Synopsis of back story:
While drinking in a bar one night in Montaigne, you are approached by a lady who asks you to speak to her mistress about a proposition. The Mistress turns out to be the youngest daughter of the Sun King who sends you to Ussura to give a critical message to her husband, the famed general Montegue. She lends you an ancient artifact called a Syrneth Compass to help you precisely locate her husband.
After struggling your way across Montaigne, Eisen, and Ussura, you successfully reach Montegue and save the lives of the remnant of the Montaigne forces while no doubt making yourself some powerful enemies. But you also made friends along the way with, among other people, an Avalon explorer named Reginald Coleson. Reginald loves Syrneth artifacts and was impressed by your compass and asked an opportunity to study it and take some measurements of the pair of compasses after you completed your mission. He invited you to his residence at the castle of the Eisen prince Stefan Heilgrund.
During your meeting with General Montegue, however, there was an incident where someone worked Porte magic to rip a whole in the fabric of the universe, reached through, and stole the General's twin to your Syrneth Compass. A vision fell upon (I think it was...) Ulf Elgrimson Bjornson, your Vestenmannavnjar rune-mage--the compass has been stolen by a fiendish villain somewhere in the Western Isles. Worse yet, he has taken it for dangerous but mysterious evil purposes. He must be stopped. Your compass now points unerringly west.
You decided that the best route to the Western Isles involved marching back out of Ussura into Eisen, then north to find a ship. Your path was bringing you close enough to Eisenfurst Stefan's castle that you decided to pay a visit to your old friend Reginald Coleson. Perhaps his knowledge of Syrneth artifacts might help you discover why a villain might seek to steal a Syrneth compass for evil purposes? Have these devices some other dangerous use?
You have arrived at the castle of Eisenfurst Stefan Heilgrund and learned that Coleson will need several days to study the compass. You have five or six days here to rest and plan your next moves including locating transportation to the Western Isles.
As it happens, these days may not be entirely uneventful. There are numerous other guests currently visiting the Eisenfurst at his castle residence and some are more interesting than you'd expected. You each have separate rooms in a certain wing. You've been instructed not to go into any of the areas below ground floor unless accompanies by Coleson or by Herr Ernst Grumbel, the Eisenfurst's butler and social coordinator (who seems to disapprove of some of you.) You've also been told that all locked doors are off limits. Current guests:
- Antonio Naticelli: a successful Vodacce merchant.
- Greta Jannsen: a petite, blonde Vendel guildsmen with an innocent face that seems to annoy your friend Ulf. She's obviously opposing Antonio Naticelli.
- Sophia de la Cruz: a dusky Castillian noblewoman looking for mercenaries and steel weapons.
- Cesar Marceau: a high-ranking Montaigne admiral on diplomatic duty in Eisen.
- Leni Kendelburg: a mercenary captain, a tall and sinewy woman with long dark hair and an imposing stare.
- Freidrich von Stahl: an envoy from the Eisen city-state of Freiburg.
- Monique & Margarite Bouvier: a pair of giggling, beautiful Montaigne girls, ages 17 and 19 respectively.
- Henry "Hotspur" Clayborne: an Avalon noble exiled from his homeland for mysterious reasons.
- Fergus MacAllister: a clan leader from the Highland Marches--wild-looking, black-haired, flowing beard, and kilt.
- Johann Koenig and Georg Hapsund: envoys from another Eisenfurst Fauner Posen proposing a treaty with Stefan Heilgrund.
We pick up on the second morning in the castle when we get together tonight. And to those who enjoyed last night's dinner banquet, there's another planned for this evening.
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