The Pillar of Heaven
Competing Groups in Search of the Pillar of Heaven
After the Quay Imbroglio, Otis Shipman brought the party back to his office for a quick debriefing. During that meeting, Otis was able to give the party all the information he had gathered about competing groups who seek the Pillar of Heaven. The list of groups, and their known members, is as follows. The list does not include previously known groups such as the Brightmore Brothers’ party:
1.) The Party of the Golden Delta – This group is led by a nobleman, Boniface, who is recognized as a diplomat from the Golden Delta. He is known for throwing lavish parties. With him is a Dwarf, whose name (Althjofar) Otis could not pronounce. Althjofar is a well-known local guild armorer with a fine reputation. It is not known who else is in this group, nor is it known from whence they get their funding.
2.) The Party of the Royal Library of Fairhaven – The Royal Library of Fairhaven is the official sponsor of the wizard apprentice Bardolph Waggoner and his group. Bardolph has acquired the services of another guildsman, the halfling locksmith Sage Greenfield, who was in the Porcelain Pussycat with Bardolph last night during the dragonchess game. They have hired an elven Ranger to guide their group in the wilderness. I have also heard that they will travel with an unusual priestess of the light, but Otis does not know her identity. “Some dullard of Atmo, in all likelihood,” he scoffs.
3.) The Mystery Party – There is a group that includes a member of the Guild of the Crossed Daggers. The youth’s name is Ardmon, and Otis tells you that he is a peer of Reglor’s in terms of his guild rank. Otis doesn’t know who is officially sponsoring his group, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is not the Guild of the Crossed Daggers. (He chuckles to himself) “Surely those thieves will find ways of prospering from the discovery of the Pillar of Heaven without having to lay out huge sums of cash to do so!”
Accompanying Ardmon will be Frangan, a former soldier under Baron Cruikshank in the army of Archduke Harmsworth. Cruikshank is known for rigid authoritarianism and strict discipline. Apparently this Frangan fellow chafed at being lorded over and was discharged from service. We also know that Ardmon’s group includes no less a figure than Kevigan Grogan, the Black Huntsman. Grogan will leave the perch of his macabre wilderness lodge to guide Ardmon’s group on the quest. Whoever is sponsoring this group must be powerful, and have deep pockets, to have signed the Black Huntsman to the team.
Any other members of the group are a mystery.
4.) The Party of Golodun – Last of all is a wild card group that calls the temple of Golodun its patron. Word on the street is that the priests of Golodun have been grooming a special acolyte for long years for a mission such as this. We don’t have a complete picture of the group, nor do we know much about this mystery acolyte. But Otis knows that two members of the group were at the Porcelain Pussycat last night.
One of these two is a fighter of great prowess named Garth Thornly. As the sound of the name would suggest, Thornly is a kinsman of Baron Thornicroft – another vassal of Archduke Harmsworth. This Garth fellow distinguished himself not long ago at the Battle of Trademeet, where a company of brigands briefly seized control of the town from Baron Eadbald before Thornicroft’s troops rode in to the rescue. Selection for the quest is a high honor for Thornly.
Also in the group is the adopted daughter of Archduke Harmsworth himself, the incomparably beautiful half-elf Beladwen. Why Beladwen is included in the mission is unknown, because up until this point she has only distinguished herself in her reputation for disobedience and lasciviousness. Indeed, she is the infamous black sheep of the extended Harmsworth family! Word on the street is that Harmsworth has at last decided to do away with her by sending her off of such a difficult mission. She is not known as a magic user or a fighter of any sort. Nor is it known why Harmsworth would included his adopted daughter, and the prominent kinsman of a loyal vassal, in a party sponsored by Golodun.