The Company of Odd Fellows
An uneventful trip up the Gray Cliffs road led them to Newton a few days later. They immediately noticed a much heavier guard presence at the gate and their wagon was searched thoroughly before they were allowed in. After finally entering the town, they left their wagon at the public stables, paying a much higher stable rate than they were expecting. It was still early in the day so they went to the castle to try and get an audience with the Duke. They experienced a heavy resistance to allowing them in until the chamberlain heard who they were. Once he did, they were immediately led to the Duke’s private quarters.
He greeted them with a smile but it was obvious there was a sadness and wariness to his demeanor. When asked about the stories they heard in Gray Cliffs, he told them he would explain later, but now he wanted to hear about their trip. The party told him about the Slaver’s Fortress and how they fought a pitched battle with the slavers and their guards. All of the Slavers were killed but a few guards were left alive. The party put them in the slave pens with about two weeks worth of rations but recommended the Duke send some troops to secure them and the fortress. They told him about the Elven sailors they rescued and how Capt. Ibenre mentioned that there may be more behind this slave trade and that possibly a Kar’Tegran presence may be involved. This seemed to trouble the Duke even more but he was glad that for now, this problem had been put to rest. He called to his chamberlain to get a message to Turkey to send a small unit to Frog Island to secure it and the prisoners. He then mentioned the promise of payment and had the chamberlain bring them 3000 gold.
Now that the previous matter was closed, he told them about the events that occurred in Newton since they were last here. After they had left, The Duke tasked the Capt. of the Guard to investigate the alleged involvement of Bailey Laquin with the assassination attempt on the Odd Fellows outside of Mosquito Marsh. While Andrea was investigating Bailey she came across some information that led to an even deeper conspiracy of prominent members of the community dealing in stolen goods and illegal merchandise. Rumors in certain circles called this group ‘The Sapphire Crown’. It was while she was looking into this group that she was killed in the Farmer’s Market. While the Duke was filling them in, a man entered the room with them. The Duke introduced him as Ben Stocks, The new Captain of the Guard. It was at this point that Ben took over the story.
He told them that a break-in into Andrea’s home around the same time as her death was no coincidence. He also found Andrea’s files in his desk, as if she knew someone was after them and didn’t want to leave them in her own office. This was enough to get his suspicions up that whatever happened to Andrea, had to do with this investigation. He told nobody about this matter, and when he was appointed to her position he took it upon himself to investigate the matter quietly without telling anyone else what he knew. Ben was a ranger and scout with the military before he joined the town guard and he was able to follow some of the people named in the file without being seen. It was during a surveillance of one of these men that he was led to an old abandoned mine outside of town in the foothills to north. Staking out the mine, he saw that over the last few days the named leaders of the group, including Bailey Laquin have all left town and headed for the mine. He felt he had enough information to bring these men to justice but without knowing who he could trust, he was afraid the members would be tipped off to any organized attempts to arrest them at the mines. When he approached the Duke with his concerns, he was told of the parties imminent arrival to Newton and the Duke’s hope that they could be convinced to take on the task of bringing ‘The Sapphire Crown’ to justice. Now that they were here and he had told them the story, he asked them for their assistance. The Duke sweetened the pot by offering them another 500gp each as well as another potion of healing for everyone in the party. The party told the Duke to keep his money, they would do it just for paybacks on Bailey.