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Lord Varios' Party

By Wesley Quadros
February, 2004

Summary
Lord Varios Restakelm has a scroll that the heroes' employers want. They accompany their employer to Lord Varios' palace for a dinner party and evening of dancing. Now is their opportunity to steal the scroll.

Introduction
This scenario should be as much about rubbing shoulders with people as it is about the actual theft. Many of the middle-ranked nobles in Joranit will be there with their sons, daughters, stewards, and other highly-placed functionaries.

This is a social occasion and retainers are not generally invited within. Armour and heavy arms will be noted and frowned upon - are you insulting Lord Vorios by assuming that you are not safe in his house? A sword and dagger will be fine as would ornate armour - a greatsword, nope; an axe, nope.

The heroes are to find a scroll in an obsidian case marked with a dragon motif.

Locations
The Entrance
Lord Varios' palace is in the High Quarter facing onto the Goddess' Way, the main street that runs from the Moon Gate to the Satrap's palace. The palace is surrounded by a 10-foot wall tipped with jagged pottery and the grounds within are patrolled by Restakelm house-troops and warded by the house deva - guardian. The grounds are accessed through an ornate gate where 3 guards and a house steward check invitations and directed the attendees along the paved drive - paved in finely cut marble slabs.

The Palace is a two-story building with a pillared entranceway. Grooms will take horses, chariots or carriages to the stables. Four guards flank the open doors where the house major-domo awaits. Heavily armed guests will be looked at significantly and there is a rack just inside the door where weapons may be left.

The Hall
The entire front half of the palace is taken up with a grand hall brightly lit by a glowing ceiling. Fine tapestries, intricate murals and ancient carvings decorate the room. Bronze statues of the house gods and of the emperor stand in lit alcoves. In the centre of the room is a great fountain that taps into a hot spring under the palace and sprays steaming water high into the air. A wide stair leads to a balcony around the room on the second floor.

The room is filled with milling people including the leaders of several major guilds, priests from most of the major temples, the city's nobility, representatives of the Satrap, the various regiments based in town and the commander of the city guard. House troops line the walls in glittering armour while servants circulate with platters of drink and small foods. There is a long banquet table against the rear wall and an orchestra plays on a raised platform in a corner.

Upstairs
The front half of the second floor is a balcony ringing the grand hall. The rear half is the family resisdence. Lord Varios' den, library and lock-room are here along with quarters for him, his sons, brothers, unmarried daughters and other family members.

Menial Stuff
Behind the hall, in the northern half, is the kitchen, servant quarters, barracks, armoury and other rooms required to keep the palace going. There are servant stairs going up the back of the palace leading to misc places on the 2nd floor. In the southern half of the bottom floor are the counting rooms, clerks' stores and work rooms for the business side of the house.

The Library
This smallish room is unlit. The walls are covered with shelves and cubby-holes holding scrolls of various types and designs. There is a reading stand in the centre of the room with a thick candle on it. The scroll that they are looking for is not here but let the heroes fumble in the dark for a while before letting them know that.

The Den
This comfortably outfitted room is lit only by the glow of the moon through the window. There is a desk, a sitting area, thick carpets and heavy candles decorate the room. There is a reading stand before the window and the subject scroll is upon it.

The Garden
The southern side of the palace is a vast garden with plants and flowers from across Dara Happa. There large beds of flowers, carefully trimmed bushes and delicately placed trees. Cobbled paths wind their way through the garden leading to alcoves and hidden glades. Will the heroes be invited to a secret assignation? Or will they find somebody in distress from a group of drunken sailors.

The 'Working' Grounds
On the north side of the palace, hidden from the view of guests, is the working side of the Restakelm compound. Here are the stables, the warehouses, storerooms and other buildings related to the actual business of house Restakelm.

Some Other Attendees
Bassil the Birinite
  Bassil is the Librarian of the Irripi Ontor Scholarium. He is new to Joranit and is getting out to all of the parties and visiting all of the quarters to see what the city has to teach him
Bourikt the Grim
  Bourikt is a popular and successful gladiator in the arena. He is the brother of Bassil the Brinitite. Bourikt is a grizzled warrior with plenty of scars and stories to show off if anybody can get past his suspicious nature.
Lady Emia RastarIning
  Lady Emia is the youngest daughter of the Satrap of Karasal. Cold, arrogant and disinterested could all describe the young noblewoman - or is that only her public persona?
Baron Jaime the Penitent
  The Baron is a Seshnelan lord leading a mission to Joranit to increase trade with his distant kingdom. He is a typical Rokari: intolerant of pagans, austere, up-tight, anal Unfortunately for him, this is a do-or-die (or perhaps do-and-die) mission from his king so he has to play nice with the locals.
Master Jepi the Squat
  Master Jepi is a senior member of the Oilman's guild. The Grand Master would not attend this gathering but sent Jepi instead. Jepi is a friendly man, fond of wine, women and dance.
Mardt the Stern
  Mardt is an Adept in the Order of Makaebeus and an assistant to the Grand Master Kartuandar. He is polite to the gathered guests but feels this kind of gathering is below him, after all, hasn't he been presented to the Emperor himself?
Lady Noilin Varest
  Lady Noilin is the sister of Lord Varest, leader of an ancient Karasali family with holdings across the satrapy, and the widow of the late Lord Gersk - 50 years her senior. Noilin is tall and elfin and friendly to all.
Adarch Saureth er Keth
  Adarch Saureth is a junior officer in the Cold Line regiment stationed in Joranit as part of the depot establishment. Saureth is from Dyth along the Oslir and was sent to the Cold Line when his womanising became a scandal at home.
Captain Weinclas Northfaring
  Captain Weinclas' is the Captain-General of House Restakelm. His post is mostly honorary as he is rarely in Joranit to fill it. He spends most of his time on the White Sea trading and raiding. He is a loud man with a thick beard that nearly eclipses his eyes, heavily calloused hands and a grip of iron.

Obstacles
House troops

Retired-Soldier 10w
Augments +2
Scimitar, Shield, Cuirass +9
Magic augments +4
Guardian augments +3
Total 8w2

Future twists
If Lord Varios suspects who stole his scroll then they will have gained a powerful enemy in Joranit. This may even spark a dart-war between the houses. It may be amusing to watch Restakelm destroy a minor trading house in retribution for the crime - while the heroes look on hoping that he doesn't figure out who really did it.

What is on the scroll that the heroes' employer wanted so badly? Is it a map to treasure? Is it written proof of some indiscretion on the behalf of another noble? Is it Restakelm's plans for a campaign to bankrupt the heroes' house?

The scroll turns out to be written in a language that nobody can read. The heroes are sent to a distant temple to find a scholar that can read it.

Who have the heroes met during the night? How did they interact with them? Any new love interests, employment offers, foes, friends, contacts?


 

 

 

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5 February 2004