Chapter 1: The Plan
In their two weeks ensconced at the small manor of Baroness Tryxia Mavenrod (Qona) in Tyr, the party has spent their time plotting and preparing for a party of particular significance. Hoping to gain some leverage or information about the mysterious Ms. Rudo Jeffery, CEO of the eponymous “Trappes” company, their interdisciplinary preparations were thorough, and well-executed. DIscoveries included:
- Vatria and Smitty visited local oral historian Cid the fisherman, near the Tyr harbor along the Ribbonwallow river. While chatting, it became evident that the central fixture of the city (the Spindle) literally appeared overnight, some 20-30 years ago, and shortly thereafter, the city council took to building up its exterior walls – today, magically enforced by the strange object. (Along the way, Smitty purloined a small, magical make-up kit, known as the the Box of Princely Comeliness.)
- Qona (as Minda Talony) paid a visit to the hall of public records, and Regencia the reference librarian. In pouring through the tomes, she noticed the subtle presence of Rudo’s father (Theron), at several of the public meetings to discuss and construct the walls of Tyr. While not explicitly involved, this private interest may be worth further investigation.
- ‘Garian’s research at the University library turned-up some fairly banal undergrad papers, examining the spindle – but was unfortunately unable to connect with a senior staff person to ascertain the university’s stance or full knowledge of this oddly dimensional structure. Why, in his own general arcane appraisals, he found that the Spindle was A) definitely not of this dimension, and B) itself the subject of many spells of binding, constraint, and ensnarement. Finally, by working the frat angle at the Atria Dixerut Curiousis, ’Garian came into possession of a bottle of Pre-game Punch – the compliment to Smitty’s stolen flask of Everclear (sic).
- With the help of Qona and ‘Garian, Vatria and Smitty were able to weave an elaborate history in the city of Tyr: not only making a name for themselves, but by working in concert, managed to fabricate a legitimate history for the duo in and around the city, playing at the Institute, and for many other Lords and Ladies of the council at parties, soirees, etc. If anyone were to attempt any light investigation into their credentials, they would find a track record, several years long, legitimising “Inky & Itty’s” station and quality.
- By working the web, Qona handily managed to incept the idea of a lavish party into her council contacts, triggering an invitation to Calisto (the Jeffery family home) in a few nights’ time. From her servant contacts, Qona obtained a map of the house, including special interest indicators, highlighting sections of Calisto that the help were either cagey about, or pointedly detailed about. These may also be worth investigating (Ms. Rudo’s private office, the basement cask and wine cellar, the house office, etc.) if the opportunity presents itself. Finally, her sources also procured a small pocket-size snuff box of the recreational stimulant, Ton-Baum (or ‘Toby’ for short).
Dispensing with armor, armed only with daggers, and opting for appropriately opulent attire, the party at last set out for Calisto, and the Gatsbian party contained within.
Toward the large river (Ribbonwallow) at the North-Western edge of the city, a gently-sloping rise also signals an increase in land and estate value – and the address at its peak, the multi-story villa Calisto: their destination.
Mavenrod’s grey carriage bounced gently up the loping street, its occupants, cushioned by the lavender silk and suede interior. A small contingent of footmen and “help” waited outside Calisto’s front portico to assist the passengers with disembarking, and in ushering them inside – through the foyer, and down a short hall, Mavenrod and her entourage arrived at a grand staircase, descending into a lavish ballroom.
A footman, raising his eyebrow, and consequently some of the drooping jowls of skin hanging from his face, read from a scroll “Presenting, the Baroness Tryxia Mavenrod, and her consort” the eerily familiar Thain shot Qona a knowing look, and murmured, “Welcome.” as they entered.
Chapter 2: The Party
Adjoining the ballroom area, sat the main buffet line. A smorgasbord of delicious treats and tasty foods, including several rare beasts prepared and presented in unique and appetizing ways. A massive punchbowl commanded the large room’s sideboard, and guests thronged it like waves at the shore in the heat of the late-summer’s day. The massive balcony doors were drawn aside, and the tall windows stood open, freely admitting the pleasant evening air. To one side of a raised dais, a small crew of performers had gathered, readying instruments, and providing a gentle ambiance to the slowly growing din of the party.
Inky and Itty were briefly sequestered in a green room upstairs, but not before the Halfling had handily emptied the flask of Everclear (sic) into the punch. Qona and ‘Garian worked the crowd, meeting not only Rudo Jeffery herself, sharing a clipped moment with Thain, but also encountering a couger of a woman – aunt of an unknown classmate at the university. After some smalltalk, and a glass or two of the spiked punch – the opening act had ended, and Inky & Itty took to the stage.
Spinning a gorgeous yarn (aided by some magical pyrotechnics, courtesy of ‘Garian) the pair told the story of a mythic war on Tyr, and the pivotal role and romance of Rudo’s ancestors in its defense. The duo wowed the crowd, and earned high praise from the lady of the house – and from there, the party transitioned from a triumphant bacchanal, into a celebratory ‘welcome home’ party, and from there, to an uproarious black-out drunkenness.
For all, that is, except the party of four.
Awake amidst the catatonic forms of the partiers, Qona, ‘Garian, Vatria, and Smitty stood – completely awake, alive, alert, and enthusiastic, thanks to either self-control, or the benefits of the pre-game punch.
And in the pre-dawn night, the secrets of Calisto lay bare and ripe for the taking.