Affairs of State
Concept: Set in Drannor, this is a tale of political intrigue in which the party begins in a behind-the-scenes investigatory role, but may rise to prominence, or not, depending on their decisions, which will affect the future make-up of societal powers.
The Duke of Saint Cuthbert, James Vallis, has been enjoying the prosperity of his region for a decade, and sunk into refined debauchery. His son Prince Edward appears set to take on the mantle of rulership, having assumed honorary control of the defense forces a year ago.
Edward's half-brother Prince John, while being older and wiser, is lame, sickly, and a recluse.
One party member will need to have a long relationship with Prince John, have an adventuring background, and be currently employed in some sort of security role on his rural estate, like Captain of the Guard, or Personal Bodyguard, or Security Chief, or "Fixer", or similar.
Prince John will summon this party member, and ask her/him to gather a few trusted cohorts for an undercover investigation, which may require stealth and possibly violence, but will certainly require secrecy and political/diplomatic maneuvering.
150 points total:
- max 100 in attributes
- max 50 in disadvantages
Prince John's employee gets a 15-point Patron advantage for free.
Everyone might not need them, but given the setting and circumstances, putting points into Diplomacy, Social Regard, Status, Contacts, Administrative Rank, Charisma, Favor, Merchant Rank, Wealth, Patrons, Reputation, Area Knowledge, Security Clearance, Signature Gear, Acting, Sex Appeal, Fasttalk, Carousing, Detect Lies, Economics, Politics, Current Affairs, Heraldry, Leadership, and so forth, may come in handy. That's not to say an expert swordsman, cranky mage, or slithering rogue won't be useful -- it all depends on the decisions the party makes.
Everyone should know the one party member who works for Prince John and a long-term trust relationship, even if it's from "back in the day". He or she would not have contacted you for this mission otherwise.
Standard demi-human human races (elf, dwarf, halfling, half-orc) must take a 10-point Unusual Background for developing a long term trust relationship with Prince John's employee.
- Reft Taliborn, played by Jess
- Francesca Russo, played by Melissa
- Cardinal Francesco Maria of The Org, played by Dan
- Duchy von Rus, played by Brant
- Don Lau, played by Jess
Lay of the Land
The scene opens with Reft and Duchy sitting in a tavern in Saint Cuthbert, chuckling and drinking and reminiscing glories of years gone by. A messenger boy enters, threads his way through the bar, and delivers a letter, bearing the red wax seal of the Cardinal. It seems that the Cardinal requires Tarn's presence, and asks that he bring along any trusted friends suited to sensitive work.
Reft and Duchy leave early the next morning for Prince John's estate ten miles east, passing through rolling hills of spring grain and knee-high corn fields along the way. Upon arrival in the charming village of Wolverhampton, the pair turn south along the lane that soon becomes the entry avenue for the Prince's 5000 acres of orchards and pasture.
After showing the letter at the guard house along the north edge of the property, Reft and Duchy ride into the Prince's compound of stone buildings and are quickly greeted by a servant lad, from whom they request strong wine. The lad delivers them to a meeting hall, where the Cardinal greets them and silver goblets are filled.
Francesca, in her guest quarters not far away, is notified that the meeting is about commence, and gracefully glides across the courtyard to join the rest of the party. Introductions occur, with Duchy wondering out loud if Francesca is for their "entertainment". She handles the question with aplomb.
As the second decanter of fine red wine is being drained by Reft and Duchy, a door opens and Emilia pushes Prince John's wheelchair into the room. After formal introductions, the prince expresses his deep trust for the Cardinal and Francesca, and then explains the matter at hand.
The prince's brother Edward has become obsessed with some sort of secret club for the rich and powerful, and has been urging John to join (and pay the 1000gp initiation fee). John's become concerned that Edward is more interested in the secret club than the important business of helping the Duke govern the realm. Plus, several other possibly suspicious facts and rumors have come up:
- The secret club with which Prince Edward is so enamoured is holding closed events for members at the temple of Morrighan in Saint Cuthbert.
- Servant-girl Brianna's fiancé Lars, who works for Charles Goddfrey, says that chests of gold are being removed from the bank, without any documentation.
- The prince's recent order for an ornamental dirk for the Cardinal has been delayed by his good friend Tarn Wayloch, who says a massive order of cheap spears and shortswords will have all his time and focus for the next few weeks.
The prince then leaves the room and the party debates their options.
The Cardinal sends for his assistant and stable-hand Malcolm Rodgers, and assigns him the task of digging into Charles Goddfrey's personal affairs. Francesca takes her leave, and heads back to her apartment in Saint Cuthbert to rendezvous with a client.
That night, after a few more decanters of fine wine, and a feast provided by the prince, Reft and Duchy decide to check on Malcolm's progress. They find his quarters and he lets them in. Stacks of papers litter a huge table, with the only light provided by a half-dozen candles amidst and atop the papers. Malcolm reports that the only thing to report so far is that Mr Goddfrey has a proclivity for young ladies, and has a stream of a dozen or more that he has delivered to his home after dark on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Francesca works her contacts in Saint Cuthbert, including Katrina Kraus and Genevieve Ginger. During a visit to Tarn Wayloch's office, she she is told of an upcoming party at which Tarn will be in attendance, but alas, he is not, so she leaves one of her business cards.
From Genevieve, she also learns about an event the next night put on by the secret club of which Prince Edward is so enamoured, and resolves to attend.
The next morning, a breakfast of quail eggs and crusty bread is enjoyed by Reft and Duchy and next steps are discussed. It is resolved that Reft will look into whether there's word of a gathering army, and Duchy will approach Tarn Wayloch about building a steel catapult. The party travels back to Saint Cuthbert, where farmers' markets are in full swing, and their favorite drinking holes beckon.
The Cardinal arranges for lunch with the bank president and discusses investments. Francesca makes an appearance and catches Charles' attention; a rendezvous is planned later that night.
Tarn Wayloch accepts the guys' invitation to dinner at Prince John's; the master weaponsmith brings along a contingent of 16 brutes. Dinner is a bit tense, and some in the party believe that Tarn is hiding something.
After dinner, Tarn and his men ride back to the city, and Francesca catches up and is invited to come along to a masquerade ball later that night.
- The Cardinal doesn't know the answer to the question, 'describe the basic sign of the triad', and so is denied entry by Mistress Mirabelle and her hired muscle. Later, he pays his way in.
- Francesca breezes right in on Tarn Wayloch's arm.
- Reft and Duchy, deeply inebriated, sneak around to the back alley to seek a more surreptitious entrance.
Francesca is provided an elegant mask and a glass of fine wine and begins her work charming the men around her, some of whom she is acquainted. She meets up with Tarn and they chat. Prince Edward is surrounded by fawning fans. Raven Angel seems to be in charge of the cute serving lasses, occasionally gently scolding them to stand straighter, smile prettier, deliver more wine.
Six hulking black-skinned guards with strangely curved scimitars stand stoically at the perimeter of the room, interacting with no one.
Besides Prince Edward, who is flanked by two apparent bodyguards, Xeref and Zenia, two other apparent celebrities are present, based upon the crowd of men surrounding them and hanging on their every word: Kondo and Chata
Then, Hierophant Koto emerges from a stairway below, and, after a brief administrative introduction by Kondo, begins a short speech, to which the audience is glued, mesmerized. The performance concludes with:
(chanting crowd): True Seeing, Iron Will, Swift Action That is correct, good, and true. Once we have seized our rightful and proper place at the top, we will design systems that serve both us and keep less peoples docile and productive. For us, my friends, “do what thou wilt” shall be the whole of the law!
The Hierophant then steps down, flanked by guards, and the polite masquerade evolves into utter debauchery.
Meanwhile, outside in the alley, Reft and Duchy are listening at the wrong door, until a wine caterer shows up at the back of the temple and gives a 3-2-1 knock at the locked back door in order to make a delivery. Once complete, Reft and Duchy provide the same knock, and Reft is allowed to enter while Duchy hangs back nearby.
Reft is allowed into the storeroom at the back of the temple (beneath the stage), and makes off with a bottle of spirits before being ushered back outside. In response to the commotion, Duchy becomes unusually inspired (and loud), causing a 3rd floor neighbor nearby to shout something down. Duchy charges into the back door of the tenement house, charges upstairs with his polearm clattering against the walls, bursts into the crotchety bloke's apartment (after erroneously choosing the 2nd floor family first), and smashes him out the window on the business end of his weapon.
Duchy sets the body afire in the alley.
Duchy and Reft (nearly in a coma from drink) thereupon proceed to the nearest tavern to get drunker.
Insulated from the mayhem out back, Francesca departs on Tarn Wayloch's arm.
The Cardinal stays and samples exotic undercooked meats.
The Plot Thickens
The Cardinal is beset by horrific gastointestinal issues due to some bad meat the night before. He spends the next few days in bed in his luxurious apartment in Saint Cuthbert, tended to by his tireless, elderly nursemaid Agatha and his teenage house-boy Peter.
The guys wake up in the fetid stink of Reft's apartment and try to piece the night together. Unable to recall the details, they head out for some food and drink. After breakfast, they decide to go to the Cardinal's apartment to ask for money, a new plan formed to bribe a city guard into giving up some useful info.
Along the way, they run into Francesca near the post office as she reads a letter from an old client. The letter includes a poem, of sorts, which she keeps to herself:
When the blue bird sings, When I buy you things, My soulfire soars, My desire roars. Come to me.
In the Cardinal's bedchambers, the scene is grim. The poor sod is erupting from both ends, and Agatha is doing her best to keep him clean with moist rags and warm water. Duchy at one point avoids the spectacle of the Cardinal's seeping hindquarters by circling around the bed to address him face to face.
A bag of money in hand, the guys head to a rough-and-tumble bar called The Bleeding Heel while Francesca dines on tea and cookies at the Golden Rose a block and a half away.
Reft finds an old acquaintance named Garth, a drunken mercenary who says three buddied were hired a few weeks ago to transport some weapons east: Sam Axe, Grogan, and Nick Dye. He also says that if a corruptible guard is needed, Sergeant Grayson is your man.
After eight drinks each, the guys join Fran at the café and eat a meaty meal before going to scout Grayson's patrol area, which happens to be in the vicinity of Tarn Wayloch's administrative offices.
While stopping in to get a refreshment at the tavern, Reft meets Philip Lancaster, a known advisor to the Duke himself. They get a bottle of whiskey to go, and walk along the street comparing notes, with Duchy hanging back.
Philip commits to using his sources to confirm whether Tarn is indeed involved in some sort of weapons smuggling, and also whether any permits have been issued for wholesale weapons export. He says he'll check in later at Reft's favorite tavern, Segundo's.
Reft and Duchy grab a bite to eat and relax until sunset before locating and accosting Grayson, who quickly divulges that Tarn oversaw a large shipment of arms around two weeks ago, and that the 6 wagonloads were allowed to proceed out the east gate despite having no permits. Gold changes hands, and the guys head to Segundo's to tie one on.
Duchy takes a table near the middle of the bar and proceeds to build tiny engineering marvels out of bar food, while Reft watches eye-cicles drip from his empty socket onto the bar next to his whiskey.
Philip shows up and joins Reft, nodding briefly to Duchy. The conversation confirms suspicions about Tarn.
Just then, a three-man hit squad of ruffians bursts into the bar and fires loaded crossbows at Reft. One bolt strikes home, burying itself deeply between his ribs as he drops to the floor to dodge. Grievously injured, Reft does his best to fend off the swords of assassins but eventually succumbs.
Meanwhile, Duchy gets atop his table, dons a mask, spins twice, and then launches himself with great bravado and flourish at one of the attackers, felling him. A struggle ensues, and two assassins flee the scene as half-drunk laborers bellow for guards out on the street. Eventually one hulking bystander finds Segundo's baton under the bar, and brains the remaining attacker.
A contingent of guards shows up, corroborates stories, and hauls the unconscious attacker off to jail.
Meanwhile, Francesca entertains her client Abdul Mezetlan in her apartment a mile away.
An hour later, Duchy has relocated the bloody mess that was once Reft via wheelbarrow to Dr. Jones, an experienced physician who knows Reft's name and patches him up.
The next day, Duchy relocates Reft to an inn nearby for healing, after extracting some more gold from the ailing Cardinal to pay for medicine and nursemaid Candy Loving's ministrations.
- cardinal meeting with goddfrey, much info
- Francesca Russo received a letter from Prince John, and travelled to his estate to meet with him, where she poorly shot arrows and constructed poems with the prince alongside a shimmering pond.
Don Lau appeared at the cardinal's bedside, where he administered some herbal teas and powders to soothe his ailments whilst Maria filled him in on the current situation and the assumed conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Duchy von Rus organized a seige-building on prince john's estate and attempted to have Malcolm help raise an army with the prince's monies.
Don Lau sent message to Russo asking for an appointment, then shadowed the messenger out to Prince John's estate where he encountered Duchy and got filled in that he was indeed at Prince John's estate and that war between the brothers was brewing and that Russo was with the prince. He then stole the prince's steed because of it's elaborate and lavish saddle and began his journey back to St. Cuthbert to inform the Cardinal.
The Cardinal and Mr. Lau encountered outside of Wolverhampton, where the Cardinal scolded Don Lau and took him back to the estate for dinner and a meeting.
Duchy displayed his plans for siege engines, Francesca whispered in the prince's ear and Don Lau sullied PJ's vision of Russo being an unfouled maiden and Reft's assault was briefly discussed. The cardinal has arranged for Don Lau to join him to another meeting of the mysterious Triad at Lord Byron's estate in three days.
The Cardinal arranged for a carriage to take Don Lau back to St Cuthbert that night.
In the following 2-3 days until the triad meeting:
Don Lau resumes his high-class sales and trading of herbs and silks for herbs and other valuable items while subtly asking around about Philip Lancaster.
Duchy, had an altercation with some disgruntled workers upon John's estate and the Verdict came out...
An Evening With Lord Byron
Tragically, the Cardinal sustains a near-deadly dose of poison delivered by unknown assailants, and is saved from sure death only by Don Lau's mysterious teas. However, he falls into a coma, not before mumbling "orcs... and ships..."
After some activity in town, the party sans asian convened at Prince John's estate.
Duchy puts the finishing touches on the trebuchet and the next morning the party is on the way to the event at Lord Byron's estate. Francesca travels with Genevieve in her fancy carriage, accompanied by Bruno.
Byron's estate is 15 miles further east along the road towards the frontier and Darkwood. Along the way, Don Lau stops in Wolverhampton and meets a timber industry manager called Burrow, who asserts after a few beers that a warrior named Sam has been paying him 100 gold a day to cease operations at his frontier mill. He uses the cash to pay his workers to be idle as well.
The girls get in to the party on their looks and reputation, but Don Lau has to pay a steep sum to get a temporary pass. Duchy is resigned to convene with the hired help, rough-and-tumble warriors and laborers, with whom he gets along fine until he says he works for Prince John.
The party within the great stone mansion is lavish beyond imagination. Aromatic incense competes with hundreds of fresh cut flowers and scented candles. Pickled monkey brains from the far east, delicately impaled by platinum skewers, and accompanied by spiced sparkling mead from Elven Lands to the south, and all manner of delicacies, roast beast, and fresh lobster overwhelm the senses.
Lord Byron keeps trying to get everyone to dance, with little success except from his loving and delightful wife Celinda, a beautiful half-elf in a shimmery silken gown that reveals her opalescent shoulders.
It is Celinda that approaches Don Lau near sunset and invites him upstairs for a private meeting, wherein she expresses her concern about the scheming "club", and notices that Don Lau is different. Their conversation is cut short though, and Don Lau is escorted from the premises by a large black guard and forced to wait outside, but not before he managed to put a pinch of powerful herbs in Xeref's pocket, and a handful in the salad. Outside he slightly won over his guard before being prodded and questioned by Xeref who sent him over to join the guards and mercenaries as he was an "honest merchant" and Xeref said he did not belong in the party and/or the Triad.
Visiting briefly with Duchy, Don Lau distracted the other mercenaries by learning their dice game while the ostracized Duchy "seasoned" the keg of ale with a strong herb from Don Lau.
Francesca chats up a shipping magnate called Gregory Blake, but doesn't get anything of interest out of him.
Then Chata gives a short speech, and tells of coming war, but with a wink and a smile; the people here have absolutely nothing to fear.
Shortly thereafter, as the sparkling mead flows, Francesca and Genevieve have successfully attracted the dedicated attention of Tarn Wayloch and Charles Goddfrey, and soon they are headed upstairs to a spare bedroom.
Outside, Duchy spots a sergeant being tossed out of the party. Clearly blind drunk, the mercenary introduces himself as Nick Dye, who laments that his girlfriend Silke won't like seeing him this drunk. She's out in the woods beyond the pasture, as she dislikes parties. Without much trouble, Duchy also extracts an astonishing claim:
A long day's hard ride to the east, along the edge of Darkwood and the lumber camps, some 200 mercenaries are training an army of 10,000 orcs, who are somehow kept at bay by a mysterious woman named Anastasia, who slays an orc daily with a mere glance.
Nick then starts wandering across the pasture to find Silke, and Duchy lets him go.
Meanwhile, Don Lau has changed out of his billowing merchant robes and into black pajamas, and has scaled the back of the mansion after dodging the occasional guard patrol outside. He creeps into a window and hides himself behind a thick velvety curtain just before Francesca, Genevieve and the two captains of industry enter and begin a group lovemaking session. Minutes pass, and the overweight drunk men go to sleep, whereupon the professionals nod knowingly, help one another into their luxurious corsets and gowns, and go back downstairs. Genevieve decides to stick around, while Francesca notes numerous attendees are engaged in wanton public displays of affection with the hired girls, or have passed out awkwardly, their mouths agape.
She makes a gracious exit after a brief exchange with Celinda which involves the slipping of a business card into the hostess' pretty little hand.
Don Lau, meanwhile slipped a dose of venom of the guilded adder into Tarn's half-full whiskey flask and pilfered a small handful of cut gemstones from the unconscious banker's hidden breast pocket. Upon his return to the carriages, he found Lady Franchesca waiting in his carriage while Duchy snored away in the lavish cushions of Geneve's wagon. Staying carefully in the shadow behind the wagon Don Lau convinced Franchesca to gather Duchy. After she'd left his carriage, he hastily changed back into his elaborate robes. The party then made its way back in the middle of he night to Prince John's estate, leaving dozens of mercenaries awkwardly passed out around their feasting tent. Back at the estate they planned to claim that they fell ill at the party, as did many others apparently. To support their ruse, Don Lau fed them each some herbal teas which would pale their flesh and make them groggy and sleepy. This great tea also may have been a minor laxative...surely to aid with the ruse.
A Plot Laid Bare
Having recovered from the organic laxative provided by Don Lau, the party dines with Prince John.
During lunch, a pretty pink envelope arrives for Francesca; it's a letter from Celinda, who wishes to become friends, and offers a small token of alliance, a simple elven charm on a silver necklace.
Don Lau departs for town after lunch, but Francesca lingers to flirt with Malcolm, which results in him opening the Cardinal's intelligence files no a number of people. Francesca thanks the stableboy graciously and makes her way towards town as well.
Upon leaving the little tavern, he is greeted by Feng Li, and escorted a mile west along the road. There, Feng Li asks Don to get out of his carriage and prepare to die. Through a miracle of good luck and careful scheming, Don Lau surprises the foreign assassin by throwing a vial of slime against his assailant's armored vest, so startling the seasoned killer that he trips and falls on his back. As he rises, Don lau rushes forward and slashes the warrior across the forhead, where his blade's poison quickly blackens the bloodied face, and the Templar falls back, aware of his impending demise.
Don Lau mercifully pushes the warrior's katana into his dying victim, and disposes of the body in the bushes, not before stripping it of valuables.
On his way again (to his driver's great astonishment), Don Lau arrives in Saint Cuthbert an hour later, sells the warrior's armor, and buys some herbal concoctions and chemicals for future projects.
When Francesca arrives in the city, she visits Genevieve Ginger in her apartment, where she's receivng a full body massage from a naked Bruno. Chit-chat occurs, and Fran meets up with Don Lau at her apartment.
Once within, Don Lau coaxes a foot rub out of Francesca, and urges caution about the magical necklace gifted by Celinda.
Soon, they're on their way back to Prince John's for dinner.
On the way out though, Francesca spots Philip Lancaster in an alleyway, talking to 8 rough-looking men on horseback. She can tell from a distance that he is clearly directing them, and then tosses a heavy leather pouch into one of their hands, and they part company.
That evening, over a fine dinner with Prince John, Philip, and Celinda, Duchy ends the polite charade with a blunt accusation that Philip is participating in a nefarious plot to foment war and topple the lawful government of Saint Cuthbert.
John is ashen, Celinda agape, and the moments of tension rise and fall as Philip deftly parries Duchy's fluent jousting with diplomatic flair. Duchy keeps up his headlong bravado and soon pelts Philip into a rhetorical corner. Philip invents a reason to ride out, but the party prevents his escape and ties him up, to Celinda and John's great astonishment.
The Prince faints and is taken to his chambers, while Celinda watches in mute horror as Duchy begins using fine silverware to extract confessions from the bound advisor to the Duke.
In time, a defiant Philip announces that he has an extraction team on the grounds of the estate for exactly this purpose, twenty bloodthirsty thugs under orders to kill every witness whilst rescuing him.
Fearing for the Prince's ill-trained bodyguards and the devoted laborers responsible for the day-to-day goings-on of the estate, men are sent to rouse every man woman and child and bring them together in one defensible position, John's house, while Duchy's "army" patrols the immediate vicinity.
Soon, the house is filled with milkmaids, stable-boys, orchard-tenders, ditch-diggers, serving-lasses, and cattle-wranglers and their families.
Then, upstairs windows are shattered, and screams of "FIRE!" fill the house.
Families are evacuated to huddle outside tremulously, a bucket brigade is organized, and Don Lau sneaks out into the night.
There he sees that thuggish crossbowmen are skulking in the night just out of visibility. They have already taken down several of the Prince's bodyguards and are seeking other high-value targets.
Don Lau approaches one on horseback, and then dismounts and uses the creature as an equine shield, gradually approaching. The pitiless thug buries his bolt in the brain of the beast, and Don Lau is nearly crushed by nearly a ton of descending horseflesh.
The thug charges forward, allowing his crossbow to swing back on its shoulder strap as he draws his blade. Don Lau slices through the charging horse's leading foreleg, toppling it and its brutish rider to the hard ground, subsequently ending him.
Meanwhile, with smoke filling the mansion, Duchy relocates Philip to the blacksmith's workshop across the stone-paved courtyard to continue the interrogation while Prince John and the ladies following shortly thereafter, not before a heavy crossbow bolt pierces the back of the Prince's chair and puncturing his feeble lung. Emilia screams repeatedly before falling into a shocked stupor.
Minutes later, Duchy has succeeded in extracting the complete story from a deliriously injured Philip, whereupon the now mask-clad Duchy bashes his brains out with an eight-pound hammer. The ladies tending to the Prince are stunned by his strange demeanor and violence.
Don Lau ascends to the roof of the workshop and prepares for the advance of the final two crossbowmen. With timing, skill, and luck, both are defeated and one captured.
There, the plot is laid bare and corroborated by the captive thug:
- The government of Pendathoway, frustrated with high timber prices charged by the state-controlled timber industry of Saint Cuthbert, approved of, or least had knowledge of, a pilgrimage by leaders of the Triad of Power to the Dukedom.
- The Triad wisely focused on attracting the wealthy elite of the city, and struck gold when none other than Prince Edward Vallis joined up.
- Avaricious captains of industry including Tarn Wayloch and Charles Goddfrey participated in the planning of a bloodless coup d'état, in which the perception of a massive inland threat would create a vacuum in city defenses.
- The inland threat would be accomplished by Wayloch's deep alliances with unseemly mercenaries, and consist of an orc army made to look much bigger than it actually was by a talented sorceress called Anastasia, who would need to be be well paid for her services.
- As insurance against any internal resistance, ships of Pendathoway painted to resemble those owned by Gregory Blake containing hordes of weaponless "merchants" would moor at Blake's dock, which is nearest a weapons-filled warehouse owned by Tarn Wayloch.
- Prince Edward was to publicly announce his claim to power, ensure the royal estate was secured and his father detained. Other captains of industry would be immediately granted lucrative ministerial posts and vast tracts of land seized from nobles too scrupulous or unlucky to have participated in the plot. Existing ministers would be imprisoned for unspecified treasonous acts.
- Once the dust settled, a generous trade treaty would be signed by Prince Edward with the government of Pendathoway, guaranteeing cheap timber for 100 years.
Though the telling of the tale was enough to widen the eyes of even a seasoned political leader like the Duke, the pieces fit together, and soon the Duke received unwavering corroborative evidence from his own sources.
For their roles in unraveling the sinister plot, the Duke offered rewards to the primary participants:
- Francesca Russo was granted a generous monthly stipend for 24 months to commission a lengthy poem exalting the deeds that revealed the sinister mystery. In addition, a 3 story apartment in a tower overlooking the sea, generally reserved for visiting dignitaries, would be at her disposal for the duration of the arrangement.
- Don Lau was asked to work directly with the with Minister of Finance on trade with the south, with a clear understanding that he was expected to ensure that the most lucrative deals would be his own, with financing available from royal coffers.
- Duchy von Rus, after showing off the trebuchet constructed by common carpenters on the grounds of Prince John's estate, was hired as a military technology consultant responsible for inventing new designs for war machines that ere capable of hitting enemy ships further, more accurately, and with more destructive force.
When word gets to Anastasia that there will be no further payments, she releases the charms and dispels the illusions that created the perception of a massive and well-trained orc army. 800 confused orcs skulk back into the forest after some random pillaging of frontier homesteads. The mercenary trainers escape and/or participate.
Duke James Vallis sends word to Pendathoway that he is pulling out of all trade and peace treaties pending a complete investigation of treasonous actions and possible acts of war. Pendathoway withdraws its dignitaries and merchants.
Tarn Wayloch disappears with a fortune.
Charles Goddfrey is arrested and convicted of financing treasonous acts, and fined 1,000,000 gold pieces and caused to forfeit an estate and thousands of acres of productive land in the countryside. He retires in disgrace to an island fishing village in the north with a longtime occasional girlfriend 1/3 his age. She leaves him a month later.
Gregory Blake is tried and convicted of treasonous acts and required to pay 500,000 gold coins and forfeit three of his best ships.