Arabel

Section XIII
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Messy messy

The day was not going well for Ballard. Dead men don’t make a floor clean, especially hacked to pieces. Gods, he hated a mess. Fortunately, the servants had efficiently cleaned most of the blood and one was working on trying to get the blood out of the floor. It would be good for them try, Ballard mused, but blood never comes out of whisperwood. They would need to replace that, and it was headache enough to have that imported down from the forest before. Ballard inwardly sighed and added it to the growing list of issues.

The last surviving guard indicated that only two had done this, one goblin and one man. For all their effectiveness in ransacking the place, killing four trained guards and their lieutenant, they somehow had let this last man go after having him sign “something”. That something was nothing less than a signed confession that Master Thond had committed various acts of violence and harm. There were only so many ways to manage such an egregious breach of commitment. Ballard knew all those ways, as distasteful as they may be.

And then there was the matter of the rings. Master loved his rings, being a jeweler and all. He would not be pleased that two had been taken, especially the ruby one. How had they known to come at this time? He could not suppress a small shake of his head as he thought of how Master Thond would hear this. He frowned and looked up as the sounds of wood cleaning stopped.

“Sorry Steward, am I doing this wrong? Should I use a different agent? How should I go about this?”, the servant cleaning the wood asked anxiously.

Ballard shook his head. “No, no Reginald. I was not shaking my head at you. Be at ease. I was thinking about other things. Continue.”

Reginald breathed what appeared to be an unheard sigh of relief as Ballard walked out the front door, on his way to Thond’s plantation on the outside of town.

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Thond

That robb-...well…that “job” ended up more complicated than the affair involving the Nightshade assassins’ guild in 1109. DeShurr, the “merchant” who had left town, was no mere merchant, but one of the ruling lords in Arabel. And it was no accident that he had left town – his home was a lure to identify those who could successfully rob the place.

DeShuur had little trouble tracking Kraag and Martello down, not due to the resources of the city at his disposal but rather Master Jefon, a so-called urban ranger, who made his home within the stone walls of Arabel, watching over the unseemly innards of the city of luck. The carrot of reward and stick of imprisonment proved an irresistible combination, bringing Martel and Kraag to investigate none other than William Thond.

Thond. The unmistakable genius of the underworld of the city, perpetrator of hundreds of crimes, none of which could be traced back. The rumors attribute the fall of Oghma’s church, the rezoning of the city for political favors, countless money laundering fronts, the public humiliation and stripping of paladin status of his former rival Ilisivar Polinar, and of course, his victory in the bloody Assassin Wars which left the remnants of three rival guilds in his wake. DeShuure’s interest goes even beyond these crimes – the sacking of Arabel during the Goblin Wars was shameful and more than unlikely. Backroom tavern tongues wag that another hand was involved, invoking the infamous Thiliora gang, Xanathar reaching out from Skullport or Shar herself intervening to bring down her sister’s fair city. More pragmatic whispers dwell on Thond’s name – but only for a moment, for silence predicates survival. It remains unclear why he would be involved in the collapse of the city which provided the structure around which his chaos could turn profit, but little happens in Arabel without his say.

It is this man that our adventurers found themselves arrayed against. The carrot mayhap appeared smaller if they had but known who they were dealing with….

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DeShurr thing

Two elven brothers were exiled due to the kidnapping of the son of their elven King. Their father failed at protecting with the sins of the fathers heaped upon their children. Such was the response in the face of the unthinkable and unpredicted. Evisar would find his end on the road, saving his brother’s life Mestel, who would go on to become a Chosen for Mestaraine and join the Companions in the cataclysmic Elven Wars culminating in the heroic defense of Waterdeep. But ah…that, dear friends, is a story for another time.

This story begins in 1210 Realms, very nearly the same summer day that Evisar and Mestel left their home in disgrace. In the town of Arabel, two drifters arrived together in the slums. The oft silent goblin Kraag and his loquacious changeling partner Martello were in search of…employment. They soon heard word of a merchant leaving town and somehow found themselves in his residence shortly after. They incapacitated the head of the guards and slipped into their familiar roles – Kraag overcame multiple traps and cleaned out the valuables while Martello misdirected the guards with panche by assuming the very identity of the captain of the guards. The duo slipped away in the ensuing chaos, undetected.

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