Back to Chapter 5 : The Quaan and Beyond : Part 4

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Belie
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Belie blanched at Bharash’s comment about “the place burning down” but just shook his head, figuring the warrior was only joking. He was still trying to puzzle out the riddle of making decisions while drunk, or sober, and the opposite. Again, Belie just wound up shaking his head and chuckling at the dragonborn.

He entered with the rest of the group and followed them up to the room with four beds that Deacon, Julia, Bharash and he had shared. With Deacon off at the Inverted Pyramid headquarters – wherever that was – it left them a bit more room.

Belie wouldn’t strip down in front of Julia, and the man hardly ever slept out of his armor anyway. The magical protection was glamoured itself, so it almost never looked like the wore any armor. Coupled with his magical hat of disguise and sleeves of many garments, the rogue hardly ever had need to really change clothes. No one had questioned his walking cane, which actually concealed a blade, and despite the Saint Valien Cathedral’s strict rule on no weapons, Belie was far too cautious to have entered without a couple magical daggers concealed on his person.

Removing the fine and stylish clothes he had actually donned left him still wearing his supple, pitch-black armor. So pliant was the material, that it easily fit beneath any outfit he could wear. Folding the fine clothes, he placed them on the bed and retrieved a simpler outfit from a small bag of holding, then placed the finery inside. Into the bag went the sleeves of many garments and his hat of disguise as well, as sleeping in those was less than ideal once his focus was lost. One time he had slept in both and Jamir woke him abruptly only for Belie to realize he was dressed in a fine, pink, royal lady’s dress and bonnet. Apparently the magic items had read his dream thoughts and the duo had a good laugh about it.

After Bharash and Julia settled in, then nimble fingers went about setting a few traps and trips throughout the room. He used thin wire to tie off the door pull to a piton he nailed in the wall. Likewise he nailed two pitons into the floor in front of the door. Finally he did the same, securing the window and added a razor wire across the open expanse that was nearly invisible to the naked eye.

When he did finally lay down, it was with his cane sword on his right, a magical dagger inside the opposite sleeve and one under his pillow. “I only need 2 hours my friends, so rest easy that I’ll be up shortly and keeping vigil.”

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Bharash
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“You know.” remarks Bharash, while sitting on his bed in his underwear (a long nightshirt, as it happens), eating most of a loaf of good white bread he apparently sequestered from the buffet table and knocking back a pint of small beer, “One day, I’d like to be able to go to sleep in a room where, if I get up for a half-drunk piss in the middle of the night, I don’t risk having my ankles sawed off.”

He belches delicately, covering his mouth with the back of one hand then takes a long drink and adds “It’s a strange, warped dream I know but there you have it.”, although the comment from Belie that ‘they needn’t worry, he’ll be staring at them all night’ just earns the nondescript fellow a dry, dry (slightly pie-eyed) look “Shockingly, that is not as comforting as you think it is. Or rather it’s disturbing in a whole other bunch of ways. Oh well, goodnight!”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia hadn’t seen this side of Bharash for a while. It would happen now and again before they met Vogh and Talin, but since then everything has been business. First the Banewarrens, then the Pactlords, and now the Chaos Cultists. Course there is the spattering of Assassins thrown into the mix of it all to round it off nicely.

Julia just shook her head and wondered what Deacon was doing and how he was. After a short time though she was fast asleep.

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Belie
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Belie could only smile and chuckle at the big guy’s pokes toward his cautiousness. “Don’t drink so much and you won’t need to pee a dozen times a night big guy.” He laughed in jest and shrugged the big guy’s way. “Better to step carefully in the night when you wake up, than not wake up at all…” Belie answered with eyes wide for emphasis before laying down and letting sleep take him.

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin had gone to bed shortly after arriving at the Minstrel. The next day was important, there were two meetings that could shape what they do in the next few weeks. First the meeting with Helmut and then with Hallusiun Everfar at Temple Hall in the evening.

Vogh woke a few hours later ready for the day. She woke up Talin with a gentle kiss on the forehead and after dressing then both went down to the tavern floor. Seeing that the Archeons hadn’t quite made it down yet, Vogh and Talin found a big table and took a seat and called a waitress to come over.

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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It wasn’t long after Vogh and Talin took a seat until Helmut Itlestein opened the Minstrel’s door and strode in, followed by his shield guardian. Seeing the duo he smiled wide and raised a hand in greeting while walking toward them.

“Good morning Vogh. Talin. I trust you didn’t burn the candle too late into the night?” The older gentlement asked, making small talk. He was dressed the same as at their first meeting.

Once again his full length robe was pristine white. His soft leather shoes swished out from beneath the garment as he walked. Dyed blue leather, studded with silver circlets, layered over top the robe. His walking stick sported the silver and blue holy symbol of a telescope for the Watchers of the Skies. His short cropped hair was perfectly in place with his beard groomed and oikled. Clear blue eyes met Vogh and Talin’s.

“I know you are both no-nonsense and stright-to-business people, so I brought what we last discussed.” Reaching into one arm of his garment, Helmut produced a small scroll with a blue ribbon tying it closed. Talin accepted the scroll, untied and opened it to reveal a list of names.

Corrent Apathi, Darata Chornim, Dullin Balacazar, Tarthia Kor

“This is a list of all four runebearer children my studies have revealed to me. Number three I found very interesting…” Helmut paused there, looking from Vogh to Talin and back several times to judge their reaction.

“I believe you all have actually met the young man before, yes?” Again he paused for effect and allow them to answer.

“As I’ve told you before. No matter how you read it, runebearers spell doom for Ptolus. I understand your reticence in the past, but we cannot waste any more time. At the very least, these children need to be taken from the city immediately. As far from the city as possible…” Helmut’s blue eyes bore into them with the intensity of his claim. “I truly want what’s best for this city. Obviously last night I could not discuss the Republican movement much, but I lead the charge to free Ptolus from a useless and crumbling Empire that does nothing for our City’s people. Three fools all fight for a throne that no longer means anything. Ptolus stood before the Empire, and She will stand after it’s collapsed. We should not be enemies… Vogh, you of all people should know that the Noble Families ruled Ptolus long before there was an Empire. The people should be represented too, but at least the Nobles live in the city. Rely on the city. Spend their money in the city. They don’t ship all their wealth off to a city hundreds of miles away…”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia was first to rise out of bed in the room, though as she did so, Belie popped an eye open. The rogue probably slept with one eye open half the time anyways she thought to himself.

Good morning to you Belie, I trust you slept well? I am going to do my prayers quickly and then if Bharash is ready we can go downstairs. Julia noticed then that Deacon wasn’t in his bed. Did Deacon never return last night?

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Belie
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Belie smiled at the attractive woman. “Morning. I did indeed, and no, Deacon never did join us in the room last night. If you are ready to rise and go then I’ll undo my handywork and head down myself. You got the big-guy here with you still.”

The rogue sat up and pivoted, putting his soft leather booted feet on the floor. Belie proceeded to go around the room and undo all the traps he had set the night prior, then bid Julia adieu as he went downsairs, locking the door behind him.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon slept on the ‘adequate’ bedding that the Unseen Servants had acquired for him. It was not the best bedding. He missed his nicer accommodations and it was lonely waking up with no one to talk too.

Still it was for the greater good. He was here to find some things to help them and though he could have teleported back last night he had chosen to remain here so that he wouldn’t have to waste both teleports just going here and back today.

Having had no luck the night before, upon rising and preparing his standard spell load he made his way to the Main Library to see if the elf that had approached him the night before was there. If not he would be interested in approaching any wizards to see if they might exchange spells with him.

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Narrator
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Deacon once again found the library empty. He had only been a Pyramid member a few days, so it would take some time for him to learn the rhythms of the headquarters. Jevicca had said the floating structure posessed enough rooms to house all the members, but only a small percentage resided there.

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Bharash
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As predicted, Bharash woke a couple of times in the night to go and visit the jakes – a process that either involved the careful disarmament of the wire around the door or it being unceremoniously ripped out of it’s moorings and tossed into a corner, spattered with irritated dragonblood – but he wakes in reasonable time nonetheless, whatever he would have had by way of a hangover staved of by a combination of his having eaten something, stayed hydrated and his being tougher than a civil service entry exam.

That has the knock on effect of the meeting downstairs being interned upon by a hulking dragonborn wearing a long nightgown who heads straight for the teakettle over the fire, which he uses to make himself a hot drink before rumbling something about ‘bacon’ to the waitress.

He’s up!

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon will leave the Main Library and head over to the Dining Area, perhaps folks were still getting a bite to eat and had not yet gone to the Main Library. If he still found no one in either Dining Area he would head towards the Common Areas.

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Julia Graymantle
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When Julia made it to the main tavern floor downstairs she had looked for Vogh and Talin right away. Almost immediately she saw them over in a corner sitting at a large table with Helmut. They were talking about something and Julia just saw Helmut hand Vogh a scroll.

Walking over to the table she said, Good morning everyone, may the blessing of Lothian be upon you all. Just then the waitress was coming over and carrying some bread and jam on a tray filled with fruit as well. Julia took a seat then and helped herself to one of the steaming hot rolls and a banana.

A few moments later she caught Bharash coming down the stairs out of the corner of her eye. He had made his way to the hearth and was grabbing the tea kettle to pour himself some hot tea. She was certain he saw them all so Julia didn’t call him over. Who she didn’t see was Belie. He had left the room before her. Was he in one of his disguises again she didn’t know?

I pray that everyone slept well, Julia went on after a bite of bread and fresh blackberry jam. Julia knew she was interrupting what had happened before but she wanted to lighten the mood some.

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Vogh
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Vogh greeted Helmut as he came to the table. As all three settled into their chairs and Helmut handed Talin the scroll, Vogh slid over to read what was on it.

Corrent Apathi, Darata Chornim, Dullin Balacazar, Tarthia Kor… There was a name missing of course for Vogh knew that his very own child was a runebearer as well.

Yes, we know Dullin, we saved him from an attack once already. I don’t know the other names though so I will have to figure out who and where they are. Vogh said looking the names over.

Just then Julia came to the table along with the waitress with breakfast. Julia’s light mood and godly words were nice to hear in the morning, even though Vogh wasn’t honestly practicing. Good morning to you Julia, and yes we had a fine night’s sleep, didn’t we Talin, Vogh said with a smile. Are the others coming down soon? And just as Vogh asked the question she too saw Bharash come down the stairs, for how could she not. Bharash was wearing his nightshirt only, as he headed for the hearth.

Back to the meeting Vogh asked Helmut, How is Phon fairing? She must be almost ready to give birth to the child. Have you both decided on a name as of yet? Have you told her that she won’t be able to be with the child after it is born? It is a runebearer child after all and must leave the city.

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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The High Priest’s eyebrows raised when Vogh shared they had defended Dullin previously. “Attack? Who would be foolish enough to attack a Balacazar…?” He shook his head in shock.

Upon Vogh’s statement that they would need to find the children he smiled and nodded. “My revelations have granted me the names, but I’ve not yet found where they are located. I put out a few feelers, just asking around about the surnames to narrow down locations, but nothing has come back yet. Ptolus is, after all, a very large city.”

Helmut didn’t look entirely pleased when Julia joined them without asking, but he quickly changed a frown into a polite smile at her kind words after taking a drink of his light, spiced wine. After the pleasantries and Julia joining them Vogh caught Helmut off guard she could tell by the way he blanched at her question regarding Phon.

“Um. No, actually. I have not wanted to stress her with knowledge about the runebearers. She is very, very near delivering and I do not want to cause her undue angst. But you assume incorrectly. There is no need for her to be separated from the child. I am working on accomodations for her far outside the city where she and the baby can be safe until divinations reveal the city is no longer in danger. And, we actually haven’t settled on a name yet. We’ve been discussing it at length.”

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Narrator
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 367):

Deacon was starting to wonder if anyone else was even present inside the giant, upside down and floating structure. The dining hall was clearly well equipped with a full kitchen, and larders stocked with food. Yet as he walked around, he encountered not one other soul in the whole of the place. It occurred to him that he could Dora Maycey through their thoughtstones if needed.

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Bharash
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Bharash remains more or less ensconced by the fire – it’s true that he’s never really felt the cold as his people retain enough of their connection to Dragonkind to partake of their nature, but there’s still something elementally comforting about a good fire in the morning and he takes a healthy drink of hot tea while the waitress delivers him a loaf of fresh-baked bread that he could profitably use to beat a man unconscious and a platter of bacon. A few moments work with a knife on the former and he’s left holding a bacon sandwich of truly heroic proportions, which after licking his fingers clean he bites into, while watching the discussion from a polite distance.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon having wandered around though about the thoughtstone, perhaps they were all asleep or perhaps in private libraries, he didn’t want to disturb their work though if they had a private one. He heard his belly growl and thus decided perhaps he would try the Dining Hall again. He hoped there were Unseen Servants here as well. “Fetch me two pieces of bacon, 2 eggs scrambled, a piece of toast with butter on it, and a glass of orange juice” he commanded after seating himself.

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Narrator
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Moments later Deacon saw activity in the kitchen. First, two pieces of bacon, uncooked, floated out to him on a plate. A small fire started in the stove moments later and he couldn’t heard the sound of eggs cracking then cooking, but the smell let him know it was happening. One thick slice of bread with butter floated out to him as well, placed beside the bacon on his plate. Finally, he saw a few oranges float out of the larder to a juicer then saw them squished. Eventually the eggs were cooked and brought out on a separate plate as well.

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Vogh
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Vogh had to wonder if for only a moment what Helmut’s reaction was at the telling of the attack on Dullin. Yes, it is apparent that someone is on the same line of thinking as you are Helmut. I would take care to ensure the safety, of Phon and the baby. It is clear that others want the runebearers killed as well, they even tried to take her life before as I have told you on more than one occasion.

Vogh didn’t need to remind Helmut of all this but she liked telling him. Over and over again.

Since Helmut said he didn’t know where the other children were, Vogh said, We will just have to locate them ourselves. Honestly, it shouldn’t be too difficult, if they are still alive that is.

When Helmut said that Phon and the child would be put up in accommodations outside the city, Vogh smiled wide, That is a relief, I hope it isn’t in the path of the barbarian horde that is coming. That wouldn’t be such a good thing. What is my time frame to get the children gone? If I need to find them I need to know how long I have.

With the business of the runebearers out of the way, Vogh tried to lighten the mood and give the priest some time to talk about his movement. She had heard a lot of people talking about and had seen the flyers about town but had never attended a meeting. You spoke of this Republican Movement. Tell me about it and spare no details, please.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon looked with fascination as the little show went on. It wasn’t until they had almost delivered it all that he realized the bacon wasn’t cooked “Bacon well done please”

He waited for the meal to be completed and then decided to eat his meal, he was hungry. He wondered what the others were doing, he’d made little progress so far on the whole purpose of why he stayed.

Perhaps there were far fewer members of the Inverted Pyramid than he thought. That could explain why the place seemed so empty. That was a bit of a sad thought as well. If the society failed then magic might be lost. He really needed to work on preserving spells more, and perhaps invest in learning how to magic magical items to preserve that knowledge too.

He wondered what to do. He decided with breakfast done he’d try the Main Library again perhaps he was just up earlier than most. He’d arrive in the library and find a nice place to sit picking out a table with a view of the doors so he could see if anyone entered. He then spoke again “Fetch me books containing spells on Conjuration and Summoning spells, Transmutation too.”. Didn’t hurt to ask and see.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia spotted the initial displeasure in Helmut as she came and sat down at the table. Julia had decided to let it go. The fellow priest was higher ranking than her but in her eyes, if all that Vogh had said about him the priest should be in jail or better yet put to death. It wasn’t up to Julia though so she just smiled back to Helmut and listened to Vogh speak.

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Narrator
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Even as Deacon began to ask for material on the subjects, Books began to float out of different parts of the grand library. The books floated over to the table where Deacon sat and stacked nicely on the edge.

The books weren’t exactly spellbook but were about the knowledge of spells about Conjuration, Summoning, and Transmutation. There were a total of 3 books for each subject.

After three hours of reading and no one coming into the library. Deacon knew that he should probably return back to the Minstrel for the others would be wondering where he had gone off too.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon was a bit put out at all this. He wondered where everyone was. Very odd organization he had heard so much about it, but seemed there were far fewer members than he thought. That was a puzzle. Fewer members increased the likelihood of destruction and with that the knowledge that they had accumulated.

Well he had dallied here long enough and decided that it was time to go this was an interesting place and there was much more to explore still he should rejoin his compatriots who might try something foolish without him.

He commanded the unseen servants “Put the books away, thank you.”. One should keep the place tidy after all.

He teleported back to his room at the Minstrel.

If they weren’t in the room he’d head down to the common room to look for them, it was nearly lunchtime.

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Narrator
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Vogh:
That is a relief, I hope it isn’t in the path of the barbarian horde that is coming. That wouldn’t be such a good thing. What is my time frame to get the children gone? If I need to find them I need to know how long I have.

Helmut shook his head when Vogh asked about the barbarians. “Quite right, no. I will be sending Phon south, the opposite direction of the brutes heading our way. Even the situation with the barbarians confirms what I’ve been saying. Something is drawing them here. They have no logical reason to attack, just as they didn’t with the capital. It seems this is yet another sign of dangerous times ahead. The stars are not so specific in their guidance, but one would be wise to assume ‘quickly.’ We don’t know when the barbarians might arrive, or when the portended events could occur. As I said, I’ve made inquiries, but my resources are not endless and not everyone of my order shares the feelings of urgency.”

Vogh:
With the business of the runebearers out of the way, Vogh tried to lighten the mood and give the priest some time to talk about his movement. She had heard a lot of people talking about and had seen the flyers about town but had never attended a meeting. You spoke of this Republican Movement. Tell me about it and spare no details, please.

“The fact that the Empire is coming apart at the seams only shows that totalitarianism is an outmoded and inefficient means of governance. Today, three different people claim the Imperial
Throne, but is one of them really any different from the others? They are all power hungry and greedy individuals who want only to increase their coffers. Who among them cares for the city? Why is Rehoboth here? Because he feared the same barbarians over a decade ago! He fled here for his own safety. Is that what we want in a leader? By the heavens I say no. It’s always been the rich ruling over the poor. No offense Miss Vogh. It’s time for the people to have a voice in their own governance. Again, I do not decry the Noble Houses. They have witstood the test of time, defended Ptolus, never having abandoned it. But the Coincil of Coin hardly has the average Ptolusite’s interests at heart, does it?”
Vogh knew the alternate name for the City Coincil, comprised of nobles, guildmasters and other influential individuals, all of which were wealthy.

“The Republican movement wants to see the people have a voice in the laws and taxes which affect them more than anyone else in the City. Ptolus should break away from the degenerating Empire. Allow the common folk to decide who rules them. Remove the nepotistic rulers who seek only their own gain. Nivae Tamelli, of the Order tied to your own house Miss Vogh, even she supports the populist aspects of a republic. We discussed it further just last night. But I digress. This is not the reason you called me here, but my blood boils when I think of the mistreatment of our fair City.”

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Narrator
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 379):

Deacon easily spotted Julia sitting with Vogh and Talin at a table with Helmut, and his towering shield guardian. Scanning the room he spotted Bharash as well, for how could he not, sitting and watching the foursome speaking. The elf couldn’t hear the converstaion, but the lively gesticulations of the High Priest suggested it was lively.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon decides to head over to Bharash. “Hey” he says motioning his head to the others “What’s going on over there, you pick up any of it?”

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Bharash
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Bharash is stood there with half a bacon-stuffed loaf of crusty bread in one hand and a warm mug of tea in the other, draped in a long nightgown and not a whole lot else, looking very much as though he’s in the process of stimulating the Bacon Receptors in his brain, reviving them, regenerating his neurons as the Bacon-force makes its way through his body, into the tips of his fingers, the tips of his toes, crying out ‘There is bacon, there is bacon! There may also be eggs!’ while his body restores itself upon the inestimable gift of the divine.

All of which means that when it comes to the conversation, he’s been paying precious little attention and his brows go up accordingly as he looks at Deacon and makes a noise that can best be described as “Rrghfrglfr?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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“Rough night huh?” Deacon says not really understanding what Bharash said but getting the general gist that he wanted to be left alone. “Well I suppose I’ll have to go find out, see what they are volunteering us for this time.”

Deacon moves from where Bharash is having his morning ‘coffee’ at nearly noon in the day over to the table where Julia and the others are. “Sorry I am late, I hope I did not miss much” he tells them.

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Bharash
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Swallowing, and thereby clearing his jaws to be able to shape something resembling words again, Bharash makes a so-so gesture with one hand and rumbles “More of a late one. And I had to keep disarming those stupid traps every time I got up to piss.” before lifting his cup in a toast towards Deacon adding “Well, I’ll be here. Hopefully whatever they’re getting us into can wait until after lunch, I sort of want to get some training in.”

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Vogh
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To the south? Are you thinking about SOME CITY I DON’T KNOW? It is an Independent city and the richest on the north coast of the Inner Sea and in the Vast. I can see why you would bring them there. Perhaps that is where I will attempt to take the runebearers as well. Or would you suggest splitting them apart? Perhaps them all being together gives the prophecy more power? Vogh questioned.

You give me much to think about Helmut. Helmut would note that Vogh rarely, if ever, called him a priest, let alone a High priest. Vogh knew that the city was disparagingly slanted to the rich and the upper class. But, most cities she had visited in her past were similar in nature. So, if this were a republic, would it be ruled by the people? Or would they only elect individuals to speak on their behalf? You know that greed and power are mighty things and can take over a person with ease. If we put these individuals in power, it would change from 1 person in our case now, the Commisar, to multiple persons with lots of money and power. There would still be the Noble Houses, that would not change. Sure, the people would be represented by members of their community, but what change could be driven? That is the question. I am not saying it can’t be done, but can it be done?

Just as Vogh finished, she spotted Deacon heading her way. Deacon, there you are! Vogh said as he sat down. I hope you had a good night. Where were you?

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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“Just outside Procampur. Indeed.” Helmut thought for a moment about her question. “I do not like the idea of sending them all together to the same place. What is there to stop the prophecies from simply shifting their focus to another city because of such an action? No, I think you are right in the idea to separate them. Perhaps we could send them and their families each in different directions. Although…” Cocking his head sideways and raising both eyebrows he paused for effect, “I’m certain that one family is unlikely to leave. Then again, if warned, they certainly have the means to travel far.”

The High Priest took several drinks while Vogh continued with her verbal thoughts and questions after having spoken so much.

“A Republic has the people vote to elect representatives to oversee their interests. So instead of a dictator merely passing the mantle to their child, the people choose someone they think will best represent their needs and interests.” Helmut shook his hand at Vogh’s logic about the Commisar. “No. No. There would still need to be a General of sorts to oversee the city’s protection and I see no one better qualified than Commisar Urnst. Again, the Nobles would not go anywhere. They are, after all, already having their interests represented on the City Council. Our Vision would be to expand the City Council to include elected representatives of the people who had an equal voice to all those currently sitting. Couple that with breaking from the Empire and ruling ourselves, that’s how we affect change Miss Vogh. It can be done. It must be done.”

As he finished with and fist to the table, Deacon walked over. Helmut took another drink of his wine while Vogh greeted him.

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Vogh
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Helmut’s passion for the subject of the Republic shown well as he slammed his fist on the table. You have given me much to think about Helmut. When is the next public meeting? I would like to attend and see for myself what everyone has to say about it all.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon arrived at the table as Helmut was slamming his fist down. Deacon was not entirely sure what was being discussed. Nor was he sure how he could add to the conversation at this point.

He looked towards Julia for some guidance on what was going on at the table.

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Julia Graymantle
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When Deacon looked to her for guidance, Julia responded aloud. High Helmut was just describing the Repubkican movement to us. Obviously, he is really passionate about the whole thing.

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 388):

“Ah. I’ll make sure to send word to you here the next time we put together a rally. Many people are still trepid about speaking out in support of a repblic. The Commisar even went so far as to label the Republican movement seditious. However, he’s made no move against myself, or anyone else who publicly speak in favor of a republic. My belief is he only did it to placate Rehoboth.”

The High Priest looked around then leaned in closer to the bards, speaking in a quiet voice. “Few know this, but the Commisar himself does not support Rehoboth becoming both the secular and church emperor. That would take us back to the ways of the days of blood. The best thing would be for Addares to take the throne. She would try to keep the capital in her home city, which would fracture the empire to its core and make it far easier for Ptolus to declare her independence. Rheboth wants to name Ptolus the seat of the empire. I don’t think I need to tell you how bad that would be for Ptolus.”

Helmut leaned back in his seat once more and raised his voice to a normal speaking volume as he continued. “Talk to Nivae about all I’ve shared with you. I’ve said it many times Miss Vogh, we should be closest allies. I hope one day to overcome your cinicism.” Helmut finished with a smile as he stood from the table to shake her and Talin’s hands.

“Miss Julia. Mister Deacon. A pleasure to share your company again, however briefly.”

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Vogh
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This new information that Helmut just provided would have to be corroborated. Vogh hadn’t heard anything about this information about the Commisar. She would speak with Nivae and seek the truth as she can tell.

When Helmut said that we should be the closest of allies, she knew he was probably speaking from a ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ type of ally. Vogh felt the same way. Thank you for this meeting Helmut, I shall figure out what to do with the children while seeking out where they are. Please send word to me when Phon delivers. I would like to come to see the mother and child after the delivery.

Then as Helmut rose to leave Vogh stuck out her hand to shake his, I will send word once I have the children out of the city. I am not sure how long this will take, but it is at the top of my list of things to do.


As Helmut left, Vogh turned to the others and even called Bharash over, Bharash, come join us, please.

If and when Bharash came over, and Belie if he were here, Vogh started again, First I would like to say, I hoped you enjoyed yourselves last night. It was for us! I know there was a lot going on with all the different people we met and after we have time to digest it all we can talk about it if you like. For now, though, I have gotten the names of the runebearers. I would like suggestions on where we can bring them. (GM we will need names of places and their security levels) I want to make sure that what we are wanting to do with not put the children in further danger. Dullin will be the toughest one of them all to handle, the Balcazar’s aren’t going to just give us their child easily.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

It’s hardly a matter of if – Bharash is amongst friends and the burly Dragonborn looks up when called them takes another hearty bite of his breakfast sandwich before padding over, light on his feet for a couple of hundred pounds of muscle and scale.

He listens, thinks for a moment, then asks “Mmm, well… Suppose the first question’s the simplest. How much danger you think they’re in, these kids? And from who?”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
The Archeons hadn’t been part of the adventures that Talin, Belie, and herself had been part of. So, she pulled them in close so as no others could hear and began to tell what she knew of the runebearers.

The runebearers are a bunch of children and children to come that have been prophesied to bring the end to Ptlous. The how and when is not known though. Apparently there are signs even now that point to them coming true. High Priest Helmut we have found had attempted the murder of a woman named Phon, apparently, she is carrying one of these runebearers. His plan though he has stated was to protect Ptlous by being rid of the children. Now, we have found proof of his attempted murder, but it is not so iron-clad that we can take it to the authorities, instead, Talin and I have struck a bargain with him to remove the children from Ptolus so the prophecy can be stopped. Vogh shows the parchment that Helmut had given her and continues, the names on this list must be removed from the city and brought somewhere safe. We must bring them to different places as well because it is believed that together they can deliver the prophecy to another place and we don’t want that.

So, long story short Bharash, we are keeping them safe from Helmut and those that he hires to kill them. We have already thwarted two attempts on the lives of the runebearers. What we don’t know is if the other children are alive or not. Helmut claims, he knows not where they are.

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Belie
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An older, portly gentleman limped over to the group favoring his right side, supported by a cane. “Mornin’ folks.” He said with a pronounced drawl. “Glad that ones gone I recokon?”

Vogh could touch the man’s mind easily to recognize that it was Belie. Somehow she could “sense” his smile through the telepathy. “Sit down Belie.” She bade him and chuckled.

“I dunno who ya thinkin’ I am little missie, but I’ll right reckon I’m happy to sit with ya.”

Taking an exagerated amount of time to move his “bum” leg around, the disguised Belie took a seat at the table and listened to Vogh.

“He finally gave us the list of names did he? Interesting.” His eyes widened at Dullin’s name on the list. “That kid’s a runebearer? Oh my… Draw short sticks for who gets to go talk to his family about that?” Belie had resumed using his normal voice, but as always in public, kept it quiet and checked often for eavesdroppers.

“I’ll ask some friends to make inquiries about the other names.” Belie pulled a piece of folded parchment and a pencil from a vest pocket much too small to house the items, were it only a mundane pocket. He quickly scratched out the children’s names, then slid the too-big items back into the magical pouch.

“I reckon ya’ll got biz-ness to be attendin’ to, so I’ll hobble off then folks.” Belie, back in character, tipped his hat before standing and limping through the double doors which led into the kitchen. As they swung close the group lost sight of him.

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Talin
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“Is he alowed back there…?” Talin asked with incredulity, then just shook his head at the far too strange rogue. Which was saying something, considering the company he kept.

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Bharash
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“Prophecy. I hate prophecy.” Bharash remarks, sitting there with half a bacon sandwich, wearing his nightgown as he glances incuriously at the paper then back at Vogh before elaborating on his thinking “It’s always ‘don’t do this and there’s a disaster coming’ right up to the point where you find out that ‘doing this’ was the thing that triggers it in the first place only by then you’ve set fire to your honour in the name of a future you didn’t even know for certain was coming.”

He takes another drink of his tea, then grimaces and looks at his cup before remarking “This should really be something stronger for a conversation like this. Alright, first question. Assuming for a second we should take it seriously… Who made this prophecy and what exactly did they say?”

He doesn’t comment on the ‘mysterious old fellow’ however.

It’s too early in the morning for any of that.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
As the old gentleman approached, Vogh could sense that it was Belie. After their brief interaction, Belie left with the names of the children they didn’t know. She hoped that he would be able to get information on them so they could handle the situation.

Then to the Archeons Vogh explained what the prophecy was based on what she learned, The prophecy is that in ancient times, before history books were written, indeed before there was any writing at all many people were born with runes upon their faces or hands. In those days, about one person in four was a so-called “runebearer” and thus enjoyed some intangible quality that set him or her apart from others. Each rune hinted at the bearer’s talent: skill with arms, with arcane magic, with divine magic, and so on. All the great mythic heroes were runebearers.

Without the Vallis moon, however, fewer and fewer runebearers were born, until one day they were gone completely. Today, however, a small handful of children are once again born with ancient marks. Many see this as a sign that the Vallis moon is returning.

We went then went to go see Lady Ishara, who is a loremaster, With the Valis moon gone it seems the blessing of the runes might now turn on Ptolus. Only one organization has identified as such. The Watchers of the Skies, in which Helmut is the high Priest. They believe newly born runebearers will lead to the destruction of Ptolus. There is no record of how that might happen, but many of the Watchers believe this very strongly. No other deity or religion has confirmed this, but many prophecies have come true this way.

When we found Dullin, he had one of these Runes on him and he had had it since as far back as he could remember. We saved him from an attempted assassination.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“So there isn’t actually a prophecy and no living prophet involved, just ‘a lot of people who believe’ this idiocy.” Bharash asks, cutting right through all the extraneous details to the point of the matter “And they believe it strongly enough that they’re willing to murder children over it. Alright, I’m fine with the idea of doing a little recreational gutting over this, but if you’ve cut a deal, you’ve cut a deal. Where were you thinking to send these children, and how were you thinking to persuade their families to leave the city? We got enough money for that?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon was not sure he got the full gist of the conversation. Folks were talking so fast it was hard to follow their lips, he knew that the runebearers had been identified. That Vogh had talked Helmut into not killing them, personally he thought Helmut’s solution was a sound one. Better that a few die than an entire world perish he thought.

Deacon looked to Julia for some guidance on what was being said hoping she might communicate it to him. Hard to follow so many speaking at once when you had to read lips.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia had listened to all that Vogh had to say about the runebearers. She listened to Bharash and his questions. Good questions, as they got right to the point of things and had Vogh explain things a little better.

Julia knew that Vogh and Talin had gold, heck she herself had quite a bit in Hammersong as well. “I think that we have enough gold to convince simple families, if that is what they are, to leave the town for a while. A little explaining that their child’s life is in danger should help as well. As for where now that is a good question. For some may have their own ideas of where to go. So, we could leave that part open and base it off what the families might say. Perhaps they even have some family in other lands they could visit.” Julia said as she faced Deacon, having seen him struggle to try to follow along with the conversation.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
“Is it possible for us to examine this prophecy?” Deacon questions. Continuing he goes on to say “A written record, something we can study. In order to protect the world best we’d need to know the nature of the prophecy. Where they go wrong and destroy the world. Only then can we make the best plans for how to preserve the world.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh thought about Deacon’s question a little and was shaking her head even before she answered him. All that I have told you is all that is known. There isn’t much written about what came before and even the loremaster was able to gather the information that I gave to you. So, with that said there is no precedent to what is to come or how it will come. Vogh said then to let Deacon and the others digest that little bit of info as she took a drink of freshly squeezed orange juice.

That is a good idea you have Julia, It would give us a greater chance that the families would leave if they are able to make the choice. I will be giving up my own gold to make sure the children are safe. Vogh looked to Talin then and when he nodded she knew that he too would give up whatever gold he had as well. Since none of you made the promise, I don’t expect anything from you unless you want to help.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“So, just to be good and clear about this… There’s a man in this city willing to murder an unknown, but large group of children over a prophecy of uncertain provenance that he’s never actually read, just ‘to be on the safe side’. Annnd, we’re not stringing him up from the lamp posts by his guts as a warning to the next ten generations because..?” Bharash asks, taking another bite of his sandwich and washing it down with the last of his tea, pretty obviously unimpressed by the ethical standards being shown by this Helmet fellow.

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Vogh
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Vogh clarified Bharash’s thoughts, No, actually, the Watchers in the Sky were the ones to have received the prophecy. Helmut being the leader of the group had been trying to kill the children. We recovered a Ledger kept track of all of Toridan’s business dealings in a very simple form. It shows that someone named Methul Watcher paid him 200 gp to kill Phon, specifically requesting that Toridan subcontract the job to someone else to put further distance between “Methul” and the crime. We tracked Toridan down right after we rescued Phon from the assassins.

Now, I am not sure how good you are at word scrambles, but if you unscramble Methul, You can get Helmut. And he is the High Priest of the Watchers of the Sky, hence the watcher. That is the only proof that we think ties him to the crime. We did bring him before a priest though and had him questioned with active spells to detect lies and he ‘passed’, but we know there are ways to block that so it’s hard to tell.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was listening more and more to what Bharash was saying and also what Deacon had put into the conversation. She was beginning to sway to their way of thinking. She needed more proof than what Vogh was giving. If the church had already questioned High Priest Helmut and it seemed he didn’t lie then why should anything be done?

“That is a slim thought, Miss Vogh. I can see where you get it but I don’t think that we should be going and removing these children. Have there been any other attempts on children’s lives?” Julia asked Vogh and Talin.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin hadn’t had much input yet beside the little thing here and there he added to the conversation. When Julia asked her question, Talin said, not to our knowledge. Helmut said that the children would be safe if we agreed to take them from the city. To us, that is almost like confessing that he was the one trying to harm them in the first place. Vogh and I must uphold our end of the bargain.

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Telleth
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As the group conversed, Telleth came over with a tray of drinks. As manager of the Minstrel the young woman almost never served people, but the reason soon became clear. “Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished. You’ve honored the Minstrel with your presence, along with so many other’s who are famous throughout the city. These are on the house. Talin. Vogh. I do believe you are now the most famous minstrels who have ever performed here. Enjoy.”

[Private to Talin: Talin smiled at the comely lady and nodded in thanks at the drinks and words. But he couldn’t help notice the kind words did not match the hardness around her eyes, and that her smile seemed less then genuine. He had known her for several months now and wasn’t sure what to make of her behavior.]

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia can understand the need to keep their word with High Priest Helmut but she still didn’t agree with it all. There was just not enough proof to follow them with this path.

I can see you points and while I, matter of fact we, don’t see ourselves being needed for this nor that it is something we promised to help. There just isn’t enough proof for us.

Julia faced Deacon and Bharash fully and said, I think we should find that group that surprised us outside the manor and stole all the items we had recovered from the basement.

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Talin
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Talin pursed his lips but nodded in understanding, looking to Vogh and finding agreement in her eyes. “We understand. Hopefully the two of us, plus Belie, can handle this task. We don’t want to ask you to do anything you’re not comfortable with. And I know you all were really frustrated about the group waylaying you and stealing what you worked hard to gather. It would be good to track them down. Tell you what, we will track down these kids and their families while you all track down that group. Obviously, if you need anything, you know where to find us.” Talin winked at his jest, since their rooms shared a wall.

“If we don’t see each other in the next couple of days, let’s just make sure to leave notes with Telleth or Zade. Sound good?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon tried his best to follow the conversation. He was not sure this was the correct action to follow. He found it hard to believe no one had written the prophecy down. Something so significant and no record. That seemed very odd to him. Perhaps the library of the Inverted Pyramid might have a record of it, he would have to check when he next visited it.

“Without knowing more about the prophecy any action could actually cause the prophecy to come to fruition. One should not act without knowing what consequences of that action might cause. Without more information perhaps the thing that drives them to destroy the world is their removal from the city. We should act carefully in such matters. I just find it hard to believe there is no written record of such an important prophecy,” Deacon comments.

Listening to Julia he says “I’d love to find them as well. We worked hard for the items they stole from us. Even if we ourselves could not use them we could have sold them and I could have expanded my spellbooks with the knowledge I could have used to the gold to obtain.”

After a brief pause he adds “I’m not sure those who took them from us will be easily assailed. We may well need the help of the others to reclaim our property. I think we need to study both situations more before acting to hastily.”

He thought back more to the records they had examined. He then added “It could be both events are related. Remember when they waylayed us and took the weapons they spoke of a coming Night of Dissolution. The destruction of the world could indeed be a Night of Dissolution. They might have more information on events if we could find them and question them. However demons are notorious for their half truths and outright lies. It would be difficult to determine truth from fiction.”

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Talin
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“All good points Deacon.” The bard agreed with the wizard, making sure to enunciate and stay facing the elf. “I think you all could safely make inquiries about the creature, or creatures as it were, who attacked you and gather information before making any moves against them. We can do our research about the children. We both reconnoiter, then join up to discuss each of our plans to move forward. How does that sound?”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The group sat and discussed, drinking the fine drinks which had been brought to them. After a few minutes, Talin, Vogh and Julia started to feel funny. Then all 3 of the people doubled over, clutching their stomachs in horrible pain.

Vogh -1con, -2str, unconscious
Talin -2con, -2str, unconscious
Julia -2con, -2str, unconscious

Thankfully the pain only lasted a few minutes, but unfortunately after just a few tense moments, all three of them slumped over, unconscious. As Bharash and Deacon watch their friends not feeling well, each of them felt small stabs in their backs. Each found small needles, easily plucking them from their skin and skales respectively.

Once again the big warrior felt posion burning inside his body. With a growl he flexed mighty muscles and shrugged off the effects. His elven friend did not have Bharash’s constition unfortunately and was paralyzed in place with a foggy mind. (Deacon: Paralyzed and -2 to wisdom)

Several people started moving over toward the group with concerned faces as it seemed they were in trouble.

OOC: I rolled your saves to get all this written up faster.

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Bharash
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Bharash snorts at the description of the ‘prophecy’ given, going on to correct his original inquiry to “So all we have is that someone with a knack for anagrams – possibly this helmet guy – paid for the murder of a child and it was supposedly at the behest of a prophecy that none of us or anyone we know have seen. Helmet passed a magical test but that’s meaningless because magic isn’t worth spit in a court or…”, only to break off when talk of the group that intercepted and stole from then is brought up, generating a soft “Huh. Wouldn’t mind a rematch, at least if we knew who they were. Doesn’t seem to me their be hard to identify.”

That’s when his friends start to hit the ground in various states of pain and unconsciousness and he looks back to pull a needle from his scales, pushing the seat he’s on back to rise to his feet and growl at the oncoming ‘helpers’ “Next person to put a foot forward, I’m going to arrange that they regret doing so.”

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Everyone halted at the big guy’s proclamation and threat. Several asked if the group was okay. Deacon especially looked storage, frozen as he was in mid-sentence. Telleth came over, but kept her distance. “Bharash?! What on earth happened?! Should I get fetch a cleric?!”

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Bharash
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“Someone just stuck them with poison needles. Or at least I assume that’s what happened.” Bharash states, holding up the one he just pulled out of his back while glaring at those present, “So yes. A cleric, and fast.” he orders, while leaning over to pick up the poker from the fireplace and give it a few thoughtful practice swings, the ‘swoosh’ of the hooked iron tool through the air downright intimidating, even from someone who’s stood there in his sleepwear.

“Meanwhile, you.” – he points the poker at whoever is nearest the door – “Close the door, bar it. No-one in, no-one out until they’re up and moving again.”

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Talin
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Talin slumped over feeling the poison enter his body but even as he felt it begin to take him he perked back up as if given a second chance to live.

Bharash what has happened? Talin asked as he shook his head and limbs to defeat the poison fully. Talin then stood as well. A thought coming to him then as he heard Telleth’s voice.

Telleth did you just deliver the round of drinks to us? He asked her quickly.

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon paralyzed in body wishes there was more he could do, but the only thing he could think of was to make less targets for the assailants so that Bharash had fewer of them to defend. There would be no way to tell the others in his condition, and no way to take any of them with him. He would have to return for them as soon as he could.

With a thought he moves himself back to the Inverted Pyramid. He then concentrated on the thoughtstone “Jevicca, I’m at the entrance. I’ve been paralyzed. I need help.”

OOC:

Cast Teleport and return to the entrance of the Inverted Pyramid
Use Thoughtstone to contact Jevicca and let her know.

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Telleth
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In reply to Talin (msg # 417):

“What? Oh. Um. I guess. I just retrieved them from the bar.” Telleth turned with extreme fear in her face toward Zade. “Zade… Did anyone mess with their drinks?!”

Zade looked back with shock on his face. “I don’t think so… I mean, they sat for just a moment… Did anyone see anything?!”

More shocked faces met everyone’s gaze as heads turned all throughout the minstrel, everyone was shaking their heads, indicating they hadn’t seen anything.

“Bharash, you said to fetch a cleric, but then said bar the door. Should we send someone to get a cleric or wait?”

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Jevicca Nor (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 418):

It took a few moments for Deacon to send out the connection, then several more tense moments until Jevicca accepted. “Entrance? What entrance? And you’re paralized? How did you…” Deacon explained he was in the top level of the pyramid common room which is one of the few places that allow magical entry. “Ok. I cannot come at the moment. Contact Dora. She’s already there and can help you.” With that, the connection was broken.

Deacon reached out to Dora Maycey who accepted moments later. He explained his location and situation. “Ok. I’ll be right there Deacon.”

It took several more minutes for Dora to finally swing open the door and enter where Deacon was laying on his back, staring at the ceiling, still in the sitting position he was holding at the time of his paralyzation and before he teleported.

The elf saw Dora’s lips moving but couldn’t understand what she was saying. He saw her shake her head and purse her lips then felt her contacting him through the thoughtstone. “My apologies Deacon. I forgot you were deaf and couldn’t hear me speaking. What happened? What did this to you? Do we need a dispel or anti-toxin or something else?”

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Yaeshla (NPC)
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“Talin! Grab me up. I can help!” The magical staff spoke out from where she stood, in her full form, beside Deacon’s chair. Yaeshla, known as the staff of shards, had been rescued from the Banewarrens by the group and reassembled. It had originally been their intention to use her to destroy the Dread One’s hand, sealing the Banewarrens from entry forever, but she begged them not to as it would shatter her once more.

As her whole self she was a wooden staff with a bronze tip and a silver head. It was odd hearing a voice with no face to match where it came from. Several people inside the Minstrel, everyone still mostly frozen in place, looked about for the source of the voice.

“I have many magical attacks… Who do we need to strike? Point me at them!”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon sends back to Dora “I don’t know exactly. We were at the Minstrel. I noticed Julia and two of the others getting drinks and then they collapsed. Then it seemed I was paralyzed. I did not see the attacker.”

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Talin
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Talin listened to Telleth, and said, no one leave! We have been poisoned. I initially felt the power of the poison but shook it off thankfully. We need to make sure no one leaves. Block off the stairs and no one gets in the kitchen. Talin tries to wake Julia and Vogh first by shaking them and saying their names, wake up Vogh, Julia. Just then Talin heard Yaeshla speak and when she said to pick her up he asked, can you sense anyone else that is not visible? Just then Talin thought about casting a spell to blind everyone but decided against it at that moment.

Talin looks for any adventurers in the tavern as well. Is there any he has seen before?

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Yaeshla (NPC)
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In reply to Talin (msg # 423):

“No, but I can turn you invisible! Do you want me to do that…?”

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Talin
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No, I don’t want you to do that. We need to figure out who did this! Everyone close your eyes. I don’t want to blind anyone! Bharash, see if there is any unseen movement. Talin said.

Talin then went into his spellcasting and cast Glitterdust to encompass as much of the inside as possible. 10ft radius spread around the front door. A map would be good so I can show where.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

With Talin starting to stir and Deacon being apparently abducted by magic, Bharash is in little mood to piss about and so fixates on Telleth’s question before growling a pointed “Both. Lock the place up and send a runn…” only to fall off as things behind him start becoming complicated and shouty and he uses his free hand to pinch the bridge of his muzzle before asking, in a patient tone “You do realise that you’re asking the man with weak eyes to look for invisible movement, right? Look, pat yourself down and see if you’ve one of these in you.” – he holds up the poison needle he plucked out of his scales.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
Everyone closed their eyes after moved away from Talin, the big dragon man and the door. The bard’s spell showered the area around the door with glitter, making it quite sparkly beautiful but revealed nothing invisible.

Telleth watched on with the rest, looking at Bharash who cut himself off and pinched his about. She wore a confused expression.

“I’ll go fetch a cleric straight away. Bharash, lock the door behind me. I’ll be right back with someone to help them!”

If allowed the red haired woman rushed through the glittering material spread across the floor and out into the morning sun.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Having no response from Dora immediately “Let’s at least try an antitoxin. See if that fixes the problem”

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin shrugged off Bharash’s complaint and after he cast his spell Talin watched the area fully to see if there was any clue of someone there that was invisible.

When nothing showed to be invisible in the area Talin shook his head. He couldn’t wake the others, the poison having put them there. We’re going to need an antitoxin most likely. Talin said to Bharash. Then checked his body for the dart that Bharash had just showed him.

Looking thoroughly, Talin didn’t find any dart or anything else. You must not have been affected by the drink and so the assassins used darts on you and Deacon. Speaking of which, where did he go? Talin asked.

Then Talin told everyone they could open their eyes once more. With Telleth gone having ran out the front door for a cleric, Talin asked Zane, make certain that no one else gets any more drinks.
We don’t want anyone else getting poisoned.

Talin then grabbed all the drinks and placed them together to be checked once a cleric came.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 07:58, Wed 17 June 2020.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“Well…” Bharash says, as the girl runs off, moving to the door to check the bars then adding “…I figure it’s about what, seventy-thirty that that was the one who drugged us.” and closing the shutters on the windows before moving to the foot of the stairs “Shout if anything happens.” he instructs Talin before loping up the steps as quickly as he can, coming down a few moments later with his swords and the bag containing his armour in one hand, setting the bundle down on the table and proceeding to pull off his nightdress (no-one needed to see that) and pull on the padded gambeson and leggings that the armour attaches to.

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Narrator
———————————————————–
The bard didn’t know anyone by name whom he recognized in the Minstrel this morning, just faces he had seen several times before. An equal number of faces he didn’t know at all were watching him. The establishment had come to a halt at first, but as time passed and no further excitement presented itself people started to return to their tables. A few cast glances back Talin’s way, and looking over the two passed out women.

Conversation started up once more, as did the sound of utencils hitting plates and mugs tapping tables, returning the inn to its normal dinn of noise. A knock came at the door, which Talin checked, opening the door slowly and cautiously. Brother Fabitor Thisk stood there, apprehension clear on his face.

“Talin! Telleth ran over and told me to come straight away to aid you. I’ve brought a couple assistants with me to aid me. Is everyone alright?!”

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Dora
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 428):

“Certainly. I apologize, but I have no way of carrying you, so I’ll have to leave you here while I fetch the items. I’m sorry.” Deacon could see the worry on her face at possibly offending him by leaving him in this state. Dora was stout for a halfling, but at just over 3 feet tall, she was certainly not of a size to move the wizard without magic. “I could have the unseen servants drag you into the other room, but they can only life 20 pounds. Not enough to get you up I’m affraid. Is that alright?”

She did as Deacon wished, then moved out of his eyesight to fetch something to aid him.

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Talin
———————————————————–
When Talin opened the door and saw Brother Fabitor there he hurriedly brought him over to Vogh and Julia.

They have been poisoned. Someone poisoned the drinks.

Talin then looked for Telleth, Where is Telleth? Did she follow you back here?

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Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon didn’t like the idea of being dragged, and he weighed a lot. He sent to Dora “I’ll be fine til you return Dora, thank you.”

He watches her disappear from view and then thought about what he needed to prevent something like this again. Some sort of Contingency plan was going to be needed. He needed to add that to the spells he wanted to get.

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Bharash
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“Huh, thirty it is. Assuming that’s actually the Brother.” Bharash states, from where he’s hopping up and down on one foot trying to lace his greave to his cuisse without anyone actually helping him do it – never the easiest way to don armour at the best of times – before lowering his leg and wriggling it a few times to try and settle the metal properly, then reaching for his sabaton.

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Brother Fabitor Thisk (NPC)
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The second Brother Fabitor came in the Ghostly Minstrel Talin had told him what had happened. ”Oh Lothian! Where are they?” When Talin brought Brother Fabitor over to Vogh and Julia who were face down in their seats still. Brother Fabitor cast a simple spell and began to look at the area around the table. Immediately he could sense that there was indeed poison in the drinks that were at the table. ”You are right, the drinks have been poisoned, but those darts on the table have also been poisoned as well.”

Brother Fabitor said to his acolytes, ”Quickly, prepare them for a healing spell. The spell will counteract the poison.” They did so and a moment later each of the acolytes cast a healing spell on each Julia and Vogh. After a few moments each of them began to stir once more.

When the coast was clear, Brother Fabitor responded to Talin’s question about Telleth. ”No, she came and warned me and then as we were gathering our things to rush over she left. So, I am not sure where she is now.” To Bharash, Brother Fabitor said, ”I am the real Brother Fabitor, the one you came to see those many moons ago to get healed and when you met Vogh who cleaned your armor while you waited.” Brother Fabitor said to prove who he was, even though he didn’t need to do so.

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Talin
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While Brother Fabitor and his acolytes work on Julia and Vogh Talin calls to Zade, Zade, I need you to make sure all the staff are accounted for and that goes for Telleth as well. I just hope the assassins didn’t kill anyone trying to get to us.

As Vogh and Julia began to move and come back to the land of the living, Talin said, I am glad the both of you are okay! Someone poisoned the drinks Telleth, if that was her even, delivered.
Brother Fabitor and his acolytes have helped you but we don’t know where Deacon is. He just disappeared right as this all happened. Hopefully he is alright.

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Narrator
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A few moments later Telleth pounded on the door and the opener saw a contingent of a half dozen City Guards behind her. “I brought the Guard.” She told whomever opened the door.

Once inside the young woman was quite relieved to see Vogh and Julia standing once more, letting out an audible sigh of relief. “Captain, it seems these friends were poisoned right here in the Minstrel.”

The guard commander looked over the group and asked them a few questions, which Talin relayed quickly. “You say no one has come or gone since the incident?” He spoke quickly and decisively, like a military commander. Upon confirmation he sharply nodded once. “Then that means the perpetrators are either still inside, or magically left.” His discerning eyes scanned the crowd, as did those of his men.

Conversation had died down once more with the appearance of the Watchmen, many were looking them over and watching the recovering group members. Others were looking around the room at one another, seeking out the guilty party as the rest of the group were.

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Bharash
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“Good enough for me.” Bharash replies, balancing on one leg and trying to lace his sabaton on as the good Brother identifies himself by prior familiarity, the burly Dragonborn switching legs in a surprisingly nimble hop-skip so that he can start armouring the other, cuisse and greave, then sabaton going on the best he can manage although with the guard showing up he ‘volunteers’ one of them to assist him with his lacing just to get things properly tight.

As for the commanders assessment, Bharash chews on it for a moment then remarks “The drinks, probably. They came out to us, but I doubt there was much security on them, why would there be? The poison needles though, someone had to launch them. There wasn’t much of an opportunity to leave after that. Not sure how you’d deliver something like that though… Don’t… don’t you normally have to wrap something around a blowgun dart or the like to make it launch?”

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Vogh
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After a few moments when Vogh was healed she had the strength to move once more, and so she rose to her feet just as the guard was coming in. What in the world happened? Vogh asked the others. She could see that Julia too had suffered the same as she too was just starting to rise.

Vogh listened to Talin as he explained what had happened.

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Talin
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Talin went to the door and opened it for Telleth as she had come with guards. It was good to see her and that she was well. Talin answered the questions and gave as much information as possible. He of course was knocked out for a second before coming to. Talin went through the sequence of events of all he knew. Well, we were sitting here discussing what we will be doing in the next few days when Telleth delivered a round of drinks for us on the house, she stated. Talin looked to Telleth then and she nodded to show she agreed.

Then after a few moments of us drinking and talking, Vogh, Julia, and I suddenly passed out from whatever poison was in the mugs. I thankfully was able to fight off the poison and came back awake. When I rose though, I heard Bharash calling out orders for no one to move or leave the place. Bharash do you want to tell them what you saw?

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia too began to come awake when the healing took the poison away. Rising she asked Vogh if she was okay, then asked, Where is Deacon?

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Bharash
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“Not much.” Bharash answers as he finishes dressing, the slithery rattle of scaled metal on metal sounding as he reaches for his swords, strapping one to his back and the other to his hip before testing the draw and sliding them both back into their scabbards “You lot fell over as though someone had handed you half a glass of winter wine and then everyone started to react. As for Deacon? No idea, looked like someone teleported him away. Honestly not sure what we could do about that.”

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Julia Graymantle
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When Bharash had said that Deacon might have used magic to teleport away, Julia used one of her simple spells to detect magic to see if that was indeed the case. I will have a look then and see what my spell tells me.

Cast Detect Magic

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Narrator
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The guard captain listened to their story while looking around, as did his men, all of whom scanned the crowd constantly. Unease as plain on their faces. Folks who frequented the Minstrel were usually some of the most high profile, and powerful, people in the city, so their unease was not without justification.

Julia’s spell took effect and magical auras started glowing all over people throughout the half of the building they were in. Most of the beings in the Minstrel had some form of magic or another on their person.

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Narrator
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 434):

Dora finally returned, what felt like an eternity later, and carefully poured a vile tasting liquid down Deacon’s throat. The wizard began to feel tingling in his extremeties, then his limbs relaxed and he was laying flat on the floor.

Dora’s consciousness touched his through the thoughtstone and he admitted her once more. “Ah, the paralysis has abated. Can you stand?”

Deacon rolled his eyes around, then his head and finally rolled on his side and stood. He felt a bit wobbly, but quickly regaines his strength and felt fine.

“Ah. Wonderful. Glad that worked. Would you like me to accompany you to you room that you might rest?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon collected his thoughts a moment then sends to Dora “There is no time for that, the others may still be in danger, I must return.”

He takes out his spellbook and quickly looks over the Teleport spell notations in it and exchanges his Wall of Stone spell for a Teleport spell.

“I appreciate your assistance and feel free to call on me when you need aid. I must go as I have said, I will return on the morrow.” Deacon sends to Dora.

He replaces the spellbook back into his pack and then with a thought disappears from the entryway going back to his room at the Ghostly Minstrel. He’ll exit the room and come down the stairs, as he comes down the stairs he’ll use a mage hand from his cloak to pull his Staff back to him. He notices the guards and uneasy faces but is not sure what exactly has transpired but it is to powerful and dangerous to leave the staff unattended.


“Might I ask what has fully transpired?”
Deacon asks in general to those assembled.

OOC:

Use Quick Study and 1 point of my pool to exchange Wall of Stone for a third Teleport since I’ve already used my two today.

Teleport to his room, descend stairs. Use Mage Hand to bring Yaeshla Staff of Shards to his hand.

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Narrator
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Deacon certainly knew how to make an entrance. All the Watchmen bristled and reached for weapons as the staff left Talin’s hands and “flew” across to room to the elf wizard’s own, but they settled at the upraised hand from Talin. The captain’s eyes opened wide, and whispered conversation sparked up all around the room. “This one with you?” He addressed Bharash, who nodded in the affirmative.

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Narrator
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In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 444):

Julia saw Deacon come down, but she kept focusing around the room on magical auras as the types and powers became more clear to her.

The first thing that caught Julia’s murky eyesight was a rather attractive, if short, half-elven woman who had a black stone around her neck which radiated weak necromatic magic. Julia kept looking and saw two more necklaces, nearly identical, on other patrons. Both humans, male and female, were dressed very affluently and wore fearful expression on their faces.

One sword strapped to a tiefling’s hip glowed with powerful necromatic magic. The woman wore her long, braided and black hair long which mostly hid her small horns.

Finally, a male tabaxi seemed to be wearing a blue-green stone which glowed magical to her spell, but was also glowing with its own light. (Roll to identify the special material) [Private to GM: hellstone: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment/special-materials/]

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Julia Graymantle
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The auras all about her had Julia looking for more specific things that stood out which brought her to the necklaces and the sword which showed to Julia the were of the necromantic school of magic.

As Deacon arrived Julia’s smiled at him but then turned quickly back to the humans and the tiefling. Julia leaned over to Vogh and said, “Talk in my head.”

When Vogh answered back, Julia said, “I don’t see anything invisible. But I do see necromantic auras coming from the two humans necklaces and that female tiefling’s blade. Can you alert the guard to go to them and hold them?”

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Vogh
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Vogh had said, what is it? After Julia explained what she saw and didn’t see, Vogh didn’t want to just reach out to the guards instead she moved over to the one that seemed to be in charge and pulled him away from the ones Julia had said held necromantic magic. In a soft voice, she said, There are three people in here that have necromantic items, 2 necklaces, and one blade. Might I suggest positioning yourselves near them and take them into custody. We don’t know if they were involved but we could question them. They look like they have something to be afraid of.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon watched as Julia talked to Vogh and then Vogh went to speak with the guards. He finished his walk down the stairs moving towards the table where Julia was still seated. He kept his eyes about, obviously the guard was here to look for the would be assassins. Still they had no spellcasters with them and seemed ill equipped for the job. He was not sure what the others had learned yet. Following the eyes of Julia he noticed she was watching a pair of humans and a tiefling with a sword. He remained silent but ready.

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Bharash
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Bharash didn’t say anything of the sort of course. He said that someone teleported Deacon away, although to be fair, Deacon is sort of technically a someone, so he statement could be read that way.

And then Deacon himself turns up, makes a casting gesture that has absolutely no effect on the staff Talin is holding* (Bharash here offers a helpful ‘Excuse me.’ and extends a hand to take the fancy walking stick so he can toss it over to the mage before anyone gets too embarrassed) while – instead of nodding, because he’s his own Dragonborn – deadpans “Deacon? Never seen him before in my life.” even as he’s tossing him his stick.

From there, he’s mostly interacting with the guards however, so the secretive byplay with the suspects largely escapes him.

* Mage hand doesn’t work on attended objects. Fortunately, making magic gestures as if you want your stick back does when you have a BFD (Big, Friendly Dragonborn) nearby. ^_^

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Talin
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Talin spoke to Telleth, Can you please check your staff to make sure that no one is missing. I hope nothing happened to any of them.

I guess it is assumed that I picked it up but I didn’t post that I picked it up.

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Telleth
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“Yes! Yes! Of course!” The woman rushed into the back, into the kitchen area to check on all the other employees.

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Narrator
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 451):

The guard captain nodded and looked where Vogh was pointing. He sent one guard to each of the people and each asked them to stand. The man and woman looked absolutely petrified, sweat beading on their brows.

The tiefling woman was incensed. “What’s this about?! A woman can’t eat and drink in peace. This is profiling and it’s unacceptable!”

The tabaxi looked resigned, but frustrated, as he likewise stood.

Talin alone noticed a small human man with slight stubble on his face, and wearing all black clothing, had moved from one table to another, then another. It just registered with the bard that he had seen the same man in the three different places. The gentlemen looked totally relaxed, sipping on a drink which was half full, while sitting alone and watching the proceedings.

Narrator rolled using 5d20 ((1,20,1,10,9)) VTBDJ

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon remained near Julia waiting to see what the developments were. He could not follow the conversations but did notice Telleth heading back into the kitchen.

So his thoughts drifted to the matter at hand while he awaited the others to prompt him.

Who had poisoned the drinks he thought to himself? Someone had to have opportunity. Who had opportunity? Well Telleth of course who delivered the drinks. Did she pour the drinks? Deacon was not sure, and did she use a new bottle or barrel? No one else seemed impacted. So opportunity most likely fell on Telleth or a member of her staff. What was the motive though? Surely kidnapping or murder of patrons in her establishment would hurt business. Others might not wish to come once the news spread. So they lacked Motive. So it was not Telleth he thought. It had to be someone else. If someone else poured the drinks, a staff member, it could have been them. But then Why? What was the ultimate goal? Once you moved past the mundane into the magical there were many other possibilities. Someone using invisibility could easily have placed the poison and no one been the wiser. How long had the drinks sat though before being delivered? Who might have motive? Well no doubt they had caused a great stir with their actions. They had stopped the plots of powerful people who though they might not wish to act openly against them might surely act privately. Helmut gained the most. They were an impediment to his plans. The drinks were delivered shortly after Helmut left. He certainly had motive, but did he have opportunity. Helmut was head of the Watchers of the Sky, any member may have acted on his orders even without his direct involvement.

So went his thoughts.

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Vogh
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Pleased that the guard had the people stand, Vogh said, I think we should find a nice place to question them about a few things. Where can we take them, Captain? Vogh had no way to know if the people had anything to do with what happened to them, but the way they were acting gave her reason to believe they were definitely guilty of something.

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Talin
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When Telleth turned to leave, Talin caught something strange. He saw the same small human man with slight stubble on his face and wearing all black clothing sitting in a different spot than he was before. Before the small man was able to get away if that is what he was doing, Talin went to Bharash and described the man to him quickly and where he was at in the tavern. Something strange about him Bharash, I think we should go over to him. He may run so be ready. Talin made sure to send Bharash one way while Talin kept his eyes on the man and keep the door behind him so the man would have to go through him to get out.

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