The party, traveling with a House Deneieth trainee squad, found themselves in the middle of an aerial combat on their way to Karrnath. Responding just behind the Denieth soldiers, the PCs burst onto the top deck to find the airship surrounded by flying attackers, each wearing a nondescript black uniform. The PCs lent aid, eventually discovering through skill checks and common sense this was actually a training exercise. Z and Ajax bonded over jerky as they watched the carnage unfold. The trainees were clearly outmatched, though they fought well, and, due to a well-timed mass cure from Ajax eventually managed to prevail.
The rest of the trip passed uneventfully (Raaksaat played hide-and-seek, mostly by herself), and the party has now landed at a Denieth enclave in the city of Rekkenmark, a short trip away from Rekkenmark Academy. After a brief chat with Hostbrother Othin Aureonson and his friend Lafelia Kharash’kal (the overseer of the training and the sniper, respectively), the PCs met up with Mattasin and are now ready to bundle into a coach for the trip to RekAcad.
(As a side note to those who like their flavor flavorful: “Hostbrother” is a term for high-ranking priesthood in the Church of the Sovereign Host, and “Aureonson” is a surname given to one who was raised by the Church and trained as a scholar or mage. Other such orphan-names include “Boldreisdaughter,” “Korranson,” and, in the Church of the Silver Flame, “Flamechild.” Also: Lafelia’s half-orc heritage and her last name both indicate she hails originally from the Shadow Marches. I hope you found this information piquant, perhaps with a touch of oakiness.)
Before travel to RekAcad begins, does anyone need anything on the Denieth enclave? The quartermaster has cheap supplies of the mundane variety, if anyone needs to visit the army surplus store.
Once travel begins, Mattasin will begin to fill in the party. Mostly, he speaks to Zeke, but his matter-of-fact sitrep still manages to encompass you all.
“Dean Aladir Tallheart was easily the most moderate of the council. He was also very astute, with a mind well-trained by centuries of experience. My suspicion is that he knew something that made him dangerous…to whom, I don’t know, but I see no reason to believe his murder was a crime of passion. His students loved him—I think he was a bit lenient—and he was always friendly with other faculty, other than Falkorin. The other deans won’t like it that you’re here, but I suspect you can take care of yourselves well enough. Just treat them with a certain amount of courtesy; you know how puffed-up old brass can be.”
“Dean Falkorin and I were the first to hear of the murder. A groundskeeper found the body during routine morning rounds; garbage collection and the like. The man—Etson Kamik—panicked, no surprise, but came straight to us. We immediately convened the Deans, as we typically handle this sort of thing ourselves, but Falkorin suggested we hand the investigation to Karrnathi police, since it involved one of the Council itself. I opposed the measure, as did Dean Nathalis, but Colin—that’s Dean Colin d’Vadalis—and Kerrith (he spits that last name, as if it tastes bitter) fell in line.”
“I doubt any students were directly involved; the dean’s quarters are well removed and quite secure. I would start, if not with the deans themselves, with Kamik and the other maintenance staff. I also only barely saw the body before we handed it off to the Karrnathi—Marshall Fellwake, his name—so you might see if that’s an option.”
“as for the deans…Colin is an old friend; he’s gruff, but there’s no better hand with an animal. I’ve seen him soothe cockatrices. In battle! He teaches logistical support and cavalry tactics. Most students find him off-putting—his approach is somewhat …earthy, you might say—but he’s fair and even-tempered. I was surprised he went along with Falkorin’s motion, but he later told me he sees the sense in a third party, especially if I think one of the others is involved.
“Jenam ir’Nathalis is our Dean of Foppery. Man’s a twink, if you ask me. He mostly teaches courtly behavior and interpersonal politics, but—and this is a secret to most students and faculty, mind you—he’s also a former spymaster to the court of Aundair, and he teaches a small number of students those arts, as well. The poisoning and such I have no use for, but the intelligence that man must possess…the fact that he voted against Falkorin tells me he knows something, but for good or ill I can’t decide.
“Then there’s the old wall of bones himself. Calvin ir’Falkorin, although you—and you especially, captain, if you’re going to wear that coat—can just call him “General” or “Sir,” is an ancient old sot with a long history of putting other men in the ground. He retired from active duty nearly twenty years ago when he was appointed to teach here. Plenty of ribbons on his chest, could have enjoyed a pleasant pension somewhere, but confused the hell out of everyone in Karrnath by coming here. It certainly wasn’t because he enjoys teaching. Even so, there’s a reason he wore stars. Man knows the names of nearly every student here and the faces of all the rest. Knows which ones are top of the class, but also sees potential leaders in the flunks. He’s possessive, too, which is why tossing this out to the police surprised me.
“Oh. And the dwarf. Eanna ir’Kerrith. A colonel, captain, although she doesn’t care to be reminded of it. And if you call her “sir,” she’ll take it as a racial slur on account of the beard. She’s prickly, and angry, and disagreeable even when it hurts her’ and she’s the best damn sapper I’ve ever bloody seen. The bitch knows how to build, and even better how to bring things down. If it comes down to it, she’ll usually side with Falkorin—war buddies, and all—but if she can manage, she’ll just tell us all to fuck ourselves."