|“||I know I can trust the four of you.
- Valanthe, speaking to Anther, Cree, Dahlia and Hush
Valanthe Liadon is an NPC from the Temphere universe, and the current employeer of the Garden Party. He is an Eladrin, a Feywilde elf, and a lord in the Fey Court. He spends most of his time on the Material Plane, serving as the lord of the city of Caellond.
Little substantial is known about Valanthe's past as of yet. He has stated himself to be a lord of the Fey Court, and has substantial contacts within the court to call in favors when needed. He has also stated himself to have some ability with magic, though he demurs that it isn't much.
He is very fond of his gardens, which seem to be something of a compensation for any homesickness he feels for the Feywilde. He employs a number of satyrs in the gardens, as satyrs are naturally very talented at tending plants. However, one day the satyrs started to behave strangely, vanishing for most of the daylight hours and sneaking into the manor to steal meat from the kitchens. Around the same time the garden started to become overgrown, sickly green light started to emanate through the manor windows from the outside. Valanthe was very troubled by this, but when he ventured into the garden to investigate one of the hedges attacked him. Recognizing that he was out of his depth, he decided to send out a call for the aid of skilled adventurers...
Adventure 1 - Liadon Manor Garden Edit
Many people answered Valanthe's call, but most of them were either dismissed when it became clear that they lacked the expertise he was looking for (only interested in the money reward) or left on their own when they realized the situation was legitimately dangerous. Eventually, however, he managed to get a team of four who actually seemed competent, and well equipped to deal with the threats present in the corrupted garden; Anther the elf ranger, Dahlia the halfling cleric, Cree the dragonborn bard and Hush the tabaxi fighter. Though the four of them had never worked together before arriving in Caellond, they quickly came together and proved equal to the task set before them.
Once they returned, the satyrs in tow and hefting a dinner plate sized black thorn which seemed to be the source of the strange goings-on, Valanthe learned what had happened. Apparently the thorn had been buried in a rosebush near the back of his garden's hedge maze, and it had mutated the bush into a giant rose with bear trap teeth. Somehow this rose was able to cast a thrall on the satyr gardeners, controlling their minds and compelling them to feed it meat and defend it and the garden from intruders. As if that wasn't enough, the various plants in the garden became possessed by evil and hostile as well, and the planar barrier between Temphere and the Feywilde weakened enough that there was a constant bleed between the two dimensions. Valanthe was deeply troubled by the extent of the dark magic the party uncovered, and asked them to continue helping him get to the source of the problem.
Interlude - The Festival of Masks Edit
Valanthe spoke to the party over dinner, letting them know that he was trying to get in touch with a monster hunter he was familiar with through an ally in the fey court, but that it might take a while. In the meantime he invited the party to take part in Caellond's celebration of the Festival of Masks.
The party would not see him again until close to the conclusion of the festival, when he revealed that he had taken the role of the "prince of the Shadowfell" to challenge petitioners to trade something of theirs for whatever had been stolen from them. He admitted that he enjoyed it a great deal, but clarified that he definitely wasn't stealing people's possessions permanently even if they failed the challenge.
Adventure 2 - The Black Claw Gang Edit
Valanthe finally heard back from his contact about speaking with the monster hunter, and called the party in to introduce them to his contact's agent- a korred satyr named Medea. Valanthe explained that she would be leading the party to where the hunter currently lived. Valanthe then called the party into his office, and entrusted them with a locked box that held the giant thorn. He wished the party well, and then sent them off.
Interlude - Return to Caellond Edit
The party found Valanthe in a state of significant stress when they finally got back to Caellond after their visit to the monster hunter. He was nonetheless happy to see them back, and asked if they had learned anything about the thorns. To his dismay the party admitted they hadn't, and only had grim news to offer him from their trip. Despite this, Valanthe was grateful to them for undertaking the journey, especially with how complicated it ended up being, and paid all of his original team and the strays they picked up along the way handsomely.
One of the new party members, Edith, explained to Valanthe that she was hoping to get his help in contacting a blink dog, as she'd been looking for help to fight some displacer beasts that had invaded the forest she and her mentor protected. He decided that the best way to proceed, both for Edith's request and his own interests, was to invite the party to attend the ball being held in honor of the Feywilde queen's birthday. He explained that just about everyone with any standing in the fey court would be there including potentially some blink dogs or at least someone who could contact blink dogs. There was also the possibility someone at the party might know something that would give the party a lead to follow to continue their investigation into the black thorn. The team agreed with this plan.
Though Valanthe spent most of the next few days preparing for the ball, Cree managed to run into him in the garden the morning before the party, where he overheard her playing a harp she hadn't told anyone she owned. Cree reluctantly explained that the harp had been left to her by her father figure, who'd died eight months before, and who's voice she'd shared with Valanthe during the events of the Festival of Masks.
The Feywilde Ball Edit
When it was time for the party, Valanthe was obviously stressed and wound tight. He didn't get much involved in the conversations of his employees, and only addressed them to remind them that they were at the ball to gather information, so please do that. Just before departing from him, the party met his mother, Magdiel, who he seemed to have a bit of a cool relationship with.
Later in the night, Cree spotted Valanthe together with Serena and his Feywilde steward, Julian, and none of them looked especially happy. She split off from the party to ask what was bothering them, but got only evasions and was asked if she had learned anything interesting, to which she had to admit she hadn't yet, but they were still trying. Serena took Cree aside and they had a brief Draconic conversation, Serena hinting that Valanthe's bad mood was due to difficult conversations with relatives, and asked the party to keep an eye out for him and interject if they noticed it happening again.
Unfortunately, the party wasn't able to catch the relative- Magdiel- in the act at any point. Valanthe was noticeably subdued through the feast, and by the time the party went looking for him again- to summon him when the Queen wanted to talk to him about his silence over the thorn problem- he had retreated into the carriage to hide from his mother. Cree diplomatically suggested that they should have their own party the next night, one more lowkey and actually fun for him. He was surprised, but readily agreed to this proposal.
When the ball finally ended, the party reported to Valanthe everything they'd learned. He was deeply troubled by the idea that the Shadowfell might be interfering in Caellond, revealing that Caellond's founding and the Liadon family were connected to a long ago attack by the Shadowfell.
Valanthe seems to be a polite, friendly man. He is sufficiently patient and good-humored to take gentle ribbing from his employees, such as when Cree and Serena teased him about not having silken sheets on his guest beds. He also shows occasional flashes of the Feywilde fondness for mischief, such as when he deliberately withheld information from the Garden Party about the prank thefts that would occur during the Festival of Masks, and his own role in that festival. Nonetheless he takes his responsibilities as the lord of Caellond seriously, and Serena intervenes to keep him from overworking and over-stressing himself.