House Shom is one of the oldest Trading Houses in the Tyr region of Athas. They have slid into decadence and laziness on the believe that Shom is superior to any other merchant house. Once, this may have been true, but Shom has experienced an increasingly steep decline under the poor leadership of a series of weak leaders. Giovvo Shom has lead the house for more than 20 years of the recent decline.
As the campaign opens, Giovvo Shom was meeting at the House Shom Estate in Nibenay with the most senior agents of the house. Many know this is not common in recent times; Giovvo rarely has met with the senior agents as all he cared for was reveling in his own wealth and pleasure, leaving the agents to pursue trading opportunities at their own ambition (leading to mixed results, including frequent conflict within the group). Only when a truly critical matter arose would the group come together to try and push Giovvo Shom to guide the house on what should be done.
During this meeting, Giovvo Shom and all of the attending senior agents except for his longtime friend Kashel were brutally slain.
Fearing the lax security and wanting to force a decision on the election of new leadership by the newly minted senior merchant agents, Temvya Shom decides to move all critical staff, along with all possible supplies and all Shom caravans currently in the city, to nearby Fort Inix. As part of this, she sends several Shom retainers to collect her youngest brother and famed instructor of The Way, Larkyn Shom.
Exalted Path Monastery
After getting past a bit of chaos caused by Larkyn leading Thrad Redev to believe that a rival instructor’s ornate study was filled with Larkyn’s essential belongings, the group heading out in the brutal mid-afternoon sun to start on the trip to Fort Inix.
Winding through the claustrophobic streets of Nibenay, the group was ambushed by a group of elves. During the fight, one of the attackers was observed pointing to Larkyn and shouting “there he is!” in Elvish.
After a tough fight in which Thrad and Kelek valiantly absorbed the brunt of the first two rounds of attacks from the attackers, the adventurers emerged victorious. A quick examination of the corpses of their foes had tattoos indicating they were of the Sky Singer Elf Tribe, who maintain the Elven Market of Nibenay in Nibenay. No other indication of their motives could be discerned as all of the elves were slain in the battle.
The party decided to press on to Fort Inix, where they were greeted with chaos. Thrad, Uzmati…well, basically, everyone except Larkyn noticed Jonnas, the majordomo of the House Shom estate in Nibenay (and now acting as such for Fort Inix) display a look of shock or surprise upon seeing Larkyn. While mingling, they also heard rumors that Giovvo’s advisor Kashel was in some way responsible for the assassinations, and that Larkyn had been summoned to help investigate the situation.
Temvya asked Larkyn to join a dinner party to discuss important house matters. Larkyn intentionally misunderstood and caused a bit of a stir when he invited his entourage to the event and required that they be seated.
In between other faus pax, such as Uzmati telekinetically moving dinner courses about the table, the party learned that the oldest of the Shom siblings, Jabea Shom, had refused Temvya’s invitation to meet at Fort Inix. According to Temvya, Jabea claimed he had no need to attend and that he was already clearly the new head of the house. Temvya was clearly furious and asked Larkyn to go to Cromlin to convince Jabea to come to Fort Inix; otherwise, a legitimate vote of the new senior mercantile agents of the house could not take place to elect the new head of the house. Temvya observed that a caravan bound for Cromlin had been diverted to Fort Inix since the previous leaders of the caravan were amongst those slain with Giovvo Shom. Larkyn agreed to accompany and lead the caravan to Cromlin.
After the dinner, the party accosted the majordomo to question him. When they were away from other observers, the man began to twitch and stammer. Within short order, Larkyn recognized that the majordomo’s facial muscles were re-arranged to resemble those of his childhood mentor, and only survivor of the slaughter at the Shom estates, Kashel.
Larkyn understood that Kashel had forced a psychic imprint upon the majordomo which triggered when he saw Larkyn and forced a compulsion on him to speak to Larkyn as soon as they were relatively alone. The majordomo proceded to speak with a facsimile of Kashel’s voice: “Larkyn – beware. I do not know who sent the assassin, but he knew we had come to meet with your father. We were discussing a critical matter – something so critical, I cannot risk imprinting it in the mind of this lout where it might be easily picked out. I am sure, though, that there is a traitor in House Shom.”
“The assassin was one of the red devils, and he carried a blade of shining steel. He killed everyone he could, and stole what he had obviously come for. I only kept my life when I was able to shadow my presence in his mind while he was distracted with your father. Regrettable, but I could do little against this killer, and felt I could best serve the House by living.”
“I am not entirely certain who to trust, but Jabea and I were in agreement on certain important matters which you will learn of. I ask you, come to Cromlin; the security in the Nibenay estate was, as you know, regrettably lax. Your brother has not made the same mistake.”
After speaking, the majordomo shook his head and, confused, asked to be excused due to a painful headache.
Travel to Cromlin
As the caravan assembled the next morning, the group realized that, while there were sufficient pack animals and supplies for the journey, all of the staff were junior or green. Tamvya and her advisors did not want to spare any senior guards or works from protecting Fort Inix.
Thrad used his fame from the pits to convince the captain of the Fort Inix guard to assign a senior sergeant and some additional guards to the caravan, increasing confidence in the success of the venture.
The party used their skills to guide the caravan via orientation, to keep it prepared for dangerous weather, and even to protect it from a pack of Gith raiders. Finally, they reached Cromlin…