Back to Chapter 5 : The Quaan and Beyond : Part 2

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Narrator
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The bards trusted the litorian, just as they did Iltumar, to send word to them whenever they figured out a price for the strange items. Both of these friends had done the same previously and had always treated Vogh and Talin fairly. Now their ties were even stronger between Rastor and Iltumar, with Talin carrying a famous litorian blade, and Iltumar training with them so often.

Leaving Rastor’s the paramours strolled across to Myraeth’s Oddities. Thankfully everything they wanted to sell the elf was small and easily fit inside their magical compartments.

Myraeth’s was even busier than Rastor’s and Bull and Bear. The range of prices for his products was much wider than the expensive weapons and armor of the other shops. Kird the ogre, Myraeth’s bodyguard, was moving his head and eyes constantly. He looked over Talin & Vogh for only a moment, recognizing them and knowing to be no threat, before going back to scrutinizing every patron and trying to watch everyone at once.

The stately elf had several people at his counter again, each with an item, or multiple, set out on the table. Vogh and Talin spotted two women dressed head to toe in black and white habits. They both recognized Sisterhood of Silence members. The organization held high respect in Ptolus and was even considered a law enforcement force secondary to the City Watch. Neither of the women seemed to be shopping, but were also observing browsing individuals.

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Myraeth Tuneweaver (NPC)
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“Greetings Miss Vogh and Master Talin.” Myraeth greeted them mellifluously. “It seems you have even more items of interest to show me…” The elf grinned as both nodded and began producing items, placing them on the counter.

“Back. Back. Give the couple some room people.” He had to shoe a few patrons away from the items being laid out on the counter who were pressing in to see the new acquisitions Myraeth would have soon.

Rings. Bracelets. Perfume bottles. Gem studded boots much too large for a human or elf. A magical ring and the fire wand were all set out on Myraeth’s counter. Vogh also set a couple of the bags of alchemist fire out and explained the situation with them and the wand, sharing they had a large number of them.

“What in the name of magic? Why would anyone do that? You two keep bringing me such strange things. I know my store is name Oddities, but you both keep bringing me the oddest items.” The elf chuckled as he looked over everything. “So it’s a wand of fireballs. Say, did you play any more with that gem powered wand you brought me? Anyway, wand of fireballs, but it only works if you douse it in alchemist fire daily… Usually the vials of fire cost around twenty gold. So if you only used the wand once per day, to exhaust all fifty charges you would require fifty bags of alchemical fire, for a total cost of 1,000 gold pieces to make a wand which should cost less than twelve thousand. Alright. I’ll buy all the alchemist fire you’ve got at ten gold a piece, and I’ll give you five thousand for the wand.”

Myraeth offered them 75% value for the other items since they were all straight forward and simple.

(30+30+30+20+20+20+230+450+2000) = 2122.5gp

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin looked around a bit when they got to Myraeth’s, one would never know what was there unless one looked. They did notice the Sisterhood of Silence members standing around as if they were playing bodyguard to someone. Or perhaps they were looking for someone particular. Both Vogh and Talin knew it wasn’t them so they kept looking and when the elder elf was finally free they showed him their items.

When the elder elf did some quick math in his head which Vogh was barely following along, he finally came out with five thousand gold. Vogh tried not to sound too eager, but a slight grin came across her face. That sounds like a deal Myraeth. We will take it. As for the other wand we have, no we haven’t really had the time. I do hope I can try some things out here in the next few days maybe. Thank you once again. As always, it is a pleasure doing business with you.

Having sold everything, for the most part, the pair went back to the Minstrel. It was almost time for lunch after all and both really didn’t have a big breakfast.

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Narrator
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As was typical, Myraeth agreed to do a transfer at Hammersong Vaults. Moving large sums of money, even in gems, was dangerous in a city so big, and with so many pick pockets about. Both bards had noticed the days were starting to get warmer. The spring had passed in full and now summer was warming the whole city. Summer was a much brighter time in Ptolus. Less rain, and days with clear skies were more common than the standard haze which shrouded Ptolus most of the year.

The surely bartender which had given them great advice some time ago about a certain wine they tried to unload came over to their table after they had been sitting for a few moments. Zade the bald, skinny, and gruff man approached them and laid two folded envelopes on their table. Without a word, or smile, he walked back to his post behind the bar.

Vogh immediately recognized one of the seals to be her family crest. Opening it first she recognized her mother’s handwriting explaining they were having a party at the manor in a few days to honor Adatol Hunter. Mr Hunter was a longtime family friend which Vogh had met a few times, most recently at the Castle Shard party. It seemed he had recovered something of historical significance to the family and they were throwing a party.

The second letter was from Sister Mara von Witten. Apparently another party was being thrown to honor their troop for recovering the Sword of Truth for the church.

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Vogh
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As Vogh and Talin enjoyed their meal, Zade had come over and given them two correspondence letters. Vogh opened each and read over them slowly in Talin’s mind. It certainly was good to be back and the parties were already starting it seemed. Soon the weather would be changing and there would be many more outdoor parties to attend as well. So, we have a couple of parties to attend within the week it seems. Would you like to maybe go do some shopping for a new outfit? Vogh had put on a little frown as show she definitely wanted to go.

Speaking of letters, we need to get word to Jevicca to meet up again and give our last update. I think I will write it up and send that we can meet at any time.

When they finished their meal, Vogh went upstairs and wrote her note to have delivered to Jevicca. Talin just waited downstairs and went to speak with Tellith to see if there was a day in which he and Vogh might be able to perform. When she was finished Vogh came back downstairs and handed the note to Zade to have it delivered to the Inverted Pyramid.

There wasn’t much else to do till evening time and the weather was nice so Vogh asked Talin if they could do the shopping now. It is a great day, come on! Vogh pleaded Talin. Course she didn’t need to do much as Talin too needed something and it would be nice just strolling the streets with his woman with him.

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Narrator
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Vogh and Talin were really surprised not to find Tellith about and instead inquired of Zade. He said they would have to wait for the red-headed manager to return because he didn’t know anything about the performance schedule. Zade never stopped moving while he spoke, cleaning glasses, pouring drinks, wiping down the counter, he was constantly in motion. But he did take her letter and promised to have it sent for them. The gruff man rubbed his fingers together and raised two eyebrows. When neither bard got the hint he gruffly explained, “Runners aren’t free you know…” Surprised, because Tellith had never asked them to pay before, but understanding, Talin tossed him a few silvers. The bartender didn’t say thank you, just nodded and pocketed the coins and letter.

Outside the Minstrel Delver’s Square was bustling yet again in the late morning hour. Clouds were overhead, but they were fluffy and white, providing shade and not threatening rain. Talin pointed skyward almost immediately, “Vogh! Look there! A balloon!”

Indeed, Vogh looked where he pointed and they saw a balloon which floated above a basket which seemed to hold a few people. They were several hundred feet in the air and flying lazily over the city on the light wind. Talin chuckled, remembering the ride they had taken with two crazy halflings in one such aircraft, but they had been tethered to the ground. Talin looked from them, toward the bay, and back up. “I sure hope they land before they get out over the ocean. That would be bad…”

As they looked skyward they noticed a couple more things moving against the pale-blue. Several humanoids flew about, obviously magic users, or those with items that granted flight, enjoying the beautiful weather. Flying wizards were certainly not an oddity in Ptolus, but seeing several in the air at once was a treat. Often you wouldn’t even know someone flew overhead with the dark clouds and haze that often covered the city.

They also saw two of the strange creatures called griffins, with heads and wings of a bird and bodies of lions, which each bore riders, gracefully soaring through the air and avoiding the other people and things aloft.

Finally, they saw a rare sight, even for Ptolus. House Abanar had their airship sailing high above everyone else. They were low enough to be seen, and it was even possible to make out a couple individuals peering over the edge at the city below. Seeing a ship hanging in their air above them, its keel above their heads instead of below the waves, was quite strange, but magical.

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Vogh
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After the balloon and the airship, the Griffins were what Vogh thought about most. She had an item that would allow here to call upon a Griffin to fly on. She hadn’t used it as of yet but perhaps she should give it a try one of these days. Remember that statue that we found of the bronze Griffin? Should we see how it works? Vogh really was interested in checking it out so she pulled it from her pack and said the command word.

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Narrator
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Vogh and Talin went around behind St. Gustav’s church where they typically trained with Iltumar. There was a nice little grass area back there and very little traffic on the very small lane that led back there and then between even more buildings.

Once they were certain no one was walking down the lane, Vogh set down the figuring and spoke the command word. Immediately the piece of bronze carved to look like a griffon began to grow and move until the bobble has transformed into a full size griffon. The majestic beast had the body of a lion, the head and forelegs of a great eagle, and a massive pair of feathered wings. It turned to face Vogh. It’s eagle head cocked from side to side regarding her, but staying in place and waiting. The woman could see an intelligence in those eyes beyond that of a normal animal.

Neither of them had seen a griffon up close before, but it was obvious their new friend was a bit larger than its average kin. Easily three times the size of any horse they had ridden, the magical creature was magnificent.

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Vogh
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When the statue began to transform before her eyes, Vogh could hardly believe it as it took the form of a real Griffon. That is unbelievable! When it was done changing the eagle head looked into Vogh’s eyes. The intelligence in the thing was noticeable. Vogh tried to speak to it through her telepathy.

Are you able to understand me? Vogh asked.

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Narrator
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The eagle head nodded at her, pawing at the ground with its feet. Again it cocked its head side to side as it regarded her then looked at Talin.

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Talin
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Did you say something to it telepathically? Talin asked as the eagle looked to him after it had nodded to Vogh.

When Vogh then spoke to Talin in his head saying that, telepathy uses a different type of language that all understand.

Ask if I can ride him after you, please. Talin pleaded.

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Vogh
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Vogh was quite happy it could understand her. It would make things easier for sure.

I will ask for you. Vogh said as she giggled.

Then to the griffon she asked, I would like to go for a short ride. May I? After me, my companion would like to ride as well. Do you have a name?

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Narrator
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Rearing on its hind legs and griffon clawed at the air with talons while clawed paws tore into the grass. Its eagle head whipped side to side in confusion. Vogh calmed it, patting the air and finally the magical creature settled on all four legs once more. Narrowing its dark, avian eyes, the intelligent animal craned its neck forward to regard Vogh very closely. After a few breathless moments a voice came back in her head with broken words.

“Both.” It seemed very much like a child speaking for the first time, unsure of its words. “You… You.” Punctuating who it meant, his beak jerked forward to point at Vogh, then Talin. “Fly!” There was no mistaking the excitement in that word.

The griffon turned sideways and lowered its wing to the ground, at the same time it knelt on its foreleg to lower its high back to a manageable height for the humans to climb aboard. Talin climbed up its back first, waiting a moment to see if the beast would jump or buck. When it remained calm, breathing deeply which caused Talin’s legs to widen then contract, he reached down and helped Vogh behind him.

Talin grabbed two fistfulls of feathers as Vogh wrapper her arms tight around his waist. It was a good thing too, because the griffon turned away from St. Gustav’s and galloped forward while flapping its considerable wings. Moments before they collided with the fast approaching building before them, it leaped with impossible strength and drove down both wings hard enough to push the humans’ stomachs to their feet.

Neither of them could believe the power between them as the griffon flapped its wings, each much longer than Talin was tall, pushing them higher into the air. Buildings and people shrank rapidly beneath them and their eyes began to water from the wind speeding past them. Comparing riding the griffon to riding a horse was like comparing rowing a boat versus being on the deck of a ship in a raging storm. For some reason the magical creature pumped its legs as though it was running through the air while its wings worked in concert.

Each could feel the creature’s muscles in its back rippling with all the movement. Once it reached a height that it liked, the griffon snapped his wings taught and sailed through the sky. Ptolus went beneath them quickly. Some looked up, most didn’t; that was Ptolus.

Neither of the bards was keen on getting close to anyone, or anything, else that was in the sky, and their mount seemed to share their sentiments. It flapped occasionally, which gave the feeling of riding a long wave. They would lose altitude, then climb up again, and slowly float down once more. They quickly covered Midtown, climbing higher to clear the buildings of Oldtown then the beast pumped hard to gain enough altitude to soar high above Dalenguard Castle and finally soar over the Nobles’ District. Vogh could see the Kath estate far to the north, and the flying apartment building, Soaring Idyll, which rotated slowly. Before Vogh even needed to warn the griffon, it turned away from the Spire and soared out over the Southern Wall and out across the plains.

[Private to GM: Remember to mention the Kath engagement at the Kath party]

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Vogh
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When Vogh suddenly had a response from the rather large Griffin it surprised her. She didn’t have a name yet but she would work on that as they got to know each other better. For now, the sheer freedom of being on the back of this magnificent creature was almost more than Vogh could bare.

As they both flew over Ptolus, Vogh was enjoying herself. Neither she nor Talin had to worry about falling off because they could use their innate ability to feather fall which made the ride that much more enjoyable. When they went over her house in the Noble District, Vogh thought to touch down for just the slightest of moments, but then thought that perhaps they would be mistaken for an enemy and shot down. So, they kept flying out over the south gate finally and into the plains for a little bit of time. She spoke kind words to the Griffin as they admired what it was showing them. You are a magnificent creature! You must really enjoy having the air fill your powerful wings. Where do you come from? How long are you able to stay with me here? Vogh knew that the creatures called from the statue were manifestations of the real animal and so she asked.

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Griffon (npc)
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Vogh couldn’t understand the noises that came back to her. “Time. Short time.” were the intelligible words she could make out. Over and over again she “heard” the jubilant exclamation of “Fly!”.

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Vogh
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Vogh wasn’t sure how long the Griffin would stay so she decided to head back to St. Gustav’s and land before the time would be up. After getting off its back, Vogh said the command word once more and the Griffin began to shrink and disappear from sight once more.

Wow! That was unbelievable, wasn’t it Talin? Vogh said excitedly barely able to contain her enthusiasm. The half-hour flight let them see so much from above. Now, let us find a shop to get some fancy new clothes.

There needs to be a better search mechanism for shops on the site.

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Narrator
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The mighty griffon bowed its head after landing behind St. Gustav’s, allowing the duo to slide down. A couple people peeked around the church to watch both bards dismount and then they watched in wonderment as the griffon began to circle, and as it did it became less and less corporeal. Finally the magical creature’s entire form turned into a fog that coalesced like a funnel cloud which touched the ground, and as the funnel shrank the figurine was re-formed in its place. When the mist was gone, the small statue lay in the grass, whole once more. Once the “show” was over, the few people peeking down the lane shook their heads with smiles on their faces then moved down Center Street on their own business.

Magic was ever present in Ptolus, but only a very small group of people in the city got to experience it. The wealthiest nobles had quite a bit of magic in their mansions, and vaults. Then there were more wizards in Ptolus per-capita than almost any other city in Pramael. Delvers also carried more magic about their person than practically anyone else.

Yet magic still remained in the hands of only a few. The majority of Ptolus’ citizens and visitors would witness magic on a regular basis, but a scant few had magic of their own. Even visiting a temple cleric for healing was reserved for the wealthier people of Ptolus. A large number of business owners and successful individuals existed who could afford such luxuries, but still the majority of the city would never have magic touch them directly.

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Vogh
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Vogh picked up the statue and returned it once more to her pack. Having decided that it was time to go, Vogh remembered a place that was not too far away from where they can buy some decent clothing. Oh, I know, we can go to Saches. It isn’t far. I think it is across from the Mane. Should have just landed at the Mane we would be right there. Vogh commented with a silly giggle.

Together they both left St. Gustav’s and headed down Lower God Row to Bridge Street and then over to Meadow Street. They past the old Temple of Destor along the way. The temple had been abandoned for a little over 60 years Vogh had heard. Such a shame to leave a place abandoned like that. We have far too many abandoned buildings in the city, Talin. We should do something about that. Maybe we could make them places for the less fortunate or something? Vogh pondered as they walked by.

Finally, they turned down Meadow Street and before them was Saches. Vogh entered the place first and smiled wide at the hostess. Greetings, I would like to purchase a nice spring dress. With the weather changing finally I thought it was time for a change. Vogh had seen the women here before when she came to check on Phon one time. She wondered if they remembered her.

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Narrator
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Not only did the woman remember Vogh, but everyone in the shop did, minus one new young halfling female who was watching the others with interest, and a bit of confusion. The other two ladies who had worked at Saches when the duo had aided Phon also stopped what they were doing and rushed forward to greet the duo.

“It’s so good to see you two again. Miss Vogh. Master Talin. How are you? And how is Phon? Have you seen her recently? She quit some time ago, explaining that she was needing to rest with the pregnancy.” The Helena asked and explained. The half elf stood only four and a half feet tall, and it was hard to miss the 3 piercings in her lip, or the two fingers missing from her left hand. But her piercing blue eyes were beautiful and made more so by her shiny, dark brown hair that fell behind her to her waist.

Catherine, a barely eighteen human lady stood nearly as tall as Talin, but looked very frail asked after Phon too, in a very soft, mousy voice. “Yes. Is Phon’s health satisfactory? We miss her…” Cahterine’s voice trailed off as she squinted for nor apparent reason.

After a few minutes of conversation Marta, the owner, came out of the back room straitening her dress and apron which was filled with needles and more than a few strips of thread and material pinned to it. Vogh and Talin remembered that Marta and her husband were both delvers, but after her husband died the woman had sold all their gear and focused on her business. Middle aged and tough with medium length black hair that was streaked in gray, she managed a small smile at the two.

The other three ladies stepped back to make way for Marta to approach the visitors.

“Greetings again. Welcome back. We would love to make you a dress Miss Vogh Kath. Thank you for choosing my shop instead of going up the hill.”

“Up the hill” was a pretty common phrase among those who didn’t frequent Oldtown or the Nobles’ District. It wasn’t outright derisive, but it certainly wasn’t a term of endearment.

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Marta
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“Tell us a bit about what you’re wanting Miss Vogh, and how soon you might want it. Is this a special dress for a special occasion, or an everyday frock?”

Marta didn’t hold pen or paper as she listened to Vogh, nodding along in understanding and apparently committing to memory what the woman was saying. When Vogh finished explaining Marta clapped her hands together lightly.

“Okay ladies. Back to work. Telri, take Miss Vogh’s measurements, twice, and be sure to write down both sets separately to ensure they are perfect.”

Telri, unfortunately, was the least attractive of the ladies in the shop. She was midheight, but was quite overweight. Her square face was pockmarked from too many pimples at a young age. Both bards also noticed she had a tribal tattoo on her right arm which was very poorly done, but at least her skin was very smooth with a lively pink hue. Strangely, she also wore a silver symbol about her neck which depicted rushing clouds and a raven. Vogh recognized it as a symbol of Harredda, Mistress of Ravens who had a fair number of worshipers in Ptolus. Harredda focused on Air, Animals and Protection.

Diligent in her measurements, Telri did indeed write two sets of units out, side by side, on a parchment strapped around her arm. She bit down on the small pencil when measuring and would whisper the number to herself before writing it down and continuing.

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Vogh
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The clear registration on their faces to go along with them calling their names was enough to show Vogh that they did indeed recognize her and Talin. It was really nice to see all of them and Vogh expressed that to them as well. We actually went last week to see Phon. She is getting quite round and is almost ready to deliver the little baby. She is being taken care of well from what we could tell. More small talk with the ladies until Marta came out.

Vogh didn’t think much about the “Up the Hill” comment Marta said. Vogh knew it wasn’t meant as a jab to her, for Marta knew Vogh was from “Up the Hill”. Vogh discussed what she wanted for a dress, I want something fresh and bright. Not too fancy but also not something for every day. It wasn’t for a Castle Shard occasion but a family gathering.

When Telri began to take her measurements, Vogh chatted with her as she did. What is your family name Telri? Vogh asked her some other personal information and then just talked plainly with her to pass the time.

Talin sat in a chair and just watched the whole show as Vogh had almost stopped completely to get measured. He did ask aloud towards the beginning, Do you ladies know of a men’s tailor nearby?

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Narrator
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Telri looked at Vogh nervously, then said, “Besso is my family name. Though it’s nothing. Not noble like your name Miss Vogh.” She did her best to answer Vogh’s questions and share her small talk, but with the pencil in her mouth most of her answers were monosyllabic.

Short Helena answered Talin’s question, “Over in the fabric market there are a fair number, but Aven Jellel is a fair tailor for men’s clothes. And I’m certain you already know of Talbot Ferrar at Nestor’s up in the Noble’s district. Aven likes folks like you all though, so she would be a good one.” Realizing how her words sounded Helena quickly corrected herself, “Delvers. Folks like you meaning delvers, nothing bad Mister Talin. Sorry.” She pursed her lips, pinching the golden rings threaded through them, and focused on her work once more to avoid eye contact or embarrassment.

Both Vogh and Talin couldn’t help but notice the young half-ling had scarcely looked in their direction since they came in, sometimes sneaking glances over in jerky head movements. They hadn’t caught her name yet, but the young halfling was rather attractive with an oval, innocent face framed by short, straight brown hair and cyan eyes. She had very tan skin and likely stood under three feet tall.

[Private to GM: Jacalyn Smallburrow rolled a 2 on her attitude chart, so she’s almost hostile toward them. Why? 🙂]

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Talin
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Talin listened to Helena talk but also noticed the young halfling sneaking peeks over his way. Excuse me, I didn’t catch your name Miss. Talin asked as a matter of fact to the halfling.

To Helena, Talin thanked her for the information. I will try and check it out if we have time today.

Talin would keep the name of Aven in his head for after they were done. Perhaps they would have enough time to head down to South Market after.

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Vogh
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Vogh thought about the name the young lady Telri gave her. Besso? Besso? Nope, it wasn’t one she knew but, that didn’t matter, Vogh didn’t know too many people in the city quite yet.

Well, it is very nice to work with you Telri Besso. Vogh said finally.

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Narrator
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The halfling looked startled that Talin had addressed her, she looked at the other ladies who all looked her way, then back to Talin. He could tell she was uneasy, but her face also revealed what the thought was anger. Talin watched the conflict on her face. It looked like she honestly didn’t want to respond, but felt forced as the others looked at her and the moments ticked by in silence.

“Jacalyn Smallburrow. What’s it to you?” She practically bit the words off.

Telri immediately scolded her. “Jacalyn! You apologize right now for being so rude!”

The halfling narrowed her eyes which flared with anger at Telri. “No. And you can’t make me.” Again, she bit the words off, angrily enunciating her obstinance.

“Do you want me to go get Miss Marta?!” Telri threatened.

If it was possible for Jacalyn’s eyes to both flare and narrow further, that’s how her face scrunched up in anger at the threat. “Fine! So sorry!” With that the halfling threw down the garment she was working on, slid out of the short chair, obviously made for a halfling, and stormed out the front door.

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Talin
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Talin didn’t think that asking a name would have caused such conflict within the little halfling. There was something more to it but as she stormed out of the shop, Talin didn’t have the time to ask. He also figured that asking the other ladies might cause more stress so he let it go.

Perhaps, the young halfling was having a bad day? Anyways, Talin sat back in the chair and said to Telri, It is okay I didn’t mean to cause a scene. I just caught her looking at Vogh and I and thought to ask.

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Narrator
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Telri couldn’t apologize enough, and the other girls all spoke over each other in apology too. “No. No. You did nothing wrong! I have no idea what her problem is! That was so unacceptable. Once miss Marta hears of this, Jacalyn will be rightly punished. Again, I am so sorry for her outburst!”

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Talin
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Talin patted the air, no it is quite alright. I think I am going to get some air while you all discuss dresses and all. Vogh why not get two since you are here after all. Talin said as he opened the door and went outside.

Talin looked for the little halfling then as he hummed out a little tune to himself.

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Vogh
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Vogh smiled and was glad Talin suggested two dresses. A girl couldn’t have too many dresses, Vogh thought to herself. Two dresses it is! Can we make another that is more everyday type? A summer dress perhaps? Something yellow and white I think would be the best. Vogh said to Telri, with a little more excitement in her voice than she had planned.

When Telri was done taking the measurements Vogh asked her a question, Do you mind if I ask if there is a significance with all your piercings? Or is it just a statement of freedom? I can certainly get behind that.

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Narrator
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Talin indeed saw the halfling lady storming down Meadow street, it was hard to pick her out at first, being so much shorter than the rest of the travelers, but thankfully Talin noticed people having to quick step out of the way as the angry halfling barreled through people.


Telri and the girls all squealed and clapped their hands at Vogh’s proclamation of buying another dress. “Oh wonderful!” Telri exclaimed.

“A lady of House Kath, wearing two of our dresses!” Helena exclaimed.

“When they ask you who you’re wearing for the broadsheets, you’ll just have to tell them it’s us and not them stodgy folks up the hill what sew for ten times what we charge! Oh… sorry miss Vogh.” Helena spoke emphatically, then apologetically.


Telri blushed a bit at the question about her piercings. “My tribe uses rings in the lips to designate betrothal. The two extra rings are for my two children. My husband has matching rings, but he wears one in his lip and two hanging from the larger to show we have two children together.”

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Talin
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Talin continued to follow the halfling female. There was something about this that didn’t seem right to him.

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Vogh
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Well, of course, I will give the name oh those who made the dresses. There is no reason not to. Good work should be rewarded! Vogh said as she smiled at the ladies.

When Telri of her tribe it put a wide grin on Vogh’s face. It was quite clear that she was in love by how she talked about her husband and kids. That is very interesting Telri, I didn’t know that. I always say knowledge is power.

When everything was done that needed to be completed for the measurements, it was time to go. Vogh said her goodbyes and then went outside to see if she might be able to find Talin.

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Narrator
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Talin neared the intersection and watched the halfling turn right. Then the bard felt magic attack his mind and he quickly shielded himself, slamming his will into an impenetrable wall. The magic failed on him, but his victory was short lived as almost two dozen missiles of magic stabbed into him. Each was a small pin prick, but twenty stabs, no matter how small, still hurt the bard badly. (72 dmg)

Narrator rolled 20,16,17,19

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Talin
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Talin got hit by the magical missiles and screemed out in pain. He looked left and right to see who had done it while he said a command word and an invisible shield came up around him to block any further magical missiles that might come his way again.

21:08, Today: Talin rolled 24 using 1d20+14. perception check
Cast shield with wand.

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Narrator
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Talin spotted two figures covered head to toe in light tan garb which also had streaks of blue that made it very hard to see them against the blue sky and the similarly colored rooftops. Both held wands and were looking down at him.

After Talin’s casting each dropped to a crouch on the rooftops and were clearly casting spells of their own.

Vogh was all the way back at the shop, looking for Talin. She heard Talin scream but with the dish of people couldn’t see him.

Those around the injured man stepped back. Most kept walking but one or two stopped and looked at him, but unable to realize the source of his pain, and seeing no attackers walked away and the flow of traffic around him continued.

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Talin
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When no one really helped Talin he made the decision to head back to the shop. He didn’t know if Vogh was on her way to find him or where she was. He didn’t know if any of the people would be coming after him or not either so he hurried back as fast as he could.
10:32, Today: Talin rolled 14,2,8 using 2d8,2d8,2d8. healing belt as he returns.

Talin kept running as best he could through the crowd till he got to the shop.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Talin healed himself while the attackers on the rooftops cast some magic he couldn’t see. Then the bard turned, and ran as fast as he could back toward Saches, and Vogh. People were in the streets, preventing him from making a straight sprint. The bard saw a magically conjured acid arrow shoot past him and stab into an innocent walker on the street. Talin knew the spell well from Deacon’s repertoire. The older human man went down under the blow and screamed as he died with acid pumping into his body. Then Talin felt the stings as well. One, two, Three acid arrows stabbed into his flesh, penetrating his shield barrier and armor. (16dmg) He knew that the magic would continue to pump acid into his body, harming him, for several more moments. Thankfully he could see Vogh standing outside Saches with both her trademark purple blades out.

Vogh, able to see down the street to Talin, then following the green missiles flying down to attack him, looked up to see four attackers on the rooftops. They threw their magic at Talin while pursuing him along the rooftops. Talin was outdistancing them since they used their magic, but they seemed to move almost effortlessly across the roofs of the buildings on either side of the street. Two were on each side, and they were coming for the bard.

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Talin
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As Talin ran through the crowded street he saw the greenish missile fly over him and hit a gentleman dropping the man. Talin felt bad for him, but then he too was hit suddenly by three of the missiles. The acid burning his flesh from the inside. He knew too that the acid would keep coming back to hurt him every few seconds. So he had to do something before it killed him and since his belt was depleted he used one of his own spells to cure the wounds he had and would take. Even as he did, Talin moved to one side of the street to limit the number of attacks that could possibly hit him.

17:17, Today: Talin rolled 30 using 3d8+11. cure serious wounds.

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Vogh
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Vogh heard Talin’s call and saw him running towards him. She didn’t immediately go inside, instead, she pulled her blades from their sheaths and looked about for trouble.

Vogh could see forms moving up on the rooftops as they ran along almost matching Talin’s speed. Two on each side of the street. Vogh wasn’t one to run from a fight and Talin seemed to be doing alright for the moment. So Vogh began to cast a spell (Haste).

Vogh then saw greenish arrow missiles flying towards Talin. Three of them hit him in the back and one hit a bystander dropping him. Talin was still far to far away from her to do anything so Vogh cast another spell(Dimension Door).

When Vogh stepped through the door she stood atop the rooftop right in the path of the advancing figures.

She started singing(move action) in Talin and her head(Full attack and damage)
17:27, Today: Vogh rolled 26 using 1d20+7. initiative.
.

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Narrator
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The tan hood and face shield blocked most of the pale human man’s expression, but his eyes widening in fear was unmistakable as he shouted out in fear. The man stopped in his tracks and his companion behind did the same, but those on the opposite roof pursued Talin.

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Vogh
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Vogh came out of her Dimension door right in the path of the two robed men. With her blades at the ready Vogh cut into the first one on the right side. You will pay for striking out at us, Vogh said to them.

Hit AC19 for 26, AC33 for 25, AC34 for 25 with crit check of AC21 for 22.
22:46, Today: Vogh rolled 21,22 using d20+16,d8+19. crit check.
22:43, Today: Vogh rolled 19,26,33,25,34,25 using d20+16,d8+19,d20+16,d8+19,d20+16,d8+19..

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The would be assassin’s fear saved him from Vogh’s first strike as he dodged back. Unfortunately for him, her first swipe was only to put him off guard and the second was a perfect thrust forward which skewered the caster through. Her purple blade of crystal erupted out his back and the man died there on the rooftop. His limp body slid off the pulsing sword, some internal light illuminating the blade in time to Vogh’s own beating heart amidst her battle fury. The second assassin took a running leap and floated across the street to land on the opposite roof. He had cast nothing in his flight, of that Vogh was certain, so it was clear the attacker already had some levitation magic about him.

Down the way the other two attackers moved toward where they saw Talin duck inside the alley. Unfortunately for the wounded man, two disgusting piles of rotting flesh melded up from the ground on either side of him. Some kind of disgusting creatures the attackers conjured had him trapped in the alley. One blocked his way back onto the main road and the other prevented his retreat deeper down the alley.

Four filthy and putrid claws lashed out at him, but so quick were his reactions that not one dessicated appendage touched him.

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Vogh
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A nice little trick, Vogh thought to herself as the man lept from the building to the other one. Vogh could do something similar but it would be for not cause the man would just continue his jumping. Instead, Vogh cast detect magic and began taking off ALL items, whether magical or not, from the man she just killed. She also looked for any identifying marks on the man.
08:27, Today: Vogh rolled 20 using 1d20+16. perception.
Can Talin hear Vogh still?

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Talin
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Talin faced off against the two desiccated monsters dodging and parrying the blows from the things as they clawed at him. Talin figured attacking the one that led to the main street would be the best route so he grabbed hold of SolarSong and swung it twice at the thing. You nasty things will be sent back to where you came from. Talin said as he slashed at the one first.

16:23, Today: Talin rolled AC32,25,AC21,20 using d20+22,2d6+17,d20+17,2d6+17.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
SolarSong cleaved through the disgusting pile of flesh before Talin, and it collapsed to the ground, dissipating away as summoned creatures do, returning to its foul home.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Yes, she can. They are right at 100 feet away from each other, so either moving farther away will break their mental connection.

Vogh quickly grabbed a wand the human man was carrying in a pouch on his garment specifically made to hold it. She found no material components on the man, but did recover a nasty curved dagger which had no magic of its own. He also had a scroll of shield tucked into a pocket. Her searching also revealed a tattoo on the man’s arm which looked like the number 8, but with the bottom cut off. Turned sideways it resembled the letters O and C directly beside one another: OC.

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Vogh
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Vogh grabbed all the items from the man, noticing the curious tattoo and cast a spell she had cast only moments ago. As she stepped through the door onto the rooftop of the others only directly behind them.

Cast dimension door.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The attacker who had leaped across the roof was closest to Vogh, and having seen what she could do he drew his wand and loosed a blast of magic missiles at her. Five magic daggers of force sprung out and stung into the woman, but she accepted the hurt. (19 dmg) But just after the man shouted something Vogh didn’t understand and simply stepped off the roof to float down onto the street below.

Another thirty feet away Vogh saw the two others move forward (60ft away now), tracking Talin who just appeared from a side alley after slashing through some hideous thing. Both went into spell casting. One threw a green arrow of magic energy once more. Talin dodged the missile, but it was the magical shield surrounding him that prevented the arrow from touching him. Both bards knew what was coming from the second caster as a small pea of fire shot forth from his hand and exploded into a ball of fire. (28 fire dmg / 2 = 14dmg) Knowing the spell gave him an advantage and the bard way able to roll away from part of the flames, mitigating the hurts he sustained.

Several people screamed and the whole street became aware of the conflict as the road became a mad rush of bodies with people trying to flee from the scene as fast as possible. There were multiple calls for the watch. One unfortunate soul had been too close Talin when the fireball exploded and died, screaming while trying to pat out the flames until the injuries overtook her. Talin barely had time to notice that she was an older, human woman with streaks of gray in her now burnt hair, who had been wearing an apron of some sort.

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Talin
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Talin dodged the green arrow once again and thankfully in his motion, it took him a bit further away from his initial position and as the red pea exploded Talin didn’t have far to roll out of the way. He saw the people patting out flames and the elderly woman who got burnt to death by the flames. He felt a pang of guilt for having brought the enemy to their doorstep but he had other problems.

He knew the devil would shake off the fire easily enough and he couldn’t get to the ones on the rooftop quite yet so he went for the devil with SolarSong. The blade shown brightly in the smoke coming off the bodies, including his own, as it slashed across at the devil to send it home once again. SolarSong easily cutting the devil. It did indeed dissipate as the other had done only moments before.
19:54, Today: Talin rolled 35,22,28,26 using d20+22,2d6+17,d20+17,2d6+17.

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Vogh
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As the two robed figures moved away from her, not knowing she was there, Vogh was hit by the magic missiles. It hurt but she didn’t let out a scream knowing it would give her away.

She moved 30 ft to the one that cast the fire pea and slashed at him hard twice. The blade opened two fresh wounds as blood flew all over the other male.

20:01, Today: Vogh rolled 38,25,30,21 using d20+18,d8+19,d20+18,d8+19.

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Narrator
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With two of their number dead, and realizing this duo was not going to be easily defeated, the man on the ground fled down the street with the other people running. Left alone on the rooftops the final attacker fled as well. Vogh noticed that he could leap between buildings with ease, as he was floating due to a levitation spell which prevented him from falling.

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Vogh
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Vogh had taken two of the robed figures out and watched as one fled away on the next rooftop. She couldn’t hope to keep up without being able to do the same as him and she couldn’t so she let him go. Vogh grabbed the body of this one and called down to Talin.

Are you okay Talin? I got two of them and the others ran away. I am going to toss this one down to you, try not to catch him. Vogh said as she first pulled off any items he had and then tossed the body down. Vogh then came over the edge as well floating down slowly with her ability to feather fall.

The authorities should be coming shortly. Vogh said.

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Talin
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After finishing off the devil Talin was ready for the next target, but he heard Vogh calling from the rooftop above him.

Then as Vogh said a body was coming down and not to catch it, Talin heard he splat as the body hit the ground 5ft from him. He looked up and saw Vogh slowly descending then and called up, you almost threw him on me!

When Vogh said the authorities would be coming, Talin knew too that they would as he heard others calling for them before. Talin didn’t heal himself at this time and waited for the watch to come.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Again Vogh found the strange tattoo on this man’s arm. Upon uncovering his face she realized he wasn’t human, but had more than a little orc blood in him. This one also had a wand in the same pouch, but had no scroll and again no spell components, leading her to believe both the ones she killed were sorcerers. She also found a scroll identical to the one she pulled of the other attacker.

Most people who had been in the street had fled, dozens were looking out of windows, or peeking from around mostly closed doors. Several minutes passed and people started filtering out of the other shops, realizing the excitement was over. An older man had come out of one shop and was weeping over the elder lady was killed by the fireball, apparently it had been his loved one.

No one disturbed the body of the man killed with the acid arrow. People started gathering around the bard duo in the street. None asked any questions, but merely watched. Only another minute or two passed until the clomping of heavy boots and the clank of armor were heard around the corner. A dozen city watch guards came double timing from the south, led by a Constable. They marched to a few paces away then slowed on their leader’s command and began to fan out. Four men in front carried the Ptolus tower shields and held halberds. Four were behind them with cranked and loaded crossbows, watching over the shoulders of the lead men. The back four each had long swords drawn and they turned their backs to the lead men, protecting the flank.

Only the constable addressed them, a human man – as almost all the Ptolus City Watch were – likely in his 40’s but with a thick, full black mustache addressed them. “And what happened here?”

Vogh and Talin explained they were attacked and the man stepped to inspect the body further. “Sorn bastards. That mark identifies him as Sorn. Word on the street is that they are some kind of new assassins guild. Why would they be attacking you…?” He asked, more than a little accusatory.

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Vogh
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Sorn assassins guild? Course Vogh hadn’t heard of it before until now. She wondered who they were aligned with then. House Vladaam? Or the Pactlords? It almost seemed to Vogh that they were being attacked at all angles. The taking of that key started all their problems, she thought to herself as she listened to the Constable.

Talin and then Vogh described what had happened and offered their condolences to the older gentleman who lost his wife. To answer the Constables question Vogh gave an explanation, she wanted to get a few things off her chest without giving away too much information. Well, Sir, there could be a few reasons, one of which as I have been informed is that there is possibly a bounty on our heads for the theft of something from House Vladaam’s house vault. The claim is, of course, a false accusation as we possess no such item and if there was such a theft why hasn’t House Vladaam gone to the authorities? Vogh let the Constable swallow that pill before continuing on.

The next reason could be that we looked like rich targets and that they just wanted the coin or items we possess. If the Constable looked at them he could certainly agree with the assumption that they looked rich enough with all the baubles they carried along with the decorative armor they both wore. What else is known about these Sorn assassins? Vogh asked.

While they talked, Talin healed himself up as did Vogh which showed even more power that they possessed.

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Constable
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“A bounty? House Vladaam took the time and put the coin on the table to have you captured for a theft that didn’t occur? Now why would they do something like that…” The man watched as Talin enacted his healing magic and narrowed his eyes further. “One moment… Buarc!” He turned and hollered what they assumed was one of the men’s name, as one came over to him awaiting orders. The constable spoke so softly to the man neither of the bards could hear, but he tapped one of his compatriots on the shoulder and the two rush off back the way they had come. Next, the Constable simply snapped his fingers and the troops formed a half circle around him and the two bards beside the dead body.

“I need to see your papers and you all need to come back to the Watch House with us so we can get this sorted. I’ve got a dead guy on the street, and you’re telling me that you’re wanted by a Noble house. Don’t reach for any weapons and no more spell casting…”

Vogh and Talin weren’t used to being treated like this and it seemed the Constable’s mood had certainly shifted to combative and threatening.

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Vogh
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Vogh had half expected the response from the Constable and so when he told them not to reach for a weapon or cast a spell Vogh merely smiled, Of course, we will come with you. We have nothing to hide. There is another one of the assassins on the roof over there as well. Oh, and if they were assassins do you think that we would have been captured? I think not. You don’t send an assassin to capture, you send them to kill.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The Constable again narrowed his eyes while regarding Vogh, but nodded his head. He pointed and gestured to two of the men then directed them to collect the body. Another he told to inform the shop owner that a body was likely on their roof and that a City Watch member would return to retrieve it soon. Using a tower shield like a litter, two Watchmen carried the body – covered in a cloak, with everyone back to the nearest Watch House which was the one in Delver’s Square.

Moving up Lower God Row the Constable turned down a small side street that went between two high walls which prevented anyone viewing into the yards of either business, or home. This small alley took them to the east of St. Gustavs and directly across from the Watch House. Together the group moved across Center Street and to the rear of the Watch’s building, where the Constable unlocked the door with a key at his waist and gestured for the bards to enter first.


Only a few minutes passed until Vogh and Talin walked back out into the sunny day, having been thoroughly apologized to by the Constable once he learned who Vogh was. The young woman knew it was coming, but she played it cool through the entire process. Talin did not do as good a job hiding his smile as the proud Watchman stumbled over himself in apology.

The visit was not unproductive though, as they also learned a bit more about the Sorn. Apparently they were not just an assassin’s guild, but they also seemed to be a mage guild of sorts, which was putting the new, and small, group at odds with the very powerful Inverted Pyramid. Inside the Watch House they got to speak with one of the Constables superiors, who was well informed on this group, and more.

More troubling was the fact that this Sorn was allied with the new criminal problem ran by Kevris Killraven. Killraven was a recent addition to Ptolus and one the Watch was rather nervous about. The Captain explained the group seemed very well funded, mostly comprised of the monstrous races – but not exclusively, and was upsetting the Balacazars and the Pyramid. He wasn’t sure how the organization was handling pressure from two incredibly powerful organizations, but it seemed that both the criminal family and the cabal of casters were both waging war with this new element. Yet, somehow, despite such powerful enemies the group hasn’t been crushed yet.

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Vogh
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When they were making their way through the alley, Vogh began to worry that perhaps these weren’t actually watchmen, but as they went back out and made their way to Delver’s Square and the office she knew was there Vogh relaxed again.

After heading inside and speaking with the Constable, Vogh was able to clear things up easily enough. Talin though didn’t know what was happening and showed it.

Once Vogh cleared them and got some more information about the Sorn Vogh was more than a little concerned. If this organization was working with Vladaam and this Killraven person Vogh needed more information. She was going to be seeing Jevicca soon and she could relay what happened to her as well. It sounded as if they were in direct competition anyways. Thank you Constable. The information you have given us was very informative.

As they left, Vogh said to Talin, we should probably stay inside tonight, huh? Let’s go tell Iltumar to just meet us at the Minstrel for dinner. So, they went over and told a disappointed Iltumar but promised him a free dinner and tales.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Iltumar was disappointed, but he agreed to meet them for dinner after work was over. He made them promise that, in lieu of training, he would at least get some tales of their recent exploits. Entering the Minstrel, the duo realized it was about lunch time from the grumbling of their stomachs so they grabbed a table and ordered food and drink.

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Vogh
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With her stomach rumbling Vogh pulled Talin over to a table and sat. The ordered a nice meal and talked about what had happened.

So, you never did talk to the halfling girl? That is too bad. I am just glad I came out when I did. No telling if you would have survived or not. Vogh jabbed at Talin.

They laughed about it for a moment and then Vogh remember she had pulled a few wands and scrolls off the bodies. So, she pulled them out to look over them more closely.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh easily identified each wand as one that used magic missiles, and the scrolls were both shield spells which the attackers clearly didn’t use for themselves. Something seemed strange about the aura of the wands though. She would have to seek Myraeth, or possibly Jevicca’s counsel regarding the aura shifting rather than remaining constant as was typical.

All manner of beings visited the Ghostly Minstrel and the duo rather enjoyed people watching from their secluded table. One halfling female entered wearing a strange fox fur cape and around her waist was a belt that contained at least half a dozen vials, with more likely behind her cape too. An elf strolled in who had to be elven aristocracy the way he walked, nose high, and the fine raiment he wore. He seemed to think he was the only one in the place the way he ignored everyone and everything around him.

Rumors flitted around the room like little birds. Word of the barbarian horde still circulated, and several people were commenting on the increasingly crowded city with both those fleeing the countryside, and new delvers. There was word that highway men were being joined by more and more orcs, ogres and goblins farther away from the city. One group was discussing their wizard companion who none had seen for several days. Talin caught someone discussing a lady who had apparently lost a large fortune in a gambling endeavor gone wrong. Vogh picked out a special mention of a recent group of out of town paladins that went into the Necropolis and apparently had their numbers decimated.

Vogh used her telepathy to speak with Talin without anyone being able to eavesdrop their conversation. A young man, clearly a message runner, bounded through the door and went straight up to Tellith. To both their surprise, the red-headed young woman pointed to them. The boy fast walked over to their table and asked, “Are you Miss Vogh Kath? Message for you ma’am.” Talin tossed the boy a silver as a tip. He grinned wide in appreciation, “Thank you mister!” and he dashed out, leather bag flying behind him.

Opening the message Vogh saw that it was from Deacon. “Jevicca received your message and contacted me through my thoughtstone. She wishes to meet in our usual place tonight. We will join you then.”

Talin reviewed the message too and nodded to his lady love. “We’ve got a few hours before nightfall, is there anything we should do with our time before the red-armed lady arrives?”

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Vogh
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With the tavern so busy it made for a lot of good people watching and eavesdropping in on conversations for the duo. Probably the saddest was the paladins that were decimated in the Necropolis. No one has been able to go in there and tame the wild that it is. It is one adventure the group has yet to undertake.

When the message boy came to their table with the message from Deacon, Vogh frowned. We just promised to Iltumar that we would be meet him here for tales. I guess we will have to tell him it will be a little later than we thought at first. Vogh said to Talin telepathically.

Talin’s question and the way he asked it had Vogh wondering what he had on his mind. But, as she looked into his eyes she had a good idea and it was a good idea. They hadn’t had much time for intimacy for a while now and she would really enjoy it right now. They could have some fun and then clean up for the meeting with Jevicca and the Arheons. So, after eating they headed to there room after requesting a bath be drawn for them.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin notified Iltumar that they would be a little late, which didn’t bother him as much as they thought it would. He seemed happy to get to spend any time with the duo, regardless of the time.

They enjoyed some exhausting activity, each enjoyed a refreshing bath, then cleaned themselves up and prepared for their evening meeting. After grabbing another quick bite, the duo waited in the conference room where they had met Jevicca before.

Bharash, Deacon and Julia entered shortly after and the group milled about for a moment. Tellith sent up some refreshments, including some very light wine, cheeses, meats and a few different sweet treats. The trio thankfully had not seen any excitement, but neither had they left the Griffon since returning. All had been enjoying the down time and relaxation.

Prompt as always, Jevicca entered the room without knocking and held a hand to silence everyone before placing the small magic item on the table and going through all her typical motions to secure the room against eavesdropping, both mundane and magical.

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
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“Greetings. It seems you all have been busy indeed. Before I share, why don’t you all fill me in on recent events.”

Atypically, the red-armed wizardess filled a glass of the nearly clear wine for herself and put several different cheeses on a plate before taking a seat. Normally the powerful woman would stand during their entire conversations then leave briskly.

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Vogh
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Before they began Vogh looked to Deacon as they discussed. Deacon would tell Vogh if the person they were about to meet was indeed Jevicca, one could not be too careful these days. When he gave her a slight nod after Jevicca had arrived, Vogh smiled.

Vogh began since she was the one that had requested the visit between them. Vogh bowed to Jevicca and said, Greetings to you. Tellith was gracious enough to bring up some refreshments and bits to eat. So, I will get right to it. We have traveled to The Quaan. It is a drab plane, though I think it might have promise if it were cleaned up somehow. We defeated the elder beholder there and a few minions but we completed the Staff of Shards. Vogh had motioned to Deacon who held the powerful staff even now.

At the behest of the Yaeshla, the sentient being within the staff, we together worked out a plan to be rid of the key. Vogh then went about telling how they had done that. She then continued, So Geristranamos, with the help of Deacon, completed the last warding generator. Deacon then repaired the walls which were destroyed. By doing this the power of the generator would work. We then teleported out of there just before Geristranamos turned on the generator forever more. We then tried to contact Saggarintys but were unable to because it couldn’t penetrate the power of the now sealed Banewarrens.

Vogh let that all sink in and waited for Jevicca to talk before she would talk about what happened today.

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
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The normally stoic and unemotional woman couldn’t help but keep her brows raised through the entire litany of accomplishments completed by the powerful group. She raised the half empty wine glass in salute.

“Indeed you HAVE been busy.”

Jevicca took a drink, for pause effect, then continued looking over the glass and focusing on Deacon.

“I also heard you an artifact called the Sword of Lies, and turned it over to the church. Is that correct?”

In Deacon’s mind he alone heard Jevicca’s voice, “Certainly you know of the Days of Blood when the Church declared all arcane magic evil and it’s practitioners heretics to be killed on sight. Did you know that very sword was used to murder dozens of wizards?”

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Vogh
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Yes, we did give them the blade. It was the item that they requested us to find and return to them. Vogh said to Jevicca. Should we not have done that? Vogh asked while there was silence.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon heard the woman in his head as easily as he heard Vogh speak to him. ‘Hearing’ was something that he had lost oh so long ago. But he had adapted and overcome his disease and now could be seen as ‘normal’ to most people.

I hadn’t known about the blade before this. Nor was I told about what it meant to the church. Though I am sorry that we gave it to them, I am not sure what we could have done with the Paladin Kalerecent with us. He would have told them we recovered it and then not given it to them. Anyways, I am sorry and let us hope that it won’t be used again the way it was in the past.

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
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“I would have preferred such a powerful, and dangerous, artifact not be returned to the hands of those who used it to devastating, and murderous, effect… But what’s done is done. May the gods if magic watch over and protect those of us who the church chose to persecute not long enough ago.” Her words dripped with sarcasm and were weighted heavily with a guilt trip.

“Instead! A party! I’ve heard the church is throwing a brobdingnagian celebration for the recovery of the sword, and this group is my guests of honor. Congratulations.” The group, Deacon especially, felt like rather a nasty monster had just inspected their internal organs with dull surgical instruments.

“On to happier topics. It’s unfortunate the Pyramid cannot throw a party to honor your accomplishments in the Banewarrens but you have our agreed upon compensation from us, and additionally we would like to sweeten the pot by doubling that amount. We feel it’s only fair considering the world altering service you provided Ptolus, that no one will ever know about.”

She drained her glass and refilled it. No one spoke because it seemed she had more to say and indeed she continued.

“It’s too bad about losing contact with the Great Silver. His knowledge would have been a boom to all were he able to share the secrets of Danar”s construction and magic. At least the dangerous place is sealed, and hopefully forever. Now, about this Yaeshla, the pact Lord’s and this Quaan plane. Did you learn of Maeritha Moonrise, the elven wizardess who originally created the plane? Furthermore, our research has uncovered that these Pact Monsters also have a stronghold on this plane. Right beneath our feet here in Ptolus. Have you all ventured much in the labyrinth? There is a massive area called the Eternity Cave which houses a body of water named Umbral Lake.

At the center of that lake is an island called Tridam. Within a cavern on the peak of a huge stalagmite on the island is the entrance to a stronghold created and controlled by these so called pact lords. The entrance is guarded by a pair of very large iron golems with massive iron wings. Thus the Pyramid has not sent anyone to inspect further, and the interior is protected against scrying. In addition, the waters of the lake are also home to a brood of aboleths, and other unsavory creatures. There might be no need to act on this information, but at least you have it.

Maeritha Moonrise was a hero, and a treasure. It’s a shame that her legacy creation of her own plane has been polluted by these thugs. I would enjoy hearing that you all cleaned it out someday.

Finally, Yaeshla, the staff created to defeat the Dread One. May I speak with her?”

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Narrator
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Jevicca frowned heavily during her conversation with Yaeshla, when she realized that the sentient item had virtually no knowledge of her creator, the time before she was used to destroy the Dread One, and that most of her knowledge of the Pactlords was now useless as the group had slain nearly everyone of the monsters, and the human Heth, she had known. The powerful woman was still polite through her limited questioning and was truly glad the group had not used Yaeshla to destroy the hand.

“You’ve found good hands to be held by Yaeshla. May you serve the world positively, as your creator intended, once more.”

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Vogh
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When Vogh had heard about what the blade had done to arcane users she was agast. She didn’t check into the knowledge about the blade and should have before giving it over. Vogh felt terrible about it and could only give a ‘sorry’ for what had happened. Vogh did say, We can hope that the blade only holds significance as an object instead of an instrument to the church going forward.

When Jevicca told them that the Inverted Pyramid would double their reward, Vogh smiled wide and looked to the others. Thank you for that. We have been going nonstop to seal the banewarrens and we can only hope that we will have a break. Vogh too was disappointed about Saggarintys and Geristranomos. The metal man acted more human than a lot of people she knew.

When Jevicca had commented about Maeritha Moonrise the maker of the plane, Vogh, unfortunately, hadn’t learned much about her yet. But Vogh was hoping for time. Then Jevicca gave the information about more of the PactLords here on the Material Plane. They had a stronghold below the city even. This would be something that they would have to check out at some point, for this group needed to be destroyed.

Finally, when Jevicca asked to speak with Yaeshla alone, Vogh looked to Deacon, who simply handed the staff over.

When it seemed like they were done, Vogh spoke of what had happened today. I would like to talk to you about another matter. Today, Talin and I were out shopping near The Mane and while I was in a shop Talin was ambushed by Sorn Sorcerers. We managed to kill two of the four that attacked him but the other two got away. I am not sure if you have heard, but there is a bounty on our heads for breaking into the Vladaam Vault to get the key. Anyways, I am sure you have also heard that they are working with Killraven as well. How is such an organization still able to operate when they directly challenge the Inverted Pyramid and other seedy guilds out there? It wasn’t an accusation and wasn’t put to Jevicca that way.

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
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Jevicca was visibly shocked at the lack of knowledge from Deacon, then especially the Bards. “Truly, you know nothing of the Days of Blood? Well, it would seem the church has done a better job whitewashing history than I suspected. In 560 IA the Emperor at the time issued the Edict of Deviltry. The Edict made arcane spell casting illegal, and worse, it gave the Church the power to punish, incarcerate, and even execute someone for violating Church doctrine.” Upon speaking the final word, she practically spit it out of her mouth in contempt.

“During the First and Second Inquisitions, the Church wielded supreme power in the Empire, both in the spiritual realm and the secular. Today that period of inquisition is called the Days of Blood. Most in the Church say they look upon the time with shame and regret, but I’m not so certain. In 609 the Second Inquisition ended, and in 641 the Edict of Deviltry was overturned. The sword you recovered was used through both inquisitions. Thankfully the Empire and the Church have been mostly separated, but if Emperor Rehoboth has his way, he would like to bring the church fully under his power again as it once was with the Emperors ruling over both the secular and church. But I don’t want to devolve into politics and bore you.”


Jevicca’s eyes, and arm, flared with intensity at the mention of the Sorn.

“They attacked you? You killed two of them? That’s good. Very good. But, if you ever have the opportunity to catch one alive, we will pay you handsomely to turn a Sorn member over for questioning.” Almost as an afterthought she added, “I’m glad you two survived the encounter. They are known to be dangerous.”

She leaned back, having sat up straight when Vogh first brought up this new organisation, settling into her chair once more. Jevicca continued, “Indeed I had heard a rumor about a Kath breaking into House Vladaam’s vault and stole several things of value. Knowing the ancient house’s reputation for evil, I don’t give such rumors much weight.” There was just a hint of a smile at the edge of the woman’s mouth as she finished her statement. Of course Jevicca knew the people in this room had stolen the Banewarrens “key” from that very vault and had even turned it over to her organization until that was met with disaster even.

“The Vladaam’s are dangerous, so do be careful. Even if they have it wrong in thinking someone robbed them, an innocent person could still be killed. They do have deep pockets, and many dark connections. I have also heard of this Killraven group which the Sorn are associated. To answer your question about how they are able to continue to exist, they are impossibly well funded, and we have not been able to figure out how. This league of Killraven goons came out of nowhere and immediately began upsetting the criminal status quo. The Sorn are either tightly associated with them, or just another name for the same group, and they have been very active in assassinations, espionage, and more since their arrival. The Vai, an evil group of killers, are world renowned for their abilities, and still the Sorn exist. The group seems to be exclusively focused on arcane users, and one way they have evaded elimination is also that they don’t seem to have a traditional hierarchy like other groups. Each cell of Sorn members that is attacked and eliminated seems to know little to nothing about any other cell. This prevents the ‘head of the snake’ from being cut off, if you will. Then no one even knows who this Killraven is. Some have used the name Kevris, but apparently this ‘leader’ is yet another Ptolus outsider that few have ever met, let alone seen. So he, or she, remains an enigma. You know of the Balacazars, and they too are at odds with this new criminal element. Yet even their deep pockets and seedy connections have not rooted out and destroyed the newcomers. For our part, we are watching and learning from a distance, and we have agents always working for us. At some point, someone will make a mistake and they will pay for their crimes.”

Everyone could see through the thin veil of “righteous anger” in the woman to see that there was also a rival jealously that another magic using organization was opposing the Pyramid.

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Vogh
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Vogh rather enjoyed the history lesson, knowledge is power and she craved knowledge. Vogh leaned in as she listened to all the Jevicca had to say, nodding and giving hmmm’s. All that is very interesting about the sword and for what it is worth, I am sorry we gave the church the sword. What would you have done with it if you had been given it? Vogh asked after all was said about the sword.

Vogh knew she had hit a sore spot in Jevicca when she saw the reaction Jevicca had after explaining what had happened today. Vogh then listened to all that Jevicca knew about the Sorn. It sounded like this Sorn group had dug in and won’t let go of the hold they have. Assassins will always be needed as long as people want others killed, like her friends. Vogh’s mind was whirling as doors were being closed before her eyes. This would be something that they would have to weather, Vogh thought to herself.

I think we need to keep a low profile moving forward, at least for a while. If you have a way to be disguised you should probably do it. Talin and I are able to and we know Belie can. So, you all need to either purchase a hat like this or find another method. Or, we all hang out together always. I am pretty sure that a large group such as ourselves would not be targeted to easily. Speaking of which, I would really like it if you all move your residence to The Ghostly Minstrel. I would just feel more comfortable.

Vogh stopped then as she was getting to deep in conversation and Jevicca was still there. Vogh didn’t want to waste her time so asked, Jevicca, is there anything else that we need to go over?

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
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Jevicca shook her head and stood, again draining her glass, either her second or third, they weren’t sure. “You’ve discovered the reason why so many of the city’s elite and powerful travel magically, or by protected carriages. It seems you have entered the realm of fame, and danger.”

Before deactivating the magic orb sitting on the table she added one more item, “Oh, as I’m sure you’re aware, there have been a few arcane casters who have gone missing in the past several months. One or two could be coincidence, but we’ve passed those numbers. If you gain any useful information, the Pyramid would gladly pay.”

Before leaving, she contacted Deacon once more mentally through the thoughtstone, Remember, you are welcome in the great Pyramid at any time. Contact me and I can guide you for your first time.

After finishing, she collected her magic item and cast a spell to disappear from their midst. Vogh could sense that the woman was indeed gone, and not merely invisible.

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Deacon Havenhold
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ooc: Have I heard about missing arcane users? I don’t remember… sorry.

When Jevicca left Deacon said, I think it is reasonable for us to move to The Minstrel. If we want to go anywhere we can use the carriage as suggested or we can teleport. Perhaps as you said Vogh, we should all try and stick together from now on. The Archeons have talked about this already on a couple of occasions and it would be wise, even more so now with more people trying to kill us. We should also talk to Belie about it and gauge his interest, though he seems to be able to move about the city undetected most the time it seems. We will talk to Tellith when we are done here.

With no other business to conduct, the group headed downstairs. Vogh had said they were to meet up with Iltumar and have dinner and that they could join if they wanted so Deacon, Bharash, and Julia went down with them.

As they came down the stairs they could see that the place was packed and rightfully so as it was peak dinner time. It was good that Vogh had reserved a table in the back though for all of them. Going through the crowd they saw a very strange group that was seated together talking and being boisterous. The diverse races of them all had them standing out big time. There was a grey-skinned half-orc whom carried a rather large bow. A grey-green scaled Saurian that looked a bit regal and wore a holy symbol of Gaen. It only got stranger from there though as another was a goblin? Deacon wondered if he was related to the group that Vogh and Talin had been helping. The green goblin was a little taller than most and seemed to clean up pretty well. It too had a bow at the table. The next one was a female ratfolk. There were probably only a couple of ratkin in the city that was actually able to take part in society and obviously this was one of them. Deacon could tell by the many varying symbols on her that perhaps she was a witch. The last one was a green-skinned goblin looking creature, though clearly not. This one was dressed all in black and Deacon could swear he saw more than a few blades on him marking him as some kind of rogue. Deacon caught him looking all over the place as well, either looking for marks or trouble in general.

As they finally reached their table they saw Iltumar already sitting and waiting for them. He had apparently gotten too anxious to wait for them to call on him and had come over. He was sitting there with an ale in hand and watching a pair of females that were singing up on stage. The females were quite beautiful and Deacon could only think of what was going through the young man’s mind. Deacon waved to Iltumar as they approached and Iltumar got up and made room for them all.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
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Iltumar was all too happy to see the bards, and Bharash especially. “Hello! Come! Sit! Sit!” The young man stood and gestured with one hand while holding his ale in the other. Everyone noticed he had his sword and belt strapped around his waist. Iltumar was also dressed rather nicely in a stylish pair of knee high boots, fitting pants, and a loose, white button up shirt which was left open revealing part of his muscled – but mostly hairless – chest.

As everyone was sitting down the young man took his seat as well. “I didn’t know everyone would be joining us. This is great! Bharash, it’s good to see you again!” He took a long drink of the frothy liquid as the group settled in before launching into his typical question.

“So… what have you all been doing? Miss Vogh, you and Master Talin have kept me on pins and needles! You’ve got to tell me something that you all have been doing.”

[Private to GM: Have Bharash/Deacon notice the ring on Iltumar’s finger matches a symbol he saw in the book at Ptyhoness house]

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Vogh
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Bharash always liked the kid Iltumar, he was so eager and happy to see Bharash all the time like they were buddies. Bharash patted the young man on the shoulder as he sat next to him and said in his deep voice, where is my ale?

When the waitress came over they all ordered drinks and some food. While they waited for the food Vogh went ahead and told Iltumar about their latest adventure. You remember the armor we brought in right? Well, they were worn by 2 trolls and a bunch of ogres. We traveled to this one place to find a piece to that staff there, Vogh didn’t want to say plane cause she didn’t want to have to explain it all to him right now. We figured it had to be in this Black Manor we found. As we entered a Behir, which is a blue scaled multi-legged monster, attacked us as it blew lightning at us. Talin and Bharash charged to attack it while the rest of us moved in more cautiously. The three battled for a few tense moments with the Behir backing up as it went. The bigger beast had a greater reach which aided its fight. Just when we thought it was going to drop it bit Talin and then swallowed him whole. The sound Talin made as he was swallowed down frightened all of us. Just as we were all to join in the fight the two rather large trolls along with six ogres charged us from two doors we had passed in the hall. Thankfully to some very careful spell use prior to entering, Deacon pretty much saved us all. His spell to make our skin like a stone was a difference-maker along with him summoning earth elementals to meet the line of ogres.

Vogh paused for any questions and affect before continuing on. Bharash then stabbed the Behir killing it finally and then cut its belly open to pull Talin out. Thankfully, Talin was still alive, having only been inside the belly of the beast for a few seconds. Talin though was ready to fight and when he saw Vogh basically surrounded by the enemy charged one of the trolls. Swinging SolarSong with all his might he sliced the troll apart.

The food came at this time and so Vogh paused for a bit till she was away again. The ogres and trolls had already eliminated the earth elementals which left a whole in the formation which the ogres charged through to once again reach Deacon and Julia. I had managed to cut down a few of the ogres along with the help of some nifty bladework from Belie. When Vogh said his name, Vogh looked about to see if he might be hiding in disguise and when no one came forward right away she continued. Just when we thought we had things under control two more monstrous creatures appeared through a wall and a door. One was a spider being called an Aranea and the other was a snake-like being called a Yuan-ti. They each cast spells, one at Bharash, who thankfully shrugged off the effect. <Purple>With our combined powers we killed the trolls and ogres and were about to get the last two but they ran like cowards. We tried to chase them but were unable to find them. With the manor basically cleared we found the piece we needed and returned home once more.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
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Iltumar’s jaw hung open most of the time Vogh was talking. The young man listened, in awe, at the tale she wove for him of their latest exploits.

“Eaten?!” He gasped at the point when she was talking about Talin and the Behir.

When she finished he blew out his breath and leaned back in his chair, having been sitting forward on the edge through her entire telling.

“That is so Spire. By all the gods, that is amazing. I wish I could have been there to see it.”

The young man took a big draw of his ale and set it back down, wiping the froth from his lip with the back of his hand.

“Killing ratmen is nothing compared to that.” He shook his head, still in shock at the unimaginable exploits Vogh had just described.

“Man, my friends in the brotherhood will be blown away to hear about this. You all have the best stories to tell, or maybe you just tell them the best. Most of the people who come into the shop are fighting ratmen, or just wandering around down in the dungeons. Occasionally someone will fight some monster, but by the Spire no one has told me about such amazing adventures as you all have. It’s a wonder you’re all still alive. Man. I so hope to see you all in action one day.”

It was obvious the young man was completely in shocked wonder at the moment, then, like he got a shock in his pants Iltumar’s head shot up and he got excited all over again.

“I’ve been training you know!” He looked at Bharash, and Vogh and Talin. “My friends and I have been sparring almost every night after work. Your training has made me almost better than all of them Miss Vogh. Master Talin, I used the parry thrust you taught me the other day and got the better of them in three different bouts. If I keep training, maybe I can help you with more than just stinky rat men.”

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Bharash
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Bharash had enjoyed the story retold by Vogh as well. Living it is one thing but when a talented bard tells a tale they make it sound so much better. At one point when Iltumar was watching, Bharash had noticed the ring on his hand and pointed it out to Deacon who also had seen the symbol before. Bharash held his tongue about it until Vogh was done though as he didn’t want to interrupt.

When Iltumar spoke after and was talking about his training and something about a brotherhood, Bharash spoke up. I am not surprised that you have been beating them. Training with Vogh is something special to say the least as I have witnessed her skill with those purple blades many times on end. I must ask you a question though, what is with the ring? Deacon and I have seen something like that symbol before. Do you know what it means?

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
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“Truly. She’s brilliant.” Iltumar blushed a bit, stealing a glance at Vogh then glad to respond about his ring. He smiled big, proud of the ring as he showed it.

“Indeed! It was a gift from my friends in the brotherhood. We all wear these rings to show our friendship and bond. You’ve met others of the brotherhood?”

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Narrator
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Funny timing, with the discussion of symbols, Deacon noticed an elf bedecked in red robes trimmed in gold and carrying a staff that had a magical blue flame dancing stop it’s length. He was clearly an arcane user, but Deacon also saw the rotating triangle that floated above his head, which marked him a fellow member of the Inverted Pyramid. Only Deacon could see this symbol, as he himself possessed one. Just as Deacon noticed the fellow wizard, so to did the elf notice the matching symbol above Deacon’s head which he acknowledged by meeting Deacon’s eyes and nodding his way before proceeding to the opposite side of the Minstrel.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Having noticed the elf walk in with the staff and robes, Deacon too noticed the triangle above his head. Deacon wanted to telepathically speak with him but decided against it for now. Instead, he turned back to Iltumar who had spoken of a brotherhood and asked, Iltumar what do you know of the symbol, and what do you know of the brotherhood? We have some information that I would like to share with you once I hear what all you know.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
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“What do you mean? It’s just a ring that shows I’m part of the Brotherhood of Ptolus. We’re just a group of young people looking out for one another, and trying to make our city a better place.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon nodded and smiled as Iltumar said what he did. Deacon honestly wasn’t surprised by what he said though for he was a naive young man. We found the same design of your ring in a cultist book in the Pythoness house a few days ago. I would like to talk to whoever is the leader of your young group. There is more information to be had here. If you all are doing good then it wouldn’t be a bad thing for our group to meet up with them.

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Iltumar Shon (NPC)
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“Cult book? What are you talking about?” He looked over at Bharash, Vogh and Talin for support against the wizard, but only found sympathy in their eyes. “I don’t understand. The Brotherhood is not a cult. We are just a group of friends. Jamill and Anikka are my friends. I met Skairris once. But I wouldn’t call him a leader. He’s just a physicker who tends the sick in Midtown.”

When the group asked more about the man Iltumar offered all he seemed to know. “He’s an older guy, tall, but not as tall as Bharash. Kind of heavyset. He’s not old enough to have gray in his hair or beard though. Jamill didn’t even say Skairris is a leader or anything, I just kind of felt like he was an older, smart man who helped out, but I only met him the once.”

“His surname? Noll I thing. I remember it sounded like Gnoll, which I remember the blue ones that were rumored about the city for a while and it made me think of that.”

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Vogh
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Vogh interjected in the conversation now since she had kind of taken Iltumar under her tutelage. We are only making sure that you are okay. I trust your judgment and hope you make smart choices. If you do find yourself in trouble you know you can trust us, Iltumar. Let’s change the subject Vogh said into the minds of her companions.

Now let’s get some more ale over here and enjoy the music. Vogh said as she waved the waitress over. Vogh thought then that Iltumar may need to be tailed. Vogh decided to get in touch with Belie tomorrow on the subject.

I will be putting in orders for items this evening before going to bed btw.
Vogh: Helm of Alacrity: Insight bonus to AC +1 cost 4k
Vogh: Amulet of Natural Armor +2, upgrade of her +1 cost 8k
Talin: Celestial Plate Armor, sell Talin’s armor for 75% of 8k=6k, 25k-6k=19k for armor.
Talin: Helm of Alacrity: Insight bonus to AC +1 cost 4k
Talin: Ring of Protection +2, upgrade of his +1 cost 8k
Total of 43k.

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Bharash
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Bharash wanted some more ale as well as he was thirsty and it had been a while since he had been drunk.

I just wanted to get a post in for items for the night for The Archeons.
Bharash: Gloves of Dueling cost 15k
Bharash: Str item from 2 to 4 12k change
Deacon: Metamagic rod of extend cost 11k
Deacon: Int item from 2 to 4 12k change
Julia: Cha item from 2 to 4 12k change
Julia: Amulet of Natural armor +2 8k cost
Total: 70k

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Vogh
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As the night dwindled down and more and more people left the group decided it was time to go to their rooms. Bharash had gotten a large suite for them that was just down the hall from Vogh and Talin’s room. Vogh was quite happy about having them in the Minstrel with them now. The next day they would go gather whatever stuff they had at The Griffon and return.

Vogh also wrote a message to Belie telling him to come to the Minstrel because she would like to talk about following the counter boy from the Bear and Bull that she had been training with. After that, she and Talin went to bed.

During the night Vogh had been visited once more by the apparition from the Dreaming Apothecary. It asked what she wanted and Vogh went through the items that she and Talin wanted. She described to it that she wanted to have an item she had heard about spoken in The Minstrel over dinner. It was a helm of alacrity the man had said. Vogh asked if she could add the properties of a hat of disguise to it and that she could give the hats to use for the crafting. She told it about the celestial plate armor for Talin as well. After telling all they wanted the apparition faded away once more.

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Belie
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The rogue saw a messenger come into the Welcome Inn and hand a letter he said was for a “Belie” over to Valene Schuk, wife of Markus, the Inn’s owners. Belie was in disguise, as the young man typically was. He had been enjoying relaxation, a bit of reading, and doing some research with his halfling friend Jamir about their possible gold mine endeavor. Looking over his book he inspected the young man up and down, then he approached the bar under the auspices of refilling his cup. Valene, accustomed to the young man’s disguises, slipped him the sealed parchment discretely.

Belie and Jamir had bought out the Schuk’s debt from a criminal Korben Trollone, who used a front called Edarth’s Loans, to take advantage of honest people. Korben had to be “coerced” into the action and Belie had not let his guard down since. He used his magical hat of disguise, often layered with mundane disguises, plus his glamoured armor and weapon to constantly change his appearance and protect his identity when moving about the city.

Vogh had been jumped once already in what the friends were all but certain was not a coincidence. Belie didn’t even know about the attack on Talin and her just the day before, but it would not surprise him and he wouldn’t verbally chastise them for walking about as themselves, they would see it in his eyes.

Sitting at the table once more, book propped up to disguise him opening the letter the rogue read Vogh’s flowing script talking about following the young man who they did all their armor dealings with. She didn’t explain much, so he figured to go meet at the Minstrel to learn more. Upending his cup, he drained the very mild ale, then he put the note inside his cup and used a small strike of steel against flint to burn it.

Most everyone in the Welcome Inn’s common room was a wagoner or out of town traveler, since the establishment was so close to the South Gate. Lesser used than the Market Gate, typically only frequent travelers used the South entrance. And the Welcome Inn was perfectly located to serve those folks. Few, if any, “delvers” visited, which is exactly the way Belie liked it. Most of the people who entered wore no armor and typically carried nothing more than a dagger. Armed and armored toughs stood out like a sore thumb in the calm Inn. Few paid any attention to his actions, and fewer still even glanced the elderly human’s way as he walked with a pronounced limp out into the fair Ptolus morning. None of them knew the cane he leaned against concealed a sword, nor that magically hidden on his left hip was a beautiful, magical rapier that was worth more gold than all of them combined could afford.

Fake limping up Emperor’s Road for only a short time, the older man hailed a small, enclosed, carriage and asked to be taken to Sallin’s Bakery. The bakery sat just north of the overly populated Delver’s Square, and the rogue would never be delivered directly to his intended destination. He paid the driver outside the bakery, which filled the air with the sweet smell of baking bread and sugary pastries. Holding to the older man disguise, Belie entered, ordered a simple slice of pumpkin bread and pulled out a broadsheet. Behind the held up paper, the elderly man’s face grew younger, his beard losing all its gray, and transforming into a dark and trim vandyke. Black hair lengthened into a tied ponytail, and the cane into a very stylish onyx black statement piece that matched the rest of his debonair attire.

A young man left the bakery with a strutting walk, tapping his unnecessary cane against the stone as he made his way through back streets and finally around into the Ghostly Minstrel. He asked after Vogh and told the pretty red-head to let the noble bard know her ‘roguishly handsome’ friend had come calling.

Belie is ordering the Cloak of Daggers, 18,000gp from the I.P. upon getting word from Vogh about the doubling benefit. He will pay the extra 8k from his savings.

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Vogh
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Morning of the 13th day of Growth

Morning came and Vogh and Talin were wakened by a knock on their door. It was Belie who had been directed to come up to there room by Tellith. Vogh ushered Belie inside and began to tell him of what they had found out about Iltumar. So, I would like for him to be followed. I think only in the evenings would is suitable since he works most days anyways. We all think he is getting himself into something to do with the Chaos Cultists. Vogh went on to describe all that she had learned from The Archeons and the book she too read.

Your work has been such a great boon to us. Your ability to blend in with the public gives you the ability to do these scouting missions and we thank you. We just got up. Would you like to join us for breakfast, in some disguise of course?

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Belie
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Vogh knew it to be Belie before she opened the door, having used her telepathy to touch his consciousness through the barrier. She wasn’t surprised at all to not recognize the man standing before her. Belie strutted into the room where he made sure the shades were drawn before relaxing and dropping his disguise. The vandyke faded away, the cane lost its onyx shine, Belie’s facial features returned as his clothing, armor, weapons and magical backpack all became visible as they actually were.

“These cults. Nasty business. Sure, I’ll follow him for you. How far away can your little mind trick work? Could I mentally alert you of any trouble?”

Vogh explained that the limit of her telepathy was a hundred feet, Belie nodded in understanding.

“Ok. Watch and report back. I can do that. But, listen, I’ve learned a few things which you all need to be made aware.”

Belie took the liberty of going over to the glass stoppered bottle of brandy Talin kept in their room, but seldom touched, and poured himself a small amount of the deep brown liquid before taking a seat in one of the room’s two easy chairs.

“Knowledge is power, like you always say Vogh. I’ve been working to build up a small group of informants here in the city to give us eyes and ears beyond our own. Jamir has helped a great deal, as halflings tend to trust their own over “big ones” as they often call us. We have especially kept our ears open for any news about Korben Trollone, the man who we – rather forcefully – bought the Schuk’s debt from. Apparently Korben is allied with some new criminal group people call the Killraven Crime League. I guess it’s really well known Korben likes strange animals. Lots of people call him the “beast master” because of the menagerie of weird animals he keeps. Regardless, Killraven and Vladaam apparently didn’t like each other, but it seems now they are working together… against us… I haven’t figured out yet why these Killravens even care about us, beyond that Korben isn’t happy with Jamir and me, but we’ve got to be careful.”

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Vogh
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Vogh listened to what Belie had to say about this Korban guy. She knew the name because he had told her about him before. The new information about him and the Killraven thing was disturbing though.

Thank you for that information, Belie. We all have decided to live here at the Minstrel till our house is built. Looks like we might need to add some extra security measures when it is finished as well.

Vogh was almost going to ask to go downstairs then but she had forgot to tell him what happened yesterday. Oh I almost forgot to tell you. Talin was attacked out near the main in broad daylight. I managed to kill two of the four attackers and found out the were Sorn Assassins. We talked with Jecicca a little about them as well. Seems the Inverted pyramid are having issues with them as well.

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Belie
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“Sorn?” Belie shook his head and blew out a breath as he leaned back in his chair. “I’ll ask around and see what I can learn about them. You see why I never walk about unless I’m disguised?” There was more than a little ‘I told you so’ in his tone, but Vogh and Talin both knew the rogue was just worried about their well being. “I would hate for anything to happen to you guys.”

He got up and refilled his cup just a little. Belie was never one to dull his senses with any substance. Too much depended on keeping his whits about him. Too many people died drunk and unaware.

Vogh took that time to also tell him about Jevicca’s doubling their payment, and that the Church was going to honor them for the Sword of Truth’s recovery. Belie pursed his lips into a shocked and appreciative expression but his eyebrows climbed at the mention of the party.

“Oh gods. That sounds dangerous. I love having all the people around and commotion of a party because it makes changing disguises much easier. Plus, drunk people have much looser lips. But it also opens up a date and time location we are guaranteed to be somewhere. That’s the kind of predictability that can get one killed.” Belie frowned fully then and took a sip.

“In other news. My friends have not been idle in preparing for us to begin working with the golden gnomes.” Grinning at his own double meaning the rogue smiled behind his glass and continued.

“I will be building traps. We are commissioning some doors which Jamir and I will modify. Plus Jamir will be adding some of his own magic. This should become very lucrative. However, we will need a front business to funnel these funds. I don’t want anyone knowing that we literally own a gold mine… Would you mind asking Deacon if there is some magical transport system we could put in place? Maybe we could move the gold through your new business? Maybe we need to hire a smelter and mint our own imperial coins? I haven’t gotten it all figured out. I’ve never stayed in one place for so long, buy the opportunities in this place are simply too good to ignore.”

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Vogh
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Vogh, of course, hadn’t thought about the party in that aspect. She wondered who all would be invited and also what the story would be of where the sword was recovered from. She would have to go see Brother Fabitor about this to see if he could get some information. There was always so much going on in Vogh’s head that at times she couldn’t sort it out which is why she had surrounded herself with some pretty intelligent people, like Belie and Deacon. She appreciated Belie’s reminder about using a disguise to travel the city. VOgh and Talin had done it before and as she had suggested earlier, they should probably do again.

Vogh smiled as Belie said ‘The Golden Gnomes’. It was a fitting title for the gnomes that they had helped rescue from under the hand of that nasty Rakshasa. Did you give them that title Belie? I like it! You should ask them if they like it if you haven’t already. As for funneling the gold through our establishment. That sounds like a good idea. We will just have to sort out the particulars. (Not sure how taxes and stuff are handled in the city. Does it describe anything about it in any of the books? Would it be considered Money-laundering? I personally don’t think so because we are attaining it legally.) I am hoping that we can get our place built within the next few weeks. We are just waiting on the supplies now.

Vogh thought about the transport of gold and also the smelter. Minting new coins probably wouldn’t be a good idea unless we can speak to the right government official about it and was granted permission. Could we perhaps give the city a cut of the profit for the ability to mint it? Vogh didn’t know this information but could find out. I am sure Deacon has something he could think of to magically transport the gold though. I will get with him about it in the next days. When do you think they will be ready to move the gold?

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Belie
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Belie shrugged and smiled when asked about the name. “It’s an apt description. I hadn’t thought about ‘naming’ them anything.” He chuckled. “As for their timetable on the gold, they have a little we could move soon, but I want to make sure our tracks are completely covered. Let me know what Deacon says before we try to move the stuff with mundane means.”

The rogue stood, finished off the glass and nodded to the duo. “Glad you keep the good stuff in your room there Talin.” He winked to the bard and chuckled. “I’ll tail your little fellow for a bit and see what I can dig up. Jamir has introduced me to some very adept halflings, plus, a young boy actually gave us some guidance when we first came to the city. Him and his friends are almost completely ignored by those around them. I don’t have to tell you how good of a spy that can make someone. As long as we can do it safely, we’re going to keep working with these kids to help us gain eyes and ears in the city.”

Belie was rather proud of himself. He and Jamir had traveled quite a bit together, and before that the young man had never settled in one town for longer than a few nights. Those friends were long gone. Many were dead, and the rest retired after gaining substantial wealth and losing their taste for adventure.

He had been nearing that same point himself, before encountering Vogh and Talin. With the deal he and Jamir made with the Schuk’s at the Welcome Inn, both of them had considered making that part of their retirement plan. Jamir’s feelings on that were what drove Belie to ask the bards for help in the first place. The halfling had already grown to love the Welcome Inn’s comforts and had refused Belie’s request to go back and save the gnomes. Thankfully the two friends had made up, but that situation also showed Belie his true feelings. He wasn’t ready to retire…

These new friends he had found were powerful, incredibly adept individuals who shared his taste for excitement, while also possessing the propensity for good which Belie required to spend time in anyone’s company. Maybe one day they would even learn his real name.

“I’ll see you first.” The rogue winked at both bards as he left. The duo saw him grab a pile of dishes from in front of one room on their hallway and transform into a young woman in an apron, with her golden hair tied back in a blue ribbon. Yet another of his disguises. The bards had to chuckle as Talin closed the door.

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Talin
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It was a bit early for Talin to have some of the good stuff, but it was good stuff, and Belie would not be denied. Talin poured them both a glass as they chatted.

Thank you again for watching Iltumar. We just want to make sure he is headed on the right path. I am sure you can understand that.

When Belie left, Talin andVogh watched him go. The transition that Belie made from one form to the next was remarkable. He made it so seamless. Talin said to Vogh, We really need to work on that. He went to check for his hat but couldn’t find it in his pack. That is when Vogh said, I had to give up our hats for the Helms we requested. They needed them for the crafting of the helm.

Oh, well guess we will have to wait on that then. Shall we go grab the others and have some breakfast? I am hungry and need to get something in my stomach for that alcohol to absorb. As Vogh agreed, they got dressed and went to get the others and then down to the tavern. It was busy but there was always a table for them as they were guests.

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Vogh
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At breakfast, Vogh “spoke” with Deacon through her telepathy about what she and Belie spoke about with the gnomes. The transport of possibly a lot of gold is what we are talking about. Is there a way that we can do this with some teleportation or something? Vogh asked.

Deacon thought about it and said, there are powerful teleportation spells called teleportation circles that are tied to a location. We could acquire two scrolls of the spell which will cost quite a bit of gold and then make them permanent it will take a LOT more. Are the gnomes willing to split the difference? If so it would easy the load quite a bit. Until then we could just use a normal teleport spell.

Once they were done eating the group had decided to go speak with Brother Fabitor about the party the church wanted to throw for them.

It wasn’t far for them to go so they traveled openly and when they got to St. Gustav’s Brother Fabitor was plenty busy. It seemed that the rise in people that were flooding into the city was also coming to St. Gustav’s as well. Julia naturally did her thing and gave out some mass healing to people inside. She then gave up some of her own gold to the church in return, for she didn’t want to take away from the church and it, of course, helped Brother Fabitor out. When they were finally able to speak to Brother Fabitor they went to the backroom as was usual.

With the pleasantries out of the way Vogh asked, We wanted to talk to you about this party the church is wanting to throw for us. Can you find out some information about it for us? Who all is involved? We are a bit worried that too many people will be there and that there might be a slipping of word about the banewarrens.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk (NPC)
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Fabitor was indeed happy to see them. Julia’s healing bursts washed over several people and the two acolytes assisting the Brother began to protest, but silenced at his upraised hand. They saw the reason when Julia handed over the gold which those healed would have paid. They went about their work on bringing more people in from outside who were standing in line previously. Several of the injured delvers, now healed, approached Julia and thanked her. She refused all payments offered and instructed them to give to the church.

Brother Fabitor wore a wide smile seeing her generosity. “You know Miss Julia, Lothian would be blessed to have you as his clergy.” He knew the woman wouldn’t accept, but that didn’t stop him chiding her as they went to his office.

Once inside his office, the cleric moved his rather bulging belly beside and behind his desk. Before taking a seat he looked at everyone and apologized, “I’m sorry, but I’ve only the two chairs and no room for more in here I’m afraid.” With that, he took his own seat and leaned forward, elbows on his desk cluttered with papers and several rolled up scrolls.

“And what brings you fine folks in today?”

He nodded along as Vogh explained and began shaking his head as she finished.

“No. No. Very, very few in the church even know the name of that place and it will not be discussed at all, ever again. No. The church will be honoring you and explaining simply that you recovered it while delving, which is not a lie. You were delving beneath the earth.”

Fabitor waved both thick hands in protest. “The party will be well protected. You think anyone would be foolish enough to make an attack inside The Holy Temple?! Some of the most powerful Lothianite Clerics will be in attendance. Not to mention a strong contingent of Order of the Dawn guards. I believe Sir Kabel Dathimol himself, leader of the order here in Ptolus, who is also one of the Commissar’s Twelve Commanders will even be in attendance! No. No. Certainly you’ll never be safer than at this celebration. Um. That said…” The brother looked them over, armed and armored head to toe. “Do remember that no weapons are allowed inside the Holy Temple, aside from those carried by Lothianites and Dawn knights. And… No offense… But best to dress in finery.”

The man raised his hands and shrugged. “Again. I mean no offense my friends. This will be a very formal affair attended by the city’s elite.”

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Vogh
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Vogh felt relief after listening to Brother Fabitor talk and tell of what they can expect. Wear our finest clothes? She thought to herself. Will Kalerecent be attending? Can we teleport inside the church? I am asking because we had another attempt on our lives. Sorn Assassins attacked Talin but thankfully we ran them off after killing two of the four. But it seems that House Vladaam is stepping up their need to take care of us for a break-in of their vault. Killraven is also involved somehow we think. So, please excuse our caution. Vogh said apologetically.

We have all decided to stay together as well. We are safer when we are together as you may very well know.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk (NPC)
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The confusion was evident on Brother Thisk’s face as Vogh asked about the groups. “I’ve never heard of these Sorn or Killraven. I’ve heard of Vai assassins before, they are supposed to be nasty. But not these Sorn. I’m very thankful you are okay! My. My. I completely understand your desire for caution. As to teleportation, I don’t believe that’s possible, BUT! I can do you one better. I will speak with my superiors and secure an honor guard to transport you in two church carriages. The party is in under a tenday. Eight days I believe, right? I will send a missive immediately to coordinate and I’ll be in touch!”

Fabitor smiled, thinking they would be very honored by the extra steps at their security, and the high esteem of receiving an escort of Knights.

[Private to GM: panegyrize]

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 17:58, Tue 28 Apr 2020.

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Belie
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At the same time Vogh and her friends were visiting Brother Fabitor across the street, a middle aged man with a little girth around his mid section exited the Ghostly Minstrel and walked next door to the Bull and Bear armor shop. He wore no armor and had only a pitted short sword on his hip. Inside the shop he milled about, looking over the offerings on display. The man kept his distance from the other patrons, not wanting anyone to bump into him.

He listened in to a pair of dwarves, each with heavy, double-bladed axes strapped to their backs which looked to be nearly as tall as the dwarves themselves. Both were examining breastplates obviously crafted for their size. He caught them mentioning how the “Brother’s Feek” were great craftsman.

Two men with a third, who had to have a bit of elven blood in him, were looking over things and asking the young man behind the counter about prices on some obviously used armor. They scowled every time the boy responded and said, “too much” or the like. “Haven’t you got anything reasonably priced? We’ve got a line on a good spot down-under and we need better protection than what we got lad.”

With pursed lips and a shake of his head the young man apologized, saying that rack was the cheapest used armor they had at the moment. “You know, sometimes there are people in the Undercity who sell their gear if they are retiring or leaving. Some folks get good deals down there.”

His offering was met with a scowl from all three. “Come on boy. You don’t own this place. Let us talk to someone in charge about getting a discount or something. We’ll have more gold if we can survive where we’re headed, but we ain’t gonna do that without good armor.”

Both his eyes flared and the young man stood straighter at the man’s words. It was then the observer noticed a rather fine blade on the boy’s hip, which he had not touched yet. Judging by the way he was standing though, he was ready. “In fact I am in charge here, sir. That armor is the cheapest we offer. If you want something for coppers then go take some off a dead delver who wore rubbish down in the dungeons…”

The three looked at themselves, anger obvious on their faces. The stranger dropped one hand to the hilt of the dingy looking sword’s hilt. The other expertly slid a dagger into his palm, still concealed but ready to be thrown. His mind rapidly evaluated each of the three. None were armored, but each carried a sword. One had a long bladed dagger on his opposite hip. That one would need to go down first, and being in the middle his falling would block one another from reaching him easily. The elf looked slight, but they were often better warriors so he would need to be the next target.

Both dwarves stamped around one rack and hollered at the men. “Oiy! What are you about?! Ya heard the man, if ya aint’ got the coin, you don’t deserve dwarven craftsmanship. Get out with ya and go earn some gold. There’s plenty of rats in the sewers what need killin’. Go make ya-selves useful.”

All three turned to regard the duo. One man spit on the floor and gave an unconvincing bark, “Come on. We don’t need to buy from this overpriced runt.” They stormed out without looking back, slamming the door behind them.

“Bah! They’ll be dead in a night.” One of the dwarves bit off, and the older man had to smile at the comment.

With the excitement over, he approached the young man. “Greetings. You really run this place huh? Impressive for a man as young as yourself. But I mean no disrespect. Do you make all this armor too?”

Iltumar shook his head, “Nah. The Brother’s Feek make, or repair, everything here. This is their shop, they just took me in when I was a boy. Neither of ’em like dealing with customers, preferring to ply their craft and be left alone.” He raised his voice a bit and leaned toward the dwarves in a jovial tone, “Dwarves aren’t the friendliest folks ya know.”

That got the reaction he expected as both dwarves chuckled and turned back toward the two humans. “You’re knowin’ it! No time for foolish humans! Bah ha!”

Iltumar smiled and shook his head. “What can I do for you? Did you find something you like?”

Belie, in disguise, shook his head and raised his hands. “Not as of yet. I don’t have the coin for armor so nice as you’ve got here. But judging by the craftsman ship, the pieces are worth every platinum. No. I’m new to the city, thinking I might find some luck in the dungeons below I’ve heard so much about. Came in with a caravan and I’m just getting my bearings.” There was enough truth to Belie’s words, and so common was the story, Iltumar’s suspicions weren’t raised at all.

“Good place for it. And if you would rather just kill ratmen, you can make a fair bit of gold that way. I’ve been down below and killed a few myself.” Iltumar puffed out his chest in pride, not mentioning being wounded, or the expert assistance he had with him at the time.

“Impressive. You’ve got a nice blade there. Much finer than my old piece of steel here.” That was an outright lie, but the rogue was in character and just rolled along as if he were the part he played. “You know how to use it then?”

“Sure do. Been trained by Miss Vogh Kath herself! If you’re ever around the Minstrel just look for the only woman carrying two purple blades.”

Belie screwed up his face in mock confusion, pretending he didn’t know anything about what Iltumar had mentioned. “Purple? She stain them to be more lady-like?”

“Nope. Not at all. They are each crystal. Magic blades of the finest craftsmanship. She’s one of the finest swords..women in the whole City, and a Noble at that. Instead of prancing around like her kin, she’s killing monsters!” Iltumar bragged on his teacher with a huge grin on his face.

“Impressive. Most impressive. Well…”

“Iltumar.”

“Well Iltumar, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. I’ll let you get back to it and see if I can earn enough to purchase some of your fabulous armor. Goodday to ya.”

The young man merely nodded in recognition and raised a hand in goodbye. “Come back any time.”

Belie exited the store, whistling as he walked, like a man without a care in the world. He looked about, pretending to merely survey the bustle of Delver’s Square then turned toward the Minstrel. But rather than entering he ducked down the alley beside and moved about behind the building directly next to the three story Inn. He made another right and came up behind the Bull and Bear.

Pulling a piece of parchment from a pocket, he produced a small satchel of tobacco and put a pinch into the paper. Rolling it into a cigarette and putting it between his teeth. With no flame nearby, he merely let the fag sit while he leaned against the back building, pretending to be relaxing. Several minutes passed with no one else entering the alley.

Finally Belie let his disguise drop and stood in the narrow walkway as himself, still watching both directions for any visitors. Satisfied he wouldn’t be disturbed, the rogue activated the magic of his boots and spider climbed up the back of the building in silence. Once atop the roof he flattened himself out, belly down, and crawled near the front of the store. He enacted the magic of his hat once more, making his cloak and clothing match the color of the roof, expertly hiding himself.

From his perch, Belie was able to see most of Delver’s Square. Only several paces in front of the shop was blocked from his view, due to him avoiding going too near the edge and being spotted. He would be able to observe the goings on, and wait for young Iltumar to leave the shop that evening.

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Vogh
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An escorted carriage would be welcomed if they weren’t allowed to use magical means of entry. Eight days away, Vogh did some numbers in her head and thought that would be perfect. They would have some of the items they ordered back from the Dreaming Apothecary and as far as she remembered, all the supplies for their new Establishment over the lair as well. We would appreciate the escort and the carriage. I certainly hope that you will be attending. Do you have any idea what they will be using the sword for? I heard that the blade went by another name before, The Sword of Lies. Do you know the history of it? Vogh asked Brother Fabitor in a non-accusatory tone.

After their conversation with Brother Fabitor, they all decided to just head back to the Minstrel. The next few days would just be relaxing, something they needed. During the time Vogh made sure that The Archeons had the proper attire for the church party and also asked them to order the hats of disguise and sleeves of many garments.

Each of them: Helm of Alacrity and Disguise and the sleeves=18k total already subtracted from total in loot thread.
Deacon- Transfer Enchantment scroll 5th level 1,125gp
Mage Armor scroll 4th level 700 gp
Permanency scroll 5th level 1,125gp
Teleportation circle scroll 9th level x2 3,825 gpx2=10,600gp total already subtracted from total in loot thread.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk (NPC)
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“Yes. Yes. Unfortunately the sword was cursed due to its use during a time of darkness. It’s always been the Sword of Truth, but the curse perverted it. Nonetheless! The curse has been lifted and the great blade will only be used for good. There is talk of a Paladin of Lothian of the highest order wielding the blade, but it’s not been decided yet.”

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Vogh
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Morning of the 14th day of Growth

They had also visited Saches a few times to get Julia a nice dress. As for the men, that was a bit harder. They made their way to the Fabric Market and had them fitted for appropriate attire. Deacon had suggested to stop in and see if he could talk to Belie about mining business that they were all going to be a part of. They went around breakfast time on the 14th day of growth, hoping to catch him there.

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Narrator
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Aven Jellel took good care of the gentlemen in the group. She wasn’t as much of a “fan girl” as Iltumar was regarding delvers, but the young-ish lady was certainly interested in them. Aven asked a great deal of questions about what all they were doing, what the fine clothes were for, and anything else the group would share with her.

As was typical, she was very interested in Bharash. “I’ve never fit one of your kind before sir. You’ve got a broad proportion here haven’t ya?” She laughed a bit as she stood atop a stool in order to measure the dragonborn’s shoulders and very broad chest.

The woman promised she would meet their 8 day deadline and to come back here on day 7 for final fitting and alterations.

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Narrator
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Vogh, Talin, Deacon, Bharash and Julia walking into the Welcome Inn caused quite a stir. Nearly everyone stopped talking and looked their way. An older woman behind the bar area, who Vogh had spoken with before, widened her eyes considerably at seeing the heavily armed and armored group step inside and look around.

Bharash couldn’t help but grin as he caught the woman look over at a nondescript looking gentleman who was subtly peering over a broadsheet at them. The dragon-warrior would have to remind Belie’s friend not to point him out so obviously in the future, in case a visitor was hostile. Bharash saw a small nod from the man back to the woman behind the bar. Then the “man” matched the rest of the patrons’ demeanor by staring at the group. Bharash noticed the older lady, Valene Schuk, relax after the man nodded and figured that was Belie’s signal to her that they were okay.

It was then she spoke up to greet them. “Welcome to the Welcome Inn. Please find a seat anywhere and we’ll be right with you.” Valene went back to the work she was doing, some kind of food preparation they couldn’t see beyond the high counter. When the group was seated, the conversation around the place started up again, but it was obvious several people were whispering about the newcomers.

Shortly after a rather attractive young lady, Illene, came out from the kitchen area and greeted them.

“Hello. May I get you all something? Sorry about the stares. We don’t get many folks like you all in here. Delvers? Is that what you are? Anyway, pay them no mind, everyone here is friendly.”

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Vogh
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Vogh had laughed quite a bit as Aven had fitted the men for their attire. Is was a sight to be seen for sure. Vogh made sure to thank her for all she would do and told her it would be well worth the work.


The day after, everyone walked into the Welcome Inn. It was a quaint little place and Vogh knew why he liked it so much. Course, the two women there probably helped him stay even more, Vogh thought to herself as the woman behind the counter looked over to a gentleman in the tavern. Vogh was quick to see the return look and nod and knew it to be Belie. The group didn’t go right over to the man but went to a table. When Ilene came over and asked for what they would like they each gave an order. Vogh then answered her question or rather her observation about their attire. No, actually we aren’t Delver’s were on a mission to catch a murderer. He is sitting in the corner over there. Vogh had nodded her head over to where she knew Belie to be. Please, don’t react, we will try and keep this civilized without bloodshed. Now fetch us them drinks and food and we will be out of your hair in short order.

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Illene Schuk
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The young woman couldn’t help but blanch at the proclamation. She turned to regard the person Vogh was speaking of, then rotated her head back with a confused expression on her face.

“That man?” Illene asked in a near whisper, leaning in toward Vogh. “Are you sure? What do you need me to do?”

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Vogh
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Vogh too leaned in and said, Yes, we are quite certain. Just go get the drinks and come back in about 15 mins. Vogh sat back in her chair and then looked over to the man. In the heads of the others she said, I am messing with Belie for a bit, play along please.

As Ilene got to the backroom door Vogh stood up and said, No one stand or you will be dealt with. We are here to serve a warrant on this gentleman here for murder! Vogh pointed to the Man that was Belie. Now, keep your hands where I can see them and stand up and move towards us. At the same time, Talin, Bharash, Deacon, and Julia stood as well hands on their weapons.

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Belie
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Belie, obviously in disguise, laid his broadsheet down on the table and looked at the group. “Well which is it? No one stand, or stand up and walk over there?”

The rogue’s eyes were darting all over the group, inspecting every detail of them to make sure it was indeed his friends before him and not some disguise or trick.

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Vogh
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AS Vogh noticed Belie looking them over, Vogh said in Belie’s head, play along, we are just having fun. It’s not often that we get to just mess around. Oh, and sorry for ruining this disguise. We will explain to the ladies after we are done. Don’t play sly with us mister, they all heard it right. Now get over here and don’t try anything for my friend will skewer you. We get the same reward either way.

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Belie
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The man cocked his head sideways as Vogh spoke into his mind. If it’s really you, then tell me the name of the place that should not be spoken…

Vogh promptly responded mentally with, Banewarrens so Belie in disguise stood slowly, and nodded their way while speaking loudly enough for the whole common room to hear.

“This is a misunderstanding or mistake, which I’m certain we can clear up with the authorities.”

He looked over to Valene and Illene in the kitchen and threw them a wink then stepped out from behind the table and walked toward the group.

Everyone made their way outside where Talin hailed a carriage large enough for all 6 of them to squeeze inside. He told the driver to just go anywhere and slid three silver pieces through the tiny window made for that purpose.

Once inside, with the curtains closed, Belie dropped his disguise, his true features showing through as the illusion magic faded and his clothing transforming into his normal garb. Even without a disguise, it appeared that the man wore no armor, as the magical, mithral chain he possessed was so fine that it fit beneath his shirt and pants.

“You are trouble there Miss Vogh. Better be careful about those stunts in the future. You never know who I’ll have in there to protect me…” The rogue flashed her a wink.

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Vogh
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Vogh smiled wide as Belie let down his disguise. I almost had you didn’t I? Sorry for the theatrics, we wanted to talk to you privately about the gnomes. Deacon here has come up with a splendid idea. Why don’t you explain it to him, Deacon? Vogh asked as she gave Deacon her full attention.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon was having fun with all of this as well. It’s not every day someone got the drop on ol’ Belie. When Vogh asked him to explain what he discovered, Deacon said, Okay so, I was talking with Jevicca yesterday and found that there is a teleportation spell called a teleportation circle that can be made permanent. It will allow people to walk through to a set location. I have already requested two of the scrolls to be able to cast it, which I can do without losing the spell. We can then cast another wherever we want, like the lair or something, and then make that one permanent as well. That way it is a two-way portal to move the gold back and forth. The thing is, is that it costs quite a bit of gold to cast the permanency spell, right around 25,000 gold. Think you can ask the gnomes if they can pay half? After all, it is to both our benefits.

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Belie
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Belie was nodding along as he listened to the wizard detail, a small smile forming at the edge of his mouth. But when Deacon mentioned the cost his eyes widened considerably and he let out a low whistle.

“By the gods that’s a lot of coin.” He made sure to keep his face toward Deacon and he spoke each of his words deliberately to make it easy for the elf to read his lips.

“It’s a great idea Deacon. But I just blew through most of my coin ordering items from the Apothecary, and also starting a little… business venture…” The rogue raised and lowered his eyebrows suggestively as he looked around the carriage to the others.

Turning back to Deacon, he finished the thought. “Could we wait a bit on the most expensive part of that? The gnomes have been working, but I don’t know how much ore they have recovered. The rakshasa we killed had spent nearly every fleck buying finery and furnishings for the lair. Until we can afford that, do you think it would be possible for you to teleport in and out to take them supplies and bring out the ore? My friend Jamir can use the teleportation spell, but only once per day.”

When the wizard nodded in agreement Belie ask about the weight Deacon could bring with him and the elf explained further. It was less than the rogue was hoping for, but it would have to work. Thankfully Deacon casting the spell didn’t cost them anything.

He turned to address the rest of the group, but made sure to keep his face toward Deacon so as not to include him.

“So, my friend Jamir and I have begun working on something which should benefit all of us.

We are launching a small business, renting this building right next to the Welcome Inn actually, called Miraj Toys. It’s actually just an anagram of Jamir’s name since he will be there most of the time and doing the work.

The main point of this venture is actually that we are starting a small information network to help us stay better apprised of everything going on in the city. Plus this will also serve as a bit of a front to help us handle the gold brought in by the gnomes. I’m not quite sure yet how we’re going to convert raw ore to currency yet, but at least we will look more legitimate if we have a business.

Jamir is going to be making little toys that have a bit of magic about them. Birds that fly. Dragons that breathe illusory fire. Horses and carriages that move on their own. Little things like that.

Toys will also be our cover for one of our main information sources… Children. That’s right. When Jamir and I first came to Ptolus we had a child lead us around and give us some great advice. His guidance is actually how we wound up at the Welcome Inn to begin with.

The children of Ptolus are ubiquitous, and largely ignored by those they are around, which makes them fantastic sources of information. Jamir and I will have to become Ptolus Citizens because of Taxes, but we learned something interesting about taxes here in the city. Every Imperial citizen must pay 3 gold in tax per year. Tax collectors can choose to assess the value of a citizen’s wealth and levy a yearly tax of 9 percent of that total, which is often less than 3 gold since most citizens are poor. Well, children are exempt from this unless they earn an official wage. Meaning fewer children work, and instead attend school. That said, young ones still have a great deal more time on their hands and thus, wind up wandering the streets. Not to mention the orphans and those living on, or below, the streets. A few extra silver, some food and clean water go a long way for these little ones.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, we’re making some great contacts and we hope to have the business up and running in a couple weeks or less. Vogh, when you and Talin get your shop going, maybe we can find some synergy there. One thing at a time. Sorry. We will see how everything goes. Fingers crossed the gods of luck are on our side.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon knew that was a lot of coin. The Calling had just spent a lot of gold on some items that they needed. Yes, we can definitely wait on the casting of the circles. Deacon then paused and thought about what else Belie said.

I can do the teleports in and out of the gnomes mines. Can we speak with them about the profits from the first few batches and take more of a cut to get the cash to do the circles? After Belie agreed to speak with them about it Belie then went on to explain further about his new business.

This idea could really help all of us for sure. I can’t believe that you arranged all of this already. I must say it is a great plan. Having the eyes and ears out there will be very beneficial as well. Deacon was pleased with the legwork Belie had done. Is there anything that we can help you with? Deacon asked.

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Belie
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Belie nodded at the compliment from Deacon. “Not right now. Thank you. Just stay alive… Keep yourselves disguised. Stay together. Take carriages. It can’t hurt to be too careful, but it definitely can hurt to be careless. Vogh. Talin. It seems like you two are the highest on their list, or just the most well known, since none of us have been attacked. Yet…” He let the final word hang in the air for a moment to sink in.

“I’ve ordered some magic items to help me out, as I’m sure you all have as well. Remember to layer mundane and magical disguises as spells can penetrate the illusions. I know I’m telling you thinks you already know. Sorry.” The rogue raised his hands in mock-surrender and apology as he leaned back against the plush cushion of the carriage’s bench seat.

“Anyway. I’ll keep you all updated about what’s going on here and I’ll send word about the gnomes too. I probably need to get some nicer clothes for this party? Magic clothes probably won’t pass muster in there.”

The group chuckled at him and shared their experience with Aven Jellel, which the fabric market was very near the welcome inn. Talin also mentioned Nestor’s in the Noble’s Quarter but Vogh waved her hand in protest, reminding Talin that only those with the right papers were allowed through Dalenguard Castle. “No offense Belie.”

A roguish smile turned up his left cheek. “None taken. I’m pretty good at getting places I”m not supposed to be. But I’m not wanting to spend that much coin on an outfit I’ll likely only wear once anyway.”

Finally Talin knocked and directed the driver to return to the Welcome Inn. Once outside Belie transformed back into the same disguise he wore before to maintain continuity.

“Don’t worry. I won’t walk back in there as the same. They’ve got a back door and I’ll change before entering. Watch your backs…”

The rogue departed and they saw him move about behind the big Inn down an alleyway.

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Vogh
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After Belie disappeared into the alley the others continued on in the carriage back to the Ghostly Minstrel. Having nothing else to do for the day they just relaxed.

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Narrator
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18th of Growth

A few more days passed uneventfully. The group kept to themselves at the Minstrel, only venturing down for meals and to relax for part of the evening. It would be lunacy for any group to attempt something inside the minstrel. Such an action would be like stealing from Myraeth’s Oddities, the entire delving community would band together to hunt down such an individual, or group, and see they never drew another breath.

Vogh and Talin were enjoying lunch in the main room when a teenage young man with bright blue eyes and free flowing blonde hair strolled into the Minstrel. His eyes lit up upon seeing Vogh and he raised a hand in greeting. Both were suspicious but the young man wore no weapons or armor they could see. He approached their table with a huge grin.

“You’re Vogh Kath aren’t you? The Violet Death? Aww, wow. By the Spire, I’ve always wanted to meet you. Mind if I take a seat? I won’t take much of your time…” Before either could agree, or protest, the young man had slid out a chair and plopped down.

“I’ve heard about you, and your friends. All good things. You’re heroes! Well, mostly thanks to your friend that no one sees…” Both the bards had caught on in full at that moment.

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Belie
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Vogh reached out with her mind to brush a very familiar consciousness. She knew the magical hat Belie wore was able to change a person’s appearance, but she didn’t realize it could make someone seem at least a foot shorter than their true self.

Belie chuckled in her head and responded to her telepathic touch, Ha. I see you Miss Violet… The blonde boy in front of them winked, then continued to speak. “I’ve got a bunch of friends would love to meet you sometime. We all have to work during the day, but at night we have some fun get togethers. A friend of mine is pretty good with a blade. No match for yourselves, but he’s always training, ya know? Has a mind to be a famous delver like you. You know…”

It was then the “blonde boy” leaned forward and lowered his voice a bit. “My friend has some people he hangs about who seem not to be the best sort, especially of late evenings, but I’m keeping an eye on him.” With that, he leaned back against the chair and spread both legs in a very relaxed an informal position, like a carefree teenage boy.

“Well, I said I wouldn’t bother ya long. Watch your backs out there, lot o’ crazies in the city these days, ya know? Ha!” Slapping the table the young man stood and strode out of the Minstrel without a care in the world. Where his hand hit lay a small rock.

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Talin
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Talin quickly waved with one hand, tossing his napkin over the stone with his other and slid it back to himself. He pocketed the item to be reviewed later.


Once in the privacy of their room he pulled the stone from his pocket for he and Vogh to examine it further. One would have thought it only a ball of mud without feeling the heft. Talin dabbed the cloth napkin in water and began to wipe away dirt from the rough texture. What greeted him was a shining nugget of gold…

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Vogh
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When Talin wiped off the stone to find a gold nugget, Vogh’s mouth dropped to the floor. It was a pretty decent chunk of gold as well. Now that is a nice stone, much better than any, one, in the streets. If the gnomes are able to pull stones like that out with regularity then we will have an easy income coming in.

Vogh wrapped her arms around Talin quickly giving him a hug and kiss. What did you think about the name that Belie used for me? I am not so sure I like the Death part, but if it scares others away, then all the better. We should go check with Degar. He should have one of the evil weapons already finished and we can sell. He may even have the spear completed. I can’t wait to see what Deacon does with that with the spell he told us about.

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Deacon Havenhold
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L
After a couple of days, The Calling are having breakfast in the tavern once again when Deacon tells everyone, I visited Degar last night. He has completed one of the weapons and also the broken spear that we had given him. I told him that we would be coming by again today so that I can do the transfer of enchantment on Bharash’s weapons. Once we are done eating we can go up to my room and we can teleport inside.

After eating they all went upstairs and after a few seconds they were inside the lair once again. Degar and Thariad were waiting for them as Deacon expected. Deacon gave a head nod to Degar who went to the workbench where he did most of his detailed work and picked up the spear. The spearhead looked even sharper than it had previously. Deacon looked it over and said to Bharash, Bharash, take out one of your blades and hold it out parallel to the ground. Degar, hand Bharash the spear in a way that mirrors the blade with the point sticking to the front. You all might want to sit and watch, this will take some time.

Once that was complete, Deacon fell into his spellcasting, his arcane words and hand movements going over each of the weapons. As this happened, Deacon also pulled out a small pouch and dusted each of the weapons as he spoke his arcane words. This went on for almost an hour while Bharash held tight to the weapons. Deacon knew that the weapons could have just sat on the table but Bharash was going to earn this transfer, Deacon thought to himself. In the final moments of the spell, a light emitted from each weapon. The spear’s light was much stronger and had a golden hue to it, while Bharash’s Rhoka was just white light. Slowly the light lifted off each weapon and moved through the air and into the other weapon. As the spell completed each of the lights went out. There, it is completed. Bharash your blade now has the holy power that was within the spear and is just as sharp as your previous blade. In a bit, I can transfer the spears magic into your bow.

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Bharash
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Bharash had stood stubbornly through the whole ordeal. He had locked the blade under his arm and the spear under the other to aid him in holding the weapons out straight. Even then, Bharash felt himself wavering towards the end. Anyone that had never seen a dragon sweat could surely see droplets of moisture on his forehead and without even knowing Bharash also had his mouth slightly open and was almost panting at the exertion of it all.

When he saw the light transfer from one weapon to the next Bharash could feel the power enter his Rhoka. He could feel the holiness of it even. When all was said and done BHarash looked up to Deacon, who nodded back to him.

With the nod, Bharash lowered the weapons and then handed Degar the spear back. Bharash waved his sword about for a few seconds and then gave a toothy grin. That was awesome! Though, holding those things aloft the whole time was not an easy task. Does it have to go that way? Bharash asked Deacon who nearly smiled and shook his head. Bharash laughed it off as he knew he had just become a little more powerful with the new enhancement on his blade.

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Deacon Havenhold
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A little while later Deacon performed the spell once more this time he transferred the magic in the spear to the magic in Bharash’s bow. After another hour, the bow now held the magic of the from the spear.

When everything was finished Deacon once more cast teleport and they arrived back in the Minstrel. The next day was the party and everyone was a bit excited to see what was in store for them.

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