AR 1214-10-20 Kendric Summarizes Knowledge
Kendric stared at the paperwork on his desk, not really seeing it but instead considering the events of the past year, the past century. A spy in the keep, the Thunder Rift Clan all but wiped out, the events rocking Melinir. Things had been so much easier once. He had been a mercenary, an “Axe for Hire” taking contracts to help make people’s lives safer. Fighting giants, trolls, hags and dragons had been easy, simple. Find the bad guys, take them out.
Yet everywhere he went he saw his destiny, a chance to found a new clan, a chance to bring back the old ways, the old laws. Create a safe haven for dwarves and start the long process of rebuilding the glory of the ancient dwarven kingdoms. For a long time it had worked. Between hard work, luck and probably the blessings of Moradin he had been able to establish a keep. Fell in love with a woman before finding out she was a daughter of the king of the Thunder Rift clan. Raised two amazing children.
Now? Now it felt like he was juggling flaming torches while balancing a plate on his head and standing on a two-legged stool. His keep had grown because he was seen as fair and just, implementing the ancient wisdom of the overkings, the ancient laws, the ancient traditions. A king to rule and command the armies but working with a council that had primary authority over domestic affairs. No member of the clan above the law, acknowledgement and respect of families and heritage but no royalty. Every dwarf given the chance to succeed or fail on their own merit and persistance.
Those same laws were now being twisted, used against him. Ober had been given a provisional spot on the council for a decade as a sign of respect for his standing in the old keep. But as much as he wanted to chop Ober into bits or find some loophole in the laws to get rid of him, that would not be in the spirit of the laws.
Add to that the destruction in Thunder Rift. Throughout the war of the Asgardian gods, the valley had seemed forgotten, blessed with a relative lack of tumult. Now? Now it was as if all the destruction, all the pain and misery that had visited the rest of the realms were a sentient being and decided to spread death to the one place it had not yet touched.
He pulled out the paper that had the notes of what they knew. Intel had been gathered by Sven’s brother Jarl and others. As king of a dwarven clan there was little he could or would do to interfere with the politics of humans and he had few resources to spare even if he did. It was always good to know thy enemy, if only they knew more. Everything he knew he had of course shared with Karunchar [Krunch] before he was forced out.
- One of the students, Guido a halfling from Smallville turned out to be a follower of Lollth. Several members of the cult were eliminated. Guido escaped.
- Lollth may have a special hatred for this clan since they had also defeated her plans in the past.
- Acting Queen Verona has married Falson of Trisk. They seemed happy, but also seemed to be more figureheads than rulers.
- The crown that would choose the rightful heir of the Thunder Rift crown has rejected Verona. Operatives have been sent to find the new heir.
- Verona and Falson wear circlets now as a sign of their royalty since they were never told about the crown being found. Falson’s father had the circlets enchanted with protection from mental influences. However, it was recently discovered that the cirlets also carry Enchantment, but it is not known what it does. Verona and Falson have been told about it but continue to wear them.
- Falson is from the city of Trisk (a city on an island on the Sea of the Dead). Verona’s mother was originally from the City of El, both cities are part of the Barbarian Kingdoms far to the north. Kendrick had personally lead the group that rescued Verona’s great grandmother, Cinder of El on one of hia adventures.
- From all reports, Falson comes from a good family.
- There are disturbing reports about Verona. She may have made a deal with some other power to end the plague affecting her city. There are reports of something “missing” in Verona, whether anything is truly gone or just something hidden we do not know.
- The city had a new manager, Belcum who came from Boton. There are rumors that Boton is being run by the syndicate, who rule with an iron hand.
- There is no direct evidence that Belcum is directly involved with the syndicate in Boton.
- The syndicate has taken over Melinir and are spreading their operatives throughout Thunder Rift. This was happening because Matt, Kara’s father was no longer getting the clerics to check all new applicants to the Rift. Belcum either did not care about how the city grew, was taking bribes from the syndicate or is working for them.
- Hidden Valley is safe from the syndicate. Kara and Sven are personally checking all new applicants to the Valley. Many of the good people of Thunder Rift have been moving into Hidden Valley to get away from the syndicate.
- Apparently Lord Thornberry’s father was a necromancer. The Thornberry manor in Melinir was reportedly haunted by something as no one was able to stay in the house until Falson moved in. Falson’s men seem to have ridded the house of all remaining spirits.
- There have been suspicious deaths in Melinir, including the mage Hazel, who was the original tutor of Franziska.
- There have been suspicious incidents of “insect bites” on the ankles of prisoners being punished by being kept in the stocks.
- There’s no indication that the syndicate is aligned with or worship Lollth.
- It was discovered recently (in 1191) that Paranayel had been replaced by an Aspect of Lollth. Lollth may have a special hatred of Sven, Kara, Ulfred, Scraps and anyone close to them for destroying the Aspect.
- Someone calling themselves “The Master” seems to be the one taking over operations in Melinir.
- The Master is probably Durbar of the Thunder Rift Clan, son of Dwain Stonebreaker of the Dronkarag clan [the clan south of Thunder Rift, where Kalistar was originally from.]
- Dwain was corrupted by the influence of the ancient evil that had taken over the Dronkarag and had been a general in The Lich Lord’s (Lady Kolfinna’s) army that had invaded the High Forest, killing Queen Paranayel’s husband Jelethrial.
- Durbar had left the Dronkarag clan to get a new start in the Thunder Rift clan and married Tola daughter of Kerwyn and Cadhia.
- Tola came to the Golden Eagle Clan to escape Durbar shortly before she was due to give birth.
- Tola lost the child. We suspect Durbar believes that Kuranchar is his, that the babies were switched to deny him his rightful son.
- Durbar’s older sister Dwinna had also been corrupted by evil. It would not be surprising that Durbar could also be influenced by Lady Kolfinna if she learned about his obsession with Karunchar [Krunch] being his son.
- If Durbar is behind all of this, he has to have backing from some other power. The most likely source would be the Lady Kolfinna, but Lollth could also be involved. Such open moves are unlike the Spider Queen, but totally in character with Lady Kolfinna.
- If Thunder Rift is completely taken over, it is likely that Hidden Valley will be the next target. Both the Lich Lord and Lollth have ample reasons to want the destruction of the clan and several humans and halflings living in the valley. Durbar certainly hates the clan enough to lead an invasion.
With a heavy sigh, Kendric stood up from his desk. He was delaying the inevitable, he had to go face his greatest fear...