<Throalic date equivalent to September 26, 2020>
Re: Questor of Mad Passion Activity Threatening Strategic Resources Near Throal.
To Whom It May Concern at the Great Library
Elisen, the windling cavalryman I helped to find the last song of Rikka, asked me to join her as she helped another friend of hers, a Troll Weaponsmith Named Thorkell, with a project he is working on. When we met at the Wolly Aardvark in Throal to discuss the matter (great fried foods, btw), I was so happy to see two other friends were helping too; Lazulin the Troll Sky Raider and LaShanna the Windling Thief, er, acquisition specialist.
It seems that Thorkell is a Questor of Upandal and as a great act of devotion he is restoring a shrine to the passion. The shrine is in the form of an ancient tower Named the Tower of B’Shon (hex 53.11). The Tower was used before the Scourge to test the worthiness of those seeking to become Questors of Upandal. Thorkell has made a deal with a building supply company run by the Daicar brothers, who will underwrite some of the re-construction if he helps them reclaim and open a PreScourge Living Crystal mine that’s near the Tower.
As we made preparations to go the mine (it’s about a ten days away and is across the Serpent from the Tower, hex 52.12), I did some checking in the Great Library. Seems the Earthdawn flew over the area about six years ago and reported that everything was quiet. There was no sign of the reopening of a local kaer, Dviel, though the ruins of the old town were spotted from the air. The Earthdawn did not land to investigate. (Sooo cool to be going somewhere the Earthdawn has been, btw, happy geek moment
). Later documents mentioned that Highland trolls from the Broken Spear tribe had been spotted nearby, and that they were also living crystal miners. Might be some claim issues ahead, hmmm. [Wonder if they hired the Questor of Vestrial maybe?]
Travel from Throal to the valley where the mine had been located before the Scourge was uneventful. We were a little shocked to see a large and thriving town where we expected an empty valley however. It speaks well to the hard work and resiliency of the folks from the kaer that Dviel was rebuilt so quickly. Extensive town walls, well made homes, and some larger buildings housed between 1,000 and 2,000 namegivers. Folks there were surprised to see us, and we got to make what was apparently first contact!
The community is quite diverse. We saw folks from all races with a nice sprinkling of adepts. They all were very excited to see outsiders, and had all sorts of questions about what was happening in the larger world which we were happy to answer as best we could.
In the oh what a coincident department, the town had another visitor shortly after we arrived, an aged ork who called himself Siako Udrot, and had books of ancient history he said he was doing follow up research on (or so he said, more about HIM later…)
We quickly realized the town was divided into two factions, the Haftlid’s and the Mokoi’s, and they didn’t get along very well. We were first approached by Iwicko Mokoi and taken to a lovely dinner with a large number of his family members, where he explained that the Mokoi’s and the Haftlid’s lived and worked well together inside the kaer for centuries. Once they left the kaer and began to reopen the living crystal mine their ancestors had worked, the tussel over control started. The Mokoi’s are a cautious group, and sent an engineer into the mine to make sure it was sound, evaluate the veins, and so forth, and she was found murdered with a Haftlid sash nearby! Things degenerated from there, and he wanted to hire us to help the family safely reopen the mine over those aggressive make money at all costs murderin Haftlids!
The next night we had dinner with Erka Haftlid and her family, and found out that those lily livered no brain cowardly Mokoi’s didn’t have what it took to balance risk and reward in the mine and were always delaying everything way past anything reasonable. The Mokoi’s didn’t even have clean rights to the mine proceeds (as she waved a book of old contract records and journals provided by the visiting ork). Haftlid’s were ready to work the mine, and when they sent in a couple of family members to check out the veins, the two of them were murdered! And no good Mokoi badges were found nearby, why, one of the victims even took the time to write out the word Mokoi in their own blood in the dirt!
We had noticed as we tried to untangle the threads of the feud that whenever we would begin to make headway, the person we spoke with would look a little fogged out then go back to blamin n hatin. Interesting.
We all just looked at each other, then around for whoever the real murderer was who was splitting the town apart. We got a copy of the records book for later analysis, then headed up to the mine.
At the mine entrance, there were some hot heads from both families glaring at each other and saying no one could go in. We talked to them, then convinced each side to send a runner to Iwicko and Erka to confirm we were there to look things over independently. None of em seemed to like it, but they allowed us to pass after our credentials were vetted.
After we entered the mine, we realized we were being followed. LaShanna found us a defensible side cavern, and we tucked in to ambush our ambushers. There were five powerful Mokoi adepts;
• Ukronuy Mokoi, a male Troll with a powerful two handed sword and throwing axes
• Klaut Rope Mokoi, a male human wielding a war hammer forged from some sort of dark iron
• Ubi Mokoi, a male ork armed with a gleaming pickaxe
• Gihi Mokoi, a female elf armed with a bow laced with living crystal
• and Lalu Mokoi, a dwarven thief armed with bandoliers filled with daggers
The battle was a tough one, but we were victorious and able to subdue the mind tampered with family members without killing anyone *relief*. When questioned, they said they had bullied their way past the guards at the entrance after speaking with the Brevoi Mokoi, the Mokoi guard captain, who convinced them that we (the party) were really dirty Haftlid spies. We made a note to speak with said guard captain at the earliest opportunity.
We heard a terrible noise coming from further in the mine and went to investigate, leaving the Mokoi adepts tied up. We found a berserk earth elemental called a Hasapic destroying mine supports and two basilisks fleeing ahead of the collapse. We also spotted a large elemental ward ready to trap the party. We dispelled the ward, dodged the basilisk cone attacks (mostly) and Elison was magnificent as she dodged the vortex of elemental shrapnel surrounding the earth elemental and struck the creature with her charge. Given the imminent danger of mine collapse for everyone inside the mine, we went after the elemental first and allowed the frightened basilisks to flee past us.
The elemental was tough, very tough, but in the end we triumphed. We then chased down the basilisks before they could kill the Mokois we had left tied up in the cavern above us. As we worked down the shaft the elemental had come from, we discovered a powerful Haftlid elven Elementalist adept slain after being stabbed in the back. We could find no trace of his attacker and recovered the body to return him to his kin. We later learned his name was Ehifu Dest Haftlid.
Back in town, we confronted the guard captain, Brevoi Mokoi, only to find out he hadn’t been anywhere near the adepts when they said he had told them the party were spies. We also detected something off about some amulets "Brevoi" had given the adepts who ambushed us. An Illusionist impersonator with Vestrial’s cursed gift devotion, perhaps?
Given all the evidence, we were able to partially pierce the veil of distorted hatred and trickery fogging the minds of the two families. We forged a temporary compromise peace deal to open the mine under independent third party administration, with proceeds shared between he two families and the administrator, the contract for which we routed to the Daicar brothers to fulfill Thorkell’s quest.
All that being said, this had the feel of an opening gambit in a larger ploy. The group behind hiring the questor of Vestrial as well as the questor himself are still at large. I have attached additional research and tentative conclusions on this topic for later follow up.
Yours in service,
Strategic and Metaphysical Commentary
From the evidence in front of us we have one party with a resource claim conflict of interest with the rebuilt town (the Broken Spear tribe), who would benefit greatly from taking control of the mine. This provides motive to hire someone like Siako, but why would Siako agree to be hired and stir things up?
Sketch of presenting appearance of ork calling himself Siako Udrot
Since Thorkell is rebuilding a shrine to the passion Upandal, it is shifting the metaphysics and balance of power between the passions in the area. Changes of this sort are theorized to create disturbances that draw the passion of change in his horror-touched form (see references in Appendix A). Siako may or may not even be aware of what has drawn him to the area, but it would seem to add a layer of incentive that may dovetail with other motivations or goals he is pursuing. At the very least, creating a rift and causing a town full of name givers to destroy each other during what is likely the most hopeful and opportunity filled time in their lives would be a great act of devotion to Vestrial, again paralleling Thorkell’s efforts on behalf of Upandal.
On the level of metaphysics, Vestrial’s core history and nature are that of the trickster who teaches lessons as he deflates egos. This has been observed consistently, though with a much darker side, since Vestrial’s corruption by the horrors (see references in Appendix B). It is possible that the most effective route forward will be to work with the mystic energy Vestrial’s questor has released to divide the townsfolk; We may be able to complete the transformation from hubris, greed and conflict to wisdom, humility and peace in a way that would satisfy the insane passion’s sense of balance and story while entertaining him. By all accounts he grows bored easily if his “toys” finish the story in a way that echoes the corrupted memories of his own past. After experiencing the passion’s corrupted touch, towns and other groups that establish a small shrine to honor Vestrial along with an annual trickster holiday centered on a learn your lesson fable have been spared the worst of the future attentions the Trickster tends to bring to bear (see Appendix C). We should keep this layer of any solution in mind as events unfold in Dveil.
Back to the practical, the ploy by the Broken Spear (or another interested party with or without the local troll mining interests) to weaken Dveil is likely not a simple one move play on the board. If Dveil implodes, the supply of living crystal for the repair of the Tower of B’Shon will be shut off or the valuable natural resources contracts re-routed to another interested party (directly or indirectly). Time will reveal the other player’s hand and their pawns.
A strong Barsiave with reliable access to natural resources is in both Throal's strategic and mercantile interests.