Daerdenfel

Session 1
Whoomp, Daer it is

In the opening session of the second Daerdenfel campaign, we find our new heroes, R Pompus Antillus and Woden sitting out the bitter Daerdenfel winter in the city proper living a modest but comfortable lifestyle in the Quintus district. After a day of scholarly debate in the library for Pompus and exploration of the underbelly of the city for Woden, the pair head off to meet in a Dwarven bar for a leisurely nightcap. On the way there R. Pompus sees an Imperial procession heading to the higher districts of the city. Upon leaving the bar, the somewhat inebriated duo pick a fight with a cloaked man mistreating a young woman they would later learn was a prostitute.

After an embarrassingly quick combat leaving the cloaked man incapacitated and unarmed, he yields and prematurely calls off a yet unseen companion (or companions) in the alley from which he emerged. R. Pompus keeps the man’s sword and the man makes unnecessarily veiled threats before heading off. The prostitute reveals that her violent former patron was Elvin of House Sullinger. The party escorts the young woman back to her illegal brothel outside the city walls.

The following day the pair strip the sword of identifying marks and break it down, fencing the unrecognizable parts to an unsavory character by the name of Logan Sprunk for a sizable sum of gold. R. Pompus spends the rest of the day questioning his academically inclined associates about local politics, veiling his inquiries about house Sullinger under the guise of general interest in politics. He learns a fair amount about a growing divide among those prominent in local politics regarding Imperial influence in the march. One of his associates pulls him aside on his way out telling him that a politically minded, high born, native Saerd might find work at The Vaestio Syndicate.

After a good night’s sleep, the duo buy new clothes and head to the Vaestio Syndicate and are ushered into the office of Bertrand Hamelin, who is impressed by Pompus’ credentials and offers sponsorship for guild membership for both party members. As a trial for their membership, Travaere gives the party a quest to help some local hunters who have sent word that they are in over their heads with hostile wildlife. After accepting the offer, they notice a great deal of commotion in the halls of the Syndicate, and they charm Travaere’s assistant Laurent into revealing that an urgent meeting of The Undaevigenti is to be held in the next few days regarding the establishment of a new trade road to the Saerdic heartland.

The next morning Woden returns to Logan Sprunk to purchase a horse for their journey and the pair meet with Laurent for the details of their journey. They set out immediately following this meeting, encountering two noble retinues on their way out: one flying the banners of House Waters of Traeland entering the city and the other flying the banners of the Duke of Aclaeden (in the principalities) and being turned away from the Vaestio gate.

Woden makes quick work of finding two of the three hunters in the woods stuck in a tree, their colleague having been devoured by wolves. The party sneaks towards the wolves last known location and spots the pack lead by a dire wolf. After taking a bit of damage in the fray, the two kill the wolves, keep the pelts as a prize and make ready to return to Daerdenfel proper.

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Session 2
Truth or Daer

On our heroes’ journey home from the woods north of Daerdenfel they see the shimmering lights of Daerden magic keeping seismic activity at bay on Mt Cladeus. Smoke in the distance draws their attention and they investigate to find a magma filled crag spitting out an obsidian orb before the Daerden enchantments can close it. As they slowly approach they realize the orb is an egg as it begins to crack open to reveal the glowing fiery maw of a fire snake, the larval stage of a salamander. Rather than run or fight, R Pompus Antillus enthralls the creature and after a struggle to communicate, convinces it that he is friendly.

Woden rushes back to Daerdenfel, arranges a meeting with the Daerden in hopes of attaining some degree of fortune for taming a wild baby salamander. The Daerden take little persuading to come take the specimen home and Woden gathers a contingent from the Vaestio Syndicate to tag along as well to arrange the transaction. On his way into the Syndicate, Woden sees Laurent expelling a familiar face from Woden’s less tasteful dealings who they would learn was an Auditor for the royal mines.

The company of nearly nearly 30 Daerden, Syndicate associates and men at arms leave the city and find R Pompus still struggling to convince his friend to continue the march to Daerdenfel. Once the price is agreed upon, the Daerden, lead by chief Arcanozoologist Henric Gelden, shackle the beast and make for the city. Pompus, Woden and Gelden share a scholarly discussion of magical beasts and a brief history of salamanders in the March on the way home.

Returning to the Syndicate, the party receives Laurent’s accolades in Travaers’ absence. Laurent offers the pair Junior Associate status at the guild and states his expectation that Travaers will promote them to Senior Associates when he returns and hears of their profitable heroism. He tells them that their next task will be to check in on some Imperial Surveyors making preparations for the potential trade road outside of the dwarven city of Alderstadt.

The party spends some of their hard earned cash the next day on some equipment upgrades and heads down the mountainous path towards Alderstadt. On the way the two are caught off guard by a pair of harpies. The battle goes in favor of our heroes, and the party lets the defeated harpies go with a warning.

When the party arrives at the Imperial camp, they find dozens of Imperial corpses and after some investigation, evidence that the attack was perpetrated by dwarfs. They continue on to Alderstadt and fumble their way through an investigation of where this attack came from. The authorities seem unaware of the trade road plan but agree to send a delegation to Daerdenfel to discuss the situation. At a bar in a bronze collar dwarf neighborhood the party question a bartender with little success and continue to the shadiest portion of a dwarf city that one might find. There they ask a street performer some questions and are referred to his brother, Ghumbar, a gemsmith. Ghumbar has a taste for politics and is the first to admit he knows all about the trade road. He gives perhaps an unsatisfactory run down of dwarven politics and potential motives leaving the party feeling defeated in their investigation and ready to return home.

The party meets with Laurent again back in Daerdenfel and begin to tell the story as Travaers returns. Travaers is delighted by the party’s exploits until he hears of the attack on the Imperial encampment. On this news his tone becomes more urgent and he asks Laurent and the party to inform High Chancellor Zenisek of the Imperial University of everything they saw.

The party complies and on their walk back to the guild they get word that Guildmaster Corbin Sanmarco is dead.

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Session 3
Out of OrDaer

We resume where we left off, with our heroes R Pompus Antillus and Woden having just heard that guildmaster Corbin Sanmarco has been assassinated. Laurent rushes the pair to Vaerwood Manor, the home of Bertrand Travaere. They inform Travaere of what they know and he rushes off to the guild with his household guard, requesting that the party defend the house while he is gone. In addition to the party members, he leaves his butler, his cook and a Vaestio convoy guard named Ponce with whom he had been meeting.

Once gone, R Pompus distracts Ponce while Woden rifles through Travaere’s papers and picks locks on his desk. The only substantial item found was a dossier with the stamp of house Hamelin, in which Woden found a marriage contract between Bertrand Travaere and Laela Hamelin.

Moments later the party along with their new friend Ponce come under assault by a curious and not entirely stable gnome wizard. Ponce is quickly able to grapple him allowing R Pompus time to easily ensare his mind and attempt to read it. After being expelled from the wizard’s mind the party resorts to more traditional interrogation tactics. The gnome is convinced that Travaere is evil and has stalked him to meetings with houses Sendrakar, Alworth, Hamelin, Sullinger and to Imperial Chancellor Zenisek. After concluding that this gnome is insane, the party counts this intel as a net gain and turns their prisoner over to Travaere to be escorted to the dungeons.

Increasingly pleased with the work of this party, Travaere hands over Senior Associate badges to all three before asking them to spy on the guild for him to get a sense of the direction the elections are taking.

The party rents a room across from the main entrance to Vaestio and begins the stakeout. Ponce makes a first attempt with the receptionist and learns that Vita Sanmarco, daughter of Corbin is running for guildmaster. It seems she blames the dwarves for her father’s death and may be planning anti-dwarf policies for the guild. During this time Woden notices Chancellor Zenisek slipping in a side door to the guild.

In their next attempt, R Pompus and Ponce sit down at a table of Vaestio members having a midday meal and drink. After some probing, they learn a variety of things: That Vita Sanmarco plans to cut off trade completely with the dwarves, that the pro-imperial vote will likely be split between her and Orel DiSaerd who has not been as quick to blame the dwarves, that many associate level guild members will vote by their sponsors’ wishes, that the anti-imperial votes will likely go to Octavius Kent but that he is unlikely to be able to defeat even a split pro-imperial vote, and that Travaere’s support could be a deciding factor in the elections.

Ponce returns to Travaere to give a report, explaining all that they’ve learned. Travaere congratulates him on the party’s work, tells him that they should passively support whichever pro-imperial candidate they see as weaker. He asks that the party deliver two sealed letters to Vita Sanmarco and Orel DiSaerd separately. When Ponce returns, the party opens the letters after forging some replacement seals ahead of time. The letters both offer Travaere’s support to their respective recipient in the final days of the election but not sooner.

The party reseals the letter and delivers them to their intended recipients, noting Vita’s forward and friendly disposition but also her distinct hatred for the dwarves as well as Orel DiSaerd’s lack of capacity for truly inspirational leadership. On the way in the party sees and greets Chancellor Zenisek coming out of Vita’s office.

After dark R Pompus magically disguises himself as Robert Kennard, a Vaestio Partner he had used fro information earlier. He goes to the third floor of the Syndicate hall and convincingly exclaims that there is a thief in the warehouse. All of the guards follow him down though two break off realizing how empty they had left their posts after about 30 seconds. During this time Woden sneaks up to the third floor and tries to break into Corbin Sanmarco’s office. Unfortunately he is repelled by a magic lock. He then moves on to Vita Sanmarco’s office and successfully breaks in. Inside he finds letters pledging the support of 3 additional Senior Partners of Vaestio and notes the names. He hears guards outside and escapes by the window.

After reporting again to Travaere, the party is asked to passively support Vita and to cut off contact with Travaere until the election is over but to do him one final favor, delivering a package to house Hamelin.

The party predictably breaks into the package revealing completed paperwork with all but the recipients name to become a member of the Vaestio Syndicate along with a Junior Associate badge with the name Hamelin. The party reseals the package and delivers it directly to Marco Hamelin in an awkward but inoffensive exchange.

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Session 4
Daer Nachtmann kommen

Our heroes return home from the House of Hamelin and disguise themselves for an information gathering mission to the brothel they encountered in Session 1. On the way there Woden senses the party is being followed and they back into an alley hoping to ambush their follower. In doing so Woden backs directly into Thawmis Fingerfunk, a roguish man of the night who was descending a wall on unexplained business.

After rushed introductions, the shadow of a horned, winged figure appears on the wall next to them, presumably coming from the street. The party and their new friend prepare to attack the beast as it turns the corner, learning too late that the shadow itself was the threat. The beast, later revealed to be a summoned shadow demon, emerges from the wall and attacks the party. Once the demon is defeated, the party cancels their mission to the brothel and retreats to Thawmis’ haunt for the night.

The following day, the party head to the brothel undisguised and with insufficient stealth. They convince the matron of the establishment to provide them what information her employees can gather on Vaestio and Imperial patrons for an upfront fee and a stipend to keep quiet. They leave the brothel and get fish for breakfast at the docks.

Returning to the city, the party does a bit of investigation in the same bar across from Vaestio they had used previously. They find a bunch of Vaestio underlings arguing about the election and try to get involved. No new information comes out about the election, except that some of these people are kind of dumb. Ponce challenges the Vaestio associates to a game of fist rummy in a week.

The party, finding trust and a valuable skill set in Thawmis, ask him to move in with them and help find a new place. The party buys a new house and splits up to run some errands. R Pompus Antillus and Thawmis spend a few hours buying hardware to deck their new place out with traps and alarms while simultaneously Woden and Ponce sneak ineffectively into the old apartment to check for intruders and gather their effects. They see no sign of intruders and gather what they can before meeting back at their new house. Together the party constructs the traps, for which they purchased parts.

The next morning the party emerges into the Daerdenfel spring festival ’Optimae’s Awakening’. They eat, drink and allow themselves to be entertained until speeches by Vaestio Guildmaster candidates were scheduled. The expected three Vaestio candidates give predictable speeches until the third leaves the stage and Travaere walks on arm in arm with Laela Hamelin. He says he is not running but goes onto introduce the candidate that has his backing, Marco Hamelin. Marco steps on stage and signs paperwork announcing that the first decree abdicates his title to his daughter and her husband, the newly styled Lord Bertrand Hamelin. The second admits him into Vaestio, establishing his eligibility to run. He further explains that Bertrand has agreed to help do for Vaestio what house Hamelin had done in the past for Faerinatus in establishing the plowshare exchange.

Later that day Bertrand Hamelin meets with the party. He thanks them for their service, says he and Marco have built a strong coalition to defeat the trade road treaty. He offers the party a choice between staying with Vaestio under Marco Hamelin or staying with him and leaving the guild. The party chooses politics over business.

The election goes exactly as Bertrand and Marco Hamelin planned, with the lower ranking guild members overwhelmingly voting for Marco Hamelin much to the chagrin of the higher ranks.

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Session 5
Undaer Arrest

At the start of this session, our heroes get word of the results of the trade road vote. The vote has failed and the city is rife with controversy over the vote. Not having plans to meet with Bertrand Hamelin until afterwards, the party arranges terms for and fights their match of fist rummy. Despite a rough start, the party wins the match with a healthy score of 6-1. As per the arrangements, the losing team made pancakes for the party the following morning. They were terrible.

Later on the party arrives for a meeting with Bertrand, once again finding him away on business, but this time his wife Laela has them sent in. She wraps up her business with the Duke of Aclaeden and Ponce notices a conspicuous gesture implying a treasure chest on the ground was changing hands from him to her as he thanks her. The Duke leaves and Laela gets down to business with the party.

Laela is concerned given imperial discontent in the city after the vote that they will not go quietly. She asks the party to tail an important Imperial retinue down the Geld river and gather what information they can about Imperial activities and plans. R Pompus Antillus suggests that he might infiltrate the ship through deception rather than stealth and Laela agrees to the idea.

Pompus heads to the imperial square and makes quick work of finding the Imperial Retinue lead by Imperial High Envoy Xander Valerius. He convinces them to take him home in exchange for the promise of reward on his safe arrival. The following morning R Pompus gets on one of the crew of river boats ferrying the imperials to Kensrik Gate. On the riverboat he bores a senior officer named Pontius with tales of archaeology prompting him to change the subject by discussing his admiration for Zenisek and all he had done for Imperials in the city. Pompus spends some time gathering whatever Pontius knows on the topic of Zenisek. Once at Kensrik gate and out of the mountains, the Imperial retinue switches to a Caravel and upon embarking, immediately arrest and detain R Pompus. In the brig Pompus convinces the guard to get one of his superiors. Pontius is brought down followed later by Valerius. He is shown a warrant issued by for Pompus’ arrest. The warrant just has a drawing of his face with no name attached. Pompus is able to convince Valerius that he is an imperial agent and was only with them because he was running from Bertrand Travaere. He goes on to imply that Zenisek must have been mistaken asto which side he was on. Valerius says he will vouch for him when they arrive at their destination but cannot free him.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the party had convened with a Vaestio riverboat captain called Skip Rufus. The party see a large white dragon fly overhead a few days after embarking. Another day downriver the boat is attacked by Kuo-Toa but the party has no difficulty defeating them. When their boat arrives in Kensrik Gate, the party sees the Imperial Caravel just pulling out of the docks and spends an outrageous amount of time arguing what the plan should be. They ask Rufus if he can keep up with the boat and he says he thinks he can.

After nightfall the party uses a grappling hook to climb over to the Caravel (with some difficulty and injury but with a remarkable deal of stealth and discretion). Woden sneaks into a common room off of the main deck while Thawmis Fingerfunk and Sir Ponce head below to the lower deck. Immediately upon walking down the stairs, R Pompus sees them and tries to mind control his guard into looking away and being quiet. He fails and the guard is momentarily alerted that something is going on. Ponce immediately charges and grapples him allowing a combined effort of Ponce and Thawmis to knock him out before he can yell. They take his keys and free R Pompus.

The three below deck move back upstairs and rendezvous with Woden who has been searching unsuccessfully. They all continue into Valerius’ state room where Pompus mind controls him into answering a series of questions about who Zenisek had been speaking to and what his plans are. The party decides they are testing their luck staying around any longer, grab some dossiers off of Valerius’ desk and slide down their grappling hook back to the riverboat (once again with some difficulty, almost losing the dossiers to the water but for some quick reactions from Ponce).

The party pays rufus to take them back to Kensrik gate with an additional fee for his silence and read the contents of the dossiers on their way. Important intel includes the warrants for Woden and Pompus’ arrest and orders to rendezvous with the 4th legion in Hogdel Falls They charter another boat back to Daerdenfel and meet with Travaere. Travaere commends their work, pays them well and agrees to provide them with some additional secure housing.

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Session 6
Easier saerd than done

in which the party infiltrates zenisek’s lair, and uncovers and foils his half dragon growing plot.
Travaere later gives a spoiling mission in the south to the party

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session 7
If I had a Hamelin, I'd hamelin in the morning

in which the party plans their move south

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session 8
Moderation of temper is always a virtue, but moderation of principality is always a vice

in which the party begins their quest in the principalities, first meeting jackmerius taktheratrix in a fight with a landshark, then successfully bringing lord Neumann of maple crossing into their plans.

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