AAR: [6H] A House Divided 2020-09-16 2300 GMT

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Re: AAR: [6H] A House Divided 2020-09-16 2300 GMT

Post by verse86 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:49 am

Thorkell's Journal:
The Daicar brothers and I were able to come to an agreement. They will help with the rebuilding of the town around B'shon tower if I can secure them a living crystal mine in the region. Lazulin, LaShana, and Elisen have agreed to accompany me. The others recommended a Wizard named Nib to join us on this adventure. He seems a thorough type. He asked for two days to research the region. From his research he found that a small kaer lies in the region by the name of Dviel.
We set out for Clear Creek Crossing where we would then leave the road and skirt the mountains around to our destination. Within a days travel from the mines, we encountered a town that was the rebuilt Dviel. The guards outside were asleep, but very friendly once awoken. It seems not many outsiders come to this area. Before long our arrival had drawn a crowd. This did not escape the attention of a member of the council, a man by the name of Iwicko Mokoi. He greeted us warmly and offered us a place to stay for the evening as well as a banquet. On our way to drop off our things we ran into another council member, a woman named Erka Haftlid. It seems she has a rather poor opinion of the Mokois. She seemed annoyed we had taken Mokoi up on his offer but understanding. She insisted we meet with her the following day for a luncheon. Lightning is not wont to strike in the same place twice, but on this day another outsider also appeared. Haftild arranged it so that this individual would meet with the Haftilds first and then the two families would swap their guests.
Through our banquet we discovered the Haftilds and Mokois shared bad blood due to the mines. Of course the mines were claimed. Nothing ever seems to go that easily.... Anyway. The Mokois believed the mines were still too dangerous to work while the Haftilds believed the Mokois were overly cautious. This disagreement seems to have escalated to the point of murder. Mokoi told us of a geologist they sent to survey the mine being murdered. He believes the Haftilds were behind it. He also asked if he could hire us to check out the mine. Not wanting to get into the middle of a family feud, I restrained myself from accepting his offer until hearing what the Haftilds had to say.
The next day was the luncheon with the Haftilds. They vehemently denied killing the Mokoi geologist. They then told us of a pair of their member who were murdered in the mine leaving a dying message that the Mokois were behind it. Haftild also asked us to investigate the mine. Once again I turned down the offer. I tried to explain that neither family would benefit from this feud, but she seemed unconvinced.
I was starting to believe there may be some foul play at work here. Our group decided to go investigate the mines and murder sites. Unfortunately, I did not pick my team with the expectations of solving a murder and we were unable to learn much. Our best bet then was to check out the mines themselves. A group of guards were arguing in front of the entrance. It seemed the guard were split equally between Haftilds and Mokois. After Lazulin stopped their bickering we demanded to enter the mines. Neither side seemed willing to allow it, but sent runners to see if it was true. After both runners confirmed we were allowed access.
Some ways in I recognized that we were being followed. We picked the most advantageous spot for defending ourselves and waited. Eventually a group of Mokois showed up and attacked us believing us to be Haftild spies. At my urging our team prioritized non-lethal methods of subdual. In the heat of battle, such things can not be relied upon and I worried their deaths may close an avenue for us. Upandal favored us though, and we were able to subdue all the members without any deaths. It was at this point we felt rumblings from even further below. Fearing that the cave might collapse if something wasn't done, I rushed to see what could cause this.
The scene before us was one of devastation. A giant elemental spirit was wreaking havoc on the structural supports of the mine. Even beasts like basilisks fled in fear of this thing. Nib was able to spot that the spirit had laid a trap before us and had LaShana draw the outline while he attempted to dispel it. The basilisks by their very nature blasted us with their eyes while fleeing. Elisen nearly went down from the whirling vortex of rocks and mining equipment. We were able to take it down, though. No time to rest though. The basilisks were running in the direction of the Mokois we had left tied up. I had hoped to scare them into fleeing a different direction, but in the end we had to kill the beasts.
With all the excitement over we investigated the direction from which the spirit came. We found a dead Haftild elementalist with a dagger in their chest. It seems the the elementalist summoned the spirit and then was murdered, allowing the spirit to rampage. We were unable to track the murderer, though.
Upon returning to Dviel, I arranged to speak with both the Haftilds and Mokois. They agreed to allow the Daicar brothers provisional oversight of the mines until they could work out their differences. For my part I am staying in Dviel to oversee the mining efforts...and to make sure no more trickery occurs. I have rented a houses from a neutral party so as not to gain the ire of either family.
Nib sent word after doing some research that he believes the town may have been deceived by a questor of Vestrial. It seems due to my attempts to raise B'shon Tower back to prominence the balance of the passions had swayed. This Vestrial questor was trying to rebalance the scales. I don't know much about the balance, but if this questor intends to impede my work he will meet my wrath.

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Re: AAR: [6H] A House Divided 2020-09-16 2300 GMT

Post by Lashana » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:17 am

I guess I’m getting a kind of sort of “good” reputation. I mean, I guess that’s a good thing, though I’d rather stay in the shadows and unknown. It’s easier to get away with my acquisition specialist activities if no one knows who I am. But it does seem to bring other work my way. Like the Brothers Daicar, I’d almost say at this point they are patrons of ours….Wait...I might not be using that word right. They hire us alot. We’ve done several jobs for them and they seem to keep hiring us. Is that a patron? I’ll have to look that up the next time I’m at the library.
Whatever the right word it, they wanted to hire us again, via Thorkel and Lazulin. There’s a mine filled with more shiny things that held no real interest for me. But it meant something to Thorkel and Lazulin and they mean something to me so I did my darndest to make sure they got what they needed. This mine was up by some tower and Thorkel really wanted the tower to be repaired. Once I was vested there was really nothing to it but to keep going and support my friends.
The journey wasn’t horrible but wasn’t well-traveled and part of it was off the map so we had to navigate our own way a little bit. But after about a week we approached what should have been the location of a kaer named Divel. Instead we came over a hill and BOOM there were gates and two guards, sleeping. It made me want to laugh out loud (cause its possible I would do the same thing) but I didn’t because ummmm, my traveling companions probably wouldn’t have appreciated it. Apparently they didn’t get many visitors here because they didn’t do the things that most city guards would have done, like ask who we were or why we were there.
This might have been the first time they’d ever had to perform the introduction rights because like, the entire town seemed to come out to perform them. It was like a never ending stream of them, so many talents of all different levels. And the town must be huge because they truly JUST kept coming. Eventually we were greeted by a Master Mokoi, who was some sort of tow official because he was able to give us lodging while we stayed in Divel and wanted us to come up to the big house for dinner. He didn’t seem to understand why I was hesitant to accept such an invitation but was won over with the promise of delicious food.
As we were going through town to get to the digs Master Mokoi was giving us we ran into this other lady, and she had REALLY pretty hair, called Madam Erka Haftlid. And while she was really pretty and had soft hair she was not incredibly welcoming - at least not if you didn’t accept dinner at her house first. Oddly, another complete stranger also arrived from Throal named Siako Udrot, but had made the trip all by himself. It was weird, him arriving on our heels. But he said he was a librarian or a researcher or a historian maybe and he had found a bunch of info about this community and the families here and he was returning it. So I guess it was legit.
We had dinner with both sides the Mokois on the first night and the Haftlids on the second. They were like polar opposites, ones that TOTALLY didn’t get along. But it hadn’t always been like that, I guess they had managed to live and work well together when they were inside the kaer. Once they left the kaer though that’s when things went wrong, over the fight for control over the mine. There seemed to be a dispute over how the control of the mines was established. There also seemed to be some “proof” that one side might have come about that control through some illicit means. The Mokoi’s portrayed the Haftlids as money hungry crazies and the Haftlids portrayed the Mokoi’s as scaredy cat nincompoops. I mean both sides really just needed to get over themselves for the good of the town.
Well I guess there was an attempt to open the mines recently, whether they were ready to be opened or not. And some people died. And there was an issue that maybe one side or the other killed the miners. I was very confused about who it was that might have actually been responsible but clearly these miners were murdered and it just seemed to be a match lighting the fuse. But we had to fix this because Thorkel needed this. So we had to do what we could to help him.
So we agreed to kind of figure out what was going on or secure the mines. Someone needed to do something. When we went to the mines though there were guards from both families there and both sides were questioning our right to go into the mine. Well Thorkel and Lazulin took control you know got these guards in hand. They were instructed to run home and ask their mommies and daddies if it would be ok if we entered the mines. Once they got permission we were allowed to go in. There was a DEEP rumbling inside, we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. But I could tell we WERE being followed so we set up an ambush. It went well I think. No one died, on either side.
We had to leave the ambushers tied up as we well further below to investigate the rumblings. Thorkel was very worried that the rumblings meant the mine was collapsing. So we needed to investigate to see if that’s what it was and see if we could stop it. As we emerged into the lowest level we ran INTO basilisks that were running towards us. Unfortunately I made eye contact with one as I was outlining a trap that was RIGHT in front of the stairs. We didn’t have to worry about the reason for the basilisks running towards us for long.
After getting away from the glare of the basilisks we found the source of the rumblings. It was a giant swirling cloud of rocks and tools and axes. And it was coming right towards us. And it was trying to take out the entire foundation of the mine, essentially destroying it. Elisen was a Beast - charging right up to it and stopping its advance. Of course the beast nearly took Elisen out for that bravery but that action gave everyone else the time needed to stop that elemental beast. When we explored what remained we found a dead Haftlid magic user who’d been stabbed right through the chest. They had apparently summoned the rock beast and they were then murdered, which freed the beast to go on his rampage. We couldn’t track down the murderer though.
We were able to save what remained of the mine. And that allowed Thorkel to broker a deal between the Brothers Daicar and the town/both families. Thorkel is hanging around to make sure things stay on the up an up and to oversee the reopening of the mine.

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Re: AAR: [6H] A House Divided 2020-09-16 2300 GMT

Post by sigfriedmcwild » Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:07 pm

From the memoirs of Elisen of clan Adorjan, Haressa-tis and Lore Keeper

Just as I was finishing my Troubadour training, I heard that Thorkell Gulbradndsen (troll Weapnsmith and Questor of Upandal) was organising an expedition to reclaim an ancient mine. According to the Daicar brothers, who were funding the expedition, the mine included veins of living crystal and various metals and was located on the southern tip of the Throalic mountains.

Also participating in the expedition were:
- LaShana Tumblesprout, a windling Thief
- Lazulin, a troll Raider
- Nib of clan Skyreader, a windling Wizard apprenticed to Zivilyn of Skyreader Isle

Before leaving, Nib spent some time investigating the mine and its surroundings, they found that the area had been briefly surveyed by the Earthdawn, a kaer (Dviel) was nearby, and the Broken Spear moot had looked into taking control of it.
In the meantime Lazulin looked into hiring some mercenaries to accompany us, but came back muttering about outrageous fees.

The travel south was easy if dreary under the nearly constant rain. Every scholar I've asked tells me the rain is part of the natural order and very important to our lifes, but I remain suspicious that it is the result of some kind of horror plot. I would have been less annoyed, but my plans for building a house on Isidoros' back were being stymied by the fact that every craftsman I approached assumed it was some kind of "windling tomfoolery" and didn't want any part in it. My list of contacts was getting rather short at that point.

The journey was first along new roads and then the remains of some very old roads until we got close to the location where the mine should have been and found a surprisingly large walled town instead. Thorkell thought it was newly built on top of the ruins of its prescourge incarnation. We decided to just ride through and keep looking for the mine.

As we approached we spotted the gate guards napping, long before Isidoros' gentle gait woke them up. The guards didn't seem used to visitors, they in fact seemed quite excited by the idea, even before I could make sure to make a good first impression on them. I had to remind them of greeting rituals and they eagerly seized the chance to show off, our performance was also good and Ricca's lost songs were a definite hit. Nib's fumbled calligraphy got thankfully missed in the rush of more townsfolk excited to show off their own rituals.

Eventually a pudgy dwarf (Iwiko Mokoi) who seemed to have authority over the guards and most of the townsfolk arrived and started asking questions. I introduced ourselves as independent contractors for the Kingdom of Throal, which seemed to interested them. They mentioned something about having work for us before offering us lodgings for the night and inviting us to dinner.

We are taken to a newly built (or refurbished? I'm sure Thorkell would have known) vacant house and given directions to one of the larger mansions, which from a distance looked still in the process of being rebuilt. Just as master Mokoi left us, another group approached led by an elf (Herka Halftild) wearing fashionable garb and jewellery. LaShana seemed quite taken with this newcomer, but they were rather unimpressed with us. Apparently they were the head of another influential family in the worn, and they themselves a councilperson like master Mokoi.

Minutes later and old orc (Siako Urdot) showed up from pretty much nowhere, claiming to be a travelling historian and giving out various facts about ancient Mokoi and Halftild history. In the end madam Halftild invited us to lunch the next day while Siako would have dinner with them that evening.

What followed were two days of sifting through rumors, half truths, and gossip as we tried to understand why the Mokois and Halftilds were at each other throats over the mine, with three people already dead. I was of the opinion that this was old fashioned greed plus four centuries of friction or possibly Broken Spears trying to sow chaos, but Nib in particular was very keen on rooting out some kind of supernatural influence.

The three deads were a Mokoi surveyor and two Halftild miners, all found with convenient tokens of allegiance to the other house nearby. With some cleaver wordplay we managed to get permission from both houses to investigate the mine, which proved helpful in getting past both sets of guards.

Inside the mine Thorkell felt some kind of vibrations in the floor and started following them, but we also were being followed by one of more someones, so LaShana took us to a more defensible spot. The people following us turned out to be a group of Halftild adepts who believed we were working for the Mokois. The battle was short and brutal, a completely different affair from fighting wild creatures or horror constructs. One of the adepts was a very competent archer as I found out when an arrow suddenly appeared in my shoulder.

Eventually we subdued them without killing anyone and tied them up. Their names were:
- Ghihi Halftild, an elf Archer
- Klaut Rope, a human Warrior
- Lalu, a dwarf Thief
- Ubi, an ork Warrior
- Ukronuy, a troll Warrior

We proceeded deeper into the mine where the tremors were stronger and eventually found two basilisk fleeing from a cloud of carpentry implements that was demolishing the mine supports. LaShana and Nib also spotted some kind of magical effect right in front of us, which LaShana quickly marked with chalk.

The first basilisk provided a demonstration of what the effect was when it entered the area and was immediately launched into the air before landing gracelessly. While the others dithered trying to hide from the basilisks (who were most definitely not interested in us) I charged the nightmare from the carpentry shop. On the upside this seemed to severely destabilize the spirit, on the downside flying through saws is now further down on my list of pleasant past times than flying in a thunderstorm.

Thorkell and Lazulin soon joined me in taking the spirit apart and then we chased down the two basilisks before they could get to our prisoners. More investigation found the corpse of an elf, probably an Elementalist, wearing Mokoi colours. We speculated that maybe the elf was trying to make the mine appear more unstable than it actually was and then got murdered to make the spirit go out of control.

We made our way back out, with prisoners in tow. Some more questions revealed that they had been told to come after us by one Breuve Halftild, who denied ever having that conversation, at which point Ghihi also mentions that maybe the person they spoke to was not Breuve and shows us a token of commitment they had received. Looks like Nib found their source of influence, probably related to Siako who was conveniently gone at this point.

We wrangled Thorkell as an impartial observer of the mine with Daicar support and left shortly after.

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