Sunday, June 15, 2014

Return to Mar Tesaro: Family Matters

Following their rescue of the captured spy, the players make their way to Sar Diga to help The Family deal with traitors in their midst.

I've written at least a bit on Sar Diga before. It's a well-connected hub of commerce: It's not terribly far from the capital, it's a hub of fishing off of Lake Kheldram, and it's sitting on the coast. Merchant and passenger ships coming from the east make their first stop here, so there's a lot of commerce that passes through the city. The gothic aesthetic of the city distinguishes it from the others. It's the perfect place for a crime syndicate to make its headquarters.

Like Thief but replacing technology with magic.
The Family isn't really familial, but the ranks in the group are organized by lineage. The head of the group is the Patriarch, an elusive figure whose true identity is known only to his inner circle, the Brothers. There are five Brothers in the organization, each in charge of respective fields of crime: Prostitution (Thalia Cyanal), gambling (Haneth Tsalaxa), black market goods (Imre Levalle), and organized theft and protection schemes (Kahveh Harandi). The fifth Brother, Dimos Seeren, acts as liaison between The Family and the Boland Brotherhood. After that, the organizational breakdown goes through nephews, then cousins, then various levels of "friends of The Family."

The players don't know how to get in touch with their liaison, but they do know how to find the Greeter.
(See the rest below the fold.)

The Greeter is the Family's agent who keeps an eye on traffic at the docks. When lucrative opportunities, people of interest, easy marks, or signs of trouble show up, it's his job to either intercept or start informing up the chain.

When the players arrive at the docks, they find the Greeter getting hassled by some of the city guard before letting him go. The Family has a difficult relationship with the local constabulary; not everybody in the city watch can be bought, and the guards feel it necessary to give reminders from time to time as to who is in charge of the city.

The Greeter hears about the group's mission to root out informants, and he is happy to get them in touch with the right people. In fact, he's heard rumors that some of the Brothers were taking "lengthy trips" to Fol Thron recently, so he thinks he knows who the culprits are.
It's embarrassing to admit this, but I don't know what happened next. I can't remember any details of the investigation, and my notes for the session are incredibly sparse. This is the problem when you play things off the cuff, I suppose.
The general situation is this: The Greeter is part of the conspiracy. He and two of the Brothers (Haneth and Imre) want to tip off the Queen to the alliance between the Family and the Brotherhood so they can take over. The Queen is aware of the Family, but generally leaves them alone out of gratitude for their efforts in keeping the island from descending into chaos during the rebuilding period. That grace doesn't hold if they start moving something too big to ignore. The conspirators had made inquests with agents of the Queen to arrange for an exchange of information. 
The players end up looking into all of the Brothers (coincidentally all in town) and hear the conspirators trying to figure out  their next move. The players get the innocent ones to act as bait, lure in the conspirators under the guise of handing off "internal matters" to them, all while getting the Patriarch to observe the conspirators implicating themselves. Naturally, the plan comes to blows and the players throw down with the conspirators, winning handily.

 After the dust settles, the Patriarch thanks the players for their aid in dealing with the traitors, or at least his familiar does. A tiny red imp sits on his shoulders at all times and does all of his communication for him (an idea with consequences that just never came up at the table.) He tells them The Family owes them a favor, and asks them how they should deal with the traitors. The players decide that the traitors should meet with their contact and feed the Queen false information, threatening death on the traitors if they should choose to sell them out anyhow.
I meant for this decision to come back to haunt the players, but events moved fast enough that I think we all basically forgot about it. Suffice it to say that the traitors decided to go into hiding and keep their noses clean.
The players need time to regroup, as well as consider the Patriarch's offer. They decide to stay in town for a bit and gather supplies. Despite their plans, their stay in Sar Diga will be short lived.

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