Campaign of the Month: April 2019

First Blight

01.04.841–02.04.841 TE – Highever
Revas, Rhea, Sargis, Valeria

The Velvet Fang

In the morning, everyone gathers for breakfast and sees Hildr looking rough after a nightmare and Rhea looking like she barely slept at all. She requests to go to the herbalists’ shop in the morning before the gang follows up a lead in the brothel.

The streets here in the city center are clean and well-kept, save for a few pieces of paper fluttering around thanks to the wind. Some of the buildings here have seen better days, but most of them are in rather good shape, as befits a city center.

Small groups of people wander these parts, going from one shop to the next, or simply having a look at the windows.

The Wilds is a robust one-floor building. There’s plants and flowers visible through the large windows and a small welcome mat is lying in front of the entrance.

Inside, the smell of greenery fills the air. It is almost suffocating. Along the wall stands a large shelf with all kinds of jars, bottles, and plants on it.

While Rhea and Revas go to the herbalist shop, Valeria and Sargis go into a music store. This large stone building has seen better days. Its façade is dirty, overgrown, and in dire need of repair. Even the door has seen better days, though it is at least reinforced with metal. Through the windows, a well-lit interior can be seen, which is in much better shape than the outer wall.

Inside, a woman is playing the piano. She is a weathered woman with her dark hair worn in a long, tangled style. She is wearing fine clothes that are brown in colour.

Sargis stands in the middle of the room, watching the woman play the piano, while Valeria stays in the background.

Rhea and Revas get some of the items Rhea needed, and Rhea is told of an island in Great Bear Lake she might need to visit to get what else she needs. Oddone Braunbeck warns her that there might be a dragon around that area, you never know. He seems slightly deaf and from a place called the Orthlands, which both Rhea and Revas figure out after listening to his accent for a while.

In the music store, Valeria buys a blackwood kalimba for herself and a cherry wood lyre for Arna. Sargis plucks at a harp and seems enraptured by it.

Revas and Rhea in the meantime have finished their business at the herbalist and wander off to the next building. It is a small building at the center of town made out of large stone bricks. Its roof is dark and dirty, and from inside the clanking of metal on metal can be heard.

Inside it is almost unbearably hot, as two forges are heating up the small building. A muscular qunari owns this place. His clothes are dirty, despite the heavy leather protection he is wearing.

They speak to him, and he seems rather bored while he is talking to them. Rhea decides that maybe Revas should collect yet another man for his harem, but Revas is insistent that he’s had enough. And so he only buys an exceptional dagger and then leaves the store, while Rhea tells him to wink at the qunari man called Marak. Revas, under his breath, mutters:

“I only have one eye, Rhea! It would just look like I’m blinking!”

Eventually, while Valeria gets Arna’s gift wrapped, Revas and Rhea join her and Sargis in the music store called Soul Sound. They watch what Sargis is doing for a while, slightly suspicious, and wondering whether he’s on drugs. Then Rhea has a look at some of the instruments, and the group leaves.

Valeria hands Arna her new lyre, and Arna gives her a kiss on the cheek as thanks, which makes Valeria blush terribly. Arna grins and even plays a few notes on her new lyre, but doesn’t dare play a whole song in the middle of the inn. She promises to play some music for Valeria later that night.

On their way to the Velvet Fang, the group hears some rumours:

  • It’s no coincidence that Conobar got Highever. He paid someone to have the former Arl Tenedor and his knight Ser Forannan killed.
  • Had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance. She was a whorish young woman who cheated on him with a bard and then left together with that man.
  • Arl Conobar has a bastard daughter and son with someone from the Guardians.
  • Arlessa Teagan has been amassing troops in the Halkirk Arling, and no one knows why.
  • She had a dalliance with another woman of low status.
  • Nest of Sparrows is an organization that puts children to work.
  • The children are all orphans, poor things. They are clearly owned by whoever they work for.
  • Someone has seen a man hit one of the children once.
  • The man who frightens the children is called Silver.
  • The children are all unhappy, and sometimes some of them just disappear.

Arriving at the Velvet Fang, Revas climbs up the building next to it to try and look in through an upper story window.

Inside, the group is greeted by someone from the establishment but after spotting a woman with silver hair and dark blue eyes, they focus on her. She seems to run this establishment, the fabled Silver who only has eyes for Rhea.

Revas meanwhile heads up to the roof and stashes his stuff before turning into a raven to take a look around and listen in at some windows. Once he’s decided on a plan, he dresses himself again and climbs up to the third floor, where he climbs in through a window. He listens and sneaks around a bit until he gets to the fourth floor, where he quickly slips into a nearby room to avoid people coming up behind him.

When he turns around, there is another elf looking at him like she got caught doing something she shouldn’t. The two speak for a moment, and promise not to say anything about each other. The young woman also tells him some things about a man named Corbin, who is supposedly Silver’s second-in-command. She describes him as a handsome young man with medium dark skin, short brown hair, and grey eyes. Revas keeps all that in mind, and while he’s already in what Revas suspects is Silver’s office, he has a look around at the papers lying around. Nothing unusual seems to be there, so he gives up and leaves the room, going downstairs as if he belonged there.

Downstairs, Rhea is making an effort to seduce Silver, who’s not so easily had. Silver mentions coin and payment a couple of times, and while she seems to enjoy the attention Rhea is giving her, she also makes it clear that this isn’t going any further than friendly flirting.

Valeria decides not to say anything and instead turns to talk to Sargis. Then Revas descends the stairs.

Several guards walk into the brothel looking for the gang, claiming they are wanted for assault and murder. Valeria willingly goes with them, as do Sargis and Revas. Rhea first hides under the table, and then tries to make a break for it but gets caught immediately.

When the gang is escorted into the jail and their individual cells, they are taken to another room one by one by a guard to have a conversation.

First is Revas. When Revas is taken to the other room, the guard seems fairly relaxed and friendly.

“Why are you here in Highever?”

“Looking for a ship.”

“Why are you looking for a ship?”

“Because I want to go home.”

“How long do you intend to stay?”

“Hopefully not long.”

“That’s not really an answer, but I’ll let it slide,” the guard says. “You’re a strange bunch. Three humans, one elf. How did you end up together?”

“We met at a tavern.”

“That was how long ago?”

“Half a year ago.”

“Alright, what were you doing in the Alienage?”

“Visiting my people.”

“Okay. What is your business with the Steel Picks? Are you part of the elvhen freedom fighters?”

“No, I don’t live here.”

“Why did you attack the guardians in the Apothecary?”

“They were harassing the clerk. They didn’t back down.”

“Who is Bernard to you and why did you attack him?”

“He’s nothing to me, I don’t know him. He attacked my friends.”

“Which people would you like present for your defense?

“Yeric, the alchemist.”

Then, Revas is taken back to his cell, and Rhea is told to come with the guard. Her questioning requires a lot of patience from the guard, as Rhea constantly tries to talk her way out of things, or is purposefully vague. Eventually, the guard gets her to comply. Somewhat.

“Why are you here in Highever?”

“To travel. Trying to get out of here.”

“How long do you intend to stay?”

“We were gonna leave today, but…” Rhea motions at her shackles.

“What is someone of Tevinter origin doing here in Ferelden?

“Many of my fellows were imported here. I originally served in Denerim and then Wutherford, then I made some friends and married a very handsome man. We have a son now. I’m just living my life.”

“You guys looks like a wild bunch. How did you end up together?”

“I don’t know how the other three met, I know they used to be in Jader. I met them near Caer Darrow.”

“Why did you attack the guardians in the Apothecary?”

“They were trying to rob the poor man.”

“You were just defending him?”

“Of course, you can ask him.”

“Why did you use magic on your opponents?”

“I would like to speak to whoever made such claims. Maybe it was just a trick of the light. Who knows whether they even know what magic looks like, you don’t even have a Circle.”

“Who is Bernard to you and why did you attack him?

“He was leading a rogue sect of guardians, they were robbing people, etc, and we confronted him to stop what he was doing and he refused. One thing led to another rand next thing we knew we were defending ourselves. We spared who we could, but sadly he died.”

“You didn’t set out to kill him?”


“Which people would you like present for your defense?”

“Captain Dimitru, and Yeric the alchemist.”

“Alright. I’ll take you back to your cell now.”

The guard does so, pushing Rhea into her cell. When he picks up Sargis, he seems fairly annoyed, much more so than he was before talking to Rhea. Once they are alone in the room, the guard sits across from Sargis.

“Why are you here in Highever?”

“Just passing through.”

“Passing through to where?”

“We’re going back west.”

“How long do you intend to stay?”

“I honestly have no idea. The sooner we leave the better. "

“I couldn’t agree more. How did you end up together?”

“Meeting on the road, hanging together… the roads are dangerous, with all those darkspawn about. This was all just a misunderstanding. Some guardian business needed taking care of.”

“Why did you bribe the official to let the people go?”

“I didn’t bribe anyone, I made an agreement with him and he allowed us to purchase the freedom of the prisoners. In full public view. He told me a price and I paid him.”

“I see. And why did you attack the guardians in the Apothecary?”

“Well they have been going around harassing shopkeepers, and we asked them to stop and they drew their weapons and assaulted us.”

“Why did you kill the guardian in the Apothecary?”

“There were more of them than there were of us, and they kept coming. And you know how fights are, you can’t always control the fight. The rest are alive and well.”

“Who is Bernard to you and why did you kill him?”

“Bernard is the leader of this fiendish band of no-good rascals. I was just having a drink with my friends and he walked in and wanted a fight, and so we took it outside. Only he was killed, we spared the others.”

“Which people would you like present for your defense?”

“Yeric, the alchemist and Captain Dimitru.”

Once Sargis has been taken back to his cell, Valeria is brought to a separate room, where a very annoyed guard starts questioning her.

“Why are you here in Highever?”

“I’m here to travel.”

“Travel to where?”

“Down River Dane.”

“How long do you intend to stay?”

“Well I was planning to leave today.”

“Well that’s not gonna happen. How did you and the others end up together?”

“Hm. The usual circumstances when you bump into people who don’t always match with your ideals.”

Valeria can tell the guard is getting frustrated with her non-answers. "Fine. What is someone of your heritage doing with these people?

“Just because of my heritage it’s not going to be easy to find people to simply do business with. You gotta be able to interact with everybody, not just one type of person.”

“Whatever that means. I guess we’ll just keep this going, then. Why did you attack the guardians in the Apothecary?”

“I heard sounds of distress from inside the shop, from the shopkeeper, Yeric. I went in as a concerned citizen.”

The guard grumbles something to himself, clearly dissatisfied. “Who is Bernard to you and why did you attack him?”

“Bernard to me? I mean I don’t really know this Bernard that well, but considering that he had connections with what happened in the Apothecary, as well as some other mentions of such bullying and throwing his weight around while using the Guardians’ name in such a light, that would be my reason.”

“Which people would you like present for your defense?”

“Captain Dimitru. Yeric, the alchemist.”

“Alright then. Back to your cell you go.”

Clearly in a very bad mood, the guard takes Valeria back to her cell.

Later that day, the group faces a hearing. Judge Korinth is presiding. In the back of the room, Captain Dimitru sits in a corner, watching everything happen. Several guardians are also in the room.

The group is led into the courtroom, their hands bound, and shoved before the judge, who looks less than amused. He reads through a few statements and then lifts his head.

“You are here today because you are accused of the following: Revas. Assaulting a citizen, disturbing the peace, hampering justice. Rhea Bastion Biel Burdock. Assaulting a citizen, disturbing the peace, hampering justice, and using magic on a citizen. Duncan. Assaulting a citizen, blackmailing an official, disturbing the peace, hampering justice, and murder of a citizen in two counts. Valeria. Assaulting a citizen, disturbing the peace, and hampering justice. What do you have to say in your defense?”

Revas stays quiet.

Rhea: “We were only doing this in the defense of the city of Highever. There were rogue guardians afoot and we only did it to help the people of Highever. In addition, just because I look Tevinter doesn’t mean I use magic on every person I meet. I think the assumption is very rude.”

Sargis winks. “Firstly your honour I would like to apologize for this egregious waste of your time. You’ll find we’re innocent and all we had in our heart were good intentions, to help this city in these troubling times.”

Valeria: “I am here as someone who helps people, no matter what city I’m in. Regarding these charges, I think the truth will come out.”

“How do you plead?” The judge asks.

“Not guilty, your honour.”

“Is the city prepared to go forward with the trial?”

The prosecutor stands. “We are, your honour.”

“Then we proceed with the trial tomorrow morning.”

The group is put back in their cells.

02.04.841 TE

The next morning, they are taken to the courtroom again. Judge Korinth is presiding. He’s an older man with short grey hair cut the way soldiers wear it. His clothes are neatly kept and he’s flanked by two clerks.

Again the judge reads out the offenses, and then asks whether the pleas stay the same. The plea stays the same, and the prosecutor rises.

“Calling our first witness, Jonas Broadseat, Guardian.”

One of the surviving guardians from the Apothecary walks up to the stand.

“Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth?”

“I do.”

“Please state your first and last name.”

“Jonas Broadseat.”

“What is your profession?”

“I am a Guardian.”

“Where were you the day before yesterday around noon?”

“I was in the store called the Apothecary.”

“Who were you with?”

“I was with three fellow guardians.”

“And what were you doing there?”

“We were collecting a protection fee.”

“And did you have a contract that allowed you to do so?”

“Yes we did.”

“And what happened while you were collecting this protection fee?”

“We were attacked by these people.” Points at the defendants.

“Do you know why?”

“Supposedly because we weren’t within our right to collect the fee.”

“But were you?”

“Yes, we have a contract.”

“Did these people ask to see your contract?”

“No, they only threatened us and then attacked.”

“And what happened then?”

“They killed Tobias Theros, and wounded me and the others.”

“The others being?”

“William Hild and Peter Knolls.”

“And you three were wounded?”

“Yes, William rather gravely.”

“Were the other people wounded?”

“I think so, but now they all seem to look fine. William’s at the healer’s.”

“No more questions, your honour.”

After that, Rhea and Sargis (or well, Duncan Gork) take the lead in the trial, talking fast and pushing hard against the witness, who soon stops responding for fear of incriminating himself.

The questioning of Peter Knolls goes much the same way.

After that, the prosecution calls a third witness, Jace Mackey.

“The prosecution calls Jace Mackey to the stand.”

. . .

“Jace Mackey.”

The prosecutor looks around and seems confused.

“Your honour, it seems our witness isn’t here yet. I would ask for some more time.”

The judge doesn’t look too pleased when he hears that.

“No. If you can’t produce your witness, either call your next one or it’s the defense’s turn.”

“The prosecution calls Buster Williams.”

. . .

“Buster Williams?”

“Your honour, I know this looks bad, but I would ask for some more time.”

“No more time. Either call your next witness or it’s the defense’s turn.”

The prosecutor curses and says “The prosecution rests.”

Then, the defense, mainly made up of Sargis and Rhea, starts their work. They question Yeric the alchemist, who soon reveals that he signed the contract under duress, and that the guardians under Bernard were threatening to destroy and steal his wares should he not cooperate.

The questioning of Captain Dimitru goes well, and he reveals that he has several shopkeepers who are willing to testify to the this guardian sect’s wrongdoings.

The judge goes to his chambers after this, and soon returns with a verdict of not guilty because of lack of evidence.

Rhea and Sargis stay to get their reward from Captain Dimitru, who admits that he paid people off to not show up in court. Thankfully Jace Mackey and Buster Williams have better things to do than to appear in court, which would look very bad for them, considering their clientele.

Rhea notices that the guards took some money from her.

Valeria walks off towards the inn and Revas follows before he goes off to go hunt Corbin for a bit. He watches his movements, but doesn’t dare attack.

Valeria arrives at the inn and tells everyone what happened. It turns out the group had already heard rumours that the Heartbreaker Gang were caught, but weren’t sure when the trial would be.

The gang prepares themselves to leave Highever and just as they are finally all together in the inn again, an old man enters the place and looks around before spotting one of the group.



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