Despite having been told by Lord Rickard Aschaffenberg that their purpose at the party was to relax and have a good time, none of Halion, Bissil or Valanduil were prepared to simply abandon their host to the whims of Ubersreiklander politics. After all, the Lord had so far paid and treated them fairly, and stood at Halion and Rigor’s side when a daemon emerged, so clearly they could face down the upper crust of human nobility. They opened by talking to Alfred Karstat of the Merchant’s Guild, and despite lacking in formal etiquette or charm, they did manage to impress on him the connections that Lord Aschaffenberg clearly had among the other races of the World, enough to make him consider furthering business ties with the family.
With one meeting successfully under their belts, they prepared to further mingle and spread the good word, when they – and the party – were rudely interrupted by the arrival of Maximillian Aschaffenberg, and his loud braying mutant costume mocking the vonBrüner family. Specifically he was harassing Rickard’s brother-in-law Heissman vonBrüner, and his son Leopold. Mindful of not needing to cause a scene – or murder Lord Aschaffenberg’s nephew – the group managed to intimidate Maximillian into backing off via threats of carnal attention from Bissil, a frighteningly effective tactic as it turned out.
Flush with success, they split up to further mingle with the people. Halion met and talked with Christoph Engel, a senior wizard of the Ulgu order, and tried to convince him to back Lord Aschaffenberg as Marshal. Bissil remained with Lord Aschaffenberg to help apologise for Maximillian’s actions, when suddenly their Lord began vomitting and keeling over as if sick – or perhaps drunk as loudly declared by Siegfried vonSaponatheim. and Valanduil to Captain Andrea Pfeffer of the Watch, and was asked to help her look for clues regarding an attack on the alecart that had occurred earlier in the evening.
Their meeting was interrupted by Lord Aschaffenberg being ushered out of the hall, followed closely by Hallion who was attempting to tend to the noble’s clear sign of poisoning. Bissil and Valanduil, trusting her to handle the situation, left to investigate this attack – finding signs that the attack came from the sewer, and that the footprints were not of human, but of some tall four-toed creature, possibly a giant squirrel or worse. Meanwhile, Halion did manage to neutralize Lord Aschaffenberg’s poison and lead him back into the party, where yet again Maximillian had returned and had started a fight with Heisman vonBrüner. Lord Rickard had to tend to his own ignoble exit, and she managed to persuade the pair to take their fight outside, away from prying eyes.
This distraction bought enough time for Bissil and Valanduil to complete their investigation and return, and yet again Maximillian proved to lack the courage to stand up to Dwarven intimidation, and left the party cursing the names of the adventurers. Hoping to resume the party, Halion found herself talking to Lorith Silverleaf, an envoy from Ulthuan, and managed to rather impress the ambassador with her depth of classical knowledge, and the High Elf invited her over so that they could continue their association.
Valanduil was socializing with nobles that caught his eye, when he spied several of them screaming as it seemed a fur stole had come to life and was attacking one of the nobleladies. Quickly he sprung to action, cutting its head off, and spied Christoph Engel unconcerned and laughing his head off. Playing up the prank, he convinced the group that this was due to the light of Morrisleib, and he had saved them from a great threat, for which they were appropriately monetarily grateful.
Bissil, following a promise to Captain Pfeffer, spoke with Borgun Foambeard via the traditional Dwarven method of a drinking contest, and after winning went to inspect the casks of ale for signs of tampering. Out in the courtyard, he noticed that the hounds were rather agitated, and keeping his slightly drunken eyes sharp, managed to spy a figure moving with almost elf-like stealth among the casks. Lashing out in a blur, he struck the intruder down before any could react – including the creature, who upon death was not a man, but some sort of walking rat-thing. A long, vile snout, four-toed clawed feet and hands, clutching a vile blade and vial of poison for no doubt a sinister purpose.
Halion and Valanduil were quickly summoned, and as Valanduil confirmed that this creature’s tracks appeared to come from the well on premises, Halion confirmed the fears that this was one of the monstrous Skaven, and that everyone’s lives were in danger from far more than a drunken noble’s taunts…