8 Hearth 509
The party has arrived in Almathriel at the estate of Lord Springvale after dealing with the foul sorcerer Sakka the Grim. They are planning on how to present this news to the royal family of the elves.
The rest of the Crimson Cord is due to arrive in the elven capital in three days. Lord Springvale has sent word to the Prince of the Stars, the ruler of the city and the son of the Queen, that he seeks an audience. He receives word fairly quickly from His Highness that a meeting can be had on the 11th of Hearth.
11 Hearth 509
Surm receives word via the Agent’s Clasp from Alasir that the remaining troops from the Cord have arrived at the camp outside the city. He, Rilka, Savaric, Quintrell Borathin, and Lord Springvale all take a carriage to the Rose Crystal Palace to meet with the Prince of the Stars.
The meeting with the prince is short, but cordial. He asks for a report of everything that happened on the journey. He does indicate that a parade through the city with the body of the traitor Sakka would not be welcome to Her Majesty. However, he will send a delegation of guards to Lord Springvale’s residence to collect the Imrakurse and the body of Sakka the Grim for the Queen. He also indicates that Her Majesty wishes to have an audience with them in the throne room on the 13th of Hearth and that the Saelfsidhedal are extremely grateful for their services.
13 Hearth 509
Surm, Rilka, Savaric, Lord Springvale, and Quintrell Borathin are brought before the Queen in her throne room in the Rose Crystal Palace in the heart of Almathriel. The throne room is full of courtiers dressed in the grand and ethereal style of the elves. The Cord are dressed in militaristic finery, with long coats, high boots, and crimson highlights. Lord Springvale is dressed in his finest clothes, as is Quintrell. After being announced by the herald, they come forward to the throne of the queen and kneel before her.
“The Saelfsidhedai owe you all a greatly for the service you have provided our realm. It has been brought to my attention that not only was this Sakka the Grim a thorn in our side, but was courting open rebellion and invasion. And through your efforts, he was thwarted in his ambitions. For this, we thank you.”
A steward begins coming by each of the Cord and Quintrell and bestows a platinum medal embossed with the sun, moon, and stars symbol of the realm upon it. “Rise, Surm Ulrich, Keeper of the Seal. Rise, Rilka Lazarsdottir, Keeper of the Seal. Rise, Savaric, Keeper of the Seal. Rise, Quintrell Borathin, Keeper of the Seal.”
To Lord Springvale, a scroll is given. “Lord Springvale, I think you will find this expansion of your holdings a suitable expression of our gratitude.”
The Queen makes a motion, and it is clear that everyone is dismissed.
Once everyone is in the carriage heading back home, Lord Springvale explains that Keeper of the Seal is both an honor and a responsibility. “It is a title, though not an hereditary one. However, should the Queen call upon her host, you are obligated to heed her call.”
Lord Springvale also looks at his scroll and discovers that he has been granted a villa in Celandacair, a coastal city to the north.
When the party returns to Lord Springvale’s home, they find that each of them have been given 100 pp as well.
After the party returns to Lord Springvale’s residence, a visitor is announced that is seeking out the Crimson Cord. He is brought in and introduces himself as Krrish. He appears to be a Southron male, dressed in the Tarsian style. He is polite, but seems troubled. He wishes to speak to the Cord in private and Lord Springvale is happy to accommodate.
Krrish speaks of visions of a great evil emerging from the sea with tentacles and eyes, as well as a great Northron warrior that laid waste to those around him with a mighty greataxe. His visions seemed to tie him in with the Crimson Cord. He indicated that he believed that the visions were sent by someone dear to him.
Rilka and Savaric indicate that they have heard of this Northron but that they have been given information from their gods that they are not ready to face him yet. But that they will be pursuing him at some point. And that they have a place in this great battle against the evil that is coming. They want to discuss this new development. Krrish says that he is staying at the Mithral Dagger and that is where they can find him.
The party then discusses their next move after their meeting with the Queen of the Elves. Will they be going to Kalimsport? What’s next?
Rilka heads to the Mithral Dagger to speak with Krrish. She finds him there and she gets a list of references from him, all from Kalimsport, where he apparently does the majority of his business from a spice shop that he works with his sister. He also indicates that, as far as skills he brings to the table, he is quiet nimble and stealthy.
Rilka heads back to Lord Springvale’s and the party continues their discussion of where to go next. Surm arranges a farewell banquet for the “Cordlings” at the Mithral Dagger.
The innkeep at the Mithral Dagger clears the common room of those that do not have rooms, so Krrish gets to stay. The tables are put together and food and drink is shared by all. Rilka watches Krrish through all of this and sees nothing untoward. She tells him that she will check his references when they teleport to Kalimsport and will meet up with him when he eventually arrives there by horse.
Surm makes a grand speech about the plans for the guildhall coming soon and the future of the Crimson Cord.
After the banquet, everyone adjourns to either the camp or Lord Springvale’s, except for Krrish, who stays at the Mithral Dagger.
14 Hearth 509
Krrish starts to make his way to Kalimsport.
Savaric asks Lord Springvale to pick out a subtle elven wine to serve at his new tavern venture in Kalimsport. He wants an authentic “seal of approval.” Springvale promises to talk to some wine connoisseurs he knows and get him an answer.
Surm teleports himself, Rilka, Savaric, and Mahgnus to Kalimsport. Once in the city, Surm makes arrangements to speak with Kalys Penwyck, vizier to the Overlord of Kalimsport. Rilka begins making arrangements to upgrade items and check on the progress of her shrine to Bruni. Savaric, too, goes out to make arrangements to update items. Mahgnus leaves the party to begin making arrangements for Surm’s Crimson Cord guildhall (of which he will be in charge) and to find a suitable brewer for Savaric.
Later, the three core members of the Crimson Cord meet in one of the drawing rooms of the fortress of the Overlord of Kalimsport. There they are met by Kalys Penwyck, the vizier to that esteemed ruler. She indicates that she assumes that they are there to discuss the death of Mõrvar Ulrich. She will release his belongings to them, though she wishes to discuss one of the belongings—the sword that they found on his person. She says that if it were up to her, she would turn it over to the temple of Cereth for destruction. However, the Overlord has stated that he wishes to leave that decision up to the Cord. Surm tells her to do what she will with the blade. She also will deliver to them an urn with Mõrvar’s ashy remains—with the caveat that the Overlord has their every assurance that he will not be resurrected. They all so swear. Surm inquires about his brother’s account with the Bank of Kalimsport. Kalys says that the account has been closed, but that she will provide them a writ to allow them to claim the contents.
The goods are delivered to the Cord by servants after Kalys takes her leave. The three leave the compound and make the proper arrangements with the Bank.
Rilka goes out and checks out Krrish’s references and tries to get some “word on the street” about he and his sister, Eldeshi. Everything seems to check out according to Krrish’s story. Rilka then decides to visit Eldeshi herself.
She finds the spice shop in the Northern Market District. Rilka discusses her brother with the merchant and is a little surprised to learn that Krrish was adopted and that Eldeshi knows nothing of a druid in the family or of Krrish’s mother.
Once the party rejoins each other and Rilka brings her findings to them, everyone seems satisfied with Krrish. Surm acknowledges that the “vision” thing is a religious thing and not really his bailiwick.
The three return to Almathriel and informs the soldiers at the camp of the fate of Mõrvar. Savaric buys food and ale for the troops and Surm delivers a moving eulogy for his brother. There is not a dry eye in the camp. Memorial drinks are had all around.
Rilka, Savaric, and Surm take their leave of the soldiery and head into the city to take Quintrell his share of the treasure. They return to the Goblin and Mug, where the bartender, Trusk, continues to try and flirt with Rilka. Quintrell takes them to his nearby apartment where they turn over the coinage. He is pleased for the windfall—he clearly didn’t expect it. As they leave, he speculates on the possibility of purchasing a polymorph to turn him back into an elf.
Surm then teleports the three of them to Uncle Thormax’s hut in Jossia. Surm tells him of his brother’s demise. The old man is sad, through he feels as though such an end was inevitable due to the darkness in the young man’s heart. That night they cast Mõrvar’s ashes into the winds and then spend the night in Thormax’s hut drinking and telling tales.
15 Hearth 509
That morning, the three friends leave Uncle Thormax’s hut. Rilka and Savaric are taken back to Almathriel and then Surm teleports to the village of Aeth to inform the rest of the family of Mõrvar’s demise. He also informs the King of the Aethlyngs of the end of the possible threat. Surm tells them to keep the rings that they were given in case of future threats, however. Surm also gives the family monies from his brother’s bank account, for which they are grateful. Lothar offers Surm his hand, and Surm, after a pause, takes it.
He then teleports to Yrda and inform King Sigurd and their other friends there of Mõrvar’s demise.
Next, he is off to Aldasar, to the estate of their friend Lord Cannach Ma’leod. There, Surm is surprised to be turned away by the Lord’s guards, not once, but twice. Disconcerted, Surm heads into the city and decides to look into this further. In his wanderings, he happens upon Willton Ginnis—the (apparently) former chamberlain to Lord Cannach.
From Willton Ginnis, Surm learns that in the past two weeks Lord Cannach has been acting very strange. He’s hired a mercenary company, the Dire Wolves, to apparently guard the village of Leodin for no apparent reason. He’s been short with staff and summarily fired Willton for questioning his hiring of the mercenaries. This all began, according to Willton, shortly after a Lord Cannach returned from a trip to the city with blood on his person. The noble claimed he had survived a mugging attempt but that the City Watch was handling it. Since that day, things had been odd in the household. On top of that—other noble houses have experienced similar oddness. The help is talking and none of it is good.
Surm gives the old man 100 platinum pieces to live on and to use in bribes to gather information about what is going on. He tells him that the Crimson Cord will return to Aldasar in two months.
Surm then teleports to rejoin his friends and share his disturbing news. They continue with their plans and vow to return to Aldasar in two months.
28 Hearth 509
Krrish finally arrives in Kalimsport.
29 Hearth 509
Rilka meets with Krissh at his spice shop. The two go for a walk. Rilka informs him that his references and story check out. She is a little concerned that his sister didn’t know about his mother, but he assured her that he likes to keep his privacy about such matters. Rilka offers to let him travel with them—with the caveat that they are not going after the man in the vision just yet. Krrish takes the offer.
They two visit with Alfrun at Rilka’s shrine and then share a good breakfast at a nearby eatery.
Over the next few weeks, Rilka spends some time with Krrish, trying to get to know him.
Savaric spends time in Kalimsport establishing his brewery/tavern and in Yrda, spending time with Mirka
19 Longnight 509
Rilka holds a dedication to the new orphanage she has built on the lands given to her by the Overlord of Kalimsport.
14 Changewind 509
Over the past few weeks, much work has been going on in Kalimsport. Savaric’s new brewery/tavern, the “Crimson Brew” opens, as well as the opening stages of the new Crimson Cord guildhall.
Finally, the guards of the Crimson Cord have been set to march toward toward Aldasar while the rest of the troupe, Rilka, Surm, and Savaric, along with Krrish, teleport there. Surm gets more information from Willton Ginnis on the problem with the nobility. He gets some specific members of the nobility that have been acting strange—including the wife of the Lord Mayor of Aldasar. He has also learned that there is apparently some sort of spellcaster with the Dire Wolves in Leodin—someone called “Coldtongue” and that they have also somehow employed a blue dragon to patrol the area on their behalf.
Willton will use his connections to get an audience with the Lord Mayor for the Cord.
The Cord meets at the base camp of the troops outside the city to discuss the Lord Cannach situation. Surm also introduces Lynecit, his new valet.
What could be the malady striking the nobility? Is it possession? A curse? Some sort of disease? Most think that a disease is unlikely. A curse could be detected by a detect magic spell—though it would be very difficult to see. Possession might also be detectable through magic as well. They are ultimately left with more questions than answers.
15 Changewind 509
The core members of the Cord and Krrish all pay a visit to Willton Ginnis, who has managed to get them an audience with the Lord Mayor. They may call upon him anytime at the Hall of Law. The four head to the center of the city, near the royal palace, and are admitted into the hall by the guards and directed to the proper wing. Once there, they are taken to the offices of the Lord Mayor and meet Telly, the bald halfling attache of the Lord Mayor. He is the only other person in the office as the Cord introduces themself to Baron Feargus Ma’leod, Lord Mayor of Aldasar.
The Lord Mayor is a heavy-set man with a broad mustache and a usually jolly disposition. He recognizes the Crimson Cord for their exploits and their “reputation for getting things done.” When asked about any strange behavior from his wife, he reluctantly admits that, yes, for the past few weeks she has been acting strangely. She’s been very “ugly” to staff, very course and vulgar in her discourse, very improper—very unlike her. Yes, there was an incident where she was apparently accosted by someone in the streets, but the City Watch had been notified and was looking into it.
The party decides to stake out and follow the Lady Mayor. The Lord Mayor will allow this as he is very concerned for his wife and the Cord’s implications that this may be a wider problem in the city. But he does caution them to be discrete.
It is decided that Savaric and Krrish will watch the Lady Mayor and follow her. Krrish assures everyone that he will locate her. “Magic?” Savaric asks. “A combination of things,” the young man answers.
The two head out and take up positions on the roof of the Lord Mayor’s house, which is located on top of the same large hill on which the Hall of Law is located.
Meanwhile, Telly leads Surm and Rilka to the Captain of the Watch at the nearby garrison. Her name is Saraid Clyne. Speaking with her, she knows of no attack reported on the Lady Mayor—and she is certain that a report of such an attack would have been flagged for her attention. She can have someone look into the reported attack on Lord Cannach if they like, though searching the records could take some time. In their conversation with the Captain, the two learn that there have been a lot of religious processions going through the city of late and tensions between religious figures and the nobility. They decide to go to the temple of Halor and see if they can learn more of this development.
Back at the Lord Mayor’s house, Krrish sees the Lady Mayor leave the house and turn down the offer of a carriage from one of the servants. She puts up a hood on a dark cloak and moves away from the home. Savaric and Krrish manage to keep up and follow her at a distance. They follow the woman to a seedy part of the city where she slips down an alley and into the door of a seemingly abandoned building. They both hide, with Krrish at the front of the building and Savaric running behind and then on top of the building. Both Krrish and Savaric feel some kind of force pull at their minds briefly, but nothing else happens. Krrish listens at the door and hears the Lady in conversation with someone—apparently they are waiting on a third. This third person soon comes down the alley, also dressed in a dark cloak. He slips in and Krrish slips in behind him.
At the temple of Halor, Surm and Rilka meet with Bishop Aldiss Innismore about the strange behavior of the nobility and the portents and visions Rilka and Savaric have been seeing and addressing. The Midron gods, too, have been sending signs and portents of a great evil that is on the rise. They are making mystical preparations for the event and are trying to move the temporal rulers of the lands to make ready as well.
At the back alley, Krrish listens as the Lady Mayor and the new arrival listen to the third. He informs the other two that “Coldtongue assures me that the portal is nearly complete.” The Lady Mayor mentions that the Lord Mayor is growing suspicious. The first speaker assures her that “he will be taken care of in a couple of weeks.”
The three then begin leaving. Krrish slips out unseen and hides. The two follow the last one to leave, the first speaker, to the edge of the city, where he leaves through the city gates.
Eventually, Savaric and Krrish make it back to the base camp where they reunite with the others who have returned from the temple and the guard garrision.