The initial pretext for Cal meeting the rest of the adventuring party was that he was assigned by the Dwarven Diplomatic Apparatus to guard them. Or, more precisely, to guard a treasure they were carrying and make sure it got to its destination -- they had a head-sized diamond which was the temporary resting place of a guardian stone-spirit that they had recovered, and they were returning the guardian spirit to the Dwarven city it had long ago been stolen from. For some reason they seemed particularly attached to the diamond, however, and were unwilling to entrust it to the Dwarves for the transport. And, as the Dwarves did not have an appropriate alternate vessel to hand, this remained the status quo.
Furthermore, for inexplicable reasons, this adventuring party was insisting on bringing this diamond into the capital city -- Axis -- on the eve of the Emperor's wedding. Everyone and their assassin was in town, so of course the party had to be there too, but it was clear that appropriate measures needed to be taken to ensure the safety of the guardian spirit.
According to Cal's briefing, the party members were:
- Enwe, Countess of the Eldritch Mists. Sources were conflicted as to her heritage; she claimed to be a High Elf, but she looked at least as much like a Drow, and had a large draconic tail that was distinctly not elven at all. No strong entanglements with the Elven Court, but well positioned.
- K'tang's 83rd Error, informally known as "K'tang's". A dragonborn necromancer of indeterminate but long age, who held the position of Mandarin of the Dead in the Emperor's court. Well-respected, but typically from somewhat of a distance on grounds of his being a bit creepy. Dwarven sources have been unable to identify who K'tang is or was, and have found a few older references to the same person as K'tang's 84th Error and, prior to that, K'tang's 85th Error.
- Vattu. A halfling sorcerer, well known for his power (reputed to be the most powerful of the age by many), and for his attention to parties rather than studies while in college. The professors had grudgingly let him graduate -- he did, after all, have undeniable talent, and it was also the most expedient way to keep him far away from the remaining flammable portions of campus.
- Claire. A cleric of the Priestess of Light. Sources suggested she had particular devotion to her cause, and her connection to the other three was not entirely clear; perhaps she had adopted them as being in need of a guiding hand, as clerics often do. She had also studied law, and contracts in her hand were exceedingly thorough.
The party was also closely connected to Prime Minister Li, the Emperor's right-hand man (and occasional quasi-PC played by the GM). It seemed that one cynical Dwarf assigned to research his weaknesses had considered him a personal affront, as they had gone to great lengths to find any evidence of corruption that he could be blackmailed with, far more than the job warranted. As a result of that investigation, though, the Dwarven Diplomatic Apparatus considered him to be essentially the last remaining completely honest bureaucrat.
Crossposted from Dreamwidth (original here), with comments. Comment here or there; comments here will eventually be duplicated to there.