Days of traveling through the woods of Marchen gave way at last to rolling fields, farmsteads, and at last strong stone walls—the city of Calchester, home to the Arcistroth Family. With the Amethyst Goblet safe in their possession, the companions passed through the city gates to deliver the prize. Along the way they passed bustling crowds, merchants shouting out their wares, and the many cobblestone courtyards of Calchester’s markets. Above their heads hung triangular pennants telling the town’s history across three generations.
Just as they reached their destination, shouts and outcries rounded the corner. Directly in front of the Guildhouse of the HONORABLE AND LOYAL ORDER OF WEAVERS AND DYEMEN a crowd of a dozen townsfolk were beating a man that Gaemund recognized—his brother Frederic, one of the Bastards of Arcistroth. As they kicked him into the mud, the crowd shouted all sorts of accusations.
“I swear you cheated me, bastard! That barn you carved blew over the first time the rains came in!
“I’ve a bed he made that collapsed the first time I made love to my wife! She hasn’t slept with me since!”
“The wagon wheel you repaired broke off in the midst of the woods. I’m lucky the Huldra didn’t come for me!”
“You’re a robber and a vandal, asking those prices!”
“Down with the bastard!”
Gaemund and company worked together to extract his brother from the hands of the mob. It was a combined effort—Aine cast an illusion of coins spilling into the crowd, Gaemund disguised himself as a stern authority figure, shouting and intimidating the crowd. Amidst the hubbub, Rhawunel crept in and spirited Frederic away.
Unwilling to reveal himself to his brother, Gaemund in disguise warned Frederic that his rescue was not an act of charity, and would carry a price some day. Frederic responded with defiance—he and all his brothers are used to humiliation and bad luck, and he would owe nothing to a stranger. “Besides, my family’s luck is on the up. I’ve a plan to change everything for the better!” With those words of defiance, Frederic left them, still unaware that his brother had saved him, or that his mother was dead.
At last the companions reached their destination. Over the guildhouse a massive sign declared in (false) golden letters: THE HONORABLE AND LOYAL GUILD OF WEAVERS AND DYEMEN. The guild house smelled of stinging chemicals and rotting berries—all the secret ingredients of their dyes. To counter the reek, the reservedly dressed guild representatives burned incense and placed fresh flowers around the room. The mingling of scents could not be called fresh by any definition.
Upon checking at the front and showing the letter from Manard the Weaver, Tavion was ushered in (along with his companions) to a private side room by a snub-nosed guild representative named Wimblington. He took possession of the Amethyst Goblet and after a cursory inspection produced a heavy back filled with silver trade bars—450 gp in total—as payment for their services. When asked about the goblet, Wimblington had this to share:
Nobody knows where the grey clad strangers have come from. Rumors of their activity have spread throughout the Marchen wood. Each time the story is the same—they arrive at night and are gone by morning. Some stories claim that they are missionaries of a strange religion, a heresy of Our Triumphant Family. Others describe acts of miraculous healing. Still others claim that they are stealing the souls of children or placing curses for mysterious purposes. In any case, this is not the first report of an amethyst goblet, but it is the only one to be recovered.
In addition, Wimblington had a letter in his pocket for Ulreik. She read over the contents and relayed the most important elements to the companions.
- Ursi Arcistroth has a transcription of the Mordavian Tablets
- The original tablets are said to be written by a Dokkalfar seer long ago. They describe a citadel of shining light at the end of a “sevenfold road” as part of an analysis of the Prophecy of the New Day.
- Ulreik has been seeking a transcription of these tablets for her own research for many years. Every known copy has been acquired by a scholar named Euthynos.
- Since the tablets are an attempt to interpret the Prophecy of the New Day, acquiring them will help the party discover Mairg’s plans and motivations.
- Ursi is not likely to share her copy, since she doesn’t like scholars or magic wielders.
- The Calchester harvest fair is underway. It ends with a brewing competition. Whoever wins the brewing competition can ask for one boon from Ursi Arcistroth. If the party can win the competition, they can use this boon to get access to the Mordavian Transcripts.
Bromin and Morel immediately set out to the forest to gather herbs and flavorings in order to compete. The party has until the end of the festival to prepare. In the meantime, it seems that Frederic Arcistroth has become embroiled in some manner of plot, and there are others in town with interests in the companions’ business…