My players have finished All The World's Meat. After successfully interrogating Verik, they discovered that it was Vimanda's idea for him to defect and start giving away meat.
Next session, they plan to knock on the Arkona palace doors and start asking questions. How should I handle this?
It's important to note that in one of my player's backstories, he's specified that his sister is married into the Arkona family (married to Vimanda's cousin). So it will be difficult for me to have the Arkonas blow off the party.
I don't think there's a big public perception problem, as long as the Arkonas are suitably horrified (as, actually, they should be) at learning of the murder-for-hire business running insides All the World's Meat. The Arkonas don't even need to lie to the PCs.
Book 3 has a solid descriptor of Palace Arkona, along with the receiving room in which Glorio meets guests - and a spiel that should be reasonably suitable. He implies that the Queen is not doing a good job, that the guards will be used to oppress the people, and that Vimanda encouraged Verrik - the man she's "in love" with - to follow his conscience with some Arkona financial backing to help the poor. Done right, it should make the Arkona's look quite sympathic, and no Book 1 PC has any chance of overcoming their ludicrous social skills.
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as long as the Arkonas are suitably horrified (as, actually, they should be)
Horrified that they don't have the 'special cuts' being delivered to them, perhaps — it would make Nudhaali's job managing the kitchens so much easier... ;)
Jokes aside, I think Reverse has some good points, which I'll expand on:
Glorio didn't get to where he is playing everything at face; he could admit to having provided the financial backing to them through his sister but claim he did so under the impression that it was a legitimate charity with everything 'right and in order,' and that he was so silly for letting her do that. Have him apologize profusely to the PCs for the trouble and how he really thought he was doing the right thing, and perhaps even say he'll send Kroft a letter of apology on behalf of the House.
Alternatively... the PCs will have plenty of time to meet and greet Glorio in EfOK, and if they came into possession of Meliya's dagger she'll know that they're coming and can conveniently be there to intercept them before Glorio or Carnochan are there. If you're playing the Hardcover edition, this would be the rare chance to actually make use of that lovely portrait piece of her in it.
She could either admit that she knew the desertation was illegal but that 'doing the right thing is more important', or she can pretend to have been Verik's dupe in the matter and that he lied to her and used their relationship to secure the money.
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