Having just slain a God, the party was camped outside the goldmine of the now re-deceased Sarrieth Dreadbane, licking their wounds and contemplating their next move. Tamera offered the Eye to Donovan, and further explained its powers as a powerful scrying device, said to actually be made of the Eye of the Goddess Sidhe. There was debate over who it should go to – Tamera wanted no part of it, and Donovan did not want to be tempted by its power. Ari decided to carry it, as she couldn’t use its power.
Meric offered to explain the political situation in Valendia, as it could directly affect their next actions. He explained it thusly:
There is disagreement amongst the noble families regarding the succession to the throne. When King Albert Lothar, the former king, was on his deathbed, all of his possible heirs had died of disease or in battle. The Knightblade family were close cousins, and Arturos had built up a reputation for heroism amongst the people from the days of his adventuring career. The King chose him as his heir, much to the disgust of the Orren family. Since Arturos left no heir, the line of succession would normally fall to the oldest male of the Albion family, who are most closely related to him. However, the Orren family has disputed whether King Albert’s deathbed proclamation was legal – the decision was never formally approved by Parliament. So their position is that Arturos was never King to begin with. Further, there’s no statute of limitations regarding challenges to succession – therefore, the matter must be put to Parliament. To further complicate things, another young man has stepped forward claiming to possess documentation that proves him to be Arturos’ legitimate heir – Artemis Knightblade, formerly Artemis Locke.
Portia’s honor required that she follow one of them. However, she was beginning to have different ideas since her experience with Elbert – perhaps the knighthood was dead. Perhaps none of these nobles deserved the crown – perhaps she should be the ruler of Valendia. She then decided – she would follow her own path, as Meric was doing, and try to win the crown for herself.
After some rest, the party returned to the city. Tamera decided to lay low again, and stayed outside the city gates. She also stated that she had some errands to run.
Meanwhile, Donovan and Augustus went to Dryxie’s Spells and Scrolls to sell some loot from the temple – notably, the magic weapons they obtained from the dead God. After their business was done, Dryxie told them to keep an eye out for a dirty half-elf who had been stealing her potions – she didn’t want him dead, just beat up. Donovan spotted the guy after leaving the shop – he offered to sell some potions to him in an alley. Hoping to teach him a lesson, Donovan cast a Shocking Grasp on the guy – and was surprised when his low-level spell killed the thief.
Portia first checked up on Elbert, and discovered that he’d been released from custody. She located him in the Emerald Gauntlet Guildhall, and asked how his trial went. He recounted the tale of his trial – how the priests had spoken with the corpse he had been accused of murdering, and found that she had never seen her attacker. They thus had only circumstantial evidence, and could not convict him. Portia congratulated him, and offered him a place in her future army if he desired it; he heartily agreed.
She then decided to check out the property that they now possessed the deed to. It turned out to be a run-down two-story building in the Guildhall District. The windows were broken and boarded up, there was no door, and several vagrants were using the place as a hotel/bathroom. Portia chased them out and surveyed the place, deeming it worthy to become her new base of operations – she’d start her own Guild, just like the Emerald Gauntlets.
When she met with Donovan that night, he reminded her that the deed technically belonged to the whole party, and so they were entitled to a portion of the proceeds from her guild. Portia decided to allow this, on the condition that Donovan put some money into rebuilding the lot. Portia then worked to name her guild, and decided to call it The Order of the Black Phoenix. Donovan contacted the Craftsman’s Guild with Portia’s specifications, and paid the appropriate fees. They told him the renovations would be done in a week.
Meanwhile, Portia began scouting for recruits. After stealing several workers from the Emerald Gauntlet hall, she spread the word that she would be paying for booze at the Hearty Knave Inn for all interested prospective members of this new Guild.
The next morning, Portia resolved to visit the rival noble families (whom she now viewed as her competition) and assess their strengths and weaknesses. The party followed, though they wondered what she was up to – her talk of overthrowing the kingdom was starting to get to Augustus. From Meric, she learned that the Albion family ruled over a large chunk of Valendia from Bluemarsh to Westerport; however, they kept an estate right in town. The Orren family, meanwhile, lived a short distance north of Merridell, which was near the border with Syrraco. Portia chose to investigate the Orren family first, for reasons only she understood.
The party set forth on the path to Merridell. Though they were briefly interrupted by Bulettes, they continued on their path.
Note from the DM:
Finally got around to writing these summaries, but there’s such a huge gap between sessions that my memory has grown fuzzy. If you spot any error or if I’ve left something out, please let me know in the comments.