Tales of Almar

19th of Yearfall (Part 4)
The Meeting with Lucian

After enjoying the festivities, the party finally went to meet Lucian. Lucian was a young man of dark hair and eyes, wearing a dark red flowing robe. Malachor immediately detected an aura of magic about him. Lucian explained that he was Regent Osmond Catani’s adviser and took them to meet him. Lucian led the party upstairs and across the balcony to the private office of the Regent. The Regent, a middle-aged, balding man with a tired and nervous look to him, mumbled a thanks to the party without making eye contact and then left to sit at his desk at the back of the room while Lucian conducted the meeting.

Lucian explained the purpose for calling them to the Keep. Tyre was a country built around five noble families, the “Five Pillars”. Each family is meant to stick to its own business and not interfere with the business of the others, cooperating with each other only on matters of importance to the whole country. In reality, there is a great deal of intrigue and political conflict between and within the noble houses. Of late, this conflict has increased and there is fear of it boiling over into civil war. There are rumors that one or more noble houses is plotting to overthrow the regent and seize power. The only thing preventing one of the families from acting openly, it would seem, is the precarious balance of power in the country. No family has the strength to overcome all the others in the event of a civil war so none are willing to make the first move.

In addition to the political conflict, something darker is brewing in Tyre. Rumors of a death cult spreading in the shadows have begun to come in from the outskirts of the country. Little is known about this cult at the moment but it is a cause for concern. Lucian and the Regent have worked to keep these rumors secret, fearing that this news could send a message to the nobles that the Regent is weak and cause a panic among the people. It is growing harder to keep this cult a secret and someone must investigate it and the plot among the nobility.

Lucian explained that the party has been called in because they are outsiders in Tyre. They have no allegiances to any of the nobles and no one knows them. They can, it is hoped, investigate the nobles and the cult without anyone becoming aware of their actions. Indeed, the whole celebration today was arranged to mask their arrival and this meeting. Lucian hoped that, with all the performers, competitors, and traders coming an going, no one would take note of them and the spies among the nobility would not learn of Lucian’s plans. Lucian asked the party to investigate both threats to the country and promised to reward them well if they succeed. The party agreed to take the job and Lucian offered them rooms and beds in the Keep for the night and to give them more details in the morning.

19th of Yearfall (Part 3)
Party in the Keep

The party arrived at the Keep and presented their invitations to the guards at the gate. The guards demonstrated the familiar prejudice towards Tieflings and refused to allow Rhaego to enter. After mentioning Lucian’s name, however, the guards relented and let the whole party pass. Inside the Keep, a massive celebration was underway with various forms of entertainment and competitions. The party separated to enjoy the party except for Beiro, the consummate professional, who immediately sought out Lucian.

Argyle entered a bare-knuckle boxing competition and won the grand prize after defeating a fellow Dragonborn in a close match. Rhaego and Malachor started a conversation with Al-Hafez, a merchant and performer from the eastern kingdoms. Being a foreigner, Al-Hafez knew little of Tyre or Five Pillars, but he did tell Rhaego and Malachor that he would be in Five Pillars, at the Sixth Pillar Inn, for several more days and that he could have work for them if the sought him out. Malachor also talked Al-Hafez into loaning him a deadly snake for use in a magical competition taking place elsewhere in the party. Malachor used several spells and rituals along with the snake to impress his fellow wizards and shock the gathered crowd. After this, Rhaego and Malachor headed for some dwarves selling jewelry to the wealthy nobles at the party.

Rhaego spotted a halfling pickpocket steal from a wealthy looking man in the crowd and skillfully stole the halfling’s bag without his knowledge. Malachor got the attention of the pickpockets victim and Rhaego returned his property. The noble, who introduced himself as Owen Brevisi, thanked Rhaego and Malachor and invited them to stop by his estate tomorrow in the Morning Quarter for a reward. Afterwards, Rhaego followed Ownen’s bodyguard who proceeded to snatch up the Halfling, take him outside, and begin beating him. Rhaego intervened on the Halfling’s behalf and began speaking with him. The Halfling introduced himself as Garret and, at first, tried to lie about who he was and his purpose at the party. After Rhaego confronted him with the truth, Garret hinted that he might be found at noon in the city square some day.

After all these events, Beiro was finally able to drag the rest of the party to the meeting with Lucian so that they could proceed with the job at hand.

19th of Yearfall (Part 2)
Party in Five Pillars

The party arrived in Five Pillars at late afternoon to find a huge, citywide celebration going on. Malachor immediately, and with little notice by the rest of the party, disappeared to conduct his own private business. Meanwhile, Rhaego asked around the city to learn what information he could. Rhaego learned that the party was an unexpected and belated celebration of the new year with a much larger and grander party happening inside the cities keep. He also learned of the location of the seedier part of the city (the Dusk Quarter) and the party, minus Malachor, decide to do some exploring before heading to keep to meet Lucian, there contact in Five Pillars.

The party headed for the Dusk Quarter and, while exploring, came upon a conflict between several Tieflings and Humans. Intervening in the altercation, the party learned that the conflict was essentially a fight over territory between two rival criminal organizations. The Tiefling gang, known as the Red Fist, explained that they sought to control the Tiefling section of the Dusk Quarter for the good of their fellow Tieflings. The Humans explained that they sought to fight back against a criminal organization of filthy Tieflings that was harassing innocent people in the area. The party, with Argyle in the lead, intimidated both sides and got them to back down. While not resolving the larger conflict, the party did succeed in preventing any bloodshed that day. After the confrontation in the Dusk Quarter, the party decided to cut through the Blacksmithing District and head for the Keep. As they left, the leader of the Tiefling group approached Rhaego and urged him to fight for his brothers in the city.

While heading for the Keep, the party came across Malachor, drinking with Cerrak, a dwarven blacksmith and cousin of Vorek, a blacksmith in Whitehaven. Beiro had wanted to find Cerrak since Vorek had told him to seek him out in Five Pillars. While Cerrak was pleased to meet Beiro and the rest of the party, he explained that he would not be able to conduct business until after the party tomorrow. After collecting Malachor, the reunited party headed south to the Keep.

19th of Yearfall
The Journey to Five Pillars

The party rose early to make preparations for the journey east. While readying the wagons, Beiro was approached by a man named Jacob who asked that his family be allowed to travel with the caravan for protection. Despite Malachor’s suspicions, the party agreed to take the family with them. While traveling on the road the caravan was attacked by small goblin tribe. Perhaps aided by some supernatural premonition of what might have been, the party avoided making disastrous tactical decisions and successfully fought off the goblins, defending the caravan and Jacob’s family. When a goblin attempted to seize one of the children, it was Malachor and Rhaego who were the first to intervene and, after the battle, Jacob tearfully thanked Rheago, offering him what little money he had. Rheago turned down the payment and, instead, gave Jacob several times what was offered to him. Overcome with gratitude, Jacob promised to repay Rhaego and the whole party for their kindness one day. Afterwards, the party continued, without further incident, to Five Pillars, arriving in the middle of some kind of celebration.

17th of Yearfall
The Kobold "Temple"
Malachor, Argyle, Rhaego, and Beiro were contacted by a local businessman in Whitehaven named Darrius Niska. Having never met each other before, with the exception of Malachor and Argyle, the four agreed to work together on Niska’s job. Niska explained that some kobolds had moved into some ruins near the major trade road east to Five Pillars. The kobolds represented a threat to trade caravans on the road and, due to some political conflict in the capital, the authorities were failing to deal with them. Niska hired the newly formed party to deal with kobolds.
The party traveled to the ruins, remnants of the thousand years gone Dragonborn Empire. Descending to the underground chambers, Argyle kicked in the door to the kobolds entryway and the battle began. The party dispatched the guards and began exploring the ruins. At a long hallway leading deeper into the stronghold Rhaego spotted a series of traps on the floor. Argyle, using the corpse of a kobold revealed the nature of the traps and Rhaego quickly disarmed them. At the next chamber, the party used Malachor’s magic and Argyles Draconic tongue to terrify the kobolds in the next room, giving the adventurers the advantage and allowing them to easily dispatch the kobolds. While exploring the kobold’s sleeping area the party found a magical short sword which Rhaego claimed for himself.
Entering the next room, the party encountered more guards and Rhaego alerted the party to another series of traps in the room. Avoiding the traps and killing the guards, the party took an extended rest and then advanced to the kobolds ceremonial chamber where they found the kobold’s leader, a wyrmpriest, along with his pet drake and several minions. After the battle, Malachor took the wyrmpriest’s magic staff and the party discovered a secret door leading deeper into the earth. Descending deeper into the ruins, the party discovered what had drawn the kobolds here. A young white dragon, small by the standards of dragons, but still massive and deadly. The dragon proved almost too much for the party but, after a terrible battle, the dragon fell dead and the party claimed its treasure, a small pile of gold and a magical great sword which Argyle took for himself.
After taking another rest, during which time Malachor skinned the dragon and the other party members claimed trophies or themselves, the party made the short journey back to Whitehaven. Arriving at sundown on the 18th of Yearfall, the party returned to Niska’s warehouse where he rewarded them for their efforts and offered them another job. Niska was sending them east to Five Pillars, the capital of Tyre, where they would be offered a job on behalf of the Regent (the ruler) of Tyre. The party agreed to stay the night in Whitehaven at the Kraken’s Garden, “the best and only inn in town”, payed for by Niska in exchange for their escorting of a caravan on their way to Five Pillars the next day.

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