As promised, the first 3 or 4 adventures were going to be short and XP heavy to get the party up to around 3rd level. The 2nd adventure, Cold Mush (I love to name my adventures, goes back to my 80's roots), was LARP heavy and town oriented, but at its main heart - it was a heist adventure.
The group has to sneak into a place and unlawfully steal something. No question about it, they are being asked and paid to break the law - a real departure from the wandering boy-scouts they had been playing recently.
I look forward to seeing how it shakes out over the next few weeks.
Write up follows:
The party was happy to learn that House Darbeard was going to not only house us, but also pick up our training costs for the next few weeks. So we stayed on the Demesne, availed ourselves of whatever amenities were available, and kept our heads low. As for our notoriety, it had grown a bit for the people on the Demesne, thanks to Korsdottr and the other teamsters conversations about our exploits, and our own willingness to jump in and lend a hand on whatever job was needed during the day.
The three weeks passed in relative quiet and peace. The Festival of the Rains was coming up on the 5th of Heatmonth and Tropor Darbeard wanted to have a small thank you banquet for the Demesne for their hard work. However, the people working couldn’t help but overhear the heated word Savaris and Tropor had behind the closed doors. The details might have been muffled, but the volume was certainly heard.
Heatmonth the 3rd the trestle tables had been set up, breads and ales had been laid out, and a couple of large deer were braising over the fire pit. Everyone was having a good time, perhaps 70 people all together, when Tropor had sent Korsdottr over the party’s table and asked for Connal to come over and talk. The monastic nodded in reply, then tapped Negan to come with him, the Half-Ogre picking his body up from the table and following the others to Tropor’s
The Primacy of House Darbeard was seated with his adjunct, Savaris, who nodded up to the two men at their approach, and a 3rd person, a dwarf with a prodigious gut and a half full tankard in front of him. After hands were shaken, the 2nd dwarf was identified as Wharin Stoutbelly, the actual owner the mine that had been referred to as Fingelt’s.
Fingelt was his cousin and the foreman of the mine. The Stoutbelly’s have had the mining rights for this particular mine for the last 14 years but it’s only over the last 4 years that the mine has started to show a profit. With the discovery of the main lode, Wharin was convinced the mine would reach new unforeseen heights and riches.
With the death of Fingelt, the loss of the entire mining staff, and the review of the wreckage that showed when the place was investigated was devastating. Wharin is looking to call in whatever markers he has out there to try to put together a reconstruction crew and outfit them. Even with the best of estimates, it’s going to run over 40,000 nobles and there will be a loss for the rest of the spring and summer season. This leaves MAYBE the fall season, but most likely not. And there is no mining during the winter months since support and trade is questionable at best. This means the mine, besides costing 40,000+ to repair and recondition, will be adding ZERO to the Stoutbelly coffers. A situation Wharin has no idea if he can afford. And if the mine is not producing, that means the Darbeards and their customers for the iron will suffer accordingly.
Wharin was approached by a disinterested 3rd party five days earlier named Cru Gostin from Sorton who offered at first to loan Wharin the money needed to fix the mine but at 15% interest with a 2 year payback time frame. When Wharin indicated that that was usurious and impossible, Cru responded just this day to buy the mining rights from Wharin to the tune of 30,000 nobles flat out.
Meanwhile, Savaris revealed to the group the big news that was learned two days ago and had him and Tropor so angry. According to a well placed source in Sorton, House Brinster managed to deliver a bounty load of iron ore to the League of Odin Fighter’s Guild chapterhouse. This not only netted the House a tidy profit, but iron supply rights for the League for the next 10 seasons. A contract the Darbeard’s were in the distant running for but honestly didn’t expect to get. With enough merchant houses and mining operations closer to Sorton, no one from Thak thought they were going to have an honest shot at this.
This in Savaris’s mind was the end play that House Brinster was going for, since it was well known amongst the upper members of the Chapterhouse Meetings that the Stoutbelly mine had uncovered a huge pure iron vein and that House Darbeard was waiting 2 solid weeks before sending a resupply wagon to the mining camp.
And that lead the conversation back around to Tropor. Although Tropor knows in his heart what went on, he also knows that a torn blood soaked tabard is not the answer to proving what happened to either the Council or the Lord Marshall. The best would be bringing Sigurd in and having the bastard squeal, but until he resurfaces, that is on the back burner.
A number of posts have gone out over the last 3 weeks and some have returned, requesting from every contact Savaris has from Gorok to Sorton in order to find Sigurd, the bastard who sold out the Darbeards and helped start this entire mess. Currently no one has come forward and revealed Sigurd’s location yet, but there are feelers everywhere. Right now the bounty for Sigurd is 400 nobles dead, 750 nobles alive but if he is still unfound by month’s end, Savaris is contemplating raising it to 400 and 900 respectively
There was also the delivery of the ‘whatever’ from the Terror Dungeon, that would help prove sabotage to the Fingelt Mine and House Darbeard by extension. It is discussed that some good additional proof would be getting a hold of the import/export logs that House Brinster keeps – which would SHOW either how they managed to gather that much ore or the locations that supplied it to and for them.
However, there is no reason for House Brinster to supply those books and if they are questioned about them, there is a better than good chance they will either disappear or be altered. So they would have to be gotten, and done in secret without the Brinsters knowing.
And right now, no one off the Darbeard Demesne knows what the party knows which is one of the biggest advantages Tropor has to date.
This brings him to what he wants the party to try. And he knows it’s illegal what he is asking, but without the log books from House Brinster, there is little that could be brought before the Lord Mashall and no chance for recompense.
He wants the party to risk sneaking onto the Brinster Demesne during the Festival of Rains when Braddock and his family will be at banquet, enter the offices and find the import/export logs as well as any receipts or paperwork regarding either the shipment from Bork Keep and the Terror Dungeon and anything that might show a disbursement to Sigurd.
House Brinster’s Office is located at the heart of their Demesne and would normally be staffed and watched over by Braddok Brinster, the owner and Primacy of the merchant family and operation. However, Tropor will arrange to have Braddok and his family join the other merchant houses and their upper staff at the Festival of Rains in 2 days hence. This will allow the group the opportunity to sneak onto the Brinster Demesne, get to the Offices, find the ledgers, and steal them without getting caught.
If the shit hits the fan, the group is encouraged to leave behind some other items to throw off any investigation (Randari Orc fetishes and knives to show the assault was by orcish thugs and mercs is suggested – not anything to tie it back to Darbeard, however after some discussion, Einar flat out said “no chance on blaming the orcs for this”). Since the party has been lying low, at this time Tropor feels pretty good that unless they are out captured, nothing should come back to them and this should be accomplished without too many issues.
If this is successful and the party gets the logs and proof, Tropor will cover their training costs again as well as another 15 crowns in hazard pay per person for those who go, and 8 crowns for each person who covers for the rest of the group at the Festival of Rains. In addition, afterwards when the next caravan heads off to Sorton, they will accompany it at twice the pay rate at which time they will be given the letters of recommendation and good conduct that they’ve been hoping for.
The party then spent some time discussing it, tossing ideas back and forth. We know there is a kennel on site, with perhaps four dogs, maybe more there. Einar felt comfortable he could have Frey hide the party from the animals, and then there was how we were going to sneak onto the grounds. Over the wall? Front gate?
The party trailed off and the group went to sleep. The next day had everyone wandering Thak, making their purchases for whatever supplies they thought they were going to need. We did keep a weather eye out to see if anyone was paying us any inordinate attention, but nothing seemed out of place. We reconvened on the Darbeard Demesne to discuss the possibility of entering the archery tournament or the wrestling tournament and then who would be actually going on the raid to the Brinsters on the 5th, and who would be covering for the rest of the party at the banquet.