As the seneschals arrive in Lao-Din they quickly learn that the grandmaster of Tono Ken is not at all well. In fact he is so ill that the seneschals cannot have a meeting with them but rather meet with his assistant, Lin Mao. Lin explains that the grandmaster is too fragile to handle the burden of his job and he himself has not the authority to be of much help to the seneschals - especially since the house is locked in a stallmate as they debate over a candidate to replace grandmaster Jaccarin. The most obvious choice, the house's only archmage Gan Krish, has refused the post outright.
The seneschals look around and by accident meet with Assabi, one of the candidates for the post, in the dining hall. Assabi has good experience from politics as she is related to the local ruling family. She has much to say about the current politics in Pantoria and strongly recommend that if the seneschals intend to aid in the grandmaster elections they do so in an official manner by speaking to the other candidates as well. She gives them directions as where to find them.
Such directions are not necessary to find the second candidate, Kanadir, who find the seneschals himself as they discuss their plans in the house library. Introducing himself, he joins them for a conversation to answer their questions concerning his view on the current situation. He claims to be the more diplomatic of the three candidates and points out that he, unlike Assabi, doesn't have any political connections which will affect his decisions as a grandmaster. He also argues that his social skills make him far more suitable than the third candidate, Femala. He is not above trying to bribe the three however, as he offers Charon access to the restricted library should he gain the title as grandmaster.
After this meeting the seneschals go to find Femala, who is in her private laboratory. They quickly realize why Kanadir considers himself the more social of the two as her quite disfigured appearance is unsettling. Femala is straight to the point with the seneschals: she claims that chosing her as the grandmaster is the logical choice given that archmage Gan Krish is not a candidate and she has the highest rank of the three candidates left. She also offer the seneschals a key to a graveyard city South of Lao-Din in exchange for their support. She does not try to argue this to be anything but a bribe and explains this is her offer and that she will answer no further questions. She does however let slip that another powerful mage lives nearby - a man named Karachen. Thriatos knows the name but says nothing to his fellow seneschals.
To have space for thinking the seneschals rent a room at the lokal imperial enclave where they can discuss uninterrupted. They quickly agree that the next step would be to meet with the archmage Gan Krish to ask his opinion about the candidates. As he lives out of town they send a messenger to tell of their arrival.
Gan Krish's manor is located a few kilometers outside the city so the seneschals rent camels and depart on the following morning. The journey is uneventful but as they arrive at Gan Krish they are greeted by demonic servants - which they all find most intriguing. The archmage seems a bit annoyed over their visit and explains that his absence from the house is due to he himself being all too busy to take the role as grandmaster and that he has seen no reason to support any of the candidates. He recommend the seneschals to support the candidate who has given them the best offer as that is what it will come down to in the end. Realizing he's being a rather poor host, he invites the three mages to dinner before they return to the city. Served by the archmage's demonic servants the four mages discuss many topics over the dinner table. Accidentally, Gan Krish reveals that his research is not entierly within the boundaries of the mages' charter, which is the reason for his remote location. Realizing his blunder he offers the seneschals a spell of his before they leave, hoping them to remain discrete about what they have learned.
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