WotBS Lylandra's War of the Burning Sky continued - Page 5
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  1. #41

    Of Lords and Proxies Pt. 1

    I realized that translating my Lord & Lady/Proxy portfolios would take a bit longer (haha!) than anticipated, so here is the first batch of them:

    Lord Dashgoban
    Lord Tarek Dashgoban is an older dwarf with very soft smooth, thin, grey hear and a pretty similar looking beard. His small, slender frame doesn't make him look like a perfect picture of a dwarven lord and he is in fact a bit ashamed of his frailty. Nevertheless, Dashgoban is strong-willed and sometimes even stubborn ruler who is well-respected by the other lords and ladies of Dassen.
    The dwarf is the only lord of Dassen who is pretty open about his dissatisfaction with Queen Steppengard, He claims she's actually weak-willed and manipulative and he would have preferred another sovereign. However, even lord Dashgoban admits that having Steppengard is better than having no leader at all and he himself has so far shown no ambition for the throne. It seems like he is rather comfortable being in opposition to his queen and is is quite possible that much of him disliking Steppengard stems from the fact that he had to sacrifice much of his land to help founding country Steppengard.

    Lord Dashgoban is interested in genealogy and can trace back his ancestry at least to the 13th generation. He's both a traditionalist and a historian and loves sharing stories over a glass of fine spirits. He has a calm, almost sensible demeanor and speaks with a soft tongue. To everyone's surprise, he has a special taste for elven dandelion ale from Shahalesti.

    Bjonnir Dashgoban, Proxy of Lord Dashgoban
    Bjonnir Dashgoban is Lord Dashgoban's daughter-in-law and also his proxy at Steppengard's court in Bresk. She is a robust, broad-shouldered dwarven lady with beautifully braided reddish-blonde hair and lively freckles which appear all over her face. Bjonnir is fanatically loyal to her father-in-law and takes her duties as his proxy very serious. This is hardly surprising, as due to her wedding with Ghin Dashgoban she's become officially part of the Dashgoban clan and tried to uphold her people's good name and honor ever since. Like Lord Dashgoban, Bjonnir is a traditionalist who would like to see Dassen regain its former (pre-Blood War) glory. She is a bit more ambivalent in terms of supporting the Queen as she has respect for Talia Steppengard's accomplishments despite her relatively (for a dwarf!) young age. She is interested in negotiating trade agreements for Dashgoban, and especially in establishing a trade route to Shahalesti (so Dashgoban can circumvent dealing with Lord and Lady Namin) and will look out for reliable, trustworthy allies who respect both the law of the land and its traditions.

    For negotiations:
    + respecting traditions (like pointing out the importance of the Book of the eight lands), direct diplomacy (no roguish or semi-legal deals), invoking a communal Dasseni spirit, taking time, offering gifts (Spirits or Dandelion Ale), being part of a dwarven clan, offering to negotiate trade with Shahalesti

    - trying to press Lord Dashgoban into leadership or to take action against the Queen, showing a lack of respect or breeching court manners, intimidation, trying to woo Bjonnir with charme, offering inofficial agreements

    Lady Timor
    Lady Myriam Timor is a tall, regal woman in her mid-twenties. She keeps her blonde, long hair braided and prefers beautiful robes cut in a wizard's style. She calls herself “archmage of Timor” and resides in a tower complex near the Glaskeel cliffs. Despite that fact that she would only be considered a medium ranking mage in terms of raw power compared to the Lyceum instructors, she knows a lot of magic and has, in fact, studied a while in the famous school of magic. Therefore, she personally knows headmistress Simeonne and secretly adores her. So far, Lady Timor has lived quite comfortably knowing that the fire forest of Innenotdar would keep any Ragesian inquisitor far from her country. This could change if she gets to know that the forest has ceded burning as deep inside she's utterly afraid of the inquisitors and their scourge. She's also concerned for her guards who are wizards as well.

    Lady Timor is quite intelligent and has been groomed to be a ruler since her childhood. She spent a good part oh her youth being a political hostage in Lord Megadon's domain during the Blood War and learned both court manners and the ability to control her emotions the hard way. Unfortunately, both her parents were killed during the civil war and Myriam had to ascend the throne of Timor at a young age. She has quite a difficult relationship with Lord Megadon and feels a certain kind of sympathy for Lady Dene. She is interested in rekindling the relationships to the Lyceum school and would like to start an exchange program for her own “students”. She would also gladly join any alliance against the Ragesians as long as there is even the slightest chance of a successful resistance. Lady Timor loves hiking and climbing (there are rumors that she sometimes climbs the cliffs all on her own) and enjoys having a fresh breeze of air around her nose. She loves her cousins as they are the only family she has left.

    Melanie Ursin, Proxy of Lady Timor
    Melanie Ursin is both proxy and cousin of Lady Timor. She is rather small and petite with shoulder-length blonde locks and striking green eyes. Melanie is a bit younger than her Lady Timor and she is fiercely loyal to her beloved cousin (which is why Myriam has chosen her as her proxy for the court of Bresk). Like her Lady, she spend a good part of her youth as Lord Megadon's hostage and both of the girls grew to be close like sisters during the time of turmoil. Also, both had to cope with the early loss of their parents during the Blood War. In contrast to Myriam, Melanie has been rather low ranking in the line of the Timor succession, so she has never been properly trained to be a leader. This plus her relative isolation in Bresk makes her a bit nervous and lonely as she's never been the most colorful or outgoing woman. She spends a good part of her day working out negotiations and doing paperwork for Lady Timor while trying to keep a low profile. She secretly envies her marvelous, perfect, beautiful cousin who seems so dignified and almost royal compared to her.

    Melanie is interested in studying magic, but has not had time to pursue it yet. She'd do everything to get the opportunity to visit the Lyceum school and is more than willing to make contact with her cousin for any Lycean agents. She knows that her Lady is grateful for any warning about a possible Northern trade/invasion route through Innotendar forest (should the party have told anyone about it). Melanie can be easily swayed by any kind of positive attention and the prospect of getting into contact with mages. She'd also want to negotiate trade agreements with Gate Pass, now that the Elfroad is open again. Should the party be interested in exchanging students with her lady, she'd gladly try to arrange that as well.

    For negotiations:
    + Showing sympathy for the mages who suffered because of the scourge, offering (financial) support for refugees, offering an exchange program for students of magic, paying Melanie attention or making compliments, showing sympathy to her and her Lady's losses, offering any means of security for the northern border or acknowledging that their actions have put her Lady's lands in danger and explain the whole story. Intimidation might work, but she'll then act out of fear.

    - Trying to raise her above her Lady (or mention anything that sounds like some sort of competition between Lady and Proxy), don't mention the Elfroad and its dangers/opportunities at all (she'll think the party is dishonest), trying to press her into taking action against her will, mentioning agreements with Lord Megadon or his Proxy (or showing affiliation with one of them), being cold and /or rude

    Lady Dene
    Lady Selena Dene is a young, beautiful, but rather inexperienced and naive princess. She's rumored to go by the nickname "the doe" at court since she's considered to be a harmless, easy to frighten, cute girl. She does know that she has a rather small army and is afraid by the Seaquen call to arms and the growing mass of refugees there that can easily turned into a large Seaquenian army, especially since she's heard that "legendary" Xavious Foebane is the one doing the mustering. Her own army is small because her family didn't fare too well in the previous "blood war" for the succession. The Denes lost a good part of their soldiers in a futile battle against Megadon's forces and have never recovered since then.

    She's also a bit of an environmentalist, loves nature and has a rather large knowledge of local animals. She also has a pet stag and a small, private zoo. She doesn't know too much about economics, but her "trusted advisors" have assured her that the refugees going along her roads will have some money to spend and that she might profit from those "scary strangers from Ragesia". Since she doesn't want to keep them in her country, keeping the prices for mundane tasks and inn stayings high seems like an obvious choice.

    Note: Now I know that Lady Dene was originally meant to be called Lydia as this is the name of the Adventure's author. I was totally oblivious to this connection, so I just named her Selena.

    Thorn, Proxy of Lady Dene
    Lady Dene's proxy in Bresk is a stern, rough man that goes by the name of Thorn (Dorn in my German campaign). He seems like a battle-hardened veteran in his thirties-fourties and he is not really a master of diplomacy. In fact, he's better at intimidating people into keeping their meddlings away from "his princess". What only insiders know is that Thorn is the bastard half-brother of Lady Dene who served as her bodyguard in years past. He's a rough negotiator and will not agree to any plan that might endanger Lady Dene, her reputation or the things she loves. Thorn will be interested in an official non-agression pact with Seaquen and might also be curious about the green Dragon in the swamp (if the party made Naielasza friendly that is). He thinks the threat of such a marvelous beast might be reason enough for the other lords to stay out of Lady Dene's affairs.

    For negoatiations:
    + Praising Lady Dene, mentioning the importance of her security, direct&honest talk, offering a non-aggression pact with Seaquen, offering to take more refugees, offering to mention Naielasza to Lady Dene's neighbour's proxies (should the Dragon be a topic), offering gifts (especially cute, magical beasts for his Lady), offering a private talk with Xavious Foebane, having a (former) soldier in the group

    - Intimidation. Especially in form of Dragons and Armies. Saying anything bad about Lady Dene, showing mercenary-like tendencies (like negotiating too much over money). Thorn doesn't trust mercenaries.
    Last edited by Lylandra; Saturday, 27th May, 2017 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #42

    Of Lords and Proxies Pt. 2

    Lady & Lord Iz
    Lady Sharka of Iz is a middle-aged dwarven lady who was the only heir to the throne of Iz during the last Blood War. She's almost always depicted wearing arms and armor of some kind and, in fact, loves the touch of steel on her skin. Fortunately for her and her country, she met the slightly older knight Fuko during her military training and both fell for each other after spending some time together. Right now, the couple has two young-ish sons who are being schooled in their hillside castle, so the line of succession for Iz is pretty much secured. As Lord Fuko got injured during the war, the pair split their responsibilities so that Fuko right now does most of the actual ruling and paperwork while Sharka plays the role of her army's supreme military commander who travels the towns and villages of Iz to make sure her citizens are all right.

    As country, Iz has a strong military tradition, and Lady Iz is actually very popular within her realm. She has good ties to her former commander Xavious Foebane whom she fondly remembers as her mentor when she was younger. She does love a good and clever plan and is otherwise pretty loyal to the throne of Dassen, even if she might have small doubts on individual decisions of the King/Queen. The Iz value honesty and bravery and would secretly love to kick some Ragesian ass.

    Note: Yep, I made "Lord Iz" a dwarven couple. Because I like racial diversity and thought having close ties to Xavious would be cool. My own party had a good head start with Lady Iz as they met her along the way to Seaquen and warned her about the open Elfroad in advance. I'll discuss the results of their negotiations with Iz' proxy later.

    Murdoch Kronsberg, Proxy of Lord & Lady Iz

    Murdoch is, like Fuko, Sharka and Xavious, a former member of the Iz military. What makes him stand out is the fact that he is no dwarf, but a human veteran knight who made himself a name after leading a charge against the late Lady Rego's forces in the Blood War and cleverly negotiating the opposing force's terms of surrender on his own. Murdoch is a grey-haired and -bearded man of approximately 50 years who is displaying a calm, down to earth attitude and who is known to greet everyone with a calm smile. He is no natural courtier, but still beloved by many of the lower ranking court members as he seems almost humble and unnaturally kind to them. To his peers, Murdoch can be quite the calm, dark and deceptive waters as he is very perceptive and can almost smell uncouth behavior. This is why he is not on too best terms with Lord Namin.

    For negotiations:
    + displaying military knowledge & cunning, mentioning previous friendly contact with Xavious Foebane or his involvement in the growing Seaqueni army, addressing a possible Ragesian threat from the north (via the Elfroad) & explaining how the forest stopped burning, being friendly & humble, showing respect to the Throne of Dassen, telling tales of own “battles”

    - showing disrespect for Queen Steppengard, being arrogant or rude, being whimsical, trying too obvious tricks, showing too much of an affiliation with Namin, suggesting anything that could be interpreted as disloyalty to Steppengard

    Lord Rego
    Lord Timon Rego is the young and quite inexperienced Lord of the lands or Rego. Despite his youth, he has acquired quite a temper and is prone to react in a choleric way when things don't turn out the way he planned. Unfortunately for him, country Rego is in a quite desolate condition after the Lsi Pu incident which happened 10 years ago. Back then when he freshly inherited his lands from his late mother, the much beloved Lady Rego, the northern firlds of Dassen were a quite fertile rural area and a rich farming ground. The Rego citizens have always lead humble lives, but always had enough to make a good living for themselves. When Lsi pu conducted his experiments in the Tundra Mountains, he unleashed a catastrophic storm which devastated much of Rego's lands. Being under duress, the young Lord then horribly miscalculated and lost much of his own resources to his peers. What is worse is that despite having a lot of counselors and mentors, they all seem to contradict and mistrust each other, making it even harder for Timon Rego to make a proper judgment.

    Rego is on bad terms with the Seaqueni leadership and especially with the Lyceans as he makes them responsible for letting Lsi Pu go unchecked for so long despite his frequent calls for help. However, Rego was known to quickly shout “fire” when there was only a little spark and called the mages for help when they were not needed at all. His second problem is the refugee crisis: At first he was quite happy that some of the richer refugees were buying up resources for good money en masse, but after a while he had to realize that now his populace doesn't have enough resources left to feed themselves. So in one of his tantrums he declared all refugees to be personae non gratae and has withdrawn himself from all official affairs ever since.

    Timon Rego is a man in his early twenties who has lively, reddish hair, freckles and wears quite fashionable glasses. He would be considered to be quite a handsome bachelor if not for his unstable temper.

    Damien Roland, Proxy of Lord Rego

    Damien Roland is the brother of one of Rego's many counselors. Despite his allegiance to both his lord and his older brother, he really does his best to help his country out of its rather depressed state. He knows Lord Rego rather well and due to his empathy he is initially not a friend of anything or anyone from Seaquen. He truly believes that the Lyceans left his Lord in his country's most dire times and considers the mages of the school to be arrogant and selfish. So far he has tried to get the other Lords of Dassen to share the responsibility of taking care of the refugees (despite Rego's official statements, Roland is no cold-hearted man), but he has gained a rather strong opposition in form of Lord Megadon and his proxy who would rather see to stick to the status quo.

    Damien is a man in his early fourties who likes wearing a formal clerk's attire (as it makes him feel more comfortable in his role as proxy). He is not the most eloquent speaker, but is rather direct and honest about his Lord's needs.

    For negotiations:

    + Offering financial help, making an official apology for the Lsi Pu incident, offering any kind of resources, especially food, offering to take all of Rego's refugees, being helpful & kind, being empathic to the dire needs of the Rego citizens, showing dislike for the richer Dasseni nobility

    - being arrogant or dismissive, offering more counseling or counselors, defending the Lycean “ignorance” in the Lsi Pu incident, openly calling Lord Rego choleric or hysteric, calling out to the (lacking?) empathy of Lord Rego, not taking Rego's issues seriously or making jokes about the situation

    Lord Megadon
    Lord Johannys Megadon is a bald human with a black goatee in his mid-40s. He seems stern, almost arrogant and is wearing the traditional, dark-hued well-cut clothes of an aristocrat (I imagined him to look a bit like Mordenkainen... minus the robes.). Lord Megadon is one of the few Lords of Dassen who actually profited from the Blood Wars: Having his lands basically on a peninsula, he was quite secure from attacks of the other noble families while he still had access to all of the important trade routes and fertile fishing and farming grounds. Therefore, he developed a feeling of being untouchable and basically doesn't see a need to make compromises with anyone. On top of that, according to the book of the eight Lands, he's the official next in line for the throne of Dassen – until Queen Steppengard eventually decides which of her children should be crown prince or princess.
    Lord Megadon is only interested in very specific and extraordinary privileges or honors. He is in a long-term feud with Seaquen over fishing rights in the Gradis reef. What makes his relationship with Seaquen worse is their seeming inability to deal with a colony of Sahuagin in their northernmost territory (the Sahuagin live officially in Seaquenian lands, but tend to terrorize the neighboring Megadon villages). He is also not very fond of the masses of refugees who travel through his land as he sees them as plundering, savage and poor hordes.

    Note: On paper, Megadon makes a really good “bad guy” and prime suspect in the murder case. Unfortunately the situation in Bresk is clear enough that no player will try looking for him as mastermind behind the assassination.

    Leandra Tudor, Proxy of Lord Megadon
    Leandra is Lord Megadon's vassal and stems from an old merchant family. She is a clever, rational woman in her 30s who has both the attitude and the looks of a successful businesswoman. In fact, Lord Megadon chose her to be his proxy because of her dedication, focused mind and excellent negotiation skills. For Leandra, being a proxy is a serious job, but she has no ambitions for her own position. Therefore, she has gained the reputation of being kind of a workaholic who spends all day in her office and has no particular interests of her own. Her main goal is to secure profitable trade agreements for her Lord and to keep her eyes open for potential threats. She knows her Lord's needs very well and is basically the “proxiest” of all the proxies.

    For negotiations:
    + offering to deal with the Sahuagin, offering to enchant Megadon's ships with protective wards, suggesting more trade agreements, lowering import taxes, promising to take all refugees who stranded in Megadon, giving up the Gradis reef, dealing with Leandra in a rational, level-headed way

    - being overly emotional or arrogant, failing to address or underline the special position of Lord Megadon, ignoring the Seaquen-Megadon disagreements, making demands, trying to woo Leandra (too unprofessional)

    Lord & Lady Namin
    Lord Florys and Lady Magret Namin are very close siblings and the only Dasseni nobles who don't have an official proxy in the capital. Instead, one of them (usually Lord Namin) stays in Bresk while the other sibling does the job of ruling at home. One could easily mistake the two of them for twins as they look very much alike and even wear the same Shahalesti-inspired style of fashion: Magret is a slender, almost pale woman with shoulder length platinum blonde hair and blue eyes while her similar slender brother Florys keeps his hair in a ribboned pony tail and sports a tiny, fashionable mustache.

    Lord Namin has so far unsuccessfully tried to become Queen Steppengard's husband which is why he spends so much of his time in Bresk. He is a charming, likeable, sometimes a bit arrogant, vain and self-centered man who has high ambitions for his family. He knows that at least one of Steppengard's children is his own, so he acts really friendly and caring around the young princes and princesses.

    Both Namins have excellent ties to the Shahalesti as Namin's territory directly borders the elven lands with only the Tundra mountains between them. They would like to see an open alliance with the elven kingdom to the east and both regularly try to advocate making contracts with the Shahalesti ambassadors. Should the need for a military alliance against the Ragesians arise, both siblings would strongly recommend allying with the (in their eyes) superior forces of Lord Shaaladel.

    For negotiations:
    + making compliments, offering gifts (artworks, elven jewelery, clothes...), showing refined manners, using subtility, showing allegiance to the Shahalesti, mention being on good terms with the Shahalesti or having met Princess Shalosha in person, being a Shahalesti, offering to put in a good word with Steppengard, successful subtle intimidation

    - failing to address the “dead Shahalesti” who were found after the attack on the Wayfarer's theater (Namin might read is as sign of a coming coup against Shahalesti), calling the elves “occupying forces”, “tyrants”, “murderers” or the like, being overly direct, brushing off Lord Namin's aspirations to become king, failed intimidation

    Note: As I switched Steppengard from King to Queen, I had to switch Lady Namin to Lord Namin in a similar fashion. I didn't really change his/her attitude though and I guess my description would work for a woman as well.

    Lord Michael Gallo
    I didn't really change Lord Gallo too much, but I was toying around with the name Alydi Gap and asked myself why that pass wouldn't be called anything more akin to the Gallo family name. So I added a noble family named Alydiosus which had been wiped out in the course of the Blood Wars and which formerly ruled the lands of Gallo in the years past. Gallo and his family were just higher ranking knights from Alydiosus' military who defended the gap with their men despite having no real Lord to command the army. When Talia Steppengard ascended the throne of Dassen, she made Gallo a Duke and the new Lord of the northern lands for his loyal services to Dassen.

    So that's it. Feel free to use my descriptions or to comment on them

    I highly recommend any DM to plan at least the proxies and their interests in advance if their group likes roleplaying more than simply throwing dice in adventure 4. My group really took the whole affair pretty seriously and spoke to each proxy in person before the audience with Steppengard.
    Last edited by Lylandra; Sunday, 28th May, 2017 at 11:25 PM.

  3. #43

    Group diplomacy, part 1

    The next morning, Balan, Cuin, Tinu and Torrent head to Steppengard castle to meet up with the various Proxies. As “ambassadors of Seaquen” they are shown around by the many clerks who work for the Queen and the nobles/proxies and also get a glimpse of where the Ragesian ambassadors have their rooms. They ask whether they may talk to the proxies and are given the answer that they are free to approach them or their assistants, but that they all will have their office duties to attend to and might not have too much time to spare.

    They just start with the first office which reads “Proxy of Timor – Melanie Ursin” and enter. Both elves are positively surprised to see a young lady who is writing notes into one rather large book. They shower Melanie with compliments and especially Tinuviel takes great lengths to impress and flirt with her. In terms of diplomacy, they warn her of a possible attack on Timor from the north as the Elfroad is open and they even tell her that they did the deed because they had to rescue the Seela from eternal suffering. They also show sympathy for those who are threatened by the scourge and inform Melanie that a non-aggression-pact with the Ragesians will not end well for the magically gifted people of Dassen.

    As Melanie and Lady Timor are already pretty much against “allying” with Ragesia, their arguments fall on fertile grounds. On top of that, Tinuviel's heroic tales seem to impress the young proxy and it is more than obvious that she fell for the charme of the dashing elf. Tinu recognizes her interest and promises to return later.

    The next proxy, dwarven lady Bjonnir Dashgoban, seems to be a stark contrast to easy to impress and almost shy Melanie. She greets them with an open welcome, but also immediately informs them that she may not have too much time and that she also doesn't know whether the Queen would listen to any proxy as she's more fixated on her adviser Nina Glibglammer this days. Nevertheless, the “ambassadors” would like to hear all sides in this matter and Bjonnir agrees on a short exchange.

    First, the party is relieved that Lord Dashgoban does not seem to have any interest on the throne himself. Cuin'halar reminds her of the (old, but still fragile) Dasseni unity and that becoming a “servant” to Ragesia's will might not be in the best interest of anyone who is interested in the sovereignty of Dassen. He says he fears that the Queen's recent moves might be clouded by grief and the thirst for revenge as people are now being executed by the Talon police if they are suspected of having had contacts with a presumed assassin. They leave Bjonnir with the feeling of having made a good impression on her.

    Note: They did not really discuss trade or contacts with Shahalesti, but Dasseni unity and traditions are big topics for Lord Dashgoban, so I gave them a bonus on their diplomacy roll.

    The next office belongs to Dorn, the bastard brother of Lady Dene. At first, they are a bit shocked to see a man who could have easily been a mercenary being an official proxy, but after the man explains that he would trust no one else to represent his princess, they warm up to him. The gruff Dorn explains that he doesn't really care about much else than dear Selena and her safety and that all the rundown people running through Lady Dene's lands make her (and him!) pretty nervous.

    They use his own argument and tell Dorn that if Lady Dene is already afraid of the refugees then a full Ragesian army en marche to Seaquen hungry for a fight would be her living nightmare. And that even a strong, battle-hardened man like him might not be able to protect his beloved princess from thousands of Ragesians. Dorn is visibly infuriated at this thought. They incite him even more and then try to gain his sympathy by saying that each and every one of them has someone or something special they wish to protect from the Ragesians and that he can prevent what happened to their own home and their own families in Gate Pass. This way they win him over quite easily.

    Note: I had Dorn talk pretty roughly, directly and as un-courtly (but still acceptable) as possible. Cuin and Balan remembered the rumor that he was the half-brother of Lady Dene, but didn't mention it to her proxy, so they were not that surprised when he spoke about “his princess” in surprisingly soft and loving words. I got the feeling that especially Tinuviel liked that rough-but-caring part of Dorn and they even came to bond over the “things they'd do for love”.

  4. #44

    Group diplomacy, part 2

    Next up is Murdoch Kronsberg who treats them all very friendly after they introduce themselves. He mentions their previous encounter with Lady Iz and thanks them (unofficially) in the name of all of Dassen for their warning about the open Elfroad. They discuss the forming of a “refugee army” in Seaquen and both sides praise the excellent military knowledge of Xavious Foebane. Speaking of Foebane, they manage to quickly dissolve all fear of a “barbarian Seaquenian invasion” from the south by making sure that the veteran dwarf trains them well and for defense only.

    Murdoch also makes it clear that despite his and his Lady's good will, Iz has always been and will always be loyal to the crown. He really doesn't want to endanger fellow Dasseni, but he surely wouldn't want to commit treason.

    At first, the meeting with Damien Roland doesn't really turn out like they'd had hoped as Lord Rego's stance on Seaquen and the Lyceum is extremely negative. Not that they didn't expect this from their short times traveling his lands. Tinuviel tries to calm down the tensions between Proxy Roland and the team by presenting an official letter written by headmistress Simeonne herself in which she apologizes for the Lsi Pu incident and failing to protect the Lands of Rego. Damien Roland accepts the letter and promises to send it to his Lord. They also cautiously offer to start trade negotiations so that the starved populace of Rego can benefit from Seaquen's rich fishing grounds.

    Leandra Tudor, Proxy of Lord Megadon, is not that keen on dealing with the Seaqueni either as she's constantly busy writing letters and reading correspondence during their meeting. She makes it clear that in order to get Lord Megadon't interest and good will, one would better make a good offer or stop trying. She starts off pretty directly by suggesting to deal with the Sahuagin first before even trying to negotiate with her Lord. Cuin agrees that the Lyceum might look into the external threats from the sea, but that then Lord Megadon should “do something to protect Seaquen from outside forces” (read: the Ragesians) as well. Leandra explains that maybe Seaquen should initiate action in this case first as it is clearly them who'd want favors from Lord Megadon.
    They also discuss possible trade agreements and taking some refugees, but Balan makes it pretty clear that giving up the Gradis reef is out of question – although one could agree on sharing the fishing rights.

    Next they try to find Lord Namin, but don't find him anywhere, neither at court nor in his office. As the hour turns late, Balan suggests to maybe call it a day and head to a good restaurant. They all agree with this plan and hungry Balan leads them all to a really fine etablissement in the lower city. They are all surprised by the warm and comfortable temperatures in the underground tunnels of Bresk as they had all expected some kind of wet and cold dungeon.

    After their meal, Tinuviel decides to combine having a good time and expandin his diplomatic endeavor. He heads back to castle Steppengard to see whether Melanie Ursin is still in her office. As she's prone to work overtime, he does find her and invites her to a meal and some good wine in one of the guest houses he had seen in the lower city. As Melanie was very much charmed by the elf during their earlier negotiations she agrees and leaves the castle in his company. They are watched by some guards who do not really seem to care much about the couple.
    Tinuviel and Lady Timor's Proxy spend the rest of the evening and most of the night together. The charming elf makes sure that she's sleeping safe and comfortably when he leaves her later that night and returns to the Golden Griffon.

    Note: I already decided that Melanie would be the easiest to impress of all the Proxies and Tinuviel really hit the mark with her by showing her all the affection she never got. I asked Tinu's player a for what his intentions with her were and he told me that it would be some “extended diplomacy” in combination with his tendency to romance nice ladies. For the guards... of course they were noticing that the foreign ambassador was leaving with one of the Proxies...

    The next morning, the team prepares for the upcoming audience with the Queen which is scheduled for the next day. They head over to the court of Steppengard and get a glimpse at Nina Glibglammer, the Queen's gnomish adviser. Tinuviel tries to get a better picture of her and he focuses his “empathy” on the gnome. He manages to sense an uncanny kind of determination but otherwise pretty concealed emotions from her.

    Note: Madness as Nina is trying to conceal herself as well as possible. As she got a very specific plan, I decided that she'd be pretty fixated on that aim. Oh, and I changed her to a gnome as I erased all traces of halflings from my campaign. I am not too fond of the small folk and there was no real reason to keep both races from the narrative.

    They stumble across Lord Namin who is busy chatting with beautiful ladies who seem all very interested in the more than handsome man. Tinuviel asks the rest of the group to handle Lord Namin on his own as the Namins seem more than just interested in anything Shahalesti. So he introduces himself as Tinuviel ar Shahalesti, the twice removed cousin of Princess Shalosha. Hearing this name rings a bell and Lord Namin starts praising the beautiful lands of the Shining Lord and his even more beautiful daughter.

    He then almost botches his negotiations with Namin as he then explains that he is no supporter of Lord Shaaladel's politics due to his war crimes of decades past. As the ladies seem interested in this “news” about the Shining Lord, Namin quickly compliments them to a separee to discuss things in private. Cuin'halar jumps to Tinu's help and explains that he, a Taranesti elf and friend of the “noble Tinuviel ar Shahalesti”, is the reason for his friend's disagreements with his “uncle”. He then tells Lord Namin about the fact that the Ragesians are no friends of the Shahalesti as they are already invading the lands of Naamis. So if he wants to serve both Dassen, his Queen and his and his sister's “beloved Lord”, he should consider advising the Queen against a non-aggression-pact with the Ragesians. Especially since everyone knows that proud Shaaladel might see a neutral stance of Dassen as treason.

    Note: I let them make their diplomacy rolls after each talk instead of during the audience scene. And considering their efforts and cunning, it did pay quite out well. We basically spend almost the whole session talking and negotiating which is what I (being an avid diplomancer when playing myself) had hoped for.

    Last but not least, the party wants to visit the last missing proxy, Jinis Bremman. Turns out that he is still imprisoned as he's one of the prime suspects in the assassination of the Queen's children. They discuss the matter a bit and shortly after, Cuin'halar comes up with a plan to get to at least see Jinis. They head off to the prison/garrison and ask for Thurask, the current head of the Talon police force (yep, they remembered that name). They introduce themselves as ambassadors from Seaquen who came to Bresk so that they may start diplomatic talks with the Queen and all of her Proxies. And they had promised the “government” of Seaquen to talk to all the Proxies which includes Jinis Bremman. And that they would really know that they cannot talk to him officially, but that it would suffice if they could at least have met him in person and said hello.

    After a bit back and forth, Thurask agrees to let one of them see his prime suspect. Tinuviel takes the task upon himself and is lead to the dungeons where he also sees the “crazy man” Nina Glibglammer plans to question the next day. Tinuviel is glad to see Jinis in an acceptable condition and tries to gain insight on whether he might be possessed by a Trilith spirit. He doesn't really think of a fusion, like himself and Empathy, but more like the things Dabra had planned to do with Menash and the new-born Madness (haha, quite fitting). When he's sure Jinis will be all right, he tells the Proxy that his son is doing well in the Lyceum before being forced to leave again.

    Note: There, I got myself caught with the Thurask story i improvised earlier. Nina Glibglammer would have never let the Seaquenians see Jinis as she'd know them to be the enemy. But Thurask, while being pretty unscrupulous, does have a sense for politics, decency and a heart as he was known to be a prominent military leader. So he'd show Jinis to Tinuvuiel. A favor, I would kind of “regret” a bit later. But well, a GM should be able to live with the consequences of her actions
    XP RangerWickett gave XP for this post

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