A Noble Conspiracy
While staying in a city tavern you’re approached by a figure wearing a dark cloak and cowl. The figure greets you kindly in the voice of a young woman and asks if she may have a seat before taking out a chair and sitting down before you.
Unveiling the cowl the figure reveals herself to be a young lady with braided brown hair and silver hair clasps which run down its length. She introduces herself as Morgan Richards and explains that she has a proposal for you. She continues that she is the daughter of Lord Richards and heir to House Richards. However, recently her house was thrown off the council and had their rights as a house removed when evidence of impropriety by House Richards was found.
She believes this evidence was planted by House Hastings as a way to remove them from the council, and thus finally push forward their agenda of war. House Richards has long opposed House Hasting’s push for continued war with the neighboring lands and it was only House Richard’s deciding vote that was keeping the council from declaring all-out war.
If the vote now passes, enforced conscription of the people of the city will begin, as well as forced labor in the mines for the manufacture of weapons and armor in preparation for the war. Morgan exclaims that she cannot let this happen.
She has learned from a disgruntled former servant of House Hastings the location of a man called Slade. He was responsible for planting the evidence used against House Richards. Morgan rolls out a map of the city and points to one of the great bridges, explaining that the man has a base of operations in the underbridge slums and she needs you to apprehend him alive and bring him back to House Richards so he can be questioned by the council.
If you succeed, House Richards would be reinstated and there would be dire consequences for House Hastings should it come out they were plotting the destruction of another House. If you ask why her House doesn’t just apprehend the man, she explains her House can’t be seen doing anything suspicious as they’re already dealing with severe blow back.
She emphasizes that no matter what happens, you must get this man out alive and to the council. For, without his testimony, House Hastings will surely have the city in their iron grip and that will end badly for the citizens. For this duty, House Richard’s is willing to offer a handsome reward.
When you arrive at the bridge slums you find many people living in squalor upon rickety wooden houses suspended above the river. Some beg coin from you, while others slink away into the shadows. You make your way to the location on the map and, just before you’re about to enter the home of the man you seek, you’re ambushed by several thugs.
After the thugs are dealt with, you find the man inside playing cards. He doesn’t put up a fight, instead claiming he’s got friends in high places and that you’ll pay for messing with him. After leaving the underbridge slums and reaching the main thoroughfare on the bridge, you’re immediately stopped by a group of guards, including two warcasters draped in House Hastings garb.
The guard’s demand you hand over Slade and when you don’t they attack you. Once dealt with, you have no further troubles getting Slade back to House Richards. Later that day, the council is convened for the questioning, which you’re invited to after being paid for your help.
Slade is put into the center of the council chamber and a large golden light shines upon him. He is questioned about the charges and confesses in full to being responsible for the false information that led to the removal of House Richards, as well as being paid by House Hastings to do so.
At this Lord Stavros Hastings, the leader of House Hastings, coughs with mock surprise before exclaiming that his House would never do something so heinous! Lord Stavros’s aid then steps forward and claims full responsibility for the plot, doing so behind his Lord’s back because he thought it was for the best of the city.
Lord Stavros rises quickly and slaps his aid across the face, before demanding that he be taken away and for the full might of justice to be put upon him for his attempt to manipulate the law.
The guards come and take the aid and Slade to a back room while the council rules that House Richards be reinstated. They also continue that, because Lord Stavros was not involved in the plot, House Hastings will not be punished.
As the council members retire you can see Lord Stavros eying you off with a smirk. It seems you may have made a new and very dangerous enemy this day.
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