After several months in the City of Greyhawk, being lauded and celebrated for their epic naval victory against the arrayed forces of Iuz the Old most members of the party are invited to the last and most prestigious social event of the year, the grand Mid Winters Ball of Greyhawk.
But lets not get ahead of ourselves, let me fill you in on the wheretos and whereabouts of some of Greyhawk's finest sons (and daughters).
Brother Kelly has spent much of his time helping the poor and penniless in the many refugee camps slowly growing outside the city walls. The needs of the many in the midst of winter are too great for him to go and attend any balls.
Teckcos Tik has returned to the Kingdom of Keoland as part of the Ambassador's entourage to seek instruction regarding the King's plans for the upcoming year.
The young Korbin Shortshanks has left the city to visit his nan and family in the halfling enclave of Elmshire.
Leaving Dirkwood Littlelegs without his right hand man when he's juggling with his Thieves Guild resources..monthly tithe due and monies are low...no matter how he aligns the columns the numbers just don't add up right! Lofty ideas about branching out into new revenue streams like "blackmailing" and "drugs" are soon discarded as the DM discusses with him the nature of the current 'Mugging' enterprise and how that sits with his Chaotic Goodness? The doughty halfling contemplates the "ifs" whilst smoking his pipe and trying to make the swirling numbers add up.
Even Dwarves wear normal clothes (and most definitely not made of chain) when attending the ball (although some do offset this with a chain sash draped over the shoulder)....shaken..but not stirred Ulric finds himself the nearest tailor shop in the Artisan Quarter and there buys himself his very first sharp suit (made from finest, smoothest moleskin).
Asked to pay 20gps for the clothing, Ulric hands the tailor 5 platinum pieces (500gp)! The tailor is initially stunned at the generosity but recovers quickly, not only will he make Ulric another suit for free but the Dwarf can have a new suit every year for free while this tailor is owner of this tailor's shop!
He even has a daughter that may be...anyway...thanking the tailor for his services Ulric departs with his clothes.
Baron Quentin dresses after a ghastly night and feels somewhat under the weather. He will still have to attend tonight's Ball as he is the highest ranking representative of the Kingdom of Keoland currently in Greyhawk. As his day proceeds and noting how people treat him like a normal 'fighter' rather than a gleaming pillar of goodness that he's become accustomed too, the Baron surmises that a trip to the Temple of Osiris is required and there to have a long talk with the High Priest. An audience is soon arranged and the Knight relays the sad contents of his nightmare as best as he is able to the listening priest.
'What does it all means'? asks the troubled Knight.
The High Priest is sorely vexed but can only speculate until he's had time to do a full augury with Osiris (which will take a few days) but after further questioning, he is able to determine the face of the man in the dream to be the Renee who perished at the hands of his comrades whilst the Paladin knowingly 'turned his back' and went to buy his rug.
The High Priest then asks whether the Baron Quentin has ever been burned in his life or applied the touch of flame to his naked skin as a punishment? Why? because fire and flames featured so prominently in the Paladin's nightmare. It is a common mechanism used by the sinner to punish and seek absolution for their misdemeanors
....after a short pause the Paladin's meets the High Priest's eyes and replies in the negative. 8-)
KC decide that a secret kept is money wasted so decides to visit Dirkwood to sell her information regarding the location of the rival thieves guild. She traverses the alley to his HQ and after negotiating with some lookouts is lead in to meet with the busy halfling. KC lays down her proposition. Rival thief's guild location for membership for KC within the Greyhawk Thieves Guild. Dirkwood agrees to this but only if the information is accurate. KC assures him that it is and tells him the location.
Dirkwood is unconvinced, the location is a Nightwatchmen station he want's proof that the rogue thieves really do operate from there. Eventually they agree that if KC can reconnoiter and gather solid info that the rival thieves are where she says they are, then Dirkwood will vouch for KC to become a member of the Thieves Guild of Greyhawk.
To cement the deal Dirkwood asks KC whether she wouldn't mind "polishing his manservant" ... KC's resulting stare could freeze coals...not wanting to end their pact on such a sour note Dirkwood then asks whether she wouldn't mind being his "+1" for the Greyhawk Mid Winters Ball this evening? KC goes all girlie and readily accepts the chivalrous halfling's noble gesture (I kinda missed this conversation so I've done my best to fill in the blanks 8-))
It's always worthwhile letting the high and mighty of the great city know the calibre of people we have working at the Guild informs the beaming Arch Chancellor. Keemor will be joined in the delegation by Kondradis Bubka, Mage of Exchange and the senior tutor Tobin Potriades, a man not only of great age but also of a greater capacity for food and drink.
Dedicated readers of this journal may no doubt be unsurprised to find Caerendil the Bard on his hands and knees. What they will find astounding however is that Bard is in deep and contemplative prayar with the goddess Sehanine. The stress of house repairs, house renovations, house modifications, the constant bills, balls, clothes and particularly his costume for the ball is all together proving to much for the erstwhile minstrel..However, however, however will I get to the ball wearing my masterpiece he begs of his deity...perhaps hiring a fine carriage with his last 50gps and a large cloak to hide it until the time is right?....maybe...all I need is a few minutes of peace to formulate my thoughts...
...a knock at the door...
(hands over designs)
and whether you wish to proceed with a print run of 500 copies?...The Bard surveys the intricate design on the paper labels with an expert eye...yes, they are everything that he wishes people to know about the great Caerendil Elandianor! Yes my good man I do wish to proceed. Right you are Guvnor, my master will require a small deposit of 50gp...
(the last of the Bard's money changes hands)
Mite obliged Guvnor...exit cockney craftsman left, leaving the Bard to return to his absolutions...yes hiring a fine carriage to take me to the....Blast!...wait a moment we can still work this out..a few moments of peace and I'll have it...
...a knock at the door...
Damnation!...A man wearing the liver..liver? livery of the House of Count Ptreides of Urnst stands to attention outside the door. The Bard finding some decorum from somewhere ventures a strangled 'yes?'.
The Ptreides man informs the Bard that his master would like to extend an invitation for Sir Caerendil Elandanior to accompany him and his to the ball tonight. He asks whether the Bard would deign him such a small boon?
Caerendil looks at the man and then into camera.
The Bard makes a point to pause and reflect before accepting the invitation as long as, and the Bard wishes to hear no refusals to this part, as long as the Count and his family will allow him to provide the transportation for next years ball? The Ptreides man says that he can see no reason why the Count would not be amicable to such a request. Honour satisfied the pair part ways and Caerendil returns to his sincere praying.
The Sense of an Ending
10 months ago