Mystara: The Journey...
Spiralling out of Control
|Adventures in Faerûn||Tyranny of Dragons||Murder in Baldurs Gate|
Croaker first suspected the evening was not going to go well when his favourite set of lockpicks broke as he attempted to break into the Harbourmaster’s Office. When the enchanted Harbour Manifest began screeching in a parrot voice “Thief! Help! Thief! Help!” he accepted that his endeavour to acquire any information would probably end in failure. It was only when he was arrested by the Flaming Fist a short while later that he realised just how bad his night was going to end.
All fees and ship manifests are taken to the Harbourmaster’s Office, a tiny two-storey building, with thick walls and barred ground-floor windows that stand apart from other city structures.
Ravengard convinced the party to frame Ariax Rillyn, one of the Gate’s judges suspected of being bought by the Guild, by implicating him in a fake murder through the planting of personal items belonging to Ariax’s at the crime scene; the Szarr family crypts located in the cliff face below Tumbledown.
The city’s largest cemetery is on a sprawling plot of land near the cliffs in Tumbledown. This place has grown up around the Szarr family, which had claimed the area before the Outer City expanded over it.
The charges of course would not hold up, but it would temporarily remove Ariax being able to preside over trials of alleged Guild operatives to rule in their favour.
That same night the party was planting evidence, under the cover of the fog, several groups of saboteurs in small boats rowed through the harbour and set ships aflame, hurling pots of alchemist’s fire. The first attacks hit the Bloomridge piers, the Steeps wharf near the Counting House, and along the Heapside quay. Afterwards they headed for the biggest concentration of ships at the Eastway and Brampton piers.
Bloomridge possesses many of the fashionable Lower City district homes. This area is dotted with cafés, flower shops and artisan boutiques. The district’s main street runs steeply up from the harbour to the Old Wall. Numerous structures have exterior staircases and open terraces built into or against the wall.
Fast-acting crews managed to extinguish many of the fires, however eight ships were completely consumed by the fire, five others were crippled, the piers were badly damaged and several fortunes were lost.
Early the next morning the Flaming Fist arrested Ariax, while Seatower was besieged by merchants demanding revenge. By late afternoon new rumours spread about the Watch dragging people from their homes on “trumped up charges”.
The arrested people included:
- A patriar, Norold Dlusker a cloth merchant, who is known to provide the Flaming Fist with inexpensive wool for uniform;
- Ellyn Harbreeze, who operates the Harbreeze Bakery, and was charged with the evasion of the immigrant establishment tax to set up her business; and
- Stephan Groat, a Flaming Fist Flame, believed to be a Guild asset.
The party in the meanwhile continued with their Smokepowder Investigation and paid a visit to Jamal Al-Fayeed, believing him to be behind their second gift; the 3 fingers, presumably those of the second merchant aboard The Ember. Little Calimshan’s merchant prince maintained the position that their previous business was settled and that he had nothing to do with their second gift box.
Later that day, while the rest of the party was running errands and continuing the investigation, Kavah Amrak met up with Jamal privately and discussed a possible exchange of favours which would see the Calimshite benefit economically into the future should the gifts come to an end. An agreement was reached between the two.
The following morning, the Parliament of Peers swore in the newly appointed Duke, Sir Robert Ambrosius, while party witnessed the proceedings from gallery. During this highly official and publicised event, a small crowd of workers, disgruntled with the recent turmoil within the city affecting their employment met up at Norchapel with the intention to march to the High Hall and demand that the Outer City be recognised as part of Baldur’s Gate proper. This peaceful assembly concerned about the escalating violence and injustice against Outer City residents eventually led to The Massacre.
This was closely followed by The Riot.
Ravengard’s thoughts on the matter were clear; The massacre at the gate and riot in the harbour were orchestrated by the Guild to bring about disfavour on the Flaming Fist and to make the marshal appear incompetent. In an attempt to curb such future possible outbreaks, Ravengard implemented the Court of Fist, impromptu military tribunals that convened anywhere, heard evidence and passed judgement with the presiding officer being of flame rank or higher.
This was to be swift and honest justice, meant to discourage protesters and violence and instill a sense of order through fear.
At some point, the party discovered the reason for Croaker’s peculiar absence; the half-orc had been arrested by the Flaming Fist some evenings ago for breaking into the Harbourmaster’s office and was residing in one of Seatower’s many cells. Upon discussion with Ravengard, the party decided it would serve them best if Croaker remained locked up temporarily.
Following the massacre and riot, daily morning and evening masses were held throughout the city at every temple for the dead and injured victims in the recent violent outbreak within Baldur’s Gate, and most especially in the High House of Wonders, The Water Queen’s House and Lady’s Hall.
Even the smaller places of worship, such as the Shrine of the Suffering, the Rose Portal and the Watchful Shield saw much activity as many of the populace turned to the gods for guidance.
The High House of Wonders serves a vast workshop for many crafters and inventors that the temple houses. To enter the building, a person must pass under the great bronze blocks, or doors, that appears to float in midair. Great chimes are hidden with in each block, and they ring the time at each passing of every hour. Since the temple is open to inspiration, the doors have not been closed in living memory.
Acolytes create the knickknacks that are sold in the Hall of Wonders, crafters of all sorts attend master-taught classes, and inventors experiment alongside priests as they build new projects or tinker with old machines. The House has several huge wings, each devoted to a type of work or a scholarly pursuit related to invention and artifice. Silversmiths toil alongside those who cast in bronze, architects draft alongside engineers, and carpenters build cranes next to woodcarvers working on jewellery boxes.
Everything from ships to siege weapons is built at full size in the great halls of the High House of Wonders and then disassembled for transport.
The faithful of Gond work on repairs and building sites everywhere. Among other tasks, they replace broken spars in the port’s worker-powered, wheeled cranes; erect scaffolding around construction sites; and venture into patriars’ homes to fix the plumbing.
Most of those who enter the temple everyday are long-standing members of the city’s various crafting guilds who come to study, experiment and teach from would-be apprentices to master-craftsmen.
Duke Torlin Silvershield is the High Artificer of Gond.
From the interrogation of some of the prisoners, Ravengard discovered that the Guild had been using Baldur’s Mouth to send messages to its members. His immediate response was to disallow the one-page printed broadsheet access into Lower City and Outer City in an attempt to shutdown all possible Guild communication.
Due to the damage sustained by the city during the riots, specifically in the harbour and its surrounding areas, the High Hall of Wonders sent forth a plethora of faithful to repair and in some cases reconstruct wherever necessary. The cost of all this maintenance was subsidised via the donations and income from sales received by the temple.
In an effort to lift spirits, The Three Old Kegs decided to host a celebratory evening in honour of the Heroes of the Wide. After paying the entrance fee, guests were treated to a bevy of entertainment while food and drink flowed freely.
A senior artificer named Emmanuel, sought a private word about Baldur’s Exiles with Kael, whereas Mill’s attention was, for once, drawn to something of a frivolous nature, allowing himself to enjoy the social benefits available to a Hero of the Wide. Interestingly, Adian had the pleasure of sharing a drink and an intimate dance with the Guild’s Rilsa Rael, who hinted that she had a part to play in Croaker’s arrest. She further added that the continuing chaos occuring within Baldur’s Gate was “finally coming to an end”.
Observing all from the comfort of the inn’s hearth, sat a subdued and thoughtful Kavar.