Investigations and Alterations, (Hillmeet part 2)
Reeling from the brutal attack by the Dragon’s knights, the party quickly split apart as they dealt with their frustration and anger in methods of varying productivity. T’karska lit a bonfire for her giant mantis mount and assisted with the pyre for the bodies of the enemies. Baron Adelhelm and Princess Aurelia set about raising their fallen party members by employing the services of [name] an incredibly rich freelance divine caster and renowned patron of the arts. Briggs started attacking every bottle of alcohol and every guard he could easily find, although he left the guards bruised and alive in their broken guardhouses and checkpoints, he was not so merciful to the alcohol. Eventually, Briggs was corralled by three strange magic-wielding guards into what they called the ‘meat fountain’ and once he agreed to be subdued, he was taken into custody.
Meanwhile Herod, unaware of his party’s ill fate made an excellent profit off of the rainbow flowers, eventually earning the ire of the local flower mob, but they failed to intimidate the savvy businessman. After amassing a very tidy sum of money, Herod had the good fortune to be approached by a member of the Royal Family looking to secure trade between Dragonridge’s Flower Garden and the royal garden of thorns. He also had the ill fortune to be found by Aurelia, who quickly appropriated a large sum of the money to be used in raising Lady De Burgh and Zyphon from the dead.
Everything and everyone was sorted out by the next morning, with the exception of Briggs who remained incarcerated for his one man rampage across the city. The party, including the massively hungover dwarf, were invited to speak with the Commander of the Guard of Hillmeet, a hard bitten woman and a chronic smoker named Daisywillow. Daisywillow explained, in between smoke rings from her aromatic cigar, that she was willing to overlook Briggs’ ‘indiscretion’ out of appreciation for him not slaughtering her guardsmen, and offered to either take care of the investigation into what happened, help the party with it, or leave them to their own devices. After some debate and context as to what happened, the party agreed to go about their investigation into the attack alone.
The party learned (with the commander’s help, despite her insistence that the city guard were not going to help) that the captain of the Rohan soldiers in the Lady Rohan’s family home had actively prevented the soldiers from assisting their lady during the attack, and then hanged himself once the battle was over. They also learned that one of the two guards responsible for the security of the wards was murdered, his body stuffed into the plane of shadow, while the remaining one insisted he simply let the enemy in as part of a heraldic oversight.
Not believing the guard, Zyphon followed the man through a winding, complicated path meant to foil any tail to the site of the guard’s kidnapped family. Despite the guard’s precautions however, the seasoned tracker in bird form easily found the kidnappers’ lair in the claustrophobic housing of the city’s second district.
Unable to assist with tracking the guard, Baron Adelhelm reluctantly agreed to participate in Lady Rohan and Lady De Burgh’s makeover, after a terse dinner with his in laws (where he found out Lady Dragonridge was pregnant with his eight and ninth children). Although Adelhelm had resisted the onslaught of men, monsters, undead and fiends, even he could not withstand the talents of Hillmeet’s greatest barber, and for a time, his beard, mustache, and eyebrows were well and truly dignified and under control.
Once Zyphon gave the party a target, the party proceeded to smash it, as they were so often inclined. The kidnappers attempted diplomacy and coercion in equal measure to secure their lives, but neither appeased the party and after a very short battle the kidnappers lay dead or dying at the party’s feet and the guard and his family were safe (at least from the kidnappers).
Once Zyphon moved on from his old chew toy to his new one, the party learned a great deal of information from the more intelligent of the two remaining thieves. The less intelligent one corroborated much of the first’s information, albeit unintentionally. It seemed that although the ambush had been in set in motion some time ago, it was barely out of the planning stages when the party arrived. In addition, it seemed the party were not the original target of the attack, but rather an ‘air based summoner of the kingdom’s nobility’. Only one woman in the kingdom properly fit that description, the Dame Veronica Rohan, Baroness of the Golden Sheaves and Lady Rohan’s stepmother. Apparently, the kidnappers were waiting in the wings to abduct her from the docks, before the Dragon’s death squad could make good on their ambush.