The Hidden Hand

Interlude 3

The antechamber outside the throne room of Cormyr was vast and seemed, to Delamor, to be a cold and uninviting place. Attendants and burly guards waited near the doors to the throne room itself, and both Delamor and his father had given up their weapons before being permitted this far. Delamor felt almost naked without his sword, but had felt he could hardly refuse. His father waited with him, and seemed as ill at ease as he. Probably more so, reflected Delamor.

The doors to the throne room opened slightly, and one of the attendants bent his head to hear whispers from inside. The attendant nodded, then gestured for Delamor and his father to come forward. “You may enter”, he said. The doors were thrown wide, and Delamor strode forward, his father at his side.

The chamber was vast and sunlight streamed in from high windows, illuminating the most valuable statues and paintings from the royal collection where they decorated the walls and alcoves of Cormyr’s seat of power. The King stood to one side of the room, surrounded by armoured knights and nobles, poring over a sheaf of maps where they lay on a large, round table. His finger stabbed down on the map in anger, and his hands gestured wildly as he questioned the assembled audience on the disposition of his forces.

Delamor drew near, and his King looked around at him, stopping in mid-sentence. Bowing deeply, Delamor and his father waited for the king to speak. “Well, goodman Delamor, it seems that you may have more answers for me than the assembled aristocracy of my kingdom. Tell us what you know of this Diker Thane, and what in the name of Cyric he’s doing attacking my kingdom.”

Delamor: "Your Majesty. I’m afraid I know not alot about Diker Thane but, what I do know is most grevious. If you can spare the time I shall tell you all I know and of the efforts of the Company of the Purple Eclipse to put a stop to his deeds. I can only extend my apologies now that we have had not had more success. [goes into an indepth explaination of the other adventure log entries on here. Covering as much as possible while making each individual member of the group better than even they may believe themselves to be].

“Sire, it is my hope that some plans the Company of the Purple Eclipse have in motion at the moment and strategies that I would hope to discuss with you and your most trusted advisors can further delay whatever plans he has in place.”

“I surely do not wish to step on the toes of those generals and lords that have earned their place beside you with many years of loyal service and toil for the kingdom. Perhaps if you would permit myself and my associate a more private audience with you and your immediate advisors we could answer questions more directly and help form a battle and diplomatic strategy that will see overall success”.

[Assume we retire to a private room]

“Firstly, your majesty we have discovered that Thane can only be defeated when weapons called the Narselkin have been gathered together and the Company of the Purple Eclipse should by now have ownership of 2 out of the 3. It is my belief that the last of these weapons are in the mountains to the north and this is why the armies up there are having the troubles they are. I have asked a trusted member of the Company to lead a stealthy group into Diker’s Earthmote and keep tabs on things reporting back to us regularly via magical means. In the meantime, I have asked my trusted friend Aradon to lead the Company’s army on the battlefield. A core group of the Company, including the trusted and valuable swordmage Athon Bewick, Gregg the rugged barbarian of [insert Gregg’s birthplace], the sorcerous Belgarath, the gentleman rogue Garad Ellerton, and myself will attempt to claim the third and final Narselkin.

These are only my first thoughts on the matter and any advice and assistance you or your general and lords may give is of course greatly appreciated with the understanding that neither the kingdom nor the Company’s agents have time for long delays and debate."

The King pursed his lips as he considered Delamor’s news. “My generals would have me believe that we are close to being overwhelmed by the sorcerous dragons of this Diker Thane, and now you say he is backed by the power of Szass Tamm in foul Thay. These are dark days indeed.” He eyed Delamor’s father closely. “I think perhaps you and I will talk once your son is gone, friend. But it can wait.”

The King turned back to Delamor. “If your spies can indeed infiltrate Thane’s earthmote it may well give us the advantage we badly need. But I cannot put all our faith in such a delicate plan. I tell you truly, friend Delamor, Cormyr cannot withstand this siege for long if things continue as they do. I am sending word to our allies, asking for reinforcements. Perhaps you will carry our message to Baldur’s Gate? I believe you have the means to reach it quickly.”

The kings handed Delamor a sealed scroll and gestured to a door in the rear of his private chamber.

“It would be unfair to send you off to defend Cormyr without the necessary tools to complete the job, so see my armourer before you go. Through that door, down the stairs and into his workshop. You may choose what items you think will aid you most.”

[replace your old items with the new ones you told me about]

“Also, before you rejoin your companions in your quest for the missing sword, I have someone who might prove of worth to you. I’ll introduce you in the morning before you leave. I think you’ll find him interesting.”

Delamor: “I look forward to it Your Majesty. If I could beg a favour or two beyond what you have already seen fit to grant. Firstly, I’d like to arrange a pardon for my father as the crime he was accused of was not his but, that of a crooked guardsman. I believe Aradon when he returns from the wars could provide you with some evidence of this. Secondly, the Company of the Purple Eclipse is due to renew its charter and if it were issued by Your Majesty it would lend additional credence to our tasks. Thirdly and lastly, I ask of you a fast strong horse that may see me along my way in the morning as I believe there are allies to be had between here and Baldur’s Gate with which I have some prior experience. If I leave first thing in the morning I expect I should be able to arrive back in Balder’s gate shortly, after Athon returns from the mission I sent him on before returning to Cormyr.”

The King stayed silent for some time, before finally answering Delamor’s requests. “Your father and I will discuss his case when you are on your way. He has certainly shown himself to be useful and trustworthy in our present travails, which stands in his favour.” He paused, catching the eye of Delamor’s father, and an understanding seemed to pass between them. He turned back to Delamor. “Take a horse from my stables in the morning. If you have allies to gain and errands to run be about them quickly. The companion I spoke of will travel directly to Baldur’s Gate, and will meet you at the main west entrance of Baldur’s Gate. You’ll know him when you see him.”

Delamor listened to the king’s response with silence and grace. When he had finished Delamor took his leave, his father remaining behind to consult with the King, and went out into the city seeking converts to the way of Sehanine (with particular attention to lovers, bards, and thieves).

[Glenn – Interlude 4 can be about what Delamor does on the way to Baldur’s Gate, so you can start it however you wish]

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