Seekers of the Ashen Crown week 29: Taking care of business

Working his way through the market, Ivello met a vendor named Aaspar Riis who turned out to be a good contact for sourcing Dhakaani artifacts that he could sell to Morgrave, or use in his own research.  As the group returned to the Gold Dragon Inn for the night, Kayde remained on the lookout for a tail, but saw no one.

The next morning, Tikulti waved them over to meet in Yeraa’s room, along with the hobgoblin mage Marduuk.  While Yeraa explained that the shrine containing Murkoorak’s Orb appeared to be completely buried over, Marduuk proposed that they party set up a tent in the Roar to provide a distraction while the Kech Volaar dug.  They continued to be firm in their belief that only those of goblin blood could enter the shrine safely, for fear of death.  Kayde became very excited at the prospect of putting on a performance, while Ivello was more interested in the excavating process, and was concerned that they wouldn’t be able to finish the job in one night.  Marduuk reiterated that that was why they needed a good distraction, and was more concerned about concealing their tracks after the fact.

As the party spitballed ideas for their market stall cover, Lestok suggested selling pet rocks, while Aruget proposed demonstrating his agility through contests or dancing.  Jak let on that he had a contact in the market they could call on, but initially thought of him as a last resort, the memory of Thrandi’s scolding still fresh in his mind.  Marduuk added that it was important that the party looked like they belonged, and that he was eager to get his hands on the Orb as soon as possible.

Before the party went their separate ways for the day, Ivello pulled everyone aside, claiming he had something important from the night market to show them in his room.  Ushering everyone in, making sure the door was shut and no one was listening on the other side, he expressed his concern: how would Tikulti be able to go into the shrine, being a changeling?  Would his cover be blown by this, and how could they help him?  Lestok suggested making him ill at the last minute, but Aruget thought that might make Tik look bad in Yeraa’s eyes, and he might not want that.  Jak agreed, revealing to the group that Tik and Yeraa were a couple, and Aruget became angry and concerned about Tik’s intentions and honesty while the others expressed varying degrees of concern and interest about that situation in terms of Tik being an agent of the Citadel.  They went back and forth for quite some time, with Jak expressing in no uncertain terms that Tik was going too far with Yeraa, but ultimately saying that he’d talk to him about the problem of the shrine.

Separating for the day, Kayde went to the Twilight Palace, a beautiful hotel and theater under the joint control of House Ghallanda and House Phiarlan.  The clean, opulent surroundings immediately made him feel at home.  Minstrels played in the dining area, and after enjoying a drink, he was introduced to an old elf who was so prim and proper that he put Kayde on a good day to shame – Nadine Samare d’Phiarlan.  After some back and forth about the nature of Kayde’s next “performance”, Nadine provided Kayde with a tent, some costuming, and the suggestion to talk to the chef if he was interested in selling foodstuffs at the market.  Kayde then asked one last favour: the identification of Jalros’ Siberys shard necklace.  Nadine sent him into the Roar to see Talos, a tiefling artificer who identified the item as Kayde had suspected: it was a focus item attuned to the Mark of Shadow.

Ivello and Lestok were also in the Roar, which looked different during the day, but was no less busy.  Lestok bought some materials for making trinkets and suggested they keep an eye out for any vermin tunnels leading under the market, while Ivello kept an eye out for any buildings that might be abandoned that they could use that night.  As they wandered, all the shops appeared to be in business, and Lestok divided his attention by beginning to whittle trinkets.  Absorbed in his work, the old gnome tripped, spilling his bag everywhere and earning a splinter in his thumb that consumed all his attention for the next little while.

Meanwhile, Aruget attended to his prayers, then went to the arena looking for broken swords or statue pieces he could sell as souvenirs.  He easily found the old goblin in charge of cleaning up debris after the fights, and was excited to see him, convinced that he knew him from his time as a gladiator.  The old goblin was adamant that they most certainly did not know each other, became very irritated, and eventually told Aruget to check out the pile of debris in the Pit and leave him alone.  Aruget spent the next while picking through it, and came away with an armload of interesting bits and pieces.

Back at the inn, Jak pulled Tik aside to express his concerns about the shrine.  Tik claimed, much to Jak’s skepticism, that he had a magical artifact that would protect him, and that in fact already had.  Jak decided to trust his fellow agent, and left him to go to see Thrandi at Brelish Ceramics.  Pulling out his bottle from the night market, he grinned and told the old man he’d promised he’d be back to hear his story….and Thrandi laid into him, saying that he couldn’t be heard of casually associating with Jak if he ever wanted to get out of this backwater.  Taken aback but quickly reverting to business mode, Jak collected himself and asked for help with the market stall. Thrandi offered up a couple of cases of his own ceramics, which Jak happily accepted.  Jak told him to keep the bottle, prompting Thrandi to apologize for his outburst – he reiterated that he’d been a faithful servant of Breland for many years, and just wanted to go home.  Jak took his leave with one of the crates, and Marduuk came back from the inn to help with the rest.

By early evening, everyone had reconvened at the inn with their spoils from the day, and the party prepared to put on the most important show of their lives.

Behind the Scenes

  • Question of the week: what is one of the craziest things you have ever done in your life?
  • The discussion over Tik and Yeraa’s relationship was actually quite long and involved, an possible the most intraparty roleplaying we’ve ever done in a session. The GM described it as, and I quote, “f*cking awesome*, and gave us all a bennie for it.
  • Lestok seems plagued by crit fails on notice rolls in Graywall, but the standout crit fail of the night was Aurget’s check to see if he remembered the goblin at the arena, leading to a wonderful exchange of “hey, you’re that guy, I know it” “I am NOT! You’re crazy!” and so on. Also, I’ve come to the realization that our GM really likes doing goblin voices, and I’m here for it.
  • As Jak’s “Shamed – Major” hindrance comes for the forefront in his interactions with Thrandi, that’s been an interesting time for me as a player, because the GM knows how to play mean. And it’s cool, we’re all friends here, but it’s definitely been flexing my roleplaying muscles to keep Jak stubborn in the face of it. And you know what? I’m also here for that. These are the things that make a campaign great.

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