Elise is never going to forgive Lord Janik Lindauer. She was the only one to survive his attack on her newspaper. The Vista Herald had published a lengthy expose on Lord Lindauer’s criminal organisations and traitorous dealings with the Tyrant of Kastali. He’d used his position as city treasurer to channel funds to support smuggling, racketeering, extortion and theft with bribery and violence keeping the guards and populace ignorant of the extent of his control. Criminal competition either ended up working for him or ended up run out of town or worse. Vista Herald’s accountant estimated that a fifth of the city’s economy was under his control. It took Elise and her team month’s of undercover work, careful questions and a few precise burglaries to gather all the evidence they needed to go to print.
Elise’s tragedy was just one of too many that day. The special edition had been distributed at dawn and by noon central square was full of citizens demanding that the city council act. Elise was returning from covering the protest when she found Vista Herald’s office ablaze with thugs led by Lord Lindauer himself surrounding the building. Any who tried to escape were cut down by sword and arrow. When Elise ran at them to help her editor, Lindauer personally smashed her face into the street with his clawed warhammer. Left for dead in the gutter, she awoke that night to find the city under attack by Kastalia soldiers. The newspaper report had forced Lord Lindauer into accelerating his plans, so he did not have enough of the Tyrant’s troops smuggled into the city for the planned easy coup. Amidst the street fighting and the fires, Elise was able to part limp, part crawl her way home. After grabbing a backpack and filling it with essentials, she feld Kinshel, swearing revenge for her friends and her home.
That claw warhammer made a mess of her face, shattering her cheekbone and ripping at the flesh. With a coup in progress, Elise wasn’t able to seek proper healing. She hides the brutal scars under a mask that’s been enchanted to replace the sight of her lost eye. The mask, with its distinctive red and black pattern, has become part of her persona as the Red Trobairitz, a bard in the cities far away from Kinshel who sing laments for her fallen home and anthems calling for action against Lord Lindauer and the Tyrant of Kastali. Though not the best musician, it is her wordplay and lyrics that have caught on. The words to her war song “Run the River Red ” has become a popular call and response chant in bars and taverns across Trasnverne. All this serves to keep Lord Lindauer’s coup in the popular mind and stop it from becoming accepted.
Elise is not content with just being a verbal problem for her enemies. As she hurriedly packed, she grabbed a notebook hidden under her floorboards. This notebook contains many things that did not make it into print before the Vista Herald was burnt. Such things include Lord Lindauer’s smuggling routes and a set of his ciphers. With these she’s been raiding his money transfers, intercepting his emissaries and blocking smuggling routes. To those not in the know, it looks like random banditry but Elise knows it’s hurting Lord Lindauer a little bit each time. She uses her takings to support her fellow refugees from Kinshel and to fund the nascent rebellion growing within the city’s walls. What she can’t steal, she douses in a magical red ink that glows and stinks the more you try to wash it off, to ensure that Lord Lindauer can’t put it to use..
- Elise needs a group of unknowns to make a dead drop for her. Go here, bury this, come back immediately and don’t get seen.
- Lord Lindauer has hired a shadow spider assassin at great cost and Elise needs your help in making this a wasted investment.
- Lord Lindauer is sending a diplomatic mission to Wexshannon and Elise would like some help in marking sure it never gets there.
Image Credit – Bard by Maradraws – BY-NC-ND-3.0