Presents: Everybody but Alex (Cor), Cor was played by Jaroen.
The group discuss a bit the various possibilities, Therai is wondering how he can either take over Ianto’s House or simply how can he mess around with their plans. He proposes to gather some intelligence about the real strength of the house, who’s working with the house and whose is just “serving” for money (Hardok points out that the choices given to the survivors of the attack were “join or die”).
So everybody spreads out and have some little chat with the peoples around.
It seems that the fort is the main (and only) large settlements belonging to the house, there is an office in Tyr that also act as a staging post for caravans departing from Tyr, but is a lot smaller than the others Houses offices, there are a few outposts along the route but nobody really knows how many and how good defended they are.
Hardok wonders about the reasons that pushed Ianto to risk attracting the Dragon at what is clearly their main headquarters, it seems that the Dragon’s visit wasn’t exactly “as planned” and probably the Templar had something to do with it.
Hardok goes to have a chat with the half-giants (4 of them), that are basically contracted by the house from one of the many “security” society of Tyr, for an hefty sum and they have still to serve for a couple of days, it seems that they also got an extra to keep their mouth shut about the Dragon business and they are quite contempt with the deal, this seems to point to the fact that the House has got a huge amount of money and also got rid of several problems at the same time.
Therai and Varnag go to have a talk with a few of the laborers to try to figure out what kind of goods are stored around, and which destination can have the “caravan”.
Therai also begin to wonder if he could persuade Iuraks to leave the house and the organize some kind of “private enterprise” with him, leveraging his interest in the research. Hardok wonders instead if Iuraks could be a member of the Veiled Alliance, since he is obviously some kind of Arcanist but it doesn’t seems to be a defiler.
Also, L’tok seems to be the one leading the caravan back to Tyr and probably will have some part in the “caravan of hope” that is supposed to reverse Ianto’s House fortunes.
Since the ability (or lack thereof) of L’tok are not yet clear, the group wonders about his real motivation and loyalty to the house. But from the informations they can gather it seems that he has been with the house for very long time and it doesn’t seems very likely to jump ship (unless you can offer him a really huge sum of money).
Another interesting news that they discover is that apparently Strabo sent his own mother away from the fort just a few days before the Dragon’s business. Probably he didn’t trusted the templar (since the Dragon was sort-of a surprise for everybody). Iuraks obviously has his own agenda (this is a public secret) but Strabo doesn’t seems too concerned with that. Iurak also asked L’tok to deliver a “package” to Tyr, but where and what is the content isn’t known.
The next day the caravan will leave the fort directed to Tyr, the caravan will be composed by the group, L’tok on his own mount, 2 more half-giant and 3 erdlu to carry supplies back to the fort. No scouts, the group will goes through a different path and since it’s a small group should be able to move faster and avoid most of the troubles.
In any event, the next day the little group is ready to move, Irann decides to move ahead doing some sort of “scouting”. The caravan doesn’t take the same route used to came in (as already planned) so they can move a bit faster and avoid the more dangerous areas, during the trip they pass an area that appears to have been used as a camp site by a group of Gnolls, but it was a small group so probably scouts.
Nothing major happens during the trip, but, arrived at the farmed area around Tyr, they notices a group of peoples working in the fields, and a small shack at the side of the road, getting closer they notice somebody inside the hut. L’tok immediately inform everybody that “they are going to be ambushed”, questioned about it, he points out that there are way too many peoples just doing nothing around the hut and the ones that are in the field are not really doing anything. So he has an hunch that there is an ambush, but is too late for doing anything about it and he is confident they can take on anything so he just goes through.
In fact, once closer to the hut, a crazed man with only one leg, leaning heavily on a crutch, limps out yelling to stop and basically states that he has “business” with L’tok to settle.
L’tok claims not to know the man and the he has no idea what he is talking about. Then he simply orders the two mercenaries to protect the caravan and the group to “deal” with him/them.
The group attempt first to simply persuade the man to let go and go away, but it doesn’t seems to work, especially when some of the supporter pulls out weapons, they don’t seem very proficient in the use of weapons, and not too much fit, but a sword is a sword… so combat ensues. Hardok suggest to concentrate on the one-legged-man, apparently the leader of the group, because he is obviously the only reason why the others are around. The one-legged man seems to be called “Paxitus” (or this is the name his followers refer to him).
Cor move first, surprisingly nimble for his size, he skip past the closer enemies, tumble on the ground and basically “appears” on the back of Pax surprising him and attacking with his broadsword. Hardok move next, he is not that nimble, but he moves quickly, however one of the enemy has now recovered from his surprise and pulls a dagger from behind his back and manage to sneak an attack, wounding him. Hardok adds some damage of his own. Varnag move next, using Hardok as sort of cover, and with a quick order allow Cor to attack again, adding even more damage.
The enemies begins to react at this point, shaking out their surprises they start fighting too, two guys armed with some sort of ‘flails’ attacks in the midst of the bunch, yelling and moving around, everybody ducks but Hardok and Varnag that are hit, Varnag particularly hard, and both of them lose balance and fall on the ground. One of the men in the field shoot an arrow that brushed Therai, that retaliate with his “infernal wrath”.
Irann’s moves forward, and unleash a storm of hits with her spear, hitting 4 enemies at once, Paxitus seems ready to drop dead at this point, but is just not dropping yet.
Some others of the enemies attacks, but it is too late to save Paxitus that is basically a dead man standing, knocked off some more of the fighters, and let some others simply run out, the group take stock and found some coins in the shack but nothing of real value.
Hardok ask L’tok some explanation about the man and his “business”. L’tok claims never have known the man, maybe he was a slave he sold in the past and got mistreated or maybe he was just a bum that was out for trouble. He seems unconcerned about the man and his followers. Hardok comments that L’tok is quickly sliding in his scale of “people worth to be fight for” and closing into his “people worth to be killed quietly in a dark alley” zone.
The rest of the trip is uneventful, the entire group reaches Tyr, L’tok arranges passes to enter the city and the whole group reaches the small building that Ianto’s uses as HQ, were they have also a small stable for the pack animals. The building seems mostly empty, used in part as a storage and in part as office, manned only by one person, a human named Valdar that apparently manage all the day-to-day operations of the house hq in Tyr.
A quick look at the supplies stocked in the HQ makes Therai thinks that is going to be a small caravan out for only a week or so. Unless they are going to pick up more stuff along the way of course.
The half-giant guard are sent to the upstairs quarters and everybody has a couple of day to relax before the return trip. So there is more time to look around, investigate and basically chills out.
The next day, L’tok dispatches Cor and Irann to deliver a package to Devyn’s Desertwear (a well-known establishment in the Caravan District that sells desert cloth and equipment, owned and manned by Devyn, a forty-years old human female, the shop has been there for quite a long time, it also seems to makes a lot more money than it’s supposed and a lot of her customers are peoples that have no business in going in the desert).
Cor and Irann inspect the package underway that turns out to be a cloth sack, loosely tied, containing a well made (and obviously expensive) desert suit, a small but heavy bag of coins containing (judging by the weight) about 200 coins, that appears to be too much for a desert suit, and a small parchment sealed with Iuraks’ seal. Cor attempt to discern the writing inside the parchment but can only make out the words “Dragon” and “Alliance”. Delivering the package is uneventful, Devyn confirms that she was expecting the package, thanks them and ask them to relay the message that “she has another suit ready for Iuraks and he can came around and pick it up whenever he wants”. With this puzzling message they returns to the HQ.
L’Tok is going to do some “business” in the city, and he brings Varnag and Therai along as body guards. They are a bit surprised to see L’Tok going directly to House Wavir’s HQ and going in for a meeting with somebody. Therai plays a bit of a gamble, paying some bum in the street to accost him while he is standing near the guards at the door and telling him that “he has a message for L’Tok”. This way he can have an excuse to get inside and looking around. Unfortunately the personnel inside are more suspicious than he anticipated and he is made to wait in the lobby while L’Tok has finished, so he only knows that he had a meeting with some highs-up for Wavir.
Then L’Tok proceed to the market and arrange to buy more supplies for the next caravan and have the goods delivered directly to the HQ. Also he gets some mounts for the whole group.
Hardok remains at the HQ, so he engages in a little chit-chat with Valdar. Valdar confirms that the caravan is only to carry supplies to the fort for the ‘real’ caravan and that all the goods for that are already at the fort.
Also, Valdar confirm that the situation of the house have been deteriorated after the fall of Kalak.
While talking and chatting around the group picks up the following news (or rumors):
- House M’ke is secretly supporting the Gnolls, and is to blame for the increase activities.
- Rikus (the rebel general that allegedly killed King Kalak) has been apparently killed during a skirmish outside the city.
- Rhey’s Apothecary is looking for volunteers to recover “samples” of some substance from Undertyr (Hardok comments that maybe he knows what kind of samples he is looking for)
- It seems that the wind direction has changed after the assassination of King Kalak.
- There are rumors that House Stel is extremely interested in squashing a new trade business that some Tiefling is trying to start, the new trading house is called Lir.
House M’ke is based in Raam, fights to protect its trade routes and outposts from attacks and runs of “bad luck” orchestrated by Tsalaxa or Stel. Trade Goods: nuts, spices, and glassware. Emblem: a silver quill pen
House Stel is based in Urik, is openly militaristic and hostile to lesser houses that it targets for acquisition. Trade Goods: slaves (outside Tyr), weapons, hardwood, feathers, and hostages for ransom. Emblem: crossed black scimitars
They decide, however, to focus to the next trip back to the fort and not go for any “expedition” right now.
Total earned: 257 XP.