The Ashen Crown, the Lords of Madness, and the Queen of Death

The Interrogation

The party interrogated three captives.

Thadeon claimed that he and his fellows were mercenaries. They had recently done a job for Graeb Shanks, commonly know as the “Shank”. Graeb Shanks is a minotaur with a ferocious reputation and is head of the Sharn branch of what is sometimes euphemistically called the “Daask Trading Company”, but is usually just called the Daask. Maltassar Bogs was surprised to hear Graeb Shank’s name come up in the interrogation. Maltassar would seem to have history with the Daask and Graeb Shanks in particular.

According to Thadeon, Thadeon’s group, having made a “windfall” on their last job, were trying to avoid reprisal from their previous employers by seeking shelter in House Ghallanda. By happenstance, they witnessed the theft of the circlet from Yeraa and were recruited by a desparate Tikulti, a hobgoblin in Yeraa’s warband, to hunt down Arasinya and recover the circlet. Tikulti ordered Thadeon to lay an ambush outside the Temple in Blackroot, guessing that Arasinya might show up there. An altercation between Thadeon and Arasinya involving lightning and an exploding arrow left Thadeon dead, ending that particular interrogation.

Drago told the party that he and the others used to serve in the Karrnathi military, but they deserted in order to avoid having to “lie down not just our lives, but also our deaths” in service of his country. He claimed that they came to Breland to seek a better life, but fell into mercenary work.

Vorik, terrified by Aurora and Dex, cracked and admitted that they are agents of the Order of the Emerald Claw, a cult-come-spy organization that was once in the service of Karrnath. Roughly 30 years ago, Regant Moranna of Karrnath had the organization disbanded, outlawed, and key figures in the Order tried and executed. The leader of the Emerald Claw at the time was Baron Wultram Kessler. Charged with treason against the crown and conspiracy against the nation, Kessler was hung, then beheaded, then burnt to ashes in a very public execution. Vorik, strangely enough, claims that he and the others work for the Baron Kessler and that the Baron is, right now, overseeing the Order’s operations in Sharn personally.

Kessler is perhaps most infamous for his role in planning the attack on the city of Shadurkar. In 961 YK, nearly forty years ago, Karrnathi ground troops used soarwood skiffs to cross the sound that separates Karrnath from the nation of Thrane and stormed the coastal city, catching it unprepared. The Karrns pillaged the city, slaughtered its citizens, and raised undead troops to replace those fallen in the attack. It took months of siege before the Karrns withdrew, burning the city and the surrounding forests to the ground, and annihilating what was left of its population. Shadukar’s destruction is considered by many one of the worsts atrocities of the war.

After Vorik cracked, Drago told the party that the Emerald Claw was interested in infiltrating the Daask with the intent of using the organization to their own ends. Graeb Shanks, the head of the Sharn branch, is the eldest surviving son of Graeb Khurkri, who runs the international crime syndicate from Graywall in Droam, a land known commonly as the nation of monsters. Graeb Khurkri is very old and rumoured to be unwell. Graeb Shanks is likely to succeed her as head of the Daask.

Drago also informed the party that the Emerald Claw had, for a brief time, an alliance with the Cult of Belashyrra that ended due to the conflicting objectives of the Cult and the Claw. Since the end of the war, the Emerald Claw and the Cult of Belashyrra have been working against each other, attempting to thwart each other’s goals. Drago implied that the Emerald Claw had an interest in the Cult’s mind control artifacts, but was generally vague and evasive when it came to questions of the Emerald Claw’s own objectives. From Drago, the party gleaned an address, a “meeting place” for the Order of the Emerald Claw agents, located in a posh neighbourhood of Sharn.

Ultimately, the party allowed Vorik and Drago each a humane death and burnt the bodies of the Karrnathi to prevent the Order of the Emerald Claw of learning anything of this encounter.

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