On May 2nd, Monday, having received an invitation to meet with Ellizari via their ambassador from the Dragon Empire (Posdehish), a party leaves Citadel House. Posdehish knows the way to Edsserish, where Ellizari rules from, and so leads them northeast through the woods on a deer path used by Citadel hunters and kobold messengers.
- Stephen (EnS): Level 8 Human Thief
- Animus, Level 1 Hawk Animal Companion
- Ragnvaldr (TrS): Level 7 Human Fighter
- Neville, Level 2 Toad Familiar
- Rowan (MiM): Level 7 Elf Magic-user
- Pebble, Level 2 Cat Familiar
They spend Monday night at a demolished kobold hill outpost, thrown down by the people of Citadel after the location was twice used as a base of operations against them. They reach it well before sunset, but Posdehish insists that his “escorts” will be meeting them there and that they will still arrive in plenty of time tomorrow.
The weather is fair and they camp on the top of the hill to keep a lookout and a fire for the escorts to see. During the night, several kobolds arrive, joining their camp and relying on the adventurers to continue the watches.
They wake with the weather turning cold as dark clouds roll in. Shortly after their departure a thunderstorm begins. They hug the hills and no one is struck by lightning, but it continues through the morning and slows them enough they they don’t round the corner to see the massive (apparently dwarven) city of Edsserish spread before them until late afternoon.
They meet a kobold patrol who run ahead to inform the court of their arrival, but it is late enough that Posdehish warns that it would be impolite to arrive, since Ellizari wouldn’t have time to prepare the welcome feast. They are led to run-down dwarven buildings across the river from the palace where they are intended to stay the night.
There, Posdehish teaches Stephen some of the intricacies of the Dragon Empire court, teaching him how to greet dragons, that it is good form to eat as much as possible at the feast to permit the dragon to eat more, and that human utensils will not be available, but false claws will be provided to allow them to eat in kobold and lizardfolk style. They also discover that Dohasan has also arrived with Medsersha to represent Rovert at the talks. (TrS and I had previously discussed this, and he was very excited for them to make the discovery.)
In the morning, they arrive at the palace to find a smaller dragon on Ellizari’s hoard (in the Cour Royal). Posdehish and the members of the court are visibly agitated that Ellizari (who rarely leaves) isn’t present, but they show them to their rooms to wait for her return. (I have tables for who is with Ellizari’s hoard and this result was quite unusual, Ellizari being gone and Mergraz being there without the voice is something like 1 in 3071). This delay afforded them time to get settled in their rooms, bathe from their journey, and for Stephen and Rowan to dress in the robes of the court found in their rooms.
When they are finally invited before Ellizari, Dohasan joins them and they each make their greetings and introduce themselves, Dohasan’s greeting showing them up somewhat. Ellizari is pleased with both and invites them to sit at the negotiating table in the portico behind her courtyard of treasure. There they spend most of the day negotiating a treaty between Ellizari and the Vale. I will post the full treaty soon, but its provisions included free travel in their respective domains, extradition for specific crimes, confidentiality, alliance against the Death’s Shadow cult, free trade, and territorial considerations.
With the terms agreed upon, Ellizari announces that two copies will be made for herself and Matthias to sign so that each party may keep a copy. They retire to their rooms to prepare for the feast. At the feast, we rolled to learn the use of the claw utensils (Ragnvaldr cut his lip) and then Constitution to see how much they could eat in each course, then Will to continue when their Constitution didn’t support it. They did well enough to keep Ellizari (a 600-foot dragon) happily eating through the meal.
As a result of his prodigious Will, however, Stephen has trouble sleeping. While he goes looking for a bathroom in the middle of the night, he stumbles into a kobold clearly not of the court stealing a necklace. They communicate in Theive’s Cant and the kobold calls himself Fish Scales. Always persuasive, Stephen convinces Fish Scales to return the necklace so he won’t turn him in. He then makes Fish Scales apologize to him, when he refuses to apologize to the victim of the crime (because he would be killed). It turns out he was stealing he necklace for someone he calls “the Boss.”
With Fish Scales fleeing the palace lest Stephen make him do anything else, Stephen finds the bathroom and returns to bed. In the morning, Wednesday, they begin on their way back. By afternoon they are approaching the hill fort (which the treaty provides will be garrisoned again) and see smoke rising from it and ogres camped at the hill. Stephen attempts to approach to scout the situation, but they see him and descend, chasing him back to the others. With Ragnvaldr on the front line, they slay them all with few injuries and camp at the fort before returning to Citadel in the morning.
It’s been a while since we had a diplomacy mission. They performed very well and we had a good time. It helped remove the one downfall that they were all near leveling up already and so leveled up.
I’m testing out locals.com where I will be posting locked posts with links to my prep for at least Haven sessions. Not sure how it will work out, but if you want to support, that’s what I’m trying for now.