Lady Vestang van Haagan appears 15 years old and behaves with the poor manners of a young woman who’s family fortune has always provided her with everything she might desire. House van Haagan is the second wealthiest of the Ten, and their mansion in Goudberg and their well-established trading houses in every large city of the Empire attest to their wealth and power.
As half-elves, the van Haagans enjoy a lengthier life than their human counterparts, and while Lady Vestang appears 15, it is likely she is far older. If this is true, she hides it well. A few years ago, Luitpold van Rasmerswijk of House van Rasmerswijk presented Lady Vestang with a small oasis villa in the wastes. Lady Vestang promptly forgot about the villa until this year when she was inspired to throw a large birthday masquerade in her own honor.
The villa is two days slow travel from New Port, and house caravans only travel slowly. This trip took three days, much to the consternation of Caravan Watch Chief Delvis Sandstone. The dwarf is a captain in the Boldbeard Hammer and Watch mercenary guild, log contracted by the van Haagan's to protect family members travelling overland from New Port. Still, some three dozen wagons loaded to bursting with party goods and personnel including cleaners, cooks, wait staff and entertainers can only be driven so quickly.
PC's who have been in the sessions we have played so far were part of this first caravan. Why were you there? Were you a guard, wait staff, entertainer, teamster? Or are you a party crasher, such as a spy for a rival house, con artist hoping to fill your pockets or even a paid assassin?
On the second night, the caravan was attacked by strange, mask-wearing savage humanoids who came out of the desert. Near naked, their pale flesh smeared with a white clay that gave them a ghoulish appearance, they attacked late in the night and made off with several captives. The PC's bravely pursued them into the night, finally catching up in strange earthworks of captive pens. There they fought a bizarre, many-tentacled creature with a human-like head and but a single eye.
The size of the beast may have grown in the telling
If they had to guess, the PC's would say the captives were meant as food for the horror.
Retracing their steps the PC's reunited with the caravan at the oasis. Here they learned that the oasis, untended for years, had been overrun by squatters. Bullywugs, somehow turning the desert into a swampy refuge. The PC's dispatched them and retrieved an minor artifact of the High Druid the 'wugs had repurposed as a means of greatly increasing the water flow from the small spring. The PC's dispatched the 'wugs, and several goblin agents from the ruins of Proudfort, an empire outpost destroyed by dragons now claimed by The Orc Lord, some 100 miles to the east.
The clean up and repair will take several days, so the caravans have camped outside the swiftly-drying pond the 'wugs had engineered.
The PC's had an additional misadventure with Scallywarg, a hedge wizard turned entertainer, who was involved in a scheme to replace many of the van Haagan treasures with magically-crafted counterfeits. Their scheme went awry as some third agent had replaced some of the valuable furniture with deadly mimics. The PC's made a good connection with Captain Frugglehoffer of House de Roelef, who arrived early to check the safety of rooms for the arrival of his house' esteemed guests.
It was decided that the dowsing rod should be returned to the High Druid's agents in the Wild Wood. The PC's can either stay in the oasis and help rebuild the villas destroyed by flooding or they can volunteer fo the almost 10 mile round trip to the outpost of Stonetree, where such a connection can be made. The oasis is far from the usual trade routes between New Port and The Wild Wood, so it may be a dangerous trip.
Grab a shovel or a saw if you're staying or a sword if you're going. Also, if you're staying, make up another PC who wants to go. :D