All signs of nefarious intent recently had led the adventurers to believe that Tumnus Willem was planning something, but they still didn’t know what. His manor near the heart of town was anything but subtle The mansion itself had glass mosaics on every floor, the warehouse for feed animals was the largest in the city, and the grounds were patrolled by numerous guard patrols. Although must of the expansive lawn had been made open to the public as a lavish park, the area near his estate was notably fenced off. Such security measures are common for the extravagantly wealthy, and utterly useless against the improvised machinations of adventurers.
Kailen linked his sight to that of his hawk and flew in wide circles about the grounds. Noting the routes of guards, and the lay of the land. He also witnessed workers stock piling carts and supplies as though a large shipment of animals were expected to be taking place soon. Mary meanwhile commanded a magical set of insect spies to infiltrate the grounds and deliver unto her a detailed picture of the internal architecture. Having spied to their satisfaction, the two headed back to the Lazy Lizard to add to Asmund’s information gleaned during his infiltration and see if they could get a clearer picture of what was going on.
Over a dinner of local pork, the party collected their thoughts regarding Tumnus Willem. He appeared to be working on a time table centered around an upcoming food shipment but as the most successful food merchant, that itself wasn’t surprising. He was working hard to gain public favor so that he might be chosen to fill the empty seat on the admiralty council, and apparently had begun to make a concerted effort to improve his public image starting roughly ten years ago.
Ako interrupted the discussion to ask if parrots were known to gather on windowsills. Looking outside, they saw several dozen parrots looking into the tavern, and keen eyes noted a particular blurriness about some of them. Once they retired to a private room, four parrots flew in, and refocused their image into that of a small gnome child with colorful feathers in place of hair. The group immediately knew this was another manifestation of the enigmatic people to which Nanakia belonged down in Kotahitanga. The parrot child, like his southern counterpart, seemed able to gather from public knowledge at will. He explained to them that Tumnus had lost a son roughly a decade ago to a wasting contagious plague, and that Tumnus hated the Mahi Tahi for denying his son the medicine needed to survive. Apparently, his major focus as part of his campaign had been the benefit of opening trade routes with them to the south.
At first, they had written off his opening trade routes with the assumption that base greed motivated him. Now that they realized the depth of his hatred, a sinking feeling began to creep into their sensation. Going over what Asmund saw again, Mary came to a paralyzing realization. Tumnus Willem planned to introduce Limepox to the MahiTahi capital via his pig industry, the very same plague that had brought her and Asmund to death’s doorstep. Suddenly they had lost their appetite for the pork dinner. Resolving to stop his plans before the peace summit between the two races, they retired to bed (or in Mary’s case the workbench) to let the revelation sink in.
Koorie magically sent word to his mate that he would appreciate some more information about te GreenRot as it was known to him, and requested that she join him in Trinity Bay. Mary sent word to Julius, the doctor that had cared for her and the others during the last outbreak, but received a limited response.
The following morning, a courtesan from the silk ribbon arrived to deliver what information Amora had gathered. Thanks to some gentle magical persuasions, the party was left alone in the Lazy Lizard when Amora herself removed her disguise. She disgustedly tossed the garnet wrapped in a silk pouch onto the table and bade the party keep it far from her. She summarized that the garnet was infact a scale from a hideous devil, that ever so gently influenced the wants and desires of the wearer. The devils she had infrequent contact with desired the elimination of Tumnus as his plans would avert their ultimate goal: total war. The Maggot King and his court were placing agents meticulously to drive the Alliance and Mahi Tahi to each other’s throats. It was their gentle influence through the garnet on Dulcan’s ring that had encouraged him to enter the race for admiralty chair. If they removed the ring before the vote, the potential of an experienced voice of travel and peace in the race might be lost. But if they didn’t stop the influence once he was elected, the devils would have a powerful tool.
But, now that they had a piece of their home plane, the party could fight the devils on their home ground, effectively routing the invasion before it begins. Otherwise, as the conflict grows in magnitude, the draw between his demiplane and this one would grow eventually allowing he and his entourage to arrive en masse. In order to transport themselves to that wicked place, they would need to find a location suffused in violence, bloodshed, and base hatred to strengthen the link enough to form a portal.
Amora was taken aback when a towering Wyvaran slammed open the door to the Lazy Lizard. Seeing Koorie’s recognition, she used this as an excuse to excuse herself from the meeting. Woomera verified the stories Mary and Asmund told of Limepox, and flatly shed light on the source of Tumnus Willem’s hatred. A Mahi Tahi raiding party had killed the messenger bearing the medicine, as they needed it for an outbreak in their village. She and her friends had been responsible for the decision to split the medicine, taking some to each group, ensuring that neither side would lose all the afflicted members. Feeling obligated to assist as a result of that decision, Woomera elected to stay in Trinity Bay with Koorie to lend her assistance.
10 days remained until the election of the open admiralty chair, and one week later was marked as the historic meeting between the Mahi Tahi and the Alliance.