Empire Rising

Dinner and a Disease

Party present: Brek Sturnson, Elihas Ramathustra, Ragnar Smotson, and Fiona Scarlatti.

The Adventure

Because of business travel and illness, the previous session was cancelled so it was a full month before we came to this adventure. This meant a lot of game time was spent reestablishing some of the facts of the previous endeavor, remembering layers of the intrigue, and players that may or may not be able to influence what was happening.

Brek Sturnson finally went to the Stately Gentleman for the dinner with the man that knew his father. The man, a tobacco merchant named Polonis, claimed that Brek’s father had been an indentured bond servant, agreeing to fight organized gladiatorial events in exchange for room, board, expenses, etc. to be covered by Polonis. The contract made allowances for Sturn to bet against himself and throw a fight, not that he ever did. The clause specified that if Sturn were to throw a fight, he must alert Polonis of the decision so the man would not suffer any unnecessary losses. Given that Sturn won every match he participated in, this was not much of a concern. Until the last match. Sturn did not arrive and forfeited the match. A match where Polonis had wagered his wife on Sturn’s victory, losing the woman to his social rival, Guildmaster Colvino. According to Naissani law, debts are passed in perpetuity, making Brek now responsible for his father’s debt. For the contract to be fulfilled, Brek must retrieve Polonis’ wife before Colvino discards her or sells her off. Otherwise, Brek will become Polonis’ property to do with what he pleases.

Polonis tells Brek what little he knows of Sturn’s disappearance. He had provided a home for him and when they inspected the home, all his belongings were gone and all that was left was a red carnation. This flower has no significance to the group. The best they can figure is the flower included on the coat-of-arms of another village in Skivendia. Much like Brek’s home claims the white rose for its flower.

They go to Sturn’s previous home, vacated since his disappearance. Arriving at the house, Brek is overcome by a vision of the house in use, a maid, his father, and a woman that looks very much like his mother—perhaps an aunt or a cousin. His father is reading a note. Finishing, he collects his belongings and leaves the house without another word. With the vision passed, they search the home. They find the flower still there (though stepped on). They find the letter in the fire. It was not parchment but leather and had not burned up. The ink had been scorched away, loss in the black burn marks of the leather sheet. They also find Sturn’s wedding ring, in tact but warped from the heat. A Skivendian would only toss his ring into the fire as an act of divorce or when his/her spouse had died. Brek’s mother is alive, though.

Knowing that they are searching for items of value to Colvino, the group sets off to find the missing box and its contents in hope of advancing their own goals, helping Elihas’ uncle, and saving Brek from a life of slavery. This takes them back to Ciro, Colvino’s clerk. Elihas breaks into the man’s house, ignoring the quarantine and finds the man covered with hideous boils oozing puss and blood. He also noticed a faint buzzing, though he could not determine where it was coming from other than about Ciro’s body. His previous experiences with magic suggested to him that some evil creature had been summoned to plague Ciro as his ailment clearly wasn’t measles. After lengthy experimentation of stabbing and cutting the flesh from the clerk, Elihas gives up and returns to his party to inform them of what he found.

The group is appalled and after much discussion cannot come to a better solution. They return home and ponder. Here Brek realizes that the buzzing they heard must be some kind of invisible mosquito or other parasite causing Ciro to become ill. They return to the house, find a wound, and throw flour above it, revealing a mosquito the size of Elihas’ head. The group engages the thing and eventually kills it, rescuing Ciro from immediate danger.

Comments

Ha! This sesssion was a real brain burner! I’m just glad that damn mosquito didn’t finish Ciro off while we were pondering the scenario! What a vigorous clerk!

Dinner and a Disease
NHWriter

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