In addition to the thug guards in his Throne Room, Farron employs six “acquisition agents” (agents of Farron — see below) and one assassin in the field.
These other agents seldom hang out in the Throne Room unless Farron expects violence from dangerous clients (see below), though they may appear at times with the occasional note or furtive hand signal in Thieves’ Cant. PCs who know Thieves’ Cant can understand the gestures if they perceive them (Perception DC 15), but because the gestures are always abbreviated and out of context, they’ll pick up on little more than “Task completed,” “Item delivered,” “He wants a better price,” and so forth.
The assassin, a placid and bored-looking white-haired elf who calls himself Taciturn (whatever his actual name is, he keeps it to himself), passes himself off as a lute-playing minstrel of middling talent. When he isn’t taking care of sensitive errands for Farron–errands that often end with him disposing of a corpse or two–he may sometimes be in the Throne Room, strumming old tunes between the dining table and the exit.
Taciturn and the other agents are particularly likely to be present if Farron expects trouble.
As it happens, Farron is good at anticipating trouble. Out of caution, he is never in the Throne Room unless he has an appointment. (He resides in a large manor in a wealthy and well-patrolled part of town.) From his home, he draws on his own intelligence, his deductions about people he has met over dinner, and his information network to keep track of plots, intrigues, and capabilities.
But he doesn’t stop there. Before attending a meeting with any client or supplier, Farron consults with Lyrima, a priestess of a thieving god he is careful to donate to. Lyrima casts augury to divine whether the meeting might be dangerous to him. If the answer is yes, he calls on enough of his crew to handle the threat that he estimates the guests to be. Assume Farron is an accurate enough judge of PC capabilities that the forces on hand represent a Hard or Deadly encounter for the party.
Then Farron attends the meeting anyway. However, instead of attending physically, Farron employs a unique magical item that he keeps in a trapped vault at home: a prism of projection. The prism requires attunement and enables him to cast project image once per day. Thanks to his device, his guests meet not with him but with an illusion of him — an illusion that seems to eat, drink, and joke in all of the usual ways, and which bows courteously (instead of shaking hands).
If the PC party is of high enough level that Farron’s resources cannot possibly pose a Hard or Deadly threat to them, he changes his strategy: He uses the prism, but meets the party alone. He stations his guards and agents around his mansion to protect his body. With a truly dangerous party, he worries that they might trace his projection back to its source.
Next page: Farron’s hidden, darker personality…