Previously, the adventurers arrived in the bustling city of Bournemouth and found lodgings at The River Stone, an inn in the harbour district where they found that during Lord Destan’s stay in the city, he garrisoned his guards at the inn, while himself staying as a guest at the Landsdowne auction house. Luca and Emma immediately went to the library while the others rested in order get an early rise. Luca met up with an acquaintance, Falka of Dunagore, who was a lecturer at the department of ancient history and a part time librarian. She had helped Lord Destan out with his research when he arrived and she agreed to do the same for the adventurers.
The following day, Luca and Emma spent their time at the library searching for information on the Crimson Tower. They managed to find some of Lord Destan’s research findings; the first half of a poem which mentioned the tower explicitly. They managed to find the second and final piece of the poem, which Lord Destan never managed to.
In the meantime, Astrid, Emrys and James went to explore the city and found a curious alchemist’s shop and the Landsdowne auction house, where they spoke to one of the auctioneers who recalled Lord Destan staying with them and how honoured they were. Unfortunately little else was discovered and the trio split up, with Astrid going to see if she could book passage to Blackbridge through Egremont on a barge going upriver, while the others went to the library just in time to find Luca and Emma being ordered out of the reading room that Falka had assigned them by a sharp eyed noble woman by the name of Margravine Ulrikke von Rossenberg and her four heavily armed guards.
Tenth Day, Third Ride, Summer Light, 1262
(Silvermoon is waning. Bloodmoon in waxing. Darkmoon is low sanction.)
Lady Ulrikke casually told the adventurers to vacate the luxurious reading room. James, who had already checked to see whether the large glass windows could make for an easy escape route, tried to act casual while snacking on some food he had carried along with him from the breakfast table. Luca wasn’t paying attention to the distracting, choosing rather to focus on the book in front of him, and Emrys was looking for someone to take charge. After a few seconds it was Emma who placated the young noble woman and calmly told everyone to pack up and vacate the reading room, thus avoiding any conflict.
Luca took his time to gather his things and meanwhile Lady Ulrikke brought a stack of books to the lectern that he was clearing out. She looked over the reading materials that Luca had displayed and took note of the poem they had unearthed, and similarly Luca took note of the old tomes and folios that Lady Ulrikke brought in, but unfortunately couldn’t make out what subjects they were on.
The adventurers decided to find another reading room. The library was almost empty of people so they were confident that the could find an empty reading room, and decided to try to find one on the far end of the library hall, putting as much space between themselves and the entitled lady. Just as they arrived in the far hallway, a small door opened and Falka came walking through. The adventurers quickly informed her of Lady Ulrikke’s intervention and she let out a resigned sigh.
Falka brought good and bad news. The good news was that the department of Transport and Maratime had a large section of different maps and miraculously she had found a map of Pinefall, which she handed to the adventurers. They noted that the village of Bristlecone was on the southern shore of a large lake called Lake Llygad, but none of them recognised what the name meant or from whence it heralded. The bad news was that Falka was called away because a raven had arrived carrying a letter from Lord John Sheridan, urging Falka that the adventurers were not in the employ of House Sheridan, no matter what they claimed, and that any attempt on her part to prevent them from pursuing Lord Destan would be handsomely rewarded.
It was decided that Falka would no longer assist the research that the adventurers would perform. Instead, she would write an essay on all the important information regarding the Age of Fear, commissioned for two gold crowns a day by James. At the mention of gold crowns, Emma asked Falka whether she recognised the coins that Luca was carrying with them, which they had retrieved from the catacombs underneath Lynnecombe. Falka did not but was certain that these coins did not hail from any time in Lyria’s history.
A discussion was held on whether or not the group was going to purchase the healing potions that Alfred Barnaby had for sale. They were considered very expensive, but James said that they could be the difference between life or death and that it might be worth having one or two of them while they were crossing the wilderness to get to Pinefall.
Emma, Emrys and James decided to pay another visit to the Landsdowne auction house where they talk to Villem Landsdowne and find out that his passion lies with the Equestrian arts, but that he is specialised in paintings and jewellery. The adventurers convince him to show them the leather armour that Lord Destan showed interest in which is being stored in the Landsdowne vaults.
The full set of armour is of exquisite quality, complete with breastplate, gorget, skirt, greaves, arm guards and gloves. The designs are intricate, but unusually. Neither having the flowing elven patterns, symmetrical dwarven or the usual human designs. The origins of the leather is again unclear, but the adventurers do recognise that it’s likely to be of the same source as the leather scraps that the skaven were wearing. The adventurers also learn that the armour was put up on auction by House Blackbriar, hailing from the Worthwilde.
That evening an auction would be held to auction off a lot of several paintings by an artist from northern Silesia. Included among them will be some jewellery, and it’s on that jewellery that the adventurers focus once they learn that a silver necklace with an orange crystal pendant would be auctioned off, with the starting bid begining at 150 gold crowns. The pendant was retrieved from the vault and the adventurers were offered to take a look at it, confirming their suspicions that it was indeed a Lyrium crystal as far as they could tell. They asked whether they could be welcome at the auction and Villem Landsdowne was happy to extend them an invitation.
Emrys decided to visit the Golden Cockatrice that evening to see if he could secure a spot to perform and departed. Emma and James met up with Astrid to have some food after which Emma and James went back to the auction house and Astrid went to meet up with Luca.
At the action house, Emma and James (who introduced himself as Radeck Payton) mingled with some of the visitors and potential bidders. They found that most people were interested in the paintings, most of which had been on display. They found that the Silesian artist’s name was Annora Coehoorn. Emma was sure she had heard that surname before.
Two curious companies of people were present; a group of dwarves and a group of elves. James decided to have a chat with both. The dwarven delegation was lead by Dunatrim Hardstone of clan Thoradun. He was quite forthcoming with his reasons for being at the auction; he was neither interested in the paintings or any of the jewellery save the pendant, and tried to make sure that James knew that if he was planning on trying to outbid the dwarves that his pockets must be very deep. James managed to uncover that the dwarves were planning to use the crystal to seal their gates in time for the next Age of Fear to arrive. James uncovered that if he had access to more of the lyrium crystals he could approach Dagran Forgewright in Kingsport, the unofficial ambassador to Ard Thoradun.
The elves were less forth coming. They made note of James’ elven heritage but did so in a way that sounded condescending. The elf in charge introduced himself as Eibhear and he hailed from Duén Gwyndeith in the Worthwilde. James inquired whether they too were there for the pendant, and they were. James also managed to uncover that if he had access to more such crystals, he would be welcome at Duén Gwyndeith.
When the auction started the elves and dwarves remained relatively inactive until the paintings had all gone under the hammer. When it came time for the jewellery to be auctioned they started to pay attention. James and Emma had decided to participate in the auction of the pendant but not to exceed 800 gold crowns. The bidding started at 150 gold crowns and was immediately fierce. Emma prayed to Sedna for her inner peace to radiate to all in the room, and the rough edges were taken off the bidding. In the end it was a heads up bid between Eibhear and Dunatrim, and much to the elves dismay, Dunatrim won the auction with the final bid of 1650 gold crowns.
Some socialising was done in the aftermath of the auction, after which the adventurers retired to The River Stone.
In the meantime, Luca had been burning his candle at both ends and was feeling fatigued. When he departed the library he saw that Falka was still hard at work on the summary that she was preparing for James on the Age of Fear. He also briefly stopped by Lady Ulrikke who was surrounded by guards who were fatigued and snoring. She was still standing at her lectern, her brown furrowed, frustrated at her research. When Luca briefly spoke to her, her tone seemed to have softened towards him a bit. Luca noted that the books she had collected were old, and that she had been searching similar parts of the library as he had.
First Day, First Ride, Summer Flame, 1262
(Silvermoon is waning. Bloodmoon is waxing. Darkmoon is waxing.)
Back at The River Stone, the adventurers found the tavern nearly empty. They came together while Elmond was retiring to bed and spoke about the day’s events. It was decided that Astrid would sell the horses and cart before they departed to Blackbridge by way of Egremont.
Luca expressed his deep dismay about not being consulted before Emma and James decided to engage in the auction. He reasserted that he has valuable knowledge on arcane matters and matters of history, and that he was elected to be the master of coin, so he should be included in all matters that concern the finances of the group.