Episode Thirteen - In the Family
Episode Thirteen: In the Family (Level 8)
The time has come to follow through with Tobias’s new mafia contact, to infiltrate the Mollathe Family organization, and hopefully find the whereabouts of the kidnapped inventor, Waylin Cordell. The Mollathe run Holarran’s, a gentleman’s club on the east side of town, catering to young, dissipate noblemen and wealthy merchant’s sons. The establishment is exclusive and trendy, offering dining, gambling, fine drinks and tobacco, female companionship, and a risque floor show. It is not a place that Lord Ambassador Anelathem would approve his “niece” being taken, and the trio sneaks out of the palace. Tobias makes use of a palace carriage and driver, but they mask their true destination by being dropped off a ways off from their destination.
At two in the morning, as business is winding down, Tobias, with Lyda and Carmenith on either arm, struts into the gentlemen’s club, Vash trailing behind in the guise of a slave. Tobias’s contact, Reomoz, greets him (Tobias is using a false name), and seats the trio at a prime table near the floor show. The heathfolk man is surprised and impressed with the beauty of the women Tobias brought with him, and both ladies are making a show of being disinterested in their surroundings, but very interested in Tobias. Tobias, meanwhile, makes a show of being worldly and intelligent, the son of a Chayrshellech nobleman, fluent in Rocurrish, an insider to heathfolk culture, from a family with strong business interests in Athelshoth, open to the idea of doing business with members of the heathfolk mafia, and yet unimpressed by either the Souliaydach or the Gumayr. In short, the sort of person who might be a very lucrative contact for the Mollathe family to cultivate. Reomoz is hooked, and seems eager to present Tobias to “the boss.”
Vash is shown to the kitchens, and treated with disdain by the staff and other waiting servants there. He is made to wait with the other slaves, most of whom are silent dwarves.
As the last performance of the evening begins, a surly heathfolk arrives and beckons Tobias and Reomoz. Tobias, Lyda, and Carmenith are thoroughly searched for weapons, and then taken by another carriage to the Smithworks, a metal goods manufactory and shipyard near the docks. Vash follows onfoot, running across rooftops and noting their route. Reomoz gives them a brief tour of the factory and shipyards, and Tobias realizes that besides abducting the inventor, the Mollathe had had another strong motivation for destroying the local branch of Loacheth family enterprises; destroying a competitor who would not cave in to mafia demands. Vash, meanwhile, stalking about unseen and observing everything he can, notices that Forteth’s military police seem to completely ignore the Mollathe family’s activities, acting as if they simply aren’t there.
Tobias and his “lady friends” are escorted downstairs, and taken into a secondary, underground firearms manufactory, where a lavish windowed office overlooks the factory floor. Vash follows expertly, undetected. As Tobias works to impress the father of the Mollathe family, Vash breaks into more offices, searching for any useful information. He learns that the Mollathe family is run by Yaelchath Mollathe and his four sons Hochorrin , Rodellayer, Gaurrestar, and Thoelerreth (who is currently in jail for murder). Hochorrin’s piece of the business is a secretive facility, located under the Crisis Monument Park in the city center. Rodellayer and Gaurrestar run the Smithworks, and Vash finds indication that they have a wealthy, and noble patron, and that they have been incredibly busy lately, manufacturing and stockpiling an order of heavy weaponry suitable to equip an army larger than the world has ever seen. Vash leaves no evidence of his presence, and sneaks back out stealthily.
Tobias is having a more difficult time of it. Yaelchath Mollathe is an impressive man, born a commoner in Athelshoth, who as a youth traveled much of the world doing business for the family. He harbors with pretensions towards nobility, but his taste tends towards the gaudy. He craves fine things and finer women, and appreciates talent and ingenuity in “new talent”. He tests Tobias with a series of questions designed not only to see if he is a plant from another family, but also to gauge his mettle and character. He first assumes the women Tobias brought are gifts, immediately putting them to work serving drinks for the men, and leering at them in a way that has the psion’s blood boiling. He masks it masterfully, managing to avert that crisis, while engaging in a dangerous banter that skirts the edge of disaster several times. What he learns alarms him. The Souliaydach and the Gumayr have joined forces, seeing the party’s actions in Athelshoth as a challenge to the heathfolk mafia families at large. Further, Motharlech Souliaydach has made a terrible bargain with Exarch Mezeliar Wroth, and is now unable to pay his side of the deal. He is despearate to recoup his losses, or to present the culprits as an alternative sacrifice. The Gumayr and Souliaydach united are dangerous. For the first time in centuries, they present a credible threat to the Mollathe family’s interests, and they have arrived in force in Forteth, demanding help in capturing their enemies. Not only is a mob war in the streets of Forteth a real possibility, but Motharlech Souliaydach and Alietharnesh Gumayr are downstairs right now enjoying the firing range. They’ve just offered Yaelchath a small fortune as bounty for Tobias and Ichtaca’s heads. The canny Yaelchath knows full well who is sitting in his office, and challenges Tobias to make it worth his while not to forfeit said bounty and secure peace between rival mob factions.
Tobias demonstrates unique skill set, speaking into Yaelchath’s mind and using telekinesis to pour them both a new round of drinks. Familiar by now with the heathfolk mafia custom of doing an “opening job” to prove oneself worthy, he calmly offers his services. Yaelchath asks him to break his son Thoelerreth out of prison. The “lad” murdered a nobleman, before the “more understanding” current administration took over local law enforcement. If Tobias can do this discreetly, in a way that casts no ill light on the mafia, he will have proven himself an asset. Otherwise, he is a commodity, and the Mollathe will hunt him down and present him to his enemies as a peace offering. Tobias agrees, impressing the mob-father with his calm demeanor under pressure. He and the ladies are treated to a private shooting session in the firing range, and given their choice of fine Mollathe weaponry. Lyda, frustrated with being treated as an object, nearly blows their cover when she lets off a series of crack shots that draw admiration and applause from the tough men. Tobias and his “two fine pieces” are allowed to leave, however.
Vash follows again over rooftops as the carraige returns the others to Holarran’s. They go to Crisis Monument Park. At first, it seems beautiful and peaceful, a haven of life and art. Nightbirds sing in flowering trees over stone fountains and ornamental plants. A walled walking-maze displays tile murals showing idyllic images of Trentsmund before the firestorms, but they also include horrific images of the apocalyptic event, the rebirth of their people from the ashes, and a distorted version of the events of a century ago. Where Lyda’s “godslayer” tale glorifies the adventures of the the Shadow Lord, the Lady Knight, the Traveler, the Panther, and the Bard of Chayrshellech, plaques here describe them as the Great Traitor, the Slayer, the Whore, the Beast, and the Letch. Defamatory images, nationalistic propaganda and scenes of extreme violence detract from the beauty of the park. There is an Etholchan shrine with the names of the sacred fallen, and people come here to leave flowers and pray to Daemoth. Among the heroic figures portrayed in these scenes is Chorrom Dythan Mathis, who died months after the great crisis, from injuries sustained during the collapse of the old cathedral. He lingered alive for three months, giving prophecy and dictating scripture.
Vash sights a well-dressed palace man waiting nervously in a secluded corner of the gardens, and the group watch surreptitiously. A bulky heathfolk man approaches, and the two exchange courier’s packets. When the two men part ways, Vash follows the heathfolk, careful not to be seen. Tobias, Lyda, and Carmenith take on the role of a young drunken nobleman and his equally inebriated lady friends, and follow the palace courier. They approach the nervous man openly, explaining that they have been enjoying the park, but seem to have lost their carriage, and could he assist them? Carmenith staggers drunkenly against the man, toppling them both over in a distracting fashion, and he drops the packet. As the man struggles to right himself and the young lady without any scandalous physical contact, Tobias acts as if he is helping, while he uses telekinesis to switch the papers in the packet with a menu from Holarran’s. Intimidated by Tobias’s lordly demeanor and demands, the courier helps them obtain a carriage, and accompanies them back to the palace. There, Lyda and Carmenith sneak back into the ambassadorial suite. Using psionics to wipe his presence from the minds of any who might see him, Tobias follows his target into the chambers of Duke-Regent Alben Bergeth himself. The hidden psion watches in horror as the duke opens the packet and discovers the switch. He interrogates the courier, learning all about his encounter with Tobias, Lyda, and Carmenith. Then he cold-bloodedly kills the man and retires to his chamber.
Tobias searches the Duke’s offices, and finds more evidence that Duke Bergeth is taking full advantage of the arms-dealer services of the Mollathe. The military, firmly under Bergeth’s control, have taken control of the city, and ignore any crimes commited by the Mollathe. Tobias finds evidence of massive weapon stockpiling, troop movements camoflagued as orc raids in Wyrgoth, and a map with tactical markups not only in the Norlythe, but for a military sweep through nations all over the western hemisphere. The peace talks are a farce, a delaying ploy, to hold off the King and the leaders of other nations until the Duke-Regent is ready. Regardless of what accords the young King and the ambassadors draft up, the Duke-Regent is hell-bent on war, and draining the treasury to fund it. When the time is right, all Bergeth will need is the proper excuse to lead his nation into a war that will end in total world domination. Tobias creeps out of the office to wake Ambassador Anelathem.
Vash, meanwhile, follows the mafia man into the sewers and farther down, through a series of hidden doors and passageways. Far below the city, he finds himself in another factory, a huge facility staffed by miserable dwarven slaves at assembly lines, assembling strange golem-like soldiers, all under the eyes of grim heathfolk taskmasters. The golems are a new race of sentient machine-soldiers, the warforged. Heathfolk mafia enchanters and other skilled craftsmen are helping in the effort, using stolen blueprints designed by Waylin Cordell. They couldn’t get his designs to function right without him, however. Now that they have him, the factory is in full swing. Cordell, beaten and sleep-deprived, is now a wretched slave to this industry, chained to his workbench and forced to labor day and night to help them build the products of his stolen blueprints. A newer prototype of his airship is nearly complete, and the assembly lines are crating up dozens of completed warforged every hour.
In a daring feat of stealth and distraction, Vash creeps through the busy factory, explores the airship, and sets fire to it. As mafia enforcers run to extinguish the fire, the drow approaches the confused inventor, knocks him unconscious, and carries him out unseen in the commotion. Waylin Cordell has been rescued.
Intrigue and Skullduggery skill challenge – 1750 xp
Learning the Mollathe family’s plans – 50 xp
Exploring Crisis Monument Park and discovering the facility below – 50 xp
Discovering the Duke’s plans – 50 xp
Rescuing Waylin Cordell – 100 xp
Total xp: 2,000, divided by 2 PC’s, so 1,000 each. Current individual cumulative total was 15,220, and is now 16,220.
Guns and gun modification parts (please email me with your choices)
Vash stole 1,000 gp worth of local currency
Tobias got paid mob cash, 1,000 gp in local currency
Hard Evidence Collected:
*Papers taken from both a Mollathe Family courier and a palace courier: These documents connect a deep-pocketed purchaser to the Mollathe Family Mafia, arms dealers providing enough firepower for an army larger than any the world has seen. The purchaser uses code names to protect his identity, but his handwriting could be matched. Also, Tobias witnessed the deliver of said documents to the Duke’s personal chambers at four in the morning.
*A map from the Duke-Regent’s office