|Blood of Wintersbreath|
The night Sloan returned from Crystalhurst, Durgan asked to speak with her in private in the planning room. there, Durgan revealed the source of his poor mood as of late. When Durgan initially explained to Sloan the reason he was exiled from Janderhoff, he did not go into detail as to the circumstances of this exile. Durgan's familyHouse Ivohhas strong mercantile ties to the Aspis Consortium, and Durgan's son Wojeck worker directly for the consortium, handling trade relations across the Inner Sea. On one mission, Wojeck was escorting a prominent Chelish noble and his wares from Ergorian to Sothis, when the ship was attacked by pirates and the noble died in the attack. Wojeck was blamed for this failing and in customary handling for the Ivoh clan, Wojeck was held responsible for the noble's murder and sentenced to death.
In an attempt to spare his son's life, Durgan offered himself in his son's place, and the council of elders saw this offer of sacrifice as an honorable act and diminished Wojeck's sentence to exile, but committed his father Durgan to this same fate. Durgan blamed Wojeck for his irresponsibility and abandoned his son, leaving Varisia for Lastwall to start anew.
Durgan told Sloan that he received a letter from his son, that he was in trouble with the Aspis Consortium and wanted to meet in person at a tavern in Tamran. Durgan had not seen Wojeck in a decade and felt that perhaps time had healed the wounds between them, and requested Sloan allow him to venture off to meet his son on his own. Sloan agreed, but later spoke to Mechiam who warned her not to let Durgan handle this on his own as he has come to know Durgan as too prideful a dwarf to ask others for help, even when he knows he needs it. Sloan agreed, and gathered Ashera, Tsura, and Iandra together to discuss a plan.
The next day, Durgan left Fangwood Keep and Sloan's group departed an hour behind him, wanting to keep tabs on Durgan and make sure everything with his son went smoothly. The journey to Tamran took a full day, and by the time they arrived Durgan had already visited the tavern where Wojeck was supposed to be. Durgan spotted the group outside and confronted them about following him, but was resigned to getting their help. Durgan revealed that the Aspis Consortium had kidnapped Wojeck and were ransoming him back to Durgan for reasons unknown. Rather than negotiate with the consortium, Sloan and company decided to turn the tables on the kidnappers.
Sloan's group traveled to the meeting site along the Nirmathan coast where the kidnappers were waiting to receive payment. Ashera got into a position on nearby cliffs to cover Durgan and Sloane, who approached the group. It didn't take long for things to turn into a melee, and the kidnappers were no match for the Duchess of Fangwood and her allies. One survivor was questioned, revealing the presence of a consortium ship off the coast, within the perimeter of the Molthuni naval blockade. Sloan convinced the kidnapper to signal an affirmative to the ship with his lantern, to expect delivery of gold, and then allowed him to leave with his life.
Using the kidnapper's rowboat, Sloan and company snuck out across the water under cover of darkness and boarded the Consortium caravel. The crew immediately responded with violence, but when Sloan killed the ship's brutal half-orc captain the rest of the crew immediately surrendered. Durgan quickly headed below decks with Sloan, finding an drescuing a slightly worse-for-wear Wojeck. Sloan left the crew of the ship alive and abandoned them before departing in the same rowboat, opting not to loot the ship's treasury on departure.
On the way back to shore, Wojeck explained his situation to Durgan. Wojeck discovered that he had been part of an Aspis Consortium assassination plot to murder the Chelish noble that died under his watch. Wojeck was a patsy for the Consortium's own dark agenda, and was captured trying to smuggle documents out of the Chelish city of Kintargo. When the group reached shore, Wojeck swore to undo the damage done to the Ivoh family name and find evidence to prove to the council of elders that no wrongdoing took place. Durgan seemed both proud but also frustrated with his son's obsession over the family name, but let Wojeck go to finish his quest.
When the group returned to Fangwood Keep, Durgan thanked Sloan for helping him sort out his family issues and apologized for dragging her into his own affairs. Though the matter with Wojeck hadn't been fully resolved, Durgan's resolve and commitment to the true mission ahead was solidified.
|Previously||A Crown of Thorns|
|Continued In||The Unwoven Tapestry|