Cherrik and Maple
The day of celebration that marked Mistvale’s Festival of Election had ended, and as night fell, the citizens of the small farming town headed home in various states of inebriation. Just as with any other night, the Crimson Watchmen held a strict curfew, and any caught out and about without good reason past midnight would be taken into custody. Regardless of any curfew, the two halfling thieves Cherrik and Maple stole through the streets like a pair of shadows to meet the Valiant Crowned at Old Gran’s. Glen was eager to discuss how their services might benefit their adventuring party, especially when it came to ensuring that the Crimson Watchmen did not gain a stronger foothold in Mistvale by tampering with the election results. Although the hlaflings had been into the Crimson Watchmen barracks before, they were not willing to risk going directly against such a powerful and relentless foe. They referenced a traveling alchemist who had been caught selling fake healing potions and had lost a hand to the justice of the Watchmen. Without the support of a larger organization to rely on, Cherrick and Maple were not prepared to infiltrate the barracks where the election ballots were being held overnight. They did agree to sell Glen a map of the barracks from the last time the scouted the place out.
Despite the urgency of ensuring that Anders Leam did not get elected, and ensuring that the Crimson Watchmen did not alter the election results, Glen, Quincy, and Eight Thundercloud went to sleep – tired from a long day of festival competitions, feasting, and merry-making.
The townsfolk gathered in the public square the next morning, eager to hear the results of the election. Popular favor had seemed to favor Timothy Burton the night before. Gaspard Dukaniel, the mage who had recently been rescued from the orcs by the Valiant Crowned, counted the ballots in full view of the public. The winner, by an astoundingly large margin, was Anders Leam.
The Valiant Crowned immediately suspected election fraud. How convenient that the candidate the Crimson Watchmen had so strongly supported was the winner, after they had held the ballot box in their barracks overnight for “safe keeping.” Commander Renly Davarros approached the group to gloat. They accused him of fraud, but lacked sufficient evidence to support their claims. Renly urged them to be cautious if they were to stay in Mistvale, for the eyes of the Crimson Watchmen were unblinking. He reiterated his commitment to honesty and justice, and left with a smirk.
The adventurers found themselves with some time to themselves for a change. There was no urgent need to embark on a rescue mission. With no pressing matters to attend to, Eight Thundercloud took up Gaspard’s offer to use his personal library. She had learned a great deal from the Covenant storm sorcerer Masughu about imbuing an object with lightning magic, and hoped to modify the magical dagger-producing gauntlet she had so that it would imbue the daggers with lightning energy. Using Gaspard’s library to research this porperty, she determined that her project would ultimately require blue dragon scales. Luckily, she was also able to determine from recent reports that a young blue dragon had been sighted in the Sea of Trees some miles north of Bloodfang Vale.
Eight Thundercloud needed to know more about this dragon before making attempt to collect it’s scales. To this end, she employed the stealthy halflings Cherrik and Maple to scout the dragon’s lair. They demanded a rather high price for such a task, but Eight Thundercloud was generous. After about a week, the pair of halflings returned, looking a bit worse for wear. They described everything they had seen. The reports of a blue dragon were true.
Quincy Maxwell Darcy Trump the Third was not one to sit around idly and let his charm and influence go to waste. He promptly decided to put his resources toward setting up a grassroots election fraud commision. For over a week, he met with local farmers and craftsmen, organizing them into the beginnings of a political resistance movement. The town had overwhelmingly supported Timothy Burton for leadership, not Anders Leam. So then how had Anders been elected. Fraud was the only answer.
In addition to his commitment to social justice, Quincy also set up a sideshow attraction – a magic act he titled “The Apprentice, Featuring Tim Burton.” He had convinced their ally, local shopkeeper and member of the Elder’s Council Timothy Burton, to be his apprentice in a magic show filled with illusions, such as Elder Burton getting sawed in half. This entertainment was a delight to the citizens of Mistvale, and brought in a wealth of gold for Quincy.
A Grand Erection
While Eight Thundercloud and Quincy were busy in Mistvale, Glen Weinstien had to see to his newly acquired castle. He invested a great sum of gold into hiring local workers from Mistvale and the surrounding areas to work on constructing a road to his castle and repairing the main parts of the castle itself. While not supervising the construction efforts, Glen returned to Mistvale to occasionally provide healing or other medical assistance, which garnered a small income.
Aryn had not been idle while the rest of her group pursued their interests throughout Mistvale and the surrounding environments. Unable to find any sign of Rose in Tevemanthaur, she decided to narrow her focus on countering the threat presented by the Crimson Watchmen’s newly increased influence over Mistvale. First, Aryn traveled to the Lonely Goat Inn, where the proprietor Goren Balenon was very pleased to see her doing well. She did some business with him, selling some her loot and purchasing a few of his magical curiosities. She also invested in a disguise kit, with which she died her hair and masked her appearance.
Slipping into Mistvale, past the eyes of the Crimson Watchmen, was easy enough. The true test of her disguise came when she spent the evening at Old Gran’s, only a few tables away from her recent adventuring companions. They never even glanced her way twice. It was perfect. Working in secret, she made contacts with some of the shadier folk of Mistvale and set up a headquarters for her underworld organization in a small, abandoned barn at the outskirts of town. She described her goal – to incite a public uprising against the current leader of Mistvale, Anders Leam, as well as the Crimson Watchmen. She went as far as to found an organization known as the “People for Mistvale’s Freedom and Independence Movement,” or PMFIM for short.