We finally parted ways with Lord Numaire, Fermina, and Dorian Poche and headed into the Copper Mountains in search of Gale and his band of bandits. It didn’t take long before we spotted a few scouts, then the ambush. We parlayed a bit, with Firiel finally going off on a bit of a cursing streak at the bandit scout.
Mechanics note: Almost our only dice rolls for the night were successful skill checks, like Firiel parlaying, Ordune using perception, and then a bit of Arcana from Tristram as he detected the magic items in camp. I haven’t covered that here– there’s a dish that refills itself, and a quiver that generates magic arrows. Useful for Gwenn going against the Patriarch, but she’s not going to take it from the refugee scout who’s currently using it. Steve the DM is eternally frustrated by my inability to be a good murderhobo and take all the magic stuff.
Our repeated questions about who their leader was were met with confusion and humor, and we eventually learned, from Gale, that they have no leader at all– rather, they decide things for themselves or by committee.
I did a quick scan of their encampment. They’re underfed, but not famished, and they’re woefully unprepared for winter. Gale will be fine, but not everyone in his camp is as robust as he is. I hope he convinces them to move south.
Indeed, that’s what Firiel and I decided on for a plan. We’re going to try to convince Gale and his band to move down to the forests near Kindel, where they might be able to help when… when things happen.
I suppose that’s the decision I finally made, the one that’s been weighing on me for so long. I’m going to make the attempt. I’m going to try and take the Regency, and then destroy the Patriarch. The first step in that is to reclaim my title and my home– an act which will itself be perilous. Next will be to take down the Regent– either through scandal, if I can levy enough evidence against him, by force, or by assassination, if that’s what it takes. I’d prefer to oust him politically, as it means I won’t have a martyr to contend with, but I’ll attack him on the field if I must. Only after the Regency is eliminated as a threat will we move on the Patriarch. With any luck, and given how we manage to sneak in and bungle things, he won’t consider us a threat until it’s too late.
If I can take down the Regent, and be elected to the Regency myself, without making a political marriage, then I feel that part of my life will be mine to steer as I wish. Unfortunately, I know that’s unlikely.
Which led, in part, to a talk with Ordune. We discussed a few things, though neither of us really apologized, I did tell him I need his help, and what kind of help I need. I’m tasking him with helping to keep me from running amok, and to look for an appropriate consort, should I need one. I’m sure Ordune seems like the least likely advisor for such a task, but in fact, I suspect he will do a fine job. I asked for someone who would be appropriate and intelligent. Love doesn’t need to fit into the equation. I’ve already lost my heart– I don’t want to complicate matters. If I asked Firiel to assist, she would direct me to follow my heart– even Vecna suggested that would be the best course. Tristram would be a wonderful friend to help, but I suspect his perspective is diminished by the fact that he’s found his true love and she’s a perfect match for him, socially and politically.
No, that’s not envy you hear in my words. Well. Perhaps a little bit.
In any case, my plan is to convince this band to head south and bide their time until we arrive. We’re heading north first– I think there’s work for Ordune to do, though I also suspect he is resistant to doing it. He might need a push in the right direction.
If I can claim my home and lands back, then I’ll be able to settle this little force of Gale’s on Jader property, at least. If not, we may need to poach and forage for a while until we make our move. Unfortunately, that move will bring a certainty to their fates as well as mine– if we fail, there will be no where else for them to turn.
The plans are starting to converge, and that both frightens and excites me. Am I ready to finally face Kindel? For the first time since we began, though I miss having one certain person at my back, I think perhaps I am.
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