The Deceit

War with the elves has come upon the nation, the spark of dissent apparently fanned by the wind of political necessity and profit.

Spectre of War

On arrival in Fortuna the party discover that Elan is in a state of war with the Elven Nation and they are arrested as collaborators and the crew of the Iris are taken as prisoners of war. It takes some time to disentangle themselves from the situation, and whilst House Lions does play a part in extracting them from the situation, they appear reluctant to engage with the party following their release.

Petitioning House Lions for attention in the aftermath, the party meet Eve Palfrey who is also petitioning the house to discover what has happened to her younger brother Shevek. She asks The Silk Glove if they will travel to [[[Sluttisham]] to search for word of her brother and they agree to do so.

The party arrive in Sluttisham to discover that the stories of the eleven atrocity were not unfounded although most of the deaths were limited to the members of a specific merchant caravan rather than more indiscriminate killing. They meet Stern Lions who suggests that the elves may have been stirred by pressure on their homeland and he suggests that to get to the root cause they might be inclined to investigate Abbotsward for evidence of orcs observing the Westway.

The Wormway

Abbotsward is explored and orcs are discovered and slain, it is clear that they have been watching the road from the commanding position in the ruined abbey. A human slave named Kelsey of Blake is rescued, and she tells of how she has been the orcs thrall for several months now - they drugged her with Grash and brought her through The Wormway to this place. The orcs receive their orders along with supplies once a week along that route, and she gladly gives them details on how to follow back through to the orcish encampment.

The party see Kelsey safely to the Westway and then head up into the foothills and on through The Wormway. Making their way through the steep sided ravines that honeycomb the great escarpment, there are signs that not all of the features are natural - it seems that some creature has created some of the snaking passages that delve down into the earth. These passages are avoided however a dune of soft sand when climbed turns into a sinkhole that drags them down into the caves below. In these passageways the party discover that the wormway has become infested with Kruthik and they are obliged to fight their way through the mazy passages until they reach the great egg chamber. Here they defeat the queen and finally make their way out through to Mountain Vale the domain of the elves.

Mountain Vale

At the threshold of the elven domain a band of elves is met and fought, but a parlay is made and peace is made with the elves. Once of the elves is Quicksilver the scout that the elven ambassador had appointed to lead The Silk Glove to Skyshun three weeks ago. He tells the party that the elves are sorely pressed by the orc encampment and that the few archers he has with him are no match for the orcish warbands that patrol the Garden of Rememberence below.

As the party travel cautiously amongst the giant redwoods they ask Quicksilver about the raid on Sluttisham. He tells them that there were many elves that felt this was unwise but in the end the hawks prevaled - the purpose of the raid was to recover a caravan of weapons destined for the orcs. The elves had heard that the weapons were coming from the armouries of House Lions but were destined for the orcs. When the weapons were recovered only a few of the weapons on the top bore the Lion Rampant - it is the law that all arms must bear a maker's mark in order to prevent weapons smuggling - the hawks were proved right.

The Battle of Tiniel

The elves are persuaded to allow the party to fight alongside them and they join forces in an assault to drive the orcs from their fortifications within the Vale of Tiniel at the south end of Mountain Vale. The Silk Glove provide a decisive moment in the battle, ensuring through subtefuge and magic that the gates to the pallisade are held open and then destroyed. Then in the battle within the fortress they are able to defeat the orcish warleader even as orcish reinforcements appear to be pouring into the valley. The reinforcements turn out to be the fleeing remnant of a great orcish host that has been defeated at Creeley Pools.

The Silk Glove are invited to join Ambassador Highbow in a delegation to a battlefield summit to be held at the site of the great victory, and they agree to travel there.

Creeley Pools Summit

A summit is hastily convened by Marshal Vanya of Lionsinvoking the Victor's Privelege which enables him to chair a council that has many of the same rights that are afforded to a council of war that would normally take place in the Palace of Voices. The party get the sense that this is a premeditated strategy to enable him to push through legislation advantageous to House Lions. Stern Lions discretely warns The Silk Glove that this course of action will have far reaching consequences and that they are likely to invoke the emnity of House Lions. There is a sense that this is a warning given in good faith rather than a threat.

The party proceed to take the Elven side, swearing under oath as agents of House Palfrey that they saw weapons bearing the mark of House Lions amongst the many unmarked weapons that the elves had recovered from their raid on Sluttisham. House Lions attempts to reach an agreement in which elves may travel in Elan unarmed and under licence only. However, the evidence is sufficient to accord the elves a settlement in which peace is restored and their rights are unimpinged. The office of the seneschal to House Lions is brought into significant disrepute and the senescal himself, Dain of Lions is obliged to resign his position.

The court disbands and The Silk Glove return to Fortuna as friends of the Elven Nation and enemies to House Lions.

Cedars Inquiry

An inquiry into the allegations that House Lions was trading weapons with the orcs to escalate war with the elves is conducted by Aiden Cedars at the behest of the Palace of Voices. The Silk Glove is called to give evidence as well as several other parties, however in the end an open verdict is recorded. Whilst there is insufficient evidence to convict House Lions of weapons trading, they are found to have breached several laws on weapons export and tax evasion and they are severely punished both financially and politically.

Following the Inquiry, The Silk Glove are informally invited to dig a little deeper, the open verdict means that if compelling fresh evidence were presented then the case could be reopened. Puff has an example of a magical spear crafted by the orcs, from fresh steel, presumably from the deliveries that have been made. Ruby feels that she can use her alchemical craft to show that the steel in the orcish spear is from the same source as the steel in the ingots supplied from the House Lens Riverside Foundry.

The Silk Glove break into the Riverside Foundry and secure samples of the steel from the shipment that the foundry produced, however much to their surprise, Ruby is able to demonstrate that the spear was not crafted from the same steel as the shipment.

Further investigations reveal that the shipment of steel was arranged by Captain Chiral and that the mercenary guard was provided by the crew of his ship that travels under the name The Dirty Blade. It appears that it was Chiral who set up the deception to keep the authorities (and the commissioned hauliers) from looking too closely, although House Lions clearly suspected something because one of their agents, the unfortunate Shevek Palfrey, was assigned a covert observation duty.

Investigating further it appears that the captain has laid a bounty to discourage anyone asking questions of him and his crew, and some unpleasantness ensues, however in the aftermath it is discovered that The Dirty Blade is more commonly known as The Scalpel.

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