lurkingcat: (Laura/Kitteran)
[personal profile] lurkingcat posting in [community profile] lost_in_navir
Previously...

The party (minus Drenak, who is on a date) returns to the King of Scandalay's Arms to meet with the Warder of Dreadhold* once again. The staff are still unnerved by his presence but at least there are no Paladins hanging around full of suicidally good intentions.

The Warder imparts the information that the diplomats have arrived in Scjaarn and that their train departs next Xol. He hands over the papers:

Laura is Zinsel, Religious Advisor
Jaic is Eathel Ossom, Holtese Expert
Carl is Zauron, Head of Mission
Beth is (name victim to a coffee stain but she has a plus one extra security who is Drenak)
Rachel is (name also victim to a coffee stain)

There is another party of diplomats who are also travelling to Holt from Scjaarn. These are representatives of the Obsidian Wall kingdom and it is very unusual for denizens of the kingdom to be seen outside it's boundaries.

The party agrees to meet Rivensash Dimey and The warder at the train station. He seems quite concerned for her safety. He also mentions that someone in Holt is very invested in smearing our Navir names. We will be lodging in the Redoubt of the Claw and as a Jade Forest Confederacy diplomatic party people are likely to want to talk to us about repayments for vessels harmed by piracy. The official diplomatic line is that we are not with the Bureau of Licensing Privateers and therefore cannot comment on the matter. Taking offence at the implied ethnic slur of the Jade Forest Confederacy would be another stance.

The party is more or less dismissed but he asks Laura to stay behind and allows Jaic to accompany her as a safeguard. He is clearly very uncomfortable and requests that the matter is not spoken about with anyone else. Then he asks Laura to pray for him as he was once a Paladin. Laura agrees to this and the interview is finally over.

We spend the next few days staking out the house of Changelings. On the first day a Dwarf arrives and then leaves a short while later, looking displeased. On the second day the only real excitement is provided by the escape of a Dire Wolverine from a nearby magical suppliers stall. Finally on the third day a Knight of the Emerald Claw arrives, knocks on the door and is disgruntled by the lack of an answer. Beth says that he is not a Changeling. Once the Knight has left, Jaic tries the back door but falls victim to a magic missile trap. Ash sets off to help him and there is a sequence of checking and disarming maneuvers that is made more complicated by both parties being invisible.

Meanwhile a member of the Watch has arrived to investigate the disturbance caused by the magic missiles. Carl bribes some local urchins to cause havoc in the marketplace and they gleefully set to. The rest of the party retire to a nearby tea shop to watch and wait. A Knight of the Emerald Claw appears and talks to the Knight of the Watch Tower. Air support is called in to deal with the situation. Once it has all calmed down the Knight of the Emerald Claw lets himself into the house.

Rachel rejoins the party leaving Jaic to continue with his masquerade as one of the Changelings. He manages to relieve the Goblin of the commissioned Great Sword for about 1500 gold and some grumbling on the Goblin's part. He then successfully finds his way out of The Cogs, through the Goblin Market and back to The Silver Hippogriff without encountering the Changeling Knight. Rachel examines the sword and pronounces it to be a +2 Great Sword of Speed and Bane Undead. There is some theorising about the Changelings possibly planning to double cross their employers.

Laura adds The Warder to the list of people she prays for and receives the distinct impression from Irrasha that the Harbingers have a project in mind for him.

There is a crowd at the Lightening Rail station on the morning of Xol. They seem to be there to gawp at the diplomats from the Obisidian Wall Kingdom. Everybody is carefully avoiding the far end of the platform so we make our way in that direction and sure enough The Warder and Rivensash Dimey are there. Rivensash Dimey is a small curly haired Holtese lady.

Once the journey has started the party endeavours to find out why Rivensash Dimey was sent to Dreadhold in the first place. Sadly the exact details have been lost to another coffee stain. I think she came across the High King talking to a lady on another plane and realised that he was in fact Caius I and not Caius III? The lady looked very much like Caius I's queen but we think she may be Vendamiatrix.

Rivensash Dimey is very concerned for the safety of the Princess and is anxious to get back to her. She doesn't think that the High King is serving Holt in his undeath. She also asks the party to swear that they will do no harm to the Princess.

The train stops briefly in Yol Erith. It is not an overnight stay as the Obsidian Wall ambassadors do not want to have to bless an inn before they can stay in it. There are strange goings on with one of the guards collapsing during the stop.

Amazingly the party passes through the checkpoint at High Carradine without a hitch. It is raining. There is a lot of fuss and bother while the Obsidian Wall delegation unload a very large egg-shaped item. The Jade Forest Confederacy delegation are met by one live Holtese (Arkan Maroy) and one undead. Laura grits her teeth and tries to behave. Arkan Maroy attempts to speak to us in Jade Forest Confederate and Carl does a comedy turn of pidgin New Kingdoms.

Once ensconced in our quarters in the (extremely impressive) Redoubt of the Claw, Rachel sets about finding all the secret doors. Rivensash Dimey finally bursts into tears under all the stress and worry about her Princess and Laura takes care of her while Carl, Drenak and Jaic go out learn their way around. In the course of these explorations they discover that the Princess Haydeth is out performing her duties, there are some Gnomes in residence, the ex-King of Tarsony is expected to arrive and an embassy from the Pearl Islands is also due. Rachel then sends her homunculus off to explore the passages behind the secret doors.

Arkan Maroy returns to arrange the diplomatic itinerary and that evening we attend a levee in the throne room. Fortunately the High King is not present so it is Princess Haydeth who is seated on the very uncomfortable-looking throne. Laura decides that she looks like a sensible and not especially necromantic person, which is probably just as well. Having spotted Rivensash Dimey when we are granted audience, she suggests that we meet later to tell her of the beauty of Motherport.

Somehow we manage not to cause any diplomatic incidents although we do discover that the son of the Gnome ambassador is a bit of a pirate groupie. Mid-reception the military people start quietly leaving and we overhear someone saying "She's back".

The party returns to the diplomatic suite and are about to leave to meet with the Princess when there is a loud knocking on the door. Arkan Maroy tells us that the Obsidian Wall delegates have been unmasked as imposters and wants to know if we are alright. It becomes apparent that the delegation were in fact Thoon. As if Holt didn't have enough problems already.

Once things have settled down again, Carl casts an illusion of everyone talking and we set off through the secret passages. There is a joyful reunion between the Princess and her consort-to-be. Rivensash Dimey tells her story and the Princess is understandably upset as this means that her father is probably dead. We learn that Holtese agents are working to create a gateway between worlds to bring them together so that the lady may at least have a presence here. The party tells her what they know about the Dragon Gate and what both Irrasha and Katala have said about the situation. The Princess looks grave and dismisses us saying that she has a lot to think about. Rivensash Dimey remains with her.

After a good night's sleep and some breakfast, Arkan Ryanos (the ex-ambassador to Motherport) arrives. The diplomatic masquerade has not fooled him in the slightest but he is disinclined to unmask the party once he discovers that Princess Haydeth already knows. He helpfully suggests that we avoid meeting the Maritime Minister at all costs and we give him the same information that we gave to the Princess and also tell him about the Thoon and their egg. He leaves, looking thoughtful.

The Jade Forest Confederacy delegation let it be known that they have fallen ill and thus manage to avoid further potential for causing diplomatic incidents. That evening we are summoned back to see the Princess. She has Rivensash Dimey, a tall nondescript looking gentleman (Dermond), the High Inquisitor, and Singh the Immense in attendance.

Despite provocation the party do not start a fight with Singh the Immense, having decided that saving the world is a bit more important. (Singh's priorities are less clear but he is told that he is not allowed to carry on any feuds with us unless the Princess orders otherwise). The Princess tells us that these are the people that she has decided to trust and reminds everyone that we are now working for the preservation of the plane.

The High Inquisitor is understandably suspicious of the party but agrees to give us a trial. Our tally of the Dragon Gate pieces matches hers and she says that we need to go to Argonath. She will run a training exercise and we will pose as agents-in-training and attempt to collect the missing pieces. There is a long discussion about not killing innocents and how to recognise a Dragon Cultist. We agree not to kill innocent soldiers. (So I guess we're going to need a lot of Obscuring Mist, Grease, and Stone Shaping spells...). We are to leave the succession of Holt up to the Queen and the Queen's Future Consort. Meanwhile the Jade Forest Confederacy delegation will be quarantined on suspicion of Thoon.

Dermond supplies the party with Holtese military cloaks and ID and says that he will set us loose at the front door of Argonath. Rachel builds an amulet detector and discovers that there is one in the palace (the High Inquisitor is wearing it). There is a plane shifting incident during which we seem to be in a compartment on a ship with a person who is not quite human. A couple of days later we move out. Princess/Queen Haydeth supplies Jaic with a pouch containing a replica of the Seal of the House of Holtos.

*Do we know if he has a name other than The Warder of Dreadhold?

So, do we have a plan for bluffing our way through Argonath?
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