Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Forewarned is Forearmed

After many lengthy discussions on why information-gathering is such an important skill (both with my players and here, on the Mug) I am happy to report that the Hounds of Aros did just that last night. While it took a long time and was not a coup by any means, they all feel more secure for the what they've learned.

To be succinct: Naur's master, Tholindinar, sits on the Council of the Silver Wizards. He is on the outs (for reasons they have yet to uncover) with his fellows, but he appears to be one of the more moderate members of the Silver Order, content to study magic and sneer at the Green Wizards (who are an active political player in support the Towerborn King) from afar.

The most powerful voice on the Council, a sorceress named Alodoriala, is his chief rival. She is openly antagonistic to the Green Wizards of the Tower, something that he sees as unnecessary and possibly dangerous. The catalyzing event is the discovery of an ancient elvish tome, The Book of Dreaming Secrets, replete with magic from the Fourth Age. Possession of this book would be a coup for either organization and it just so happens to have come into the hands of a wealthy merchantess in a nearby port town. Tholindinar hopes that his 'prentice and the Hounds can beat out an unpleasantly named adventuring company (the Scourge of Six) for the contract to go buy it and do so before the Green Wizard's own proxy company does the same. This will boost his standing in the Council, to be able to say it was his apprentice who retrieved the book.

Here's what the Hounds discovered last night:

Tholindinar is a double-edged sword; he may allow Naur to get into the Silver Manse, but mention of his name tends to be polarizing to the other Silver Wizards.

The Silver Wizards assume the contract is well in hand already and that the Council has decided on the Scourge.

Naur has planted the seems of his own companies' hiring in the mind of the Undermaster Velhandar and also hinted that he might abandon Tholindinar if properly enticed.

Oloz learned of the adventuring parties that reside in Tyrma, the most famous of which are the Blades. They are a group of houseless knights and a wind priestess, and they generally serve the Tower. He also heard brief mention of the Woodwatchers and High Harps, but the poet he spoke with was more dismissive of them.

Further, he learned that the Scourge of Six hails from Arvoriena and is extremely mercenary. They are led by a wizard named Salainen. Amongst their number is a Murathan swordsman called Al-Saif and an elvish thief named Findal. Predictably, they aren't known for their kindness but rather for following the coin wherever it may lead.

Through listening to idle bar-talk between two ship's masters in the White Swan, they learned the houses generally perceived to support the Alcosa. Rumors centering around a civil war seem to be common, for the Alcosa fear that if the Towerborn King is allowed to have his way when he dies the Green Wizards will convene an Electoral Council which has not been done in centuries upon centuries.

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