APoF 06: Bargains and Summons
Upon emerging from the depths, the party and Viper encounter Nuath Aldwllyn, one of Viper's few friends in Kassar, and legal counsel employed at the local court. Nuath doesn't have much good news for the party and in fact has been waiting for them to return, as a favor to Viper, in order to inform them that they shouldn't speak of negative experiences, if they had any, in the depths because the remnants of other expeditions that had returned had been jailed in order to keep word of the dangers of the dwarvenholds out of the public ear. Nuath believes this to be politically motivated, accusing in as many words the local government of Kassar of exploiting the dwarvenholds for political gain. Though irreligious himself, Nuath believes that the government is relying on the fact that as long as the people believe that the dwarvenholds are a place of wonder and lost history, where vast amounts of treasure and wealth awaits the intrepid adventurer, the church's frantic soothsaying will only serve to discredit it even more. But he, Viper, and the party all know that this is an untenable one. The party briefly discusses strategies that they can use to resolve the situation as it stands, the notion of luring the rockwurm to the surface using the soothestone being briefly floated much to Nuath's horror. Ultimately, the party decides that it might be for the best to get the Dominion involved in resolving the situation as they know that on their own, they will be unable to do much, but Nuath informs them that the city has been blocking any attempts to communicate with the Dominion. Viper jumps on the chance to leave Kassar, which the party decides to do as soon as they take care of some unfinished business. Soon after, Dr. Roth heads out with some of the pieces that the party recovered from the dwarvenhold that they visited. It takes him some time, but eventually he finds a member of the local syndicate who is able to tell him a good amount of information about the pieces and who might be interested in purchasing them for a price. Dr. Roth even secures a promise from the thief not to steal the pieces from the party.
Oh, we won't steal them from you... But who's to say your buyers won't... misplace them?The party decides that if they're going to leave, securing funds by ensuring the sale of their finds is probably going to be for the best. They split up, sending Zephyros, IkBroknard, and Mordollwen to sell the beautiful pendant and presentation box1 that they found to The Right Venerable Company of Dwarvish and Gnomish Preservers. They manage to haggle for a good price, but in exchange for a blood contract binding the party to give the preservers the right to first choice on any future finds. At the same time Steve and Dr. Roth visit the home of the Walcets to attempt to sell back a nice silver-gold emblem of the house2. The matron, Cynal Walcet, is less than pleasant and throws them out with perhaps less than they had set out to achieve. After regrouping to go over their spoils, both groups separate once again to pursue other buyers. This time, Steve and Dr. Roth visit the home of the Twleths and decide that perhaps a divide-and-conquer strategy is the best approach to speak with the mother-daughter duo. The lady Chyris Twleth's 25th birthday is coming up, and her mother, the lady Verana Twleth is looking for an exquisite present to give her for the occasion, while the lady Chyris is trying to find a gift to give in return, according to erinindal tradition. Upon arriving, Steve notices that the lady Chyris is speaking with another merchant who is trying and failing to sell her his piece. Meanwhile, Dr. Roth must deal with an irate lady Verana who throws his ass out of the room when he refuses to budge on his price for the ornate gold necklace3 that he is trying to sell her. The lady Chyris, on the other hand, is a lot more amenable, showing that she is not the innocent girl that she was acting with the merchant and displaying a level of cunning that indicates she is posturing to take over the family from her mother. She and Steve come to an agreement, exchanging the beautiful starglass earrings4, that Steve came with, at a good price with the promise that the lady Chyris will provide the party with political support when they make their bid to build their guild. Broknard, Zeph, and Mordollwen head to the office of the city mayor, Symvon Borweth, to sell a gold-platinum key to the city of Thwan5. After tense negotiations, the mayor surprisingly relents and gives them a good price. The three also manage to sell a floral lapel pin6 to Carys Bwleth, the proprietor of the entire expeditionary excursion into the dwarvenholds. Last, but certainly the most difficult to deal with, is the stained glass pane7 that the party recovered. The party heads to the local temple to speak with Tolws Aviathis to try and sell the treasure to the church. At first, the high priest is insistent that the party donate the find to the church, but the party insists on their price. It isn't until Steve offers Tolws the reliquary of St. Twymbe and the silver chalice that he procured from The Blessed Temple of Iwani, Goddess of the Holy Spring Rose that Tolws buckles and offers the party a good price. Following all of these sales, the party opens an account in their name at the local Dominion bank, electing to put their funds in that institution rather than one of the erinindal banks. It turns out to be a good choice as when they elect to leave Kassar that same night, they receive a missive from Nuath informing them that formal charges have been laid against them by both the mayor and the high priest. The mayor is accusing them of coercion while the high priest is accusing them of holding precious historical artifacts to ransom. Nuath expresses that he is confident that the lawsuits lack standing and that even if the mayor and the high priest had the requisite standing, that the suits themselves are frivolous. But he concedes that the church knows how to work the dwarven legal system and would most likely tie the party up in an expensive and time-wasting procedural mire. He suggests that the party stay away from Kassar for the time being and get the aid of the Dominion as soon as possible. Arriving in Tymbren the next day, the party immediately checks on their funds to find that they are not frozen, and they withdraw all that they think is reasonable to carry around, both in cold coinage and in bank notes, which have been gradually introduced as part of the Dominion's experiment in fiat currencies.
Footnotes:1 Pendant and Presentation Box:
Pendant and Presentation Box
Trade Good Legendary
Pendant: A circular pendant made of a gold-platinum alloy bordered by a golden relief ring with diamond settings. The ring is filled with a flat plate of starglass on which the likeness of a delicate flower carved from shimmerstone is adhered.
Presentation Box A heavy metallic box four inches squared made of fine gold carved with exquisite detail and decorated with shimmerstone insets. The lid is made of a pane of tough, crystal-clear glass with metal edging of a similar construction as the rest of the box. The interior is lined with luxurious velvet that appears to cradle the pendant that is set in the middle.
Cost: 2000gp Weight: 4lb
Emblem of House Walcet
Trade Good Rare
A beautiful pin made of silver and gold, depicting a soaring long-beaked rhusker with three stars in its beak, the emblem of House Walcet
Crescent Plate Necklace
Trade Good Legendary
An ornate necklace with a gold plate in the shape of a thick crescent that rests over the chest, just under the collarbone, threaded with fine gold chain through the horns. It is encrusted with diamonds that glimmer prettily in sunlight and firelight.
Cost: 1700gp Weight: 2lb
Trade Good Rare
A pair of earrings made of starglass sculpted into the shape of teardrops, each teardrop shape wrapped with fine gold and platinum wire.
Key to the City of Thwan
Trade Good Legendary
An ornate key made of a gold-platinum alloy. The "certificate" of authenticity it was found with indicates that it is the key to the city of Thwan. It is decorated with floral motifs with shimmerstone petals and starglass panels in the gaps between to evoke the appearance of starfields shining through the gaps.
Trade Good Rare
A lapel pin made of shimmerstone carved into the likeness of a flower, stuck to a brass backing to form the final form of the pin.
Shimmerstone Stained Glass
Trade Good Legendary
A decorative piece that is about six inches tall by five inches wide. It appears to be a panel of stained glass, featuring a rendition of the flower motif that is present in the other pieces, only made out of panels of shimmerstone arrayed in such a way that the threads of light within them radiate outward from the beautiful opal that is set in the center.
The panels are held together by gold instead of lead, and the backdrop is comprised of panels of starglass while the leaves of the flower appear to be made of three very thin panes of glass layered together. There is a dark glass on the bottom, green glass in the middle, and clear starglass on top to emulate the appearance of dew on the flower's leaves.
Cost: 7450 Weight: 2lb