The mercenaries brought Krasire and his wounded mount back to Brindol, where they were greeted as heroes. While Quelenna Entromiel was not present — she was still politicking back in Sayre — she had arranged for a parade in their behalf.
Her agents were quick to credit Krasire for his efforts, but the mercenaries were the stars who had broken the blockade. The result was clear.
Quelenna’s gambit had succeeded.
Testing the waters with Odos, Krasire found the Githzerai leader unwilling to commit to any politics. He wanted the voting over. With Quelenna in the lead, any commitment he might make to Amyria would only prolong the voting at this point. “Maybe I can convince him once Amyria is closer to winning.”
He already had the Deva vote locked up, since he had convinced Bejam to join the council after saving Nefelus from an Exarch of Tiamat. And with the people of thinking so well of Amyria — since he had convinced them of the historical importance of religion in past wars — he was able to convince Inogo as well.
Shadowfox told him the people of Overlook seemed to be impressed with her credentials as a member of the Order of the Blackfeather, even when she told them she had only been associated with the group for a couple of days. So the Revenant went to the High Council in the dwarven city and convinced them the Black Feather was backing Amyria.
Then a stealth raid by Hobgoblins was easily foiled by the city guards. Eoffram Troyas decided to use this as proof the forces of evil were easily defeated. Trying to convince the people of Brindol that this meant his aggressive strategies would quickly pay off, Troyas made a move shore up the votes in Elsir Vale.
So confident had Krasire become with the Revenant’s abilities, that he left this gambit entirely up to Trinity. But working by herself the Revenant was unable to prove the danger of the Hobgoblins was exaggerated or even show that they were not associated with the Githyanki.
As she died, Lyrindel had a strange thought: “My soul is frozen in many pieces. My body as well. What if I split my mind as well? Legends say the swarm mind was created at the same time as the dryad mind.”
Two dragon sisters became heroes. Great metallic-dragon gods brought them to Bahamut and asked that he reward them. Bahamut told them the pair they could choose any kind of mind they wanted. The first sister said, “I will choose the mind of a tree, serene and slow, able to think a single thought for a long time.” She became the first hamadryad.
The other sister said, “I will choose the mind of the beehive, able to think many things at once.” She became the first bee swarm.
Lyrindel thought about this. “I will try to die with the mind of the swarm,” she decided. “I wonder how many ways I can split my personality before I lose consciousness.”
As Trinity shadowfox watched Krasire attempt the next round of diplomacy, she became convinced the Shardmind was going to blow it. Then she began to see the way the rock-person was able to become one of the secret masters of an entire city.
Suddenly, Quelenna was on the offensive again with another of her gambits. She had been nosing around in their finances and found the heroes who were supporting Amyria had profited substantially. “Maybe they only vote for this strange Deva because they know she will send them where they can acquire the most loot,” she suggested.
Trinity was quick to her own defense. “I have not profited at all by my association with ”/wikis/the-order-of-the-black-feather" class=“wiki-page-link”> The Order of the Black Feather," she insisted. Since none of the evidence indicated Trinity had looted anything, Trinity was off the hook.
She could see that Krasire could make no such claim. Yet he was able to overcome the accusation by promising to return the Seed of Winter to its rightful owner and to contribute his profits to the Alliance cause.
Quelenna’s second gambit was nowhere near as successful as her first, even losing some of the support she had garnered earlier.
Krasire apparently saw that Eoffram had the momentum and deftly offered Elsir Vale seat to Eoffram Troyas if Amyria got the leadership role.
“That ought to take the edge off his attacks on our candidate,” Shadowfox decided. “He won’t want to insult her too publicly if he knows he might lose the seat should she win.”
Krasire told Shadowfox he was going to talk to Fariex to see if the dragon-merchant was impressed by the way they were foiling the gambits, so she decided to talk to Inogo. Both negotiations were successful: Fariex the Scalehammer laughed heartily as he admitted he was impressed, and Inogo Dravitch was glad the council was coming to a consensus around Amyria.
Trinity turned underground, gathering rumors — and even spreading a few herself.
Turned out she wasn’t the only one taking this route. She caught wind of Quelenna’s effort to bribe some officials in Sayre. When the bribes went public, Quelenna lost the last of her non-Dornatholian support.
Desperate to stop the dangers she saw in the rash policies being advocated by Eoffram Troyas, Quelenna withdrew from the race and threw her support behind the candidate she thought would be more willing to listen to conservative ideas: Amyria!
Desperate to prove his plan’s viability, Eoffram sent out some false orders to two cities. He made it look like the Alliance Council was commanding them to raise civilian armies and strike back at the invaders. Shadowfox lit out like a banshee, using her endurance to beat the messengers to one target city.
Later she returned to Sayre and heard rumors that Krasire had taken a more leisurely pace. Even flying on his hippogriff, he got to Overlook after the messenger had presented the fake orders to the dwarves. But his masterful diplomacy managed to convince the High Council to wait for confirmation.
Which never came.
“I guess it never pays to underestimate the skills of someone who claims to be one of the Secret Masters of Waterdeep,” she said. Back out on the streets, she was able to undermine confidence in Eoffram by spreading rumors about his fake orders.
This set up Krasire for his final round of diplomacy, winning the leadership position for Amyria.