Session Eighteen Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 18, November 4 2020
We continue at 2:30PM on the 15th of Tenrilden with the party at the dark elf trading post buying supplies and looking for sponsorship from a drow noble house in order to enter Vilgrim and recover their friends and the spider chest ...
We do business and buy supplies. Get information from Khargrim of clan Kharst. We hire the two githyanki, Renthark & Borthum in case we come across something that will help them. We pay 250 gp to the trader Gurum of House Herig for an introduction to Ghermain of house Herig to get a sponsorship. We meet with Ghermain and with the information about the dwarven merchants with the ancient dwarven disease and that those who die of it rise and fire smoke and ash spread it. We also share that we have met and bested two Silence and have their heads and show them to Ghermain and also the letter that he wants to copy. Ghermain will draw up credentials and letter of introduction to his older brother, Aaqil Herig. He will also make a copy of the letter from the spy from The Silence. Our merchant company is "Abstract Goods". We get gear from dwarven merchant company. Wash it off and clean it. Chain mail for Peronell, axes and javelins for trog. Dwarves questioned and they encountered refugees and one sick and one was bit and skin spongy. They were questioned, then executed, then incinerated. Borders closed due to pandemic.
Deep Gnome Dissertations and Dealing in the Dark with Drow
Malgrim-Vilgram Trading Post Marketplace
We strike up a conversation with Khargrim. “We” is a loose term for Braadlur is pretty much the only one of us with a common language with the Drow and other underground denizens. Rallion’s ancient dwarven is useful to a certain degree, moreso than any of the rest of us have to fend with.
Khargrim is happy to trade with us as we’re restocking our sundries and fattening his purse. I don’t get the feeling he’s out to clip us. There’s something. He agrees to answer our questions and we carefully tally all that he’s sold us and the price of his information so as to make it out of here with our heads attached firmly to our bodies.
The deep gnome trader gives us the general layout of Vilgram, and a rundown of the upper and lower houses. All of these houses are jockeying for position in the city. Even the trading post here is a pawn in their machinations. House Thule is the most powerful with an unshakeably firm grip on it’s influence. House Herig, a lower house, is a non-xenophobic House. Thule is about the most. Herig’s plan to achieve power is through expanding trade, with anyone really. Sponsorship of Herig is given much more freely than most others. Not desperation, but a broader plan of contacts and mercantile domination I gather. Thule is a top down organization, where Herig consists of more equitable positions within the organization. Herig’s one of the few houses that entertain sponsorship of non Drow.
The Council of Vilgrim is headed by a priestess of House Thule. The other houses have no traction against Thule. Khargrim lets us know that he’d arrange for us to run into the Thule rep here, but won’t introduce us, if we wish it. His Thule sponsorship is too important to risk.
He helps place a general value on a sponsorship. It’s good to have this kind of information when we’re working within a foreign set of rules. The more value we bring to a deal, the longer leash we will have. We’re warned of besmirching the name of the House we’re sponsored by. Bad things happen to those who smear the reputation of their house.
The information on the Cloakers is rather interesting. They are assassins, however he relates that when they accept jobs, they are more religious quests than transactions. In addition, if one fails, more creatures take up the job and ensure it’s completion. This fanatical devotion is reflected in their prices. The Council of Vilgram has banned hiring them.
The dwarves came from the direction of Malgrim, he’s dismissive of them…. Surface dwellers. It seems there is much lack of respect and little tolerance toward surface dwellers, varying in degrees. He knows they ran into another group of dwarves and it didn’t go well. They fought and these survivors seem pretty desperate at present.
The Necropolis: The Drow abandoned it, something happened that stopped the machines that made life possible in the city. All the mechanical servants are gone, and the machines that moved people from place to place in the city are disabled. The Dark King is now in Vilgram.
The Silence: Not much news. They are highly, if not totally, xenophobic. The questions asked on entry to the trading post weeds out their spies… those not in their right mind. I wonder how we made it through… I KNOW we’re not in our right minds. He’s heard that Thule has an advantage against the Silence now… could be the spiderbox. Jagartha, the Thule contact here, was very excited about it. He believes it could silence the Silence.
We hire the Githyanki, Renthark and Borthun, for their swords, selling it with the possibility that they might could find a way home as they accompany us on our travels. They don’t need light, and communicate in broken deep gnome. They recognize and seem fascinated with the ancient elven dialect of Peronell. They question whether she is native to this reality, or has ancestors that came here. I wonder if the ancient elven language is an import… They speak elven a little and Drow is pretty close to their language.
Gurum agrees to introduce us to Ghermain Herig, the Herig guy here in the Trading Post. He says for more coin, he’ll put in a good word for us. We tell him we just need the introduction, thanks.
On leaving the marketplace, we attempt to pad the taxes but to our surprise, they only take exactly what we owe. Nice. Quite refreshing not to be taken advantage of. Hmm, the setup down here might not be as bad as I thought. If you can get past the diet, the dark and the danger.
We await the summons of Ghermain. A drow soldier approaches after one of the side passages’ web blockage unzips. Braadlur, Rallion and I head to meet with House Herig’s representative. As we pass through the web door, spiders in the passage beyond begin sealing it back up. Our host is dressed opulently, according to Braadlur, for a drow. Muted colored clothing encrusted with gemstones. He doesn’t appear to be a warrior, priest or magic user. We put off the business of applying for sponsorship until after a meal, the food is not bad. A bit different, but good. I am happy there’s nothing raw, uncooked or oozing bodily fluids on the menu.
We begin our discussions through Braadlur. The Drow and the Deep Gnomes, see surface dwellers as slaves, third class citizens at best. We cage around a bit testing the waters for security from prying ears. We’re assured of privacy and speak freely on the topics we discuss starting with the Undying disease. Rallion relays through Braadlur what we know and our suspicion of the dwarven traders. He immediately sends soldiers to gather the dwarves and verify our story. Too bad for the dwarves.
The discussion turns toward the Silence and we produce the scroll we retrieved from Squiddy Two. He’s quite impressed. Much more interested than with the dwarf and Undying disease information. He studies the scroll, and appears to read it. He makes a copy of the scroll and tells us that he’s quite impressed. He’ll gladly extend sponsorship of House Herig to Braadlur and his company, Abstract Goods.
In our negotiations, we are to have our pick of the dwarven equipment, mostly armor and weapons of dwarven make. He provides 3 original copies of sponsorship and a personal letter of introduction to his older brother, Aaqil Herig in Vilgram. We tell him we have a proposition that should be decided by the head(s) of his house.
We gather what we need from the dwarven merchant’s wares, and await the original Squiddy Scroll to be returned and will leave directly for Vilgram as soon as possible.
Our plan, at this point, is to ask House Herig to find out the route that our quarry is taking with their prizes from the surface from Vilgram to Tralvig. Our idea is to sell them on our ability to retrieve the item recovered from the surface from House Thule’s party. And go from there in whatever direction things fall. Which of course I’m expecting to be violent…. hopefully survivable and recover Vikram, Timon and Azra.
10pm Tenrilden 15, As soon as possible, we’ll make haste for Vilgram.