GURPS – 4/26/11
We left our heroes on the great river Anduin (and-o-win), chasing the count of the eastern marshes (a loyal retainer of the prince of rohan). He’s 20 minutes ahead of us. Stormdancer lost him when he went into an inn. (He’s been traveling with two retainers.) The seeker spell shows him still inside this inn.
We’re on a fast boat that we were able to use Chris’ magic to make faster. We’re trying to catch up to the boat. The empress’ advice was to get political help; we have a password that will make that possible.
The landing outside a village: a couple of inns, a couple of taverns, a customs house, a barracks — it’s a traffic point, and some warehouses slightly off the track. (A good place to fortify the area? Fortifications a littler further downstream. There used to be a crossing point farther down, but this built up and became the crossing point.)
We want to catch him and try to get a confession out of him, so that we can get proof of the prince’s guilt.
Three sailors just came out of the inn. Guthwyn heads to the stables with the horses. We head toward the inn. There’s a whole troop of 6-11 rohan riders on patrol are in the common room. The count and his flunkies went upstairs. Nawalme senses magic and it looks like he may have teleported out of the inn. He recasts Seeker to try to find the count – using the horse blanket again to find him. (The horse from the horse blanket is in the stable. The count is still within 50y.)
In the stable, Guthwyn sees the rohan horses and knows that there’s a lot of them in there. She’s doing the whole spear and magic helmet thing.
Araphor watches the front; Bo watches the back; Nawalme and Guthwyn climb to go to the window that Nawalme knows is where he saw magic energy.
Bo readies his bow, just in case. There is a stableboy watching what’s going on.
Guthwyn climbed up and opened the shutters on the second floor. She reached down to help Nawalme inside. They’re on the second floor and head into the hall and then make their way down the hall to the room in question. The door is locked and she unlocks the door. But there will be a little noise and it will take a bit. Though with Nawalme’s magic, she can do it silently. He readies strike blind on the curse missile wand; she draws a sword. They open the door and step into the large room. The room is empty.
Someone heard them and tells them to clear out; they’ll be leaving shortly. Guthwyn opens the door (trying not to block Nawalme’s aim). They see another room and the count is sitting at a table with paperwork and he’s holding something that’s glowing orangy-yellow. Nawalme fires off the spell and blinds the count.
“That must be Nawalme Ana,” he said as soon as he realized he was blinded. He seems relatively nonplussed about being blinded. He warns them not to let the glowing granite stone touch anything flammable. Nawalme thinks it looks similar to a teleportation/communication devices he’s seen before. Something came out before he shut down the artifact; it now looks like a bag of gold-ish. He said that his master – the prince – sent it to him to pay off debts.
The people downstairs are his retainers (he realizes that we have been the ones following him). And some countrymen from castle aroch b. He seems oddly cheerful at being arrested, because he might be safe from the prince and his perditions. They take him out the back (through the window and down the side). He’s a politician so unfortunately, Nawalme can’t tell for sure with just a detect lies skill.
Once Guthwyn ties the count’s hands and tried to remove his rings — one came off, but not his wedding ring; she started to search the room, looking over the papers, etc… Receipts: he paid 3 times as much for his boat then we did; reports, etc…
She doesn’t see any bags or scroll containers or anything that he might have used to carry the papers.
Nawalme casts aura to make sure that the count isn’t a mage.
They search the outer room/bedroom. There’s the saddle bag which contains more papers, a small bag of silver, a really nice knife and another of those magical thingys that seems to have broken into two pieces. They also find his boots, which they put on him. (They bring the count and his saddle bags.) They lower him with a rope to the ground.
He’s now on his horse; we’re all together and getting ready to ride once we know where we’re going. Bo recommends against riding into Rohan and heading back toward the Empress and Thaliandor. Head downriver and interrogate him, said Araphor.
The boat is pre-hired for Empress’ use which makes it cheaper for us to hire him. The plan is to go back to the boat and go down the river; let Nawalme do his private stuff while we’re on the boat and away from people. One of the crewman is away; getting breakfast for the captain — he should be back shortly. They quickly put the count in the closed deck house, so that Nawalme can get to work interrogating him. The rest of us work to get the boat underway.
Eric’s got the best notes:
King of Rohan – addict
prince1 (useless), prince2 (golden boy) – addict, prince3 (evil)
each marsh has a count (governors)
each count has 3-5 baronets (specific castles, specific duties)
The plot: king and prince’s roles clear; we think the count is the political operators (one of the most able in the kingdom); he has been facilitating/managing the drug trade for weapons on this side and coordinating with the chatelaine (chamberlain, castle’s controller/admin). He’s the person running the operation. How much duress he’s under is different than what he may want us to believe.
Nawalme questions the count about the prince, the drugs and the king. Prince Eroed (prince3) wants to be the king, but knows that if he just offs his family he won’t get to keep the throne. Nobody in the court wants Prince Ayor (prince1) to be king; including Prince Ayor – the brilliant botanist. Prince (prince2) would make a fine king, but Eroed won’t let that happen. So he wants the king to die and prince2 to be so disgraced so that no one will accept him. There were drugs involved and the count wishes that they had never done it. Prince Arad, his assassin (tall blond leader/rapist), and the count’s brother-in-law (the baronet that hangs with Eroed). He says that he’s innocent – even under compel truth spells.
His version is that he was trying to help his brother-in-law and keep him from exposing himself and hurting the count’s sister. There was this scheme that the assassin had made – some deal – the count knew a dyer (at Castle B) that could make the drugs. He does the books now and again – much less since his wife was killed at Eroed’s orders. He children are all fostered with Eroed.
His question: “how fast can you get to Eroed’s castle?” He wants to save his kids.
The weapon’s deal… They’ve been selling the orc’s flawed weapons that will rust through over a couple of years in the elements. The weapons are going to the north; the east is chaotic and something’s going on there. About 10 years back, the town along the border started growing and they stopped making war as casually as they had been. (Could there be a controlling force?) Just last year, the petty king called to try to get help with a threat to the east; he wanted asylum. (Something REALLY REALLY bad is going on.)
We thought the drugs were under his control. We thought he was doing the paperwork and the dying operation; he knew all the pieces and we thought he was running it.
His story is that he’s just facilitating things and made the introductions.
The king of rohan knows but doesn’t seem to care. The problem according to the count is that Eroed might be the best of the worst choices available. He doesn’t think he’d be able to solve the problem; just that he’d do better than most. He has a lot of backing from a lot of the nobility. He doesn’t think any of the nobles can pull it together enough to do better.
Nawalme is sure that the count is a masterful politician; he’s sure that he’s probably lied to them as close to the edge of the compel truth as he can get. The only people that have gotten off the drugs were people that hadn’t taken it much or long; others have died.
Ayor may or may not have studied the plant that the drugs are derived from. He claims that he doesn’t know who developed the process. He says that he shouldn’t say who that was.
(The plants are grown in the north by the orcs; the seeds are traded for weapons; the dyer processes them into the drugs.)
The scenario may have been that Ayor developed the drugs for his own use, not really seeing the consequences, but Ereod found out and saw the use of it. The count says it doesn’t seem to be his style, but he was smart enough and could have been tricked into doing it.
Nawalme thinks that Neutralize Poison might be a solution to the issue. As well as Relieve and Cure Addiction.
The count was sorry to hear about Rene’s death.
The crewman returns, we head downriver, while we continue to question the count.
If we’re going into Rohan, we’re going to want to disrupt the drug network. It has a brutal and a deadly withdrawal, which means that no drugs equals civil war and the deaths of a lot of nobility.
The count thinks: count of northern marches, 2-3 of his baronets, 1 duke, most of prince2 & king’s retainers. More than half of the nobility that isn’t tied to prince3 and eastern marches.
If Ayor has a cure, he hasn’t used it on his father.
One of the Eroed’s retainer’s is a mage that created the magic item. (Megan and Eric have the name; I didn’t catch it: Alphrazam?) Eroed met him 7 years ago; he’s a mage, anger issues, good friends with the assassin. He can put anything that’s fits through the hole.
He lets us know where the drug refineries are. Possibly use hobsters to get them out?
The count would love to go back to Rohan and free his children and make them safe. Rohan needs to be safe from the bigger threat from the East – which we don’t know for sure.
Where is Thaliandor?