Ep 59: "Seeking Council"

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As the elections approached, all districts had seen a lot of campaigning from their various candidates. Rumor had also spread through the city that the inspections of the boatlift came back perfect and it would be operational soon. Owen helped Holly with organizing the election for the Dawn District, while Pinbol and Rydell kept promoting each other over in the Pearl District. Ezra decided to run for the Temple District and it had become a pretty sure thing that Vasafra would take the Guildsmen District. No one was even running against her.

Election day arrived and each district had their own method for choosing their Councilor. In the morning, the Lightsmith’s Guild took 8 brass cannons on a parade through the city. Each one went to a different district and they would fire it to announce they had selected a winner. The new councilors would then meet at the historic town hall in Graywall. The city wanted to have elections done by roughly 2pm. This would allow the new government to get started as soon as possible.

The group got their morning activities done before meeting. Owen helped Holly campaign and keep things running in the Dawn District. Nyx actually voted multiple times by changing themselves into three different people, then they went to work as Bridget at the Greaser’s Union. Saxi voted for Kurt in Barrel Run and then went to work. Cyl voted, but wrote in Pesk’s name to avoid voting for Vasafra. Then she went to the park to meet with Dub and dragged him to the polls as well. She saw Pip in line for the polls. Pip was in line accidentally as he thought it was a food line. He didn’t know who to vote for, so he pushed the voting options for both Pinból and Rydell. Yoth didn’t technically live “in” the city, so he had a mock election with the rats in the sewer. When he tired of that, he went to see Owen.

The group met outside The Beer Forge and decided to go to Stroop’s Waffles for their meal that day. Saxi left a note at the bar in case anyone showed up late and they headed to Stroop’s. Yoth disguised himself as a clean shaven Owen for fun, and did a cowboy walk behind him as well. A cannon went off across town as the group got into Stroop’s. Yoth dropped his disguise to make things less confusing during the meal and the group ate as they talked about what to do for the day. Saxi also handed coin purses out to the members that had not gotten theirs yet. Yoth was concerned about the dangers of going into the tunnels so they decided to research the city in the mountains instead.

The head librarian at the library in Graywall, Kythra Cheeldrum, was excited to announce a new exhibit. She revealed a new display that had actually been there the whole time, hidden behind a wall. The wall had come down to reveal a fireplace with a charred mantle and a sword displayed above it. Kythra explained that the mantle was from a beam taken from one of the buildings that had been around at the time of the Great Fire. The fire which had given Cinderhaven its name.

She told the assembled crowd that the sword, Ash, was sentient and it being placed above the mantle had stopped any rot and decay to the wood below. Ash was known for telling stories, which it had collected over the years, and it would tell stories from places far away. The story would also change depending on who was in the audience.

The group sat in front of the sword and it started to hum, then the hum turned into vibrations and a voice slowly became audible. Ash told the story of Koldrun the Slayer:

“There was once a mighty hero known as Koldrun the Slayer. This hero went on a quest to seek an item which he desperately needed in order to save his people. The journey lead him through mountains that stretched beyond the clouds and past the rushing waters of the river that cut through them.

Despite the name he had been given, Koldrun had no desire to hurt others. He had earned the moniker out of necessity, rather than bloodlust. He even chose what he considered a soft weapon, because of this. He chose a sword that would strike true and give his enemies a quick, soft death. He chose me.

Koldrun took me in hand and we went searching for the ancient Goliath city of Descent. The Goliath of Descent had been unlike any you may have met. Their society was far more advanced and developed than any that exist today. Their great city was made of huge stones. So great was their knowledge of mathematics and geometry, that the giant walls and arches were held together with no mortar at all. The stones fit so well together, that even air could not pass between them. Koldrun and I made our way through the city, passing beneath great stone arches.

Koldrun had sought the city in order to find the Clutch Mother. Shida Thvani, the Clutch Mother, was a great dragon. She was known to have birthed many clutches in her centuries of life and her offspring thrived. The Clutch Mother did not seek out towns to pillage or destroy, but her many children had left the nest and caused chaos throughout the land.

Koldrun went seeking the Clutch Mother. He wished to speak with her in order to discuss a trade. The item that he needed to save his home was part of her horde and he hoped to make a deal. However, as soon as Koldrun stood before the Clutch Mother and gave her his name, she rained down her fire upon him. All that was left behind, was Ash.

I spent decades as part of that horde. Lying amongst the other rare items and seeing the Clutch Mother raise her young. Countless cycles of eggs hatching and growing into young dragons happened around me as the years passed. Eventually, I was rescued from the Clutch Mother’s horde by the unlikeliest of heroes.

But that, my friends, is a tale for another day……”

Ash thanked everyone for listening to his story and his voice faded to the vibrations, then the hum, and then he was silent. The group used the library to research the city of Descent and found that it was several days away. They would also need to go there soon or wait for the following year since winter was coming. The path would be too treacherous if they waited much longer. They also learned that Zeknar had done some expeditions into the mountains as well.

The final cannons sounded to mark the end of the elections and everyone but Yoth headed to the town hall to see who was voted into office. Yoth said he wanted to stay to do more research. He had changed disguises a few times and looked like Cyl when everyone left.
Everyone else headed to the historic town hall. They arrived and found that, so many people turned out to see the new Councilors, they had to move the announcements to the amphitheater instead. It was completely packed and standing room only.

Vasafra, Ezra, Rydell + Pinból, Holly, Kurt, and a couple people the group did not know were on the stage. After a few minutes Pinból shook Rydell’s hand and left the stage to join the party in the audience. He had conceded the election to Rydell. He chatted with the group and then Tybalt joimned them and said he was the person elected for Lakeside.

Anica Chin-Raton walked on stage as the council member for Graywall. Bridget mentioned that it was an interesting result, but did not say why. A tall, red, dragonborn walked on stage as well. He wore a captain’s uniform and his name was Jinroth Marqrin. He was the captain of the Grindall, the ship the group had stolen Zozo Juice from. He was the elected head of the Bilgeport District.

The Councilors chatted for a bit and then moved out to greet the crowd. Ezra came over to Saxi and asked how Mari was doing. He was glad to hear she was doing well. Bridget switched to Thomas and spoke with Anica. She told him that Plan B was already in place to ruin Nathan by the next week. Thomas switched back to Bridget and rejoined the group.

Saxi said congratulations to Kurt. Rosie showed up and met Bridget for the first time. The group made plans to leave, when Bridget announced that she had sensitive information to share. Owen and Cyl went to all of the new Councilors to wish them well. They both acknowledged Vas but said nothing to her.

Jinroth got uncomfortably close and asked if Owen knew Saxi. Jinroth said he had a man tell him about a giant bug and he called that man a liar then slit his throat. He asked Owen to give Saxi a message: He expected to be paid. He mentioned that Bilgeport would be controlling access to the Boatlift and thanked Cyl for her part in it working again. He told them that he would vote in her favor for her service. Which left them both concerned about why a vote involving Cyl was even being considered. Owen then made a point of talking to Rydell and Tybalt to start a friendly relationship. Some of the group also noticed that Rydell and Stokes’ hands brushed against each other as they walked around.

Yoth, still in Cyl disguise, was at the library and two men sat at his table. It was a tiefling and a goliath with hair. They told him they had seen him with Nathan and wanted the information on who had killed the tiefling’s sister. Yoth changed to his tiefling body and told them, honestly, that he did not know who the guard was. They asked him to find out and offered money, but he refused. They said it was the group’s last chance to tell them before they ruined Nathan’s name., but Yoth still refused.

As the men left, Yoth changed to a black tabaxi appearance and followed them. They went to the Beer Forge and a woman, all in red, distracted Yoth so he lost them. She removed a piece of red glass from Yoth’s fur before he went into the bar and ordered a drink from Ivy. He changed into his true form and went to talk to the men.

Yoth told them that he had a friend of a friend they were threatening. He warned them to leave his friend alone and stabbed a dagger into the table. The cloaked figure reached out 3 bony fingers and touched the dagger. It began to decay and rot away before Yoth’s eyes. He told them again to stay away from him as he angrily backed away and left the bar.

Everyone met back up and Yoth told the group he had a run in with the tiefling and the goliath. The group headed to the sewers for privacy as Rosie put bows in Owen’s hair. In the sewers they talked about the new information and Nyx revealed their nature as a changeling. They told the group about someone on the council being out to get Nathan’s name ruined within the week. Yoth revealed the threat against Nathan from the men he had talked to and the group discussed the possibility that the threats were working together.
Saxi cautioned everyone not to talk about the finer details, such as the name of the guard they were after, in case the tiefling and his friends hid more trackers on anyone. Nyx heard whistling and the group got quiet as they looked for the source. They discovered Mo using yellow paint to make a note for Rosie that said “Don’t feel blue!”. He also fed her rats bread crumbs.

Mo left and then called out to the group that he had found a picture of Seldanna. The group looked and found a stencil painting of Seldanna in black and white, with the word “FREEDOM” painted there as well. A little further down, they found the same thing in red and it said “OBEY”.

**Over the next week, these images appeared all over the city.**

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