Ches the 13th – Mirtul the 8th, The Year of the Gauntlet (03/13/1369 – 05/08/1969 DR)
The months had ticked by, slowly for some and busy for others. The request to stay within the city of Suzail while the King recovered and the plans were laid out to restore the kingdom had a purpose. For while the party waited, Vangerdahast and Royal Family imparted upon King Azoun the vital role that the party had played in not only saving the King’s life, but thwarting the attempted overthrow of the kingdom and preventing an evil presence from completely sapping away Vangerdahast’s power.
Ength and Alwyn had managed to convince the group that the leader of a powerful criminal syndicate in Marsember named Jheg needed to be stopped. They let the group in on their past, if not completely and also exposed the rather sinister underbelly of Suzail’s sister city in the mists to the lawbringers of Cormyr. However with the amount of turmoil in the realm, the ability to sweep out the syndicate from the city was not an option.
Alwyn and Ength turned to their former companion Tempust, and he imparted the importance of exposing the criminal mastermind Jheg to his superiors. After some debate and some political manuevering by Alusair and Vangerdahast, Tempust was granted leave for a tenday and the group given permission to put a plan in motion to capture or kill the criminal leader. After some resistance by Ength, the rest of the group was let in on the plan just as his companions from Marsember arrived into town.
The mission was a success, although bittersweet. Alwyn and Ength knew beforehand that Jheg always came with contingencies, and Ength especially knew that Jheg was not one to come unprepared. Jheg had known there would be a trap, that much was clear from the very beginning of their initial meeting. However he cautiously continued and the plan came to fruition as they captured Jheg after a rather bloody confrontation. Due to the plan, many civilians were cut down by Ength’s thuggish associates, a needed sacrifice.
Capturing Jheg revealed that he did indeed have contingencies in place, having scoped out Jheg and Alwyn before arriving to the city he was aware of Alwyn’s work with putting together an Orphanage as well as Ength’s friends from Marsember. As he himself was being captured, his associates were capturing those the two held dear. The deal was offered, Jheg for the children and Attis. After contemplating the decision, they killed Jheg with the full approval of the law. Unfortunately Jheg’s contingencies were solid and the group ended the successful reign of Jheg at the expense of 14 orphan children under Alwyn’s care and Seph’s father Attis. The removal of Jheg could be called a success mired by tragedy.
The following months were busy for the group individually as Alwyn tried to pick up the pieces of his orphanage project and find solace in Lliira’s embrace. However anyone close to Alwyn could notice the darkness that hung over him, followed him, in the wake of the tragedy.
Ength on the other hand absorbed himself in the process of aiding Seph with her church. Without Attis’ help the going was slow, and the manuevering with politicians and lawmakers difficult. Attis seemed to have had a nack for getting his way and more importantly, a lifetime of connections related to the dark ways of Loviatar. Without those connections, Seph and Ength seemed to find themselves pounding their head against the wall just as often as they made any progress.
Dhurst continued his work within the Purple Dragons, making a number of contacts and spending just as much time with his new companions in the Purple Dragons as he did with any of his other companions. When not in the city aiding the Purple dragons he was trying to work with the increasingly distant Galdoreth or outside of the city in the nearby woods.
Galdoreth seemed to absorb himself into his studies, spending more and more time drawn to the castle libraries. For those studying him enough, one would realize often times that he sat staring at an individual page for hours, or in the tavern losing himself in a cup of ale. Not his usual jovial self, he seemed often lost in his thoughts, many times sleeping far into the days.
Tempust returned to duty, continuing his work with Alusair and Vangerdahast. His involvement in the butchery of innocent civilians at the harbor was noted and it seemed as though he was looked on with a bit less favor than he had in days past. Alusair insisted that it was the right move, and that the cost in lives and corruption of leaving Jheg alive was much higher. Alusair was said to spend many waking hours with Tempust, discussing matters in private instead of with the King’s court.
The city itself seemed to be cooling, with the public executions coming less frequently as the usurpers involved in the attempted sack of the kingdom were spreading too far to capture or already dead. The King himself seemed to make more public appearances as well, and rumor had it that more and more Purple Dragon Knights were being sent to the western territories. In the meantime Alusair seemed to step forward as the public face of the country, showing herself to be a rather effective and natural born leader. Creating incentives and relief from taxes for merchants coming into the city she improved trade within Suzail almost immediately, while also sending small squads of men to Marsember to attempt to quell the growing unrest in the region. In addition she put together royal sponsored feasts to aid with those who were put out by the unrest in the merchant districts and manufacturing jobs lost with the fall of houses Bleth and Cormaeril. She distributed land and business contracts to a number of mid or low income merchants who struggled but put forth good faith efforts in helping the city through it’s tough times in the weeks prior, boosting morale in the commons.
As the group was called forth to the King and given their Royal Charter, accepting wholeheartedly, it was with some measure of loss as Alusair once more left the capital for lands far away. The group was given leads and knew that there was much to do, what direction they go being completely their decision with the shining Royal Charter rings on their finger.