Flocktime, 1st Ten-day
After the visit to Shortstone Wines, Elias made his way cross city to see the sage he had hired several months ago. Derwyndal’s Tower was locked up tight as always, and after a few minutes of pounding on the door, the old sage finally opened the door and let him in.
Not missing a beat, Derwyndal’s hand shot out and he demanded payment. Fortunately, Elias remembered that he had already paid the old man. Derwyndal apologized for the mix-up, “Ya know boy, my memory’s not what it used to be.”
At which point, the sage repeated from memory all that he had learned of Argent. The last known records of Argent were many centuries ago, when three members of the Empire, one each from Darcos, Elteare and Calastan were “called to silver”. Finding an explanation of this in two other tomes, Derwyndal explained that Argent seemed to be a mythical city that gathered the greatest heroes of Arith and called them to the city.
Looking deeper into folklore and myth, he found an entire write-up on the Dragon-Giant War. At the end of the war, when the Giants had been driven back to Hjalmar, supposedly a silver dragon, or a band of silver dragons (the texts contradict themselves) founded a city overlooking the giant lands to stand against a renewed attack. To man this outpost, they established the Order of Argent, also known as the Silvercloaks. The Silvercloaks were the greatest heroes of any age, and were called to stand watch over the giants. They used portals to return to the outside world, but the normal portal ritual apparently could not penetrate Argent’s protections.
When Elias asked about a possible location of Argent, Derwyndal replied that he may as well ask about the location of Godshome. Its folklore, doesn’t exist, nice story to tell your children – someones watching out for those big, bad giants. After answering a few more hypothetical questions, Derwyndal ushered Elias to the door, you’ve wasted enough of an old man’s time, off with ye know.
That night, Torra tossed and turned as the presence in her mind grew more powerful. The thing from the Berwyn ruins called to her, and that call was getting hard to resist.
The next day, Ondath explained that the Bank would agree to loan that much money to the party if they could get “someone important” to speak on their behalf. They decided to ask Ambassador Fairvoice. Torra then visited with Guthrim and spoke of the voices to the ornery druid. He understood, and once heard the voices himself. He said that she must go to Berwyn and undergo the trials, but that by doing so, she would emerge a much more powerful shaman. The voice would never call out again to one who survived the trial, so he and her elders could not hear the voice. He added that if the voice could reach this far, then haste was important. She must go soon.
The party’s meeting with Ambassador Fairvoice was pleasant and friendly, the Ambassador agreed to meet the outside the bank at mid-day tomorrow. He assured them that the bank had a profitable relationship with Angbadur, and that he was sure of being able to help.
The next day, around noon, the people of Tomes got quite a show. The dwarven ambassador, in full regalia, with his honor guard, marched into the Bank of Hawkmoon pennants flying. Arriving with the ambassador were Diego, Torra, Elias and Brost. After some suitable sucking up by the bank staff and manager, the four party members received their loan of 8,000 for Shortstone Winery, fully backed by the Kingdom of Angbadur. Leaving the bank, and thanking Bodvar the party made their way to the winery, where Fosdike accepted the money and agreed to be moved out by the end of the week. He immediately gave the party keys to the place and said that he would be safer if the party treated the place as their own even as he was moving out. Elias gathered the remaining treasure from Krongard and gave Ondath 300 gp, enough to pay the bank for three months.
Diego then went to visit Captain Garmonde. Though she had no new details of the murder, she was sure Laertus was investigating the marketplace. She had interviewed Councillor Leandro Castelo, Master of the Gates Marketplace, but was fairly sure that he was not involved. She was surprised of the news of the winery, and mentioned maybe speaking to Fosdike before he disappeared for good. She and Diego spoke of working together to rid Gates of the Veiled Society once and for all. She also asked about Lieutenant Morcom. Seems she had been promoted to head of the Gates Daywatch, and her best man, Brandec took her place as Captain of the Nightwatch. She needed a good Lieutenant on the Daywatch that she could trust, a second in command that she didn’t have to worry about. If Diego spoke of Morcom this highly, maybe he was her man.
After another sleepless night, Torra made her decision, she announced at breakfast that she must go to Berwyn and face her trial. Diego, whose own inner spirits were calling him to the Jendarri lands agreed to go with her. However, Elias explained that he still had things to do in Hawkmoon. Brost, on the other hand, tried to work out scenarios where he could accompany his friends and still make it to the Trials of Io in Krall. Knowing that he would have to leave soon for his homeland, he realized that it would be impossible to assist. Diego and Torra moved the rest of their possessions into the Winery and departed. Before leaving, Diego sent a courier to Rivermeet to ask a few of his cousins to move to Hawkmoon and help Ondath watch the new place.
Elias and Brost spent several days packing up their rather small library in Coalstone’s and moving it to the Winery. Fosdike seemingly produced a dozen family members in the last few days and was mostly moved out. The place was threadbare. Going to see Theodosia, Elias asked the Loremaster if it was possible to inscribe a permanent teleportation circle where the Sun Fane had removed theirs long ago. She agreed, and gave him a list of arcane components that he would have to provide. He and Brost combed the city gathering the components. With the components gathered Theodosia completed the ritual to make a new permanent circle in the secret chamber of their cellars. After that, Brost knew that he was running out of time to enter his name into the Trial. he departed for his homeland the next morning.
Alone, except for Ondath, Elias pondered hiring a maidservant of his own, maybe when this was all done. Thinking about the clues that Ioun had shown him, Elias made his way to Theodosia’s study once again. The Loremaster seemed slightly amused when he spoke of a secret chamber in the Temple of Learning and explained that she had the same visions long ago.
“But,” she said, "Ioun does not grant her powers to just anyone. Thought, Wisdom and Intelligence are to be rewarded. So here is your challenge. The King has 24 blocks of solid gold in his treasury. However a thief has broken into the treasury and replaced one block with a painted lead block, which is slightly heavier. You are given a balance scale and told to find the lead block without magic. Unfortunately the King has little patience and allows you three weighings at most.
“Tell me how to find the block, and I will reveal Ioun’s vision to you.”