford’s clients, an auburn-haired Shal woman named Tessa Clare was staying.
Mobley, Hamble, Tara, Jochim, Maren, Petra and Dagobert
Once back in Halveet, Tara and Jochim collected their horses where they had been left at an inn, and found a message waiting for them from Amira. That message told them that Ned Foster’s body, when questioned, had said “Clea” had given him the sealed letter with the magical trap that had killed him. Tara and Jochim sought out Mobley and Bianchi and relayed that information.
Mobley, in turn, contacted his instructor in Sa’iph, Master Fediniccio — the friend of Bianchi’s who had sent Mobley to Halveet to help Bianchi — and asked for his advice on what to do about the Viersiering and the competition between Torei and Sa’iph to find the magical artifacts. Fediniccio told him that his cousin, Hamble — a dwarven cleric — had just arrived from Holberg, carrying a letter from Mobley’s mother, and offered to immediately teleport the two of them to Halveet to confer with Mobley and Bianchi. Hamble brought word to Mobley of a legacy left to him by his late adventuring great-aunt Anitra.
Mobley determined that rather than share information with either Torei or Sa’iph — which Fediniccio, a loyal Sa’iph citizen, wanted — he would instead try to locate and take control of the relics himself. He asked Finnella Arnaud to recommend Vind mercenaries whose abilities she knew and whom she would trust not to double-cross someone who hired them. Finnella made arrangements for Mobley to meet — and with Master Fedniccio’s sponsorship, to hire — Dagobert (a halfling), Petra (a dwerg) and Maren (another halfling), offering no commentary on the fact that the party would consist of three dwarves and two halflings.
As they were planning their trip over the following couple of weeks, Master Bianchi — who had been weakening for some time — died. Daris gave Mobley and Jochim each one of the old man’s silver loops, to mark themselves as c’hanata, and decided to take his ashes to Obber’s Mill to be interred with Seran/Aureus.
Tara and Iminye
Tara decided to go her own way. Planning long-term in the hopes of laying the groundwork for taking out Isabella, Tara sent Jochim to Sa’iph to establish himself there, waiting for her to call upon him when she felt prepared to make her move against the Sajeem’s daughter. She then disguised herself as “Willow,” a seemingly harmless-looking commoner, and approached Iminye with information about Ned Foster’s death. Iminye failed to recognize “Willow” as Tara — who had been one of Daris’s defenders when Iminye had demanded she be arrested — and welcomed the information Willow brought about Isabella being responsible for Ned’s death as well as the death of Willow’s unidentified loved one. Iminye and Tara agreed to work together against Isabella, but recognized that they would need to make themselves more powerful before they could do so — and that the A’nari Keep might yield what they needed to carry out their revenge.
Iminye sent word to her father about Isabella’s involvement, and was surprised when Leonardo Shal Tamasi announced he would visit her in Halveet immediately. It turned out that Leonardo already knew about Isabella’s involvement, and he simply wanted to make sure his daughter did not do anything … impetuous. He accepted Willow’s story about her motivations, and offered to put her in touch with contacts in Sa’iph who might be helpful to her, but made clear that he did not want to declare himself as opposed to Isabella.
Iminye also asked her father about the A’nari Keep, and learned that there are three contenders who are seeking to take the A’nari family’s abandoned seat on the High Council: Marcelo Shal Priore, who is supported by the Sa’iph and other eastern Shall; Lucetta Fournier, who is supported by the western Shal (except for the Lady of Sutton who stands neutral); and Parlan Tavis of Darilei, a human offered by the League. When asked by Iminye, Leonardo expressed no desire to offer the Tamasi family to take the A’nari lords’ place. After reassuring himself that his daughter would not do anything foolish, Leonardo wished her well and returned to Malisis.
Iminye and Tara, meanwhile, booked passage to Darilei to meet up with Hugh Vernon and begin their journey to the A’nari Keep.