The Countess has requested that we, some of her Barons, attend the party being held by Baroness Shara. She would appreciate it if Baroness Shara became one of her vassals. It appears that Baroness Shara deliberately did not invite the Countess for some reason we are as yet unaware.
Upon arrival at the party we are met at the door by Baroness Shara, who wears a bright new sword and a dress which barely clings to her! From her demeanor it is readily apparent that she fears for her life! Baron Gyndil presents her a beautiful and rare swamp lotus for her garden, Baron Shanin? a necklace of precious stones from his mine, and Baron Sorio a set of engraved goblets. Entering the main hall it is obvious that she has gathered many of the members of her house around her at this time.
Prominent amongst the guests is is the Duchess Lady Peacock, Baron Gyndil greets her with great charm and politeness and she points out a few of the other prominent guests: Lord Valin Burghe, Count Kefer, Lady No, Duke Dannin Steele, Baroness Niassa, Lady S and Baron Xanos. Also notable for his presence is Shara's Seneschal.
As the guests collect a glass of wine and eye the buffet table with some anticipation, Baroness Shara enters the room and with a flourish throws open the interior doors of the room leading into her puzzle house. All are invited to explore its depths and hidden treasures.
Forswearing the depths of the puzzle house for a while Baron Gyndil approaches Baroness Niassa, his opening comments leaving no doubt as to his intentions, she however seems distracted and fails to respond in kind, instead her eyes are continually drawn towards Duke Dannin Steele. Politely excusing himself, Baron Gyndil is about to sample the depths of the puzzle house when he in turn is approached by Lady No. There polite conversation soon develops romantic undertones, and with the lady unable to match the Baron's charm, he invites her to escort him into the puzzle house, a task she gladly accepts.
Meantime Baron Shanin? has wandered off to explore the puzzle house on his own, however its labyrinthine depths soon leave him completely lost. Baron Sorio stays in the main hall to talk to his niece Baroness Shara from whom he learns that she fears that tonight she will meet the same fate as her mother, and at the same woman's hand, a woman she has deliberately invited to the party!
Seeking further clues as to what may happen Baron Sorio heads into the maze of the puzzle house, in a quiet anti-chamber he is shocked to discover a body. Examining it, his shock turns to horror as he realises it is a Tulpa, and further more is an exact duplicate of himself. At that moment Baron Shanin? enters the room and bending to examine the body deduces he was stabbed in the back with a stiletto knife. With neither Baron well informed on Tulpa they are at a loss until Baron Sorio hears a distant melodic laugh echoing down the corridor. moving quickly in that direction he finds Baron Gyndil and Lady No standing on a balcony gazing out across the darkened land. He politely interrupts and all but drags Baron Gyndil to examine the body, but not before Lady No has extracted the Barons word to meet her in the main ballroom later. After careful examination of the body, Baron Gyndil deduces this Tulpa is one of a pair (twins?) created by a female sorcerer, and murdered by its own twin, it is obvious the killers next next target will then be the Baroness Shara.
Baron Gyndil leads the group quickly back to the ballroom just as Baron Lornor (or at least his Tulpa) attacks Baroness Shara. Baron Gyndil moves smoothly to escort Lady No away from the danger. Meanwhile Baroness Shara has sensed the danger and along with Alyss, Lord Valin Burghe, Baron Shanin?, Baron Sorio, and Count Kefer, draws her sword. Baron Sorio is fastest but Baron Shanin? is closest to the action, only Baron Shanin? initially recognises the Tulpa's identity. The melee (what the Ven refer to as Mass Murder) is swift and brutal. Sorio lunges forward, attacking and seriously injuring the Tulpa,to peoples surprise Alyss uses her knife on Baroness Shara, stabbing her deeply in the back. In response Baron Shanin? attacks Alyss leaving her bleeding on the floor, Count Kefer calmly steps in and finishes the Tulpa. Meanwhile Lady No and Baron Gyndil dance the tango!
With the excitement over, Baron Gyndil examines the deceased Tulpa stating it was made by Alyss, (but knowing secretly she had the aid of Baroness Niassa, a knowing look between the Baron and the Lady ensure both know the secret will remain as such for now). The weapon Alyss used in the attack was an Ikhalu cult dagger, something Baron Shanin? takes for further study. Needing to understand why things occurred as they did, and what Alyss's motives were Baron Gyndil orders his personal guard take Alyss to the dungeons of his castle for further 'questioning'.
Martha, an old family retainer arrives to treat Baroness Shara who recovers sufficiently to be escorted to her quarters by Baron Sorio. There, after a quiet discussion, she agrees to travel to the Countess's castle at the beginning of summer and discuss vassalship, if Baron Sorio and his friends will escort her, something they agree to do.
With the party winding down, Baron Gyndil lays the next task upon Lady No, requesting her presence at his party to be held in the summer, in a dress 'which will turn heads', she agrees with an enigmatic smile. Baroness Niassa also accepts Baron Gyndils invitation to attend the same party, with both sensing that there is unfinished business between them. Business which may become very deadly indeed.