The word about the summit has been spread to every major city. Schedules have been written and promises made. The only hitch was to make sure it actually happened. Which is not as easy as I’d like.
I got word from Kasmeer that there might be some difficulty in Queen Jennah attending the summit. Rumors are being spread around Divinity’s Reach that she was in fact working with Scarlet during last year’s Jubilee. I had been at the Jubilee when Scarlet attacked. Who in their right mind would believe such an obvious lie? Well, turns out that the lie doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be said. If Queen Jennah leaves while this rumor is running, then that just adds to the suspicion. Politics is never easy.
Kasmeer wanted me to come to a party that is normally reserved for nobility to see if we could get to the bottom of this rumor and disprove it. I was ecstatic at the invitation. I have not been in the company of Countess Linneia for nothing. While no expert, I did have some idea of what to expect. For one thing, I knew an asura’s presence would be questioned no matter how fancy I dressed. But a representative of the Priory would be less suspicious, so I cleaned and pressed my uniform and put on some tasteful yet humble jewelry before meeting with Kasmeer.
Kasmeer gave me a brief run down of what was going on. She was really nervous since she was still looked down upon by the majority of the nobility. But someone up there was on her side: Countess Anise. That has to count for something. Countess Anise is hoping that Kasmeer’s claim to catch lies will help clear the queen’s name. I believed in her. We could do this.
Countess Anise stayed behind with her new bodyguard, Canach of all people. Wonder how that happened. But I had other lines of questioning to do. It was mostly mingling, saying the right things in order to build up trust before asking certain questions as tactfully as possible. It is no secret that Minister Caudecus is trying to undermine the queen and has been for some time. That was not news to my ears. What was news was finding out that Scarlet had been in the throne room one day before the Jubilee. That day also brought in a goat farmer and two ministers: Anton and Estelle, both whom had been seen with Caudecus lately. One of them would know what is going on.
We spoke with Minister Anton first. He said nothing suspicious. In fact it appeared that the queen had not wanted to speak with Scarlet at all and left the throne room quickly. That certainly puts a dent in the rumors. And then a woman in the group, Lady Claire, said something off hand about the rumor. I pressed her for more information. It was veeery interesting. She was being paid to spread the rumor despite knowing that it was false. The guilt was laying heavy on her and she was willing to testify, though she would not say who was paying her.
Interesting. Very interesting. We wandered the party a little longer. There was one noblewoman who called Minister Estelle out as a liar, claiming that the queen was meeting with a charr emissary at the same time as the supposed meeting with Scarlet. A servant also incriminated Minister Estelle, saying that she is a gambler and has been meeting with Lady Claire. That sounds like another rivet in the golem to me.
Minister Estelle is the type to think she is more clever than she really is. Her lies were obvious, she could not keep her stories straight, and kept changing her mind as to what really happened. She has met with Caudecus recently. She claimed that Scarlet and Queen Jennah were acting like a bunch of precollege progeny, laughing and giggling and whispering with each other: something that had been disproven by the words of other nobles. Then came the confusion on if the queen wore a red or a black cape during her night visit with Scarlet when she was supposed to be meeting with the charr emissary. Minister Estelle flustered at her point before claiming that Countess Anise was in on this too. Did she really expect us to believe that? But Kasmeer pulled me away, wanting to ask Countess Anise just in case.
We found Countess Anise with Canach but before we could speak to her, I felt a voice in my head. It was startling, but the voice belonged to Anise. The one that was before us was an illusion, the real Countess Anise was outside the party, under a bridge. Kasmeer and I met with her and she had something interesting to say. Minister Estelle was witnessed gambling in a bandit den at the time she claimed to see the queen with Scarlet. All we had to do was remind her of that fact.
It certainly got her attention. Kasmeer accused her of gambling right where everyone could hear. And that was the cue Countess Anise needed to bring in her guards to take Minister Estelle into custody. Countess Anise thanked us for our service, even going as far as inviting Kasmeer to be in Queen Jennah’s entourage for the summit! So she was going to go! And what an honor for Kasmeer. Perhaps she will be be able to talk the queen into giving Kasmeer her noble title back. This is wonderful.
I did speak with Countess Anise a little before going back to the party. She knew very well what Minister Estelle was up too, but she was considered to be bias towards the queen and therefor not a reliable witness. And that’s were we came in. I am glad I was able to help. I think I can get used to these noble gatherings.