There was an attempted coup years ago at Duke Eaglevane’s palace – or so I was told, my only real indication that anything had happened was the tea service was late that day. And the pile of corpses in the courtyard that afternoon. It’ll be interesting to see one up close. I figured it’s best to do your couping early so before dawn my three Strider friends and I gathered Sir Bedeweir and Eva Marie before heading to the master bedroom. We passed a few guards along the way but they were tribesmen and did nothing to stop us – Grig must have gotten with the program. There were two orcs standing outside the bedchamber itself but they were dispatched quickly by Erist and Bedeweir. The door was locked but Dario produced some picks and had it open quickly.
Lady Grace was still abed – and snoring like a drunken lumberjack – but the lord of the manor was sitting at a small table with scrolls and parchments overwhelming the tabletop and spilling onto the floor. He was, as you might imagine, quite startled by this turn of events.
“What’s the meaning of this?!”
“Did it occur to you at any point that making an open invitation for inveterate gamblers to come into your home was potentially a bad idea?”
He yelled for his guards and with an arcane gesture hurled a wave of flame at us – that was quite unexpected, I had no clue he was a magical sort. I was barely able to duck out of the way. There was a bit of a fracas but he was subdued without too much trouble – the scuffle finally waking up Lady Grace. She was understandably confused.
“My lady, I think it would be best if you retired to the sitting room just this moment – we have matters of state and so forth to discuss with your husband. I’m sure it would bore you.”
She hurried off with the hem of her fine nightgown flapping about her like small wings – I think it was Shadowsilk, very nice. Grace the Younger was ranting about how we were all dead, his guards would be coming and so forth but from the sounds of battle out in the courtyard we were hearing I didn’t think that was likely. I asked him why he attacked Fellstone but he refused to say anything at first. Things changed when Grig and a few of his men came in and dumped an armful of orc-heads on the floor – ruining a Krentish rug. I sat down on the bed and helped myself to some wine.
“You see how it is. So what’s the story? Have you taken leave of your wits or why are you doing bizarre things like sending orcs to attack your own people and setting up this ludicrous contest?”
He sneered – and I’ll say this, the man has a heck of a sneer “Why should I tell you anything traitor?!”
“Seems pretty obvious, if you don’t we’ll kill you – if you tell us what’s going on maybe we won’t. What do you have to lose?”
He cursed me for a while, then came the blustering, but eventually I was able to get it out of him – he was trying to find a tomb of some sort that was reputed to contain an item of power that he coveted. He had asked for the documents at Fellstone but they had instructions from the Count himself not to share them so he had his men attack in the guise of raiders to steal them.
“But after the attack your men came directly back here – didn’t you think anyone was going to notice?”
Apparently he didn’t. He had organized the gambling event specifically to lure in Sir Bedeweir – his agents were of the opinion that his sister’s new family had another part of the map he needed and he had intended on taking him as a hostage. This got Bedeweir quite riled up – he gave a right pretty speech about Grace not being a proper liege lord at all and how he had betrayed the trust that the Count and the King placed in him with this scandalous behavior.
“I couldn’t agree more. Well my friends, what are we to do? The proper thing would be to take Lord Grace to Fellstone and hold him there, send word to Three Rivers for a magistrate and explain the whole thing. But on the other hand, I have no idea what the political situation is – that may be asking for trouble. We could just kill him ourselves and say that this keep was overrun by orcs. That’s a nice convincing lie that won’t cause any problems.”
While they talked it over I went to check on Lady Grace – and found the sitting room empty. How tedious. These noblefolk and their gods damned hidden doors and secret passages. I sighed and came back into the bedchamber.
“Where did she go?”
Lord Grace the Younger grinned a shark-grin and I took out my dagger and slit open his pyjama pants. Much to the alarm of Sir Bedeweir.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m going to start cutting off one of his balls until he tells us.”
“Madam surely you cannot be serious!”
I never get to have any fun. We dragged Lord Grace to the great hall and Grig and his men searched the keep room by room – rounding the confused gamblers up and moving them into the great hall as well. In addition to Lady Grace the woman with the tattoo was missing, along with bull-neck and the chaplain who I had not met. The passage from the sitting room lead underground where before the family crypt there were secret cambers where it seemed another passel of orcs had been hiding out. Lord Grace seemed to be quite dismayed that they were gone rather than battling through the hallways to rescue him.
“Well my friend, can I ask you something – did this whole tomb thing you’re working on come from your wife by any chance?”
“Of course not, the new chaplain . . .”
“And where did the chaplain come from?”
“My wife said . . . I mean after the old chaplain . . .”
“Died under mysterious circumstances? Had an accident of some sort? If it makes you feel any better she had me fooled as well. She seemed as dumb as a post when I talked to her. I wonder where she and her orcs are off to now. Wouldn’t it be crazy if she was a half-orc in disguise? That would explain the snoring. Tell me when you two were having sex did she bite you a lot? I’ve heard that’s an orc thing.”
It was decided that Bedeweir and the Striders, except Erist, would take Lord Grace to Fellstone and call for the regional judge from Cathars – and hope that the political chips were in their favor. Since the Lady was fled and all the household troops were gone this left who would be in charge of the keep ambiguous. We were discussing this when a hue and cry came from Grig’s men manning the walls. I stepped out onto the battlements and saw in the distance a body of Vieland soldiers on the march – heading straight for the keep. Of course. I tried to stifle a giggle and failed. Erist glared at me.
“How is this funny?”
“How is it not?”
Funds: 12,012 gold
Inventory: Peasant outfit, wooden box, Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, thieves’ tools, land deed, Bag of Tricks (rust), gold ring, Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Disguise kit (6 uses), Domiel family ring, walking stick, aquamarine, masterwork playing cards , +2 Studded Leather Armor, +2 Light Steel Shield, +1 Keen Shortspear, hematite armbands (2), mithril hair clasps (3), Sir Humperdinck memoir, Mazzmus’ Wand (unidentified), Brooch of Shielding, Potion of Invisibility (3), Oil of Animate Dead, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (2), spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, platinum necklace, Pouch of Magic Stones, flask of acid (2), alchemist’s fire (2), giant wasp venom (10), oil of taggit (2), alchemist’s kit, formula book
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni
Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Teams – Labors, Brute Squad (Robbers and two teams of Soldiers)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill