The Abduction of Thrommel - Part IVb - Interlude with Carnail
Date: Tue, February 08, 2005
Topic: Stories & Fiction

While Dame Kristiana trains, Carnail has ten days free before she will appear before King Belvor. She decides to spend her time visiting the Electors of Perrenland.

The Abduction of Thrommel - We were There! Part IVb - Interlude with Carnail
By: kirt
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Carnail has long been desirous of involving the Wolf Nomads in an alliance against Iuz. Recently she drew up a proposal to start a trading post in Wolf Nomad lands that Perrender merchants could visit. As a demonstration of good intention, she is planning on taking her followers to the Howling Hills and assisting the Wolf Nomads in actions against Iuz. Before she acts on a matter of international importance, however, she wants to be sure her proposal does not upset any of the canton rulers of Perrenland. Her friend Szek Lorgan was put on trial for treason after it was revealed that he had entered into secret alliance negotiations with other countries. She does not want to meet the same fate.

After Kris returns to Highfolk, Carnail sends her and Voyear together to the Holy City. Then she uses the mirror herself to return to her own dominion of Wahrscheinlich and makes a quick assessment of the situation there.

13 Wealsun 573
Early in the next day, Carnail and her follower Lee (1) recall to Highfolk. Then they use the mirror to go to Hetman Franz’s stronghold.

The Hetman, Carnail’s liege lord, is at breakfast, but invites them to join him. They sit at his table. He eats in silence, occasionally throwing a scrap to his hounds, as Carnail informs him of what has happened at the Summer Alliance Conference and of the disappearance of Thrommel.

After Franz washes up, he invites them on a ride. The three take horses out into the fields around the stronghold. Franz tells his guards to stay behind.

Carnail explains how she wishes to pursue her search for Thrommel, and how that will require her to be absent from Wahrscheinlich for possibly long stretches of time. She wishes to formally invest Lee with the rule of her lands. She asks Lee several questions about patrols, households, the halflings, and taxes, to which Lee responds. She asks whether the Hetman would also like to question Lee. Franz rides for a while thoughtfully, as if considering a question, then speaks.

“Carnail, you have every right to name your own Seneschal. I’m sure your trust in Wegweiser Lee (2) is well placed. The issue is not one of quality, or of trust. It is simply that Lee is not a Perrender. I respect her, but she is not a countrywoman. She can run your lands in your name, but she will not rule in her own right. She can manage your estates as long as you are alive, but I will not allow you to make her your heir.”

Carnail thanks Franz for his graciousness and says that she had hoped for no more. She then elaborates on how she was set up to take the blame for Thrommel’s disappearance. She talks about how the Velunese hate her, how the drow came to Perrenland for her child, how gods and demons have to take a number and wait in line to come after her (3).

“Given all this, Your Gravity, how do you feel about me representing Perrenland? I want to serve my country, but I wonder if I am attracting more harm than the good that I do.”

Franz stops his horse to address her directly. “Carnail, I can still hear the cries of the crowd when you bested my champion in the Fracas (4). There are lots of people I could have rule your lands. Perrenland doesn’t need tax collectors; Perrenland needs heroes. Our people believe in you. You make them proud. A time may come when we will need you to give them hope. When our lands were conquered by the southerners, it was our faith in Perren that set us free. Our faith in him kept our hope alive during the time of the Witch Queen. A time may come when we are threatened again; by the Old One, by the Nomads, by the southerners, or by Ket. When that time comes, we will need heroes. Sure, you are a target for many. But why are you a target? You are strong, bold, brave. You do not compromise. Those are the traits that our people need to see. Whether you win or lose, your example makes us strong. I don’t care whether you rule Wahrscheinlich or a halfling pig farm. I just want you around. I want our people to know that you are here, that you will fight for them and show them how to fight for themselves. I want you as visible as possible.”

Carnail again expresses her gratitude to Franz for his fairness. She emphasizes that she desires what is best for Perrenland and that she will always seek his judgment in matters concerning the administration of her lands.

When Lee and Carnail have finished speaking with Franz, they recall to Highfolk and then use the mirror to return to Wahrscheinlich.

15 Wealsun
The next day Carnail recalls early to Highfolk, and attempts to use the mirror to find Plar Karl, ruler of Niebensur.

She is not successful, so she next tries for Voormann Fritz, the current Übervoormann. Rather than focusing on him directly, she tries to conjure up an image of the Archonhaus, the wooden palace-fort in Schwartzenbruin from which the Übervoormann rules.

She is successful, and soon finds herself standing outside the Archonhaus, invisible. She retreats a city block to remove her ring, then returns as if approaching normally on foot. Although the guards challenge her, she quickly assures them of her identity. She is told by a major domo that Fritz will be busy all day, but that she will be able to dine at his table. In the meantime she can enjoy the sights and sounds of Schwartzenbruin.

At dinner she sits next to Fritz. He apologizes for not having seen to her earlier. He compliments her on how well her flying ship supply missions to the Perrender troops in the Great Northern City are going (5). He asks for a detailed account of the Summer Conference and the plans for the upcoming attack on Izlem. Carnail fills him in, and explains her role in the disappearance of the Prince. She cautions him, as she did Franz, that the official position of Furyondy is that the Prince is not missing; it is instead that he has gone of his own free will to a secure location while the extent of the Scarlet Brotherhood plot is investigated. Thus, while Carnail thinks that Fritz should know that the Prince really is missing, he should keep that information to himself.

After Fritz is satisfied with Carnail’s accounts, he lets her take the initiative. She gives him a copy of the draft agreement she would like to make with the Wolf Nomads. He reads and discusses it with her, seeming pleased. He says that he is in favor of a better relationship with the Nomads and is interested in new strategies to achieve this. He writes a note on a small scrap of paper and calls for his official seal to mark it. He tells Carnail to take it to his Exchequer. She will be able to exchange this for 1,000 gp in trade goods; blankets, glass beads, copper kettles. He would like to offer her these things to take with her when she heads north, to give as presents to the various chiefs and heroes she encounters. He also dictates a letter to the Commander of Fort Schmidt, authorizing Carnail to impress into service one or two soldiers in the diplomatic corp who can speak the Wolf Nomad language and who know their customs. At the end of the dinner Fritz calls for his pipe, and offers Carnail both a smoke and a room for the night in the Archonhaus. Since she has to talk with the exchequer in the morning anyway, she decides to pass the night there, in Schwartzenbruin.

16 Wealsun
The next morning Carnail again recalls to Highfolk. She would like to try Plar Karl of Niebensur again, but she wonders whether he has some personal magic protection that prevents contact. She tries to remember his stronghold. Carnail visited it once, when she was campaigning for Fritz. She concentrates on the details she does remember, and is somewhat surprised to see the Great Hall appear in the mirror.

She steps through the mirror, putting on her ring of invisibility as she does, and enters the Hall. It is a busy place with many servants bustling about, but she is able to avoid them and find her way outside to take off her ring and return. Karl’s chamberlain assures Carnail that he will see her immediately, and indeed the Plar emerges within minutes. As she outlines her plan, she can see that he is obviously interested and supportive. He explains that he feels that Iuz is a growing threat to Perrenland, and that the country needs allies like the Wolf Nomads. He would like to support her effort to enter into a more friendly relationship with them. He asks her if there is anything he can do to help her plan.

Next on Carnail’s list is Plar Hollister of the North Slopes. She is better able to remember his palace, as it was more impressive than the rest, even ostentatious. Hollister is not the most powerful of the Electors, but he is probably the wealthiest. After introducing herself, Carnail meets with a personal secretary to Hollister. He says that the Plar is very busy, but that if Carnail could convey the essence of her request he will repeat it. Carnail gives him a copy of the proposal, but says that she really would like to meet personally with the Plar. It is several hours later before the secretary returns. Carnail has been treated well, and offered every comfort, but no information. Finally the secretary arrives to tell her that Hollister cannot meet with her that day, and probably not the next either, although she is welcome to stay. The secretary apologizes and says that she hopes Carnail understands how busy the Plar is. Since the death of the Plar of Lakeview, Plar Hollister has been constantly preoccupied with the political situation (6).
In any event, says the secretary, the Plar wishes her luck in her venture. Should she establish an agreement to sponsor some sort of permanent Trading Post with the nomads, the Plar would be very interested in assisting her. Carnail returns to Highfolk.

17 Wealsun
The next day Carnail reviews her list of Electors. The next one to visit should be Plar Konig of Lakeview. However, he is recently deceased. Carnail is unsure of the protocol for visiting his heir during the official mourning period, or even if his eldest son will really be considered his heir, so she decides to skip this land, at least until the situation is more resolved.

After Lakeview in power is Riverflood, ruled by Plar Indu. This is the province that guards the southern entrance to Perrenland, along the narrow Velverdyva River Valley. Plar Indu is not much interested in Carnail’s idea of an alliance with the Wolf Nomads. In fact, he tells her openly that he considers Furyondy and Veluna to be much more of a threat to Perrenland than distant Iuz. On that subject, Carnail expresses to him her interest in helping to fund a fortified barrier on the river capable of stopping any water traffic in time of war. Here Plar Indu becomes quite enthusiastic. He has been pushing for such a project for years, but has not been able to get the various Übervoormanns to fund it with national money, and such a project would be more than he could afford by himself. If Carnail could help with the funding and construction he would be very grateful.

Carnail’s second visit of the day is with Voormann Schmidt. Several years ago he was Übervoormann, and hired out Carnail’s flying barge to help build the huge fort in the Sepea that now bears his name. He was also responsible for the trial of Lorgan. Now he is just the master of his own small canton. Carnail expects to find him unfriendly, given their history. To her surprise, he seems quite affable and interested in the Nomad project. He confides to Carnail that most Electors do not see the great threat that Iuz represents, because it is still far in the future. Although he does not trust the Nomads, he would like to use them against Iuz. He asks Carnail if she would like to take any of his men to assist in the fight in the Howling Hills. Carnail replies that she is planning on taking only her own men, as she cannot be responsible for what might happen up there.

18 Wealsun
The next day Carnail visits the keep of Hetman Aakron of Narrowpass. This is in the southeast of Perrenland, the part that guards the country against invasion from Ket. Aakron doesn't think much or care much about the wolf nomads. They are far away from his land and his problems. The language the nomads speak is similar to what the people of Ket speak, though. Aakron has many skilled negotiators and diplomats who have experience making trade deals. He offers Carnail one if she would like to use him.

Later Carnail sees Voorman Johan of Craig Peaks, in the remote, mountainous, southern part of Perrenland. The entire population of his Canton cannot be much more than that of Wahrscheinlich, although Johan has no liege lord and rules an entire canton. The people of these parts are very independent, and mostly indifferent to what goes on outside their lands. Johan listens politely to Carnail's talk about the Wolf Nomads but does not care about the outcome. He does offer her some men to take with her as guards. They are strong men, he says, but too young and excitable. They need to see a bit more of the world so that they stop stirring up trouble at home. Carnail respectfully declines.

19 Wealsun
On the final day of her tour Carnail meets with the last two Electors; Hetman Eustus of the Cold Lands and Plar Lolar of the Highlands. Neither one seems in the slightest interested in her project. While Eustus is at least a friendly and courteous host, Lolar does not even go that far. After a few hours of being snubbed by Lolar and the squad of muscle-heads he calls his “honor guard”, Carnail is happy to recall to Highfolk.

With the Electors visited, Carnail has just three days left to train before the mission to Dorakaa. She starts a program of swimming and running. In the mornings, she swims about five miles along the coast, and then runs back. In the evenings she practices her weapons work and unarmed techniques. Early on the morning of the 22nd of Wealsun she recalls to Teela’s Tower, and there awaits the appearance of Kris. They are due to have their audience with King Belvor at noon.

1. Lee Aaron is a human 6th level ranger. She has been a follower of Carnail for longer than any other. She hails from the Highvale, and met Carnail when she was assembling a group of female adventurers called “The Sirens”, whose purpose was to explore the Sea of Dust. Of the original group, only Lee, Carnail, and the priestess Chare Gisell are left. Chare is still a friend of Carnail, but no longer her follower. Lee has long acted informally as Carnail’s seneschal, being in charge of her dominion of Wahrscheinlich when Carnail is not there.

2. As Lee is a 6th level ranger, her title as per the PHB1 is “Guide”. In modern German, my model for Quagflow Flan, that translates as “Wegweiser”. Actually, “Führer” may be a better translation for “Guide”, but the real world connotations of that word preclude its use for me.

3. Carnail’s brash personality, Flan blood, and status as a female warrior have earned her many enemies outside of Perrenland, particularly among the Pholtans of Veluna. Over the course of her adventuring career, she has thwarted the plans of the Elder Elemental God and Lloth, and at one point a squad of drow nearly succeeded in kidnapping her three-year-old daughter in revenge. She also has acted against Arik, Asmodeus, Zargon, Ehlonna, and Iuz.

4. The Fracas is a complicated combat, similar to a gladiatorial contest, that is held on important ceremonial occasions in Perrenland.

5. Carnail possesses a magical flying ship. Of late, she has been using it to supply Perrender troops stationed in the Vesve, assisting the elves in their operations against Iuz.

6. In my campaign, Plar Konig of Lakeview has just died at this point, but his vassals have not yet chosen a new lord. The complicated political situation surrounding this event is described in my previous article, The Politics of Perrenland”.

Earlier Chapters
Part I Prelude to Circus

Part II: The Circus

Part III - The Chase

Part IVa - Interlude with Kris

This article comes from Canonfire!

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