PC inciting incidents are given and play begins on the morning of the 31st of the month of Ceiturm.
Ato Thorne, Kaylin Valrok and Torr Godfren are summoned along with Baroness Niri Latticim to an emergency Siregrad town meeting. While there Vashnu Grendel of the Horse arrives and presents a speech to the gather region leaders:
“I am utterly disgusted at recent events in these lands: Invading warlords, vile art, haunted provinces, abusive families and degrading secret messages. But among these to then have murder. Uncivilized murder. ”
City guardsmen pull a small platform on upon which a gold statue is supported upon. A gold statue of Baroness Lillian Venetia from Siregrad, her embossed image naked to the crowd.
“But not any kind of murder have you, but one that is rooted in sorcery. In fact I believe this whole land is running rife in sorcery, and I am here today, on behalf of the Senate, to show that we will not tolerate this any further. If sorcery is about I intend to find the perpetrators and to bring them to justice. As of this moment I enact a binding decree that none of the local nobility may leave the provincial area of Siregrad. I likewise intend to sick you disgusting, noble dogs on each other by raising the stakes.”
“I want to make it abundantly clear that I will do this to anyone for whom I find the least bit guilty.”
Vashnu Guards tie ropes to each limb of Quiwsen Jori and proceed to pull him in different directions until he is made limbless and dead.
“I will continue to do this to all of you until I find the guilty party, even if I must end every one of your miserable lives. So I recommend that you begin to spread your despicable spies now and find me evidence for whom to kill next, lest it be yourselves whom I choose to end.”
With those words the Vashnu and his’ men barge out of the meeting hall and he rides away in his black carriage. Each major house lord spends spies to begin to spread mischief and gather information from the other respective noble houses present, particularly the four ruling houses of the provincial area.
The city guard are questioned in regards to the gold statue of presumably the murder victim, Baroness Lillian Venetia. They claim to have found the statue in the western part of Redfern forest after having been alerted by a regional patrol guard. The statue is announced as being held by the City Watch for evidence purposes until further conclusions are made.
Ato and Kaylin exchange ideas and make trade agreements, with Doctor Kice helping with the exact details of exchange. Ato giving Kaylin a season’s worth of stone for a season’s worth of gold. Likewise trade between the two Lords’ ports will begin to fall into place.
Baroness Latticim leaves the meeting, seemingly disinterested and Torr pursues the Vashnu to attempt to open relations with him. The Vashnu communicates that he has little need of Torr to which Torr leaves with an insult to the Vashnu’s loyalty. An insult that the Vashnu makes apparent record of.
Ato opens correspondence with Father William Harpest in order to get potential divine assistance in purging the land of Kunadan of its curse. Father Harpest consents on the agreement that Ato will likewise help him solve strange murders that have been occurring in Siregrad over the last 4 years. Father Harpest indicates that the local nobility have been attempting to cover the murders up and that the City guard have been bribed or otherwise distracted. Ato visits the office of Doctor Kice to speak with him in regards to these murders. Kice knows that the murders have involved beatings and localized air-born poisonings and is unable to provide much more, indicating that the City Watch may have more information. Kice asks in regards to Ato’s daughter, Maurevel Thorne, and wishes to inspect her fingers, Ato consents and sets a time for the doctor to visit Kunadan the next day.
Kaylin leaves to visit with Baroness Latticim at her estate. He finds Vaughn Royce Latticim outside her manor preparing for his duel with Torr Godfren the following week by butchering reluctant dueling partners. He challenges Kaylin who manages to mitigate and escape the engagement and then meet with Lady Latticim. She is found in her inner-castle courts painting, on a giant canvas, the events of the town meeting. When asked about what she is painted she replies, “I saw an ocean of blood…unfathomable. But I always think more efficiently when I can place things on canvas.” Kaylin requests after an emerald that his wife, Baroness Ruby Carrion Valrok, has been pestering him about. Ruby claims that Lady Latticim is in possession of the emerald and Kaylin is willing to negotiate for the item’s exchange. Latticim replies “This jewel I cannot give because I am not in possession of it, and I should believe that it doesn’t exist in the first place.” Kaylin, forsakes the topic of the jewel and enquires on Latticim’s opinion of the meeting to which she claims to have found a waste of time, except for the artistry of the statue. She claims that she has attempted to create similar things, but always failed. She likewise hints that a kind of poison/drug must have been used to get the victim calm enough that so that they could have electroplated her in such a calm position. Latticim suggests that there are only two electroplating shops in all of Siregrad that could have produced the art. With that Kaylin returns home to face the wrath of his father, Count Valkas Valrok, who proceeds to beat Kaylin to unconsciousness for making a fool of their Bear heritage and attempting to make alliances with other houses.
Torr returns to his home in Greymoore and speaks with his court scholar, Jara Haroon, about the potential effects of his black sword he found in the ruins of Deta. Jara suggests that he could find more by visiting the ruins. They visit the ruins late into the night, investigating the ruinous basement vault they found the black blade. They discover runes on the wall that imply there is a curse placed upon any who remove the blade from the vault. Upon leaving the ruins and investigating throughout Jara reports that he could find nothing else, at which time Torr’s party is attacked by a skeleton. Torr quickly dispatches it, but not before the skeleton whispers to Torr’s face that he is a dead man. Torr concludes that the party should inspect Redfern forest for any clues of the disappearance of his beloved, presumed dead, Venetia.
Ato returns home from the doctor to meet with his wife, Dara Thorne, on any matters that occurred during the day. Dara reports that there has been difficulty in reinforcing the western part of the province and have sent guards to try to establish them. Likewise no ports are willing to trade from Iteru bay. Kaylin comforts her on this account because of his agreement with Kaylin. Dara reports that the household’s servants have been speaking of a ghostly woman walking the halls of the castle at night. The ghost is described to be holding a candelabra. Lastly she mentions that she suspects Maurevel’s dollhouse to be a cause of thier daughter’s distress as its dolls portray the actions and locations of everyone on the castle property. Ato orders that Maurevel be moved to another room since the dollhouse is impossible to move, being carved out of the house itself. Nevertheless he holds off on destroying the dollhouse. Before retiring for bed a messenger arrives with a small, black silk bag. Ato inquires after the bag’s origin and the messenger relates that it came through another, unknown, courier in Siregrad. Upon opening the bag Ato finds a piece of parchment upon which is written “White knight takes black pawn. Your move.”
Inside the bag is a black pawn chess-piece.