What happened so far?

Following their participation in the successful rebellion within the Tlaroi empire and the death of the empress, our heroes decided to leave Chelekar. They were nurturing suspicions that Darous Yorl, the founder of the sorcerors' guild, wasn't the good guy he claimed to be and the relation between Garthan and Gwendon and their mother, the sorceress Alessandra, was strained at best. Instead of embroiling themselves further in the politics of the metropolis they decided to head spinward towards the Sea of Cold.

Turras had received a letter from Malvin, the mysterious leader of his old mercenary company, who offered him a place at his side in the kingdom of Gwynneth. There Malvin was establishing himself as a figure of some importance and planned to take a major hand in the politics of the country. Turras was to meet Levardos, Malvins right hand, in the port city of Llannaid to get further instructions. The others were satisfied to go along with that plan for the time being.

As they left the capital of the empire they were carrying with them a supposedly magical sword which they had looted from the Imperial palace during the fighting. It had been the primary reason for them to enter the Inner City, since several people seemed to be interested in the blade, among them Darous Yorl, Alessandra and Malvin. The blade looked ordinary enough, but refused to stay in Turras' grip, so that Garthan had to take it instead. It had displayed no other powers than to slip from someone's grasp though.

When they were making their way through the maze of the Outer City, a blind old man stepped out of the shadows and begged to be allowed to lay his hands on the sword. Garthan handed the weapon to the man, who ran his fingers along the blade, obviously admiring its workmanship. But when he felt the hilt, he claimed that it didn't belong to the sword and that the weapon was incomplete. Handing it back to Garthan, he vanished into the darkness. Gwendon followed him and found him lodging with a smith. The old man seemed to have been a master smith himself before he became blind, but obviously he wasn't an ordinary crafter, since he carried a staff which seemed to enable him to magically sense his surroundings.

Eventually the heroes left all this behind them and started the long journey towards Gwynneth. It took them several weeks to reach their destination. The summer had gone and autumn was well under way when they finally reached Llannaid, a major port on the Sea of Cold and part of the kingdom of Gwynneth.

Turras inquired after the whereabouts of Levardos and learned that he had entered the city watch and had risen through its ranks so quickly that he now was its captain. The heroes decided to see him right away and headed towards the castle, where the headquarters of the watch were located.

Levardos, who knew Turras, Garthan and Gwendon from earlier adventures, welcomed them and gave them a quick overview of the situation in Gwynneth.

"When King Olbran of Gwynneth died over a year ago, his elder son, Prince Corwin, succeeded him. He hadn't sat on the throne for three months though, when his younger brother, Prince Geren, accused him of poisoning their father and produced evidence for his accusations. Such a grave matter was naturally brought before the temple of Saër, the god of truth and justice, and the high priestess questioned the brothers. She determined that Geren's accusations were true. Corwin was imprisoned in the dungeons of the royal castle, his family went into exile and Geren was crowned the new king of Gwynneth."

Levardos continued: "Malvin had been enlisted by King Olbran to form a regiment of mercenaries, because of growing troubles with the neighboring kingdom of Langein. Following the ascendency of Prince Geren, Malvin rose to some importance in court. That was about the time when I arrived here and became a member of the watch in Llannaid. But Malvin had a falling out with the new king shortly afterwards. Geren tried to arrest him on charges of treason, but Malvin escaped and went into hiding. His regiment mutinied - he had placed great emphasis on loyalty towards himself as commander - and the king dropped the charges officially. But Malvin is still wanted and Geren would surely try to kill him if he could find him."

"There have been quite a lot of rumours lately that Geren falsely accused his brother and the king is not very well liked. That works to Malvins advantage, so that his reputation is actually quite good in the country."

"He now has found evidence that the king sent soldiers after the family of his brother and had them all murdered including the small children. Malvin wants to use this material to make an alliance with some of the more important nobles to get rid of King Geren. A key figure in all this is the count of Llannaid. Count Tamaig is closely related to the royal family and is one of the most influential people in the politics of Gwynneth. He has a reputation for loyalty to the royal house, but does not seem to get along very well with Geren. Malvin doesn't want me to contact the count because our connection is yet unknown and we would prefer to keep it that way. So he has chosen you, Turras, to do it. You should tell the count of the evidence, convince him of Malvin's sincerity and arrange a meeting. The meeting should take place outside the city of Llannaid and be restricted to only a few people. These are the only conditions that Malvin will insist on."

Shortly after Levardos had explained the situation, an assassination attempt was made on him. One of his personal servants suddenly drew a dagger and attacked him. But the captain was to fast for him. As the assaillant dropped dead to the floor, his form changed to a featureless human body, revealing that he was in fact a shapechanger, a Driandri. The real servant had just left the castle and the Driandri had assumed his guise. Levardos was furious and explained that this hadn't been the first attempt to kill him.

"When I still was a lieutenant in the watch, my career reached what seemed to be a standstill at the time. Luckily I discovered that a large clan of shapechangers is living in this city. The real captain of the guard died in an accident and one of this Driandri impersonated him, taking his position. At first I planned to expose all of these people, but I became convinced that they could be of use later. So I struck a deal with them and only exposed the false captain, who was a dissenter among the shapechangers. For not exposing them they promised me to be of help when I needed them. By uncovering the imposter, I proved my worth to the count, who eventually made me the new captain of the watch.

So far all went well. But a few days ago one of these Driandri tried to kill me in the barracks, posing as a soldier. I killed him like this one. I went to the leaders of these people and asked them what had become of our deal. They professed to have no knowledge of the attempt and I think they were telling the truth. They promised to find any renegades among themselves and put a stop to these attacks. Now it has happened again. I fear this could interfere with Malvin's plans. But I don't want to expose the shapechangers yet. I wonder if perhaps you could help me."

So Levardos asked the heroes to help him find those shapechangers who tried to kill him. He assumed that the Driandri elders weren't behind this, but they probably weren't doing all that they could to stop it.

Turras and the others agreed to this only reluctantly.