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Narrator GM
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Deacon’s first detection outside was thwarted but the second revealed a half orc. Pockmarked green skin looked mottled and unflattering, coupled with uneven tusks and a round face.

Inside the Minstrel Deacon sensed a female troglodyte with bright frill and cyan eyes. Her broad scales where brown, unflattering as her sharp, hideous face. His detection of the second sensor inside the common room revealed nothing about the scrier.

[Private to GM:
New Dawn Fades

A change of speed, a change of style
A change of scene, with no regrets
A chance to watch, admire the distance
Still occupied, though you forget
Different colors, different shades
Over each mistakes were made
I took the blame
Directionless, so plain to see
A loaded gun won’t set you free
So you say
We’ll share a drink and step outside
An angry voice and one who cried
We’ll give you everything and more
The strain’s too much, can’t take much more
Oh, I’ve walked on water, run through fire
Can’t seem to feel it anymore
It was me, waiting for me
Hoping for something more
Me, seeing me this time
Hoping for something else]

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Deacon Havenhold
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As soon as Deacon got into the Minstrel he told the others, “Let’s head upstairs.  There are eyes watching us.”

He went upstairs and once they were all in Vogh’s room and the door was closed he knew they were safe from any watchful eyes or at least as far as he could tell.

“We have lots of eyes watching us.  As soon as I got into Delver’s square I was alerted of two.  There must be a sensor somewhere there.  One of them I was able to identify but not the other.”  Deacon told them of the half orc and about how far and in which direction.

“Then when we entered the Minstrel I felt two more.  Once again I identified one but not the other.

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Bharash
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“Wow, it’s almost as though all the people we’ve pissed off want to know what we’re doing. Trog, huh? She pretty?” – there’s a moment, before he grins toothily “What? A guy can hold his breath.”

“Anyway, you’re the magic brains of the outfit so you get to figure out how we plot and scheme without them noticing. I mean, I have ideas but I don’t want to share them with the enemy. Oh! And can you detect a teleport nearby in case they’re going to come after us?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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“There is a spell that I have heard can do such a thing as you ask.  It doesn’t ha e a wide range but could give a bit of warning.  If I remember it is called Trace Teleport.”

Deacon once again reminded Bharash that they were now safe to speak within Vogh’s room.  Deacon the remembered a different spell people could use and made sure there were no holes anywhere.  The key hole was pluged as well as any crack under the door.

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Talin
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Talin raised a finger to address Deacon, “Or… Or we walked through two of the highest trafficked areas in the City and some people just happened to be looking on. I agree we should do everything we can to protect ourselves from detection and watching, but people scrying areas and not us specifically is likely more a coincidence. That said, could you write descriptions of both people you found and we can make inquiries about who those folks might be? What else can we do to prevent people from watching us? Deacon, could someone scry this room? Can we block that? Are spells able to magically track us? I am not well enough versed in the arcane to know all these answers. Who can we trust to ask?”

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Bharash
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Bharash once again reminded Deacon that there are these dudes called ‘mages’ around who can do ‘magic stuff’ and that he was rather more concerned about that than some maid bent over and listening at the keyhole.

If that concern is addressed, he’ll become rather more loose-lipped about his thoughts.

For the magically knowledgeable: Scrying takes an hour to cast (generally) and creates a sensor that’ll follow you at 150’/round but that can’t teleport. You get a +5 bonus to resist it if you’re on another plane, even if it’s just at the top of a Rope Trick (which also defeats eavesdropping). Private Sanctum is also an option.

Failing which, being aware of the scrying and spreading misinformation works too.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon very well knew the tricks and trade of magic and the plugging the hole wasn’t for someone peeping through the hole.

At the mention of rope trick Deacon began he spell.  He had it and ready.  After a few moments he went up the rope and into the extra dimensional space.  Deacon then peeked out, “Come inside the weather is clear.”  Deacon then popped back inside.

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Vogh
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Vogh motioned for the others to head up the rope after both Julia and Talin went up she looked to Bharash and said, “Let’s go discuss things in private.  We should hurry though cause I think both Julia and Deacon have some people to speak to.”

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Bharash
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“Yeah, well I’m more concerned about the demon horde we just pissed on and pissed off, so they can reschedule if they have to.” Bharash remarks as he pulls himself out of the ladder-hole and settles down next to it, pulling up the rope and waiting for an ‘its clear’ nod from Deacon (who can probably sweep the interior for magic) before starting to lay out his thoughts.

As he speaks, he draws one of his swords and starts carefully going over it with a whetstone and oilcloth “Okay, first off… We’ve got them scared. That ambush wasn’t an easy thing to set up, ratfolk are pretty disorganised but someone rallied them fast, which means they were sat on them, kitted up and awake. Thing is, that’s a point in our favour. You can’t do that without wearing down your people. If we have the means to teleport someone down there a couple of times a day and throw out a few angry summons for them to rally against, they’ll be punch-drunk on lack of sleep in no time.”

“Second off, going back: We need to do it pretty soon and I’d say the best thing to do there is to get all the teleporting power we can together, get all the fighting magic you’ve got on-line, fill up every slot that ain’t full of us with the best summoned things we can summon and bounce down there right into the middle of them… To which end, we’re kind of going to want to scout a little ahead of time. Anyone got a clever idea for that?” by this point he’s finished with the sword and is popping the scabbard-rings off it so that he can open it and clean it out, to make sure there’s no blood in there that might allow rust to get a clawhold on his weapons.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Once everyone was in Deacon gave the all-clear so they could talk.  Upon hearing Bharash”s thoughts Deacon added, “I could always cast an arcane eye and send it down to spy in them.  It is just like the ones I detected here and in Delver’s Square.”

Thinking on the other thing Deacon thought for a moment.  “Besides our dimension doors we didn’t use a lot of spells on this trip.  We could go back for a harassing bit and I could cast another summoning spell.  I don’t think going to the same spot we were just at is a good idea though.  Something was weird about that.  When I summoned the Bralani it seemed like the room twisted my spell and summoned the incubi.  Plus we need a spot where we could actually fight a d not worry about falling into a pit of insanity.”

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Julia Graymantle
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“I can still heal quite a bit if needed too.  I say if we go we just head back after Deacon has a look.  Either way if we do, we need to cast all available spells and then be ready.”  Julia had been rubbing some oils on her skin to soften it back up after having been seared only a few minutes ago.

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Vogh
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Vogh listened to the others speak before adding in her thoughts.

“The only problem I want to make sure we do is to not have to face that Balor once again.  I know enough about them that what it has thrown at us thus far is just a tip of the iceberg.  I ha e heard they can kill someone with a spell.  If they keep their concentration going they can kill another after another.”

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Bharash
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“Got to see them before they can hit them, right? So first thing someone does down there is make some illusions. Meanwhile we all look like whatever you’ve summoned. Overload his ability to track and target then put him down, hard. Also, we need to be able to fly.” Bharash answers, then doubles back to the original idea and shrugs “I’d say stick with harassing for now. At the moment, alarm is raised, they stand to. We do two or three ‘turn up, release the hounds, leave’ runs and they’ll lose their edge, get sloppy. The important thing is to deny then a chance to really rest.”

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Vogh
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“If we can get enough spell users to do this then it certainly will work.  But, as we currently stand we will run out of spells long before they tire.  The other important thing is that we don’t know their timeline for this Night of Dissolution or how close they are to completing it.”

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Talin
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Talin nodded in agreement with all the points made by the others. After Vogh’s statement, he interjected. “Not only so we not know about the rituals timeline, Bharash, Julia, Deacon, correct me if I’m wrong, but we also didn’t see this Wuntad anywhere down there, did we? I know there was that tunnel to the left where the ratmen fled. We didn’t get a chance to explore down there. But we don’t even know if the thing will happen in the crazy area we just left.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon knew they hadn’t seen Wuntad yet.  Talin nor Vogh had seen him before so they had no idea what he looked like.  “No, we haven’t seen him yet no.  One other thing I don’t think the way the ratmen fled would be the right direction because by the sounds of it they didn’t want to go near the cultists.  So, here is a plan.  We head back to the apartment building and I send down my eye to see what I can.  If there is an opportunity where we can take out some bigger foes easily enough we can either dimension door or teleport there.  Of course we will be completely spelled up.  I can summon more bralani and some other things to join in as well.  First step is to get to the apartment and send down the eye.

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Bharash
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“Well, second thing. First thing we do is get lunch, I don’t know about you lot but I’m starving.” Bharash offers for consideration, audibly brightening at the thought of food.

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Talin
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Talin looked over at Bharash as he mentioned food.

“I believe I could go for some as well.  Let’s head down into the main room and get something before we go.”

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Narrator GM
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The five friends descended the stairs into the Ghostly Minstrel’s common room. The late afternoon crowd was small, before the dinner and late night crowd rush began but the Minstrel always had someone in the common room.

Opening the door, a very well dressed elf stepped inside angrily trying to clean off dirt from the bottom of his very expensive looking coat. Outside the clouds had mostly cleared and those hanging in the sky were floating by lazily on a slow wind.

Everyone ordered and enjoyed a fine meal. The Minstrel never disappointed in food or drink. Telleth was not to be found. She often focused on the evening crowd and let others handle the less busy daytime hours of the Inn.

One table caught the group’s attention. A middle aged, short human woman who was clearly some form of spellcaster – but not an Inverted Pyramid member Deacon noted by the lack of a floating triangle over her head – sat with an aged half-orc and another human woman who was much younger. The young woman and the elder orc were both dressed in matching tight fitting clothing, without armor or weapons. The half orc was covered in tattoos, hands, neck, face and even his bald head. The group had all seen monks before, those who battled with hand and foot but seldom used blades. The trio was conversing closely, leaning over their table, and in hushed tones.

After finishing their meal the group walked out into the bustling Delver’s Square. People milled about, moved into and out of the undercity and all of the shops that surrounded likely the busiest area of Ptolus. A group of children took their time passing the Square, gawking at all the armed and armored beings, clearly enjoying the sight of Delvers. None of the children looked well to do, and all carried bundles of books, likely heading home after school.

Several carriages had to pass before one large enough to carry all five rolled near. It was hailed and paid for, then rumbled away toward Oldtown and the Apartment complex. Nothing impeded their passage, but the press of traffic certainly slowed them, often almost to a crawl. With clear skies every hawker and seller choked the main street trying to make some coin from the passersby.

Finally the group rolled up to the apartment building and found it boarded up with a notice from the City Watch to stay out or be arrested.

[Private to GM: Arget Keenseeker is a 35 year old female human wizard.
She has long, curled, brown hair and gray eyes.
She has veiny golden skin.
She stands 147cm (4’9″) tall and has a round build.
She has an oval, ordinary face.
She has a high-pitched voice.

Krea Commonbrook is a 20 year old female human monk.
She has a bald head and brown eyes.
She has soft, pockmarked, golden skin.
She stands 177cm (5’9″) tall and has a regular build.
She has a square, slightly unremarkable face.
She has a very small scar on her left arm.
She fidgets occasionally.
She seeks revenge for the death of her partner.

Eghuglat Thunderbasher is a 59 year old male half-orc monk.
He has long, straight, auburn hair and blue eyes.
He has rugged green skin.
He stands 202cm (6’7″) tall and has a beefy build.
He has an edgy, slightly unremarkable face with a short beard.
He has a shocking tattoo of a snake on his left leg and a tattoo of an inspirational quote about happiness translated into deep speech on his left hand.]

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Vogh
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One of the very cool things about The Ghostly Minstrel was that at any given time you can find adventurers.  A lot of them come in all geared up as well which is a sight to see.

It was no different for The Calling.  As they sat and ate Vogh noticed the spell caster and the two would-be monks or so she thought.

After eating and finally getting a coach they all now stood in front of the Apartment complex once more.  “Okay Deacon. do your thing,” Vogh said as she looked around for anyone watching.  She even cast a detect magic hoping to hopefully not see any scrying devices.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon didn’t have the spell studied for the day so he used his reservoir to recall it from his studies.

Once the spell was cast he sent it into the house and down into the depths of the sewers and through the ratman area and then deeper still.  He looked in any open rooms quickly before continuing on.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon’s magical eye floated through a small space in the broken wood and he saw the apartment in the same state of disarray they left it. Blood still stained the ground in several places, but no bodies remained.

Several cats still lazed around the place, but none took notice of the flying sensor.

He navigated the eye to the hole in the floor and down into the sewer below. The gate his spell had destroyed still lay askew. No one had tried to fix it.

Thankful the heavy steel door they first passed through had a large keyhole which he passes through. The chamber beyond no longer had the magical columns he had been forced to trap behind walls of force. It seems the large, magical items had been moved.

Blood stains and some burning remained on the stone. Thankfully he couldn’t smell anything because the number of bedrolls and haphazard sleeping places for ratmen made the place smell awful.

A few ratmen milled about, lazing on beds or playing small games with bones. None noticed him obviously.

Moving through the hole which the chaotic occupants had used to attack the group, Deacon saw the now abandoned chamber covered in psychotic paint and symbols. Quickly checking over the former quarters it was obvious those they chased off had not returned.

Down the stairwell into the open chamber which held one half of the sunken tower formerly occupied by the aranea. He passed through and into the room beyond with still smoldering ratmen bodies lay about.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon describes what he sees as he watches his arcane eye travel the route underground.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon sends the eye down the long corridor which ends in the room he collapsed and subsequently they made ratmen clear out to reveal the staircase down.

Descending the staircase he took a right and squeezed through the holes Bharash drilled until he saw the crystal walled room. No one was visible inside.

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Bharash
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Bharash – as is often the case – does a lot of the ordering when lunch is decided upon, apparently having something of a discerning palette (as he implied while they were kicking around town before) and a real knack for selecting good combinations of condiments and drinks to pair with the meals on-hand… Probably inspired by the fact that he puts away nearly twice what anyone else does as a result of his combining twice their mass with a dragon-touched metabolism (you rarely see a fat dragonborn).

After that? Well, he ambles along in the bands wake, keeping an eye on them all as he makes himself the most vulnerable of the team, leaning on his Hat of Disguise once more, this time to produce the impression that he’s just wearing street clothing while in fact, he’s still clad in his battered, scorched and bloody plate – offering himself as the prime target for anyone intending to jump the band.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon sent the eye straight last the crystal room this time.  Following the hallway past it.

If he still found nothing he would send it back to the large room where he first encountered the balor.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon’s spell eye turned a corner and ascended a flight of stairs to run into a dead end which looked like it had to be a pivoting wall that would grant access to something beyond, unfortunately the stone fit tight to the hall and there was not enough room to squeeze through to whatever lay beyond.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Stopping at the wall Deacon looked at it for a second before sending it flying back to the room they met the balor first.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon’s eye flew across the crystal chamber. He saw several bodies of people hanging beneath the floating island. A few of them had twisted and misshapen limbs. It seemed proximity to the pit of insanity was affecting them.

First he flew across to the door where the medusa had appeared. The wooden door had a keyhole he passed through easily. All the rooms were spartan, holding little more than a cot and a small chest for personal belongings and clothing. The central chamber had a round table with a stone top covered with an eight-pointed arrow chaos symbol and eight chairs around it. The bookcases lining the walls of this chamber were filled with books on religion and magic, although they were all common titles and not terribly valuable.

Three females sat around the central table, conversing and unaware of Deacon’s watchful eye. All three of them were rather attractive.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon relayed what he found in the chamber with the three attractive women.  Deacon able to read lips tried to position the eye to see what they were talking about.

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Bharash
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Bharash, whose opinion about what constitutes an attractive woman generally includes the ability to bench what the other two lads consider an attractive woman, naturally raises an eye-ridge at the short descriptor and remarks “Attractive, mm? In what way?”

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Narrator GM
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The wizard had a hard time picking out the conversation with the three of them talking back and forth. It was quite inconsiderate of them how they kept moving their heads and looking around while they spoke, which hindered him from following the conversation. It was clear they were shaken up and nervous. All were completely armored in chainmail with fine looking maces sitting beside them. High quality crossbows sat next to each of them, propped against the table. Plus all three of them had on the broken square rings the group had seen several times before. Deacon was able to pick out the women mentioning several of the cults he knew by name, Tolling Bell, Brother of Venom and the Ebon Hand. The trio seemed to snear each time they mentioned the Ebon Hand. He clearly saw them say Wuntad’s name. Deacon couldn’t be certain what machine they were discussing, but he also recognized a location the trio mentioned, “The White House.” The White House was a high class, expensive and legal brothel in Oldtown that catered to very luxurious clients.

[Private to GM: Fistrial, Theissa, and Normas]

One of the women, looked to be in her mid-twenties with short, curled, blond hair and brown eyes and soft white skin. She was the shortest of the three, not even five feet tall and was fit. She had a branding on her left ear Deacon did not recognize, it was of three eyes on top of each other. [Private to GM: Ennin Slave Symbol]

Another had her black hair tied into tight rows and gray eyes. Her silky, black skin was dotted with pockmarks especially on her oval face. She stood half way between 5 and 6 feet with a very muscular build. She kept puffing on a black pipe while speaking.

The final woman was by far the most attractive, and the tallest. Her very long blond hair was partially shaved on the right side which only accentuated her brown eyes. Her smooth, pink skin was flawless with high cheek bones and pouty lips. Her forehead had two small piercings.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon wasn’t sure how to answer Bharash except to point to Julia.  “Not nearly as beautiful as Julia but close.”  Deacon had always had a hidden crush on Julia but never took any steps or showed his feelings towards her.

“I believe we can easily take them without doing too much prep work.  If you want to take them.  The information about the White House is interesting.  I know that is located in Oldtown.  Thing is, we don’t know if that will lead us to anything worth going.  If we want to take them we should do it now!”

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Bharash
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“Skinny, scrawny and short then?” Bharash asks, before shooting a friendly wink towards Julia and adding “No offense. I’ve known you long enough now that I hardly even notice, most days.” in a playful fashion that somehow manages to suggest that he’s expecting to be smacked and, on account of his deserving it is in for a Jenny, in for a throne.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia looked at Baharsh and his comment.  She knew that the dragonborn liked a strong woman and she wasn’t one, that was for sure.  “If we can get in there and hit them quick I say we take the chance.  If we can take them hostage all the better.”

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Bharash
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Rolling his eyes playfully, Bharash resumes his position of ‘not pretending to be afraid he’s about to be hit’ with a grin and a rumble of “You’re no fun any more. And from what he’s saying.” he indicates Deacon “They are well informed, well equipped and well connected. Not good hostages.” before allowing thoughtfully “But if they’re nervous… I suppose trying for a capture wouldn’t be that bad an idea, if we can get them out again. Any chance of bounties?”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia hadn’t actually meant hostage when she said it and blushed as the dragonborn had corrected her.  “Yes I did mean that we could capture them not hold them hostage.  Anyways, I think it may be a good target for us.”

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Vogh
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Vogh followed along in her mind as Deacon described all that he saw as his magical eye traveled the corridors below ground.

When Deacon and the others began discussing tactics Vogh listened close.  She felt they needed to do something to lessen their capabilities and if these were priestesses that would be a decent start.  “Let’s caste haste and dimension door into the room and take them by surprise.  Try not to kill if you can.  We need more information.”

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Talin
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Talin hadn’t used much of his spell capabilities so he cast haste and gave Deacon a nod.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Once Vogh started her music in his head Deacon cast his spell of teleportation using his arcane eye to guide their placement into the room.

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Narrator GM
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The group appeared in the room, startling the three women and catching them off guard.

[Private to GM: Initiatives 3,9,1]

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Bharash
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“Fair enough, if we can do it quickly we should be alright. Do we have additional teleport capacity for summo…” Bharash starts to answer, before the group accelerates and blinks out, sighing heavily – he barely has time to draw his swords before he’s stepping up to the trio and starts slapping, using the blunt side of his weapons as best he can, grumbling as he works across the table from left to right, aiming for wrists and ankles, foreheads and breastbones with a variety of slaps, strikes and pommel-strikes intended to render the women completely incapable of resistance.

-4 to hit for non-lethal damage from lethal weapons.
+1 to hit and +1 attack from haste.

All the vs Evil damage is lethal. The numbers in brackets are to confirm criticals, and the damage they cause. The last check is a possible botch if 21 missed a target who may be flat-footed.

I may also need to add bardic bonuses. Not sure.

To Hit   Damage   vs Evil
39(32)   15(45)   12(36)
Initiative
38(28)   19(57)   8
41(26)   15(45)   5
25       21
23       19       6
28       20
31(23)   21(63)   5
25       19
16(21)   Botch(-)

23:08, Today: Bharash rolled 21 using 1d20+15.  Critical miss test.
23:08, Today: Bharash rolled 16,7 using 1d20+15,1d4+3.  Non-lethal headbutt.
23:07, Today: Bharash rolled 25,21,28,20,25,19 using 1d20+21,1d8+13,1d20+16,1d8+13,1d20+11,1d8+13.  Off-hand non-lethal slapping.
23:10, Today: Bharash rolled 22 using 1d20+21.  Critical threat (the one I missed).
23:06, Today: Bharash rolled 24,19 using 1d20+21,1d20+11.  Critical threat(s).
23:05, Today: Bharash rolled 38,19,8,41,15,5,23,19,6,31,21,5 using 1d20+21,1d8+13,2d6,1d20+21,1d8+13,2d6,1d20+16,1d8+14,2d6,1d20+11,1d8+13,2d6.  Main hand non-lethal slapping.

23:03, Today: Bharash rolled 18 using 1d20+10.  Initiative.
23:02, Today: Bharash rolled 27 using 1d20+20.  Critical threat.
23:02, Today: Bharash rolled 38,15,12 using 1d20+20,1d8+13,2d6.  Non-lethal slapping in the surprise round.

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Vogh
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Coming out of the teleport was different than a dimensional doorway.  Unlike the dimension door when she was teleported she couldn’t act right away but she was ready.

She appeared and the shocked looks on the females faces told her that they hadn’t expected it which was good.  Vogh stepped up and as she had been shown from Bharash she used the flats of her blades to hit the women.

surprise round Hit AC 21 for 25.
1st round hit AC23 for 25, AC18 for 26, AC31 crit check 26 for 31 or 61 total depending on crit or not.
11:38, Today: Vogh rolled 26,30 using d20+11,d8+23. Crit check.
11:38, Today: Vogh rolled 23,25,18,26,15,28,31,31 using D20+16,d8+23,d20+16,d8+23,d20+11,d8+23,d20+11,d8+23. 1st round.
10:24, Today: Vogh rolled 21,25 using D20+16,d8+23. Surprise round.
10:19, Today: Vogh rolled 18,18,17,24 using d20+7,d20+7,d20+3,d20+7. Initiative

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Narrator GM
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Bharash quickly knocked out the one woman, then side stepped and tendered the next unconscious as well. Likewise Vogh pummeled her quarry and in mere seconds the fight was over before it started.

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Talin
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Talin having not been able to get a shot at either of the women said, “Well, guess that worked well.  Now, what do you want to do with them?  Shall I dimension door with them and Vogh with you all?”

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Vogh
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Vogh was happy the plan was as successful as they had planned.  “Yes, we take them to the hideout.  We can talk to them in private there.”

She made sure everyone agreed and then cast her spell to take Deacon, Bharash, and Julia to the hideout.

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Bharash
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A quick whirl, and Bharash has his swords out of his hands and in his scabbards in order to free up his hands so that he can drop to one knee in order to strip the women of weapons and tools, putting them on a small pile on the righted table as he hog-ties them, hand and foot with their own belts.

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Talin
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Once Bharash had the women stripped of their gear and tied up he cast his dimension door back to the hideout.

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Vogh
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Watching Bharash gather the gear Vogh quickly cast detect magic to see if there was anything else in the room that they could take with them.  She looked into the rooms as well just to make sure before she gathered everyone and then dimension doored to the hideout.

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Julia Graymantle
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The quick reaction of her friends reminded her just how strong they were as a group.

Once they were back in the hideout Julia sent out a wave of healing to heal the women partially of their wounds and to wake them up.  Questions needed answering.

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Vogh
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When Julia healed the women to consciousness, Vogh looked at the women and said, “You three will answer our questions.  If not you will be given to him for play.”  Vogh pointed to Bharash the big mean looking dragonborn.

“I want to know everything you can tell me about this Night of Dissolution?
I want to know where Wuntad is? I want to know any weakness he may have?  You will also answer any of my companions questions as well.”

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Narrator GM
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The three women awoke completely terrified. Vogh’s threat and looking over Bharash only served to frighten then more. The tallest and most attractive of the women actually fainted.

Ironically the smallest of the three was the least flappable. She was still shaken but regained her composure, stiffening her face and spine to regard those arrayed against them.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Wait, what? No!” Bharash attempts to protest, only to groan as the women come around, only to sigh and hold up a finger, straight flatly “Shaddup.” at the women then moving to pick two of them up, “I’ll put one in the other bedroom and leave one down here. We’ll do the interrogation in the rope pocket. You don’t let them confer or hear each others answers.”

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon used his reservoir once more to recall his rope trick from memory.

Deacon cast his spell and then had Bharash and whomever head inside.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Once inside the woman explained to Vogh what they knew.

“The Tolling Bell cult is organizing the other, disparate chaos cults. Wuntad is indeed the leader of the Tolling Bell and is pulling the groups together by force of will. He wants to bring about the Night of Dissolution, which will awaken the Lords of Chaos. We honestly don’t know where Wuntad is. We answer only to Illadras, whom you fought in the Temple. If you go down the opposite tunnel that led you here there is a large machine, and those in there might be able to tell you where to find him. We’ve never been down there before, so we honestly cannot tell you anything else. Now, will you release us?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“While I don’t doubt what you have said thus far, I find it really hard to believe that you know nothing more about this whole thing.  When is Wuntad trying to complete the Night of Dissolution?  What does he need in order to complete it?”  Vogh pressed for more answers.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The woman shrugged at Vogh but did answer, “I honestly don’t know what all he needs to complete it. We are supposed to go there, but Illadras hasn’t told us when or where. I know it’s supposed to be soon. It’s not like you can stop it. The Lords of Chaos are so far beyond you. They are greater than any gods you could possibly serve and they will rise no matter what. Wuntad is Vested. Even if you found him, he would swat you away like flies.”

[Private to GM: Make mention of rune bearers disappearing. Implicate Helmut.]

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh just wasn’t believing what she was saying.  “Where is Illadras?”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“I imagine she’s somewhere in the complex. Her quarters are off the room you kidnapped us from. After you all invaded our temple and attacked, she is conferring with the others.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“Which others is she conferring with?  Why should we let you go for really no information?  If you can’t provide something then we will turn you in to the authorities.”  Vogh said with a dry flat face and hand on hips.

“There is still the proposition to feed you to him!”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The woman seemed unperturbed. “I can’t give you something I don’t have. As to whom she was conferring, I would assume Herriakadal, the medusa, Astared the half-demon-half-centaur, or Nirech-thes the Balor who did you so much harm…” She wore just a slight smile when finishing her statement.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

Bharash meanwhile, guards the gagged women who aren’t being interrogated, with the full intention of swapping them one out when told to do so.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM

“Just as we teleported in I heard something about a White House.  Tell me about that then if you have no further information about the others.”  Vogh asked keeping her tone flat.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The woman raised an eyebrow but nodded her head. “The big machine is supposedly beneath the White House brothel. Surely you know it…? You’ve worked there before, right?” The woman goaded Vogh with the harsh comment and a wide smile.

“No matter. The machine lies in chambers below there and is a joint effort between the owner and our groups. I honestly don’t understand what it does or why they care about it, but supposedly it’s important.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
The woman was trying to get to Vogh but Vogh was no newcomer to getting someone to react to how she wanted them to.  Vogh kept her straight face even as the woman grinned at her.  “Thank you for the important information.  That will be all for you now.”

Vogh poked her head out of the hole and called to Bharash, “I am ready for the next one.  This one gave me plenty of information and needs to be separated from the others.”

Once a new one was up inside Vogh asked the same questions.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

Bharash happily climbs back down with the next girl, sets her in the chair then gags the first one with a polite “Excuse me.” and carries her back ‘upstairs’, humming merrily. A moment later he pops back down, un-gags the second girl, double-checks the ties holding her to the chair and heads back up into the rope trick with an approving “Good work.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The next woman was terrified and took constant prodding to speak. She knew the same, or less, than the other woman. She explained, “I’ve only been down here for a month. Before that I was working with a Brotherhood cell.” Vogh pressed and the woman trembled with fear. “We were stealing! Okay? We had some younger people who were breaking into houses and businesses to gather up funds we need for buying things.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“What is your name?”  Vogh had asked the woman.

“Look, it sounds like you got yourself all messed up in the wrong crowd here.  Tell me, why were there people hanging from chains in the room with Illadras?”

Vogh then asked, “How can we save them? That pool of insanity below it is not good either.”

“With some cooperation on your part I think we can do something to help you.”  Vogh dangled that bit out there for her to nibble on.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Vogh had gotten the name of the first woman as Fistrial. “Theissa. Theissa is my name.” She did not respond to Vogh’s comment about the “wrong crowd” but she definitely blanched at mention of the prisoners. “They were prisoners. I… I don’t think any of them are still alive… Illadras was furious after your attack. I believe she killed all of them. They had been held in the prison, but she pulled Lorelii, the jailer, away from watching them after your first attack to aid in the defense of the temple.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh rocked back on her heels at the mention that Illadras had killed all the ‘prisoners.

“What is Lorelii.
Human or more demon spawn like the others we have encountered? Also, what temple are you talking about?

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“She is … mostly human… She has received many blessed mutations. The Kaleidescope Temple where you fought the others. The crystal walled room with the chaos sphere.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“Did Lorelii go with Illadras?  The woman knew a lot more than she led on originally.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“I’m not certain. I have not seen her since before you all invaded and attacked. We were in the lower tunnels praying when you attacked and were coming to aid but you all fled before we arrived.”

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia had been listening to the interrogations and wanted to ask a question. “I would like to know which god or gods you worship, if you don’t mind.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The woman laughed at Julia. “I thought that was obvious… We all serve the gods of chaos. The mighty ones. Your gods have left this plane or only touch you from afar. Our Lords slumber beneath us and will rise in truth and reality. Lothian. He was a usurper. Some wandering fool who was killed so weak minded fools began to revere him. The Lords have existed since the beginning. They are timeless. Unkillable. Inevitable.”

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
“And yet they too aren’t here.  When they fail at their revival you will see the truth of your failure.”  Was all that Julia said.

Julia would ensure that these priestesses would serve their gods in prison.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
They led this woman out as well, and brought in the next, Normas was her name. Vogh’s opening question was about Lorelii. “What about her? She’s received multiple chaositech modifications. She is very powerful, if a bit insane. She loved to torment the prisoners.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
After some more questioning and not getting any new information Vogh talks to the others and decides that it is time to turn them over to the authorities.

He group decides to take them to the watch and with the admission for the one woman she suggests charging them in all.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

Bharash makes the next trade-out smoothly enough, no doubt securing himself a solid career recommendation for prison guard work if the topic ever comes up in future – this time, during the interrogation going through the things lifted from the trio with a thoughtful eye, looking for makers marks on their clothing or weapons, on the fairly simple basis that if they’re all shopping at the same or similar places, it might be A Clue.

He’s heard that those are useful.

Beyond that, he mostly waits until it’s decided by the others that the trio are being turned in, whereupon he carries the two he’s got down and asks “So, learn anything goo… Oh, wait. Tell me after we drop these ones off.”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When they all agreed, Vogh asked the women if they would agree to teleport.  She figured they wouldn’t but if they did it was all the better.

When they all decided against it, Vogh turned to Bharash and Talin and said, “I gave them a chance, knock them out once more and we will take them to the watch off of Constable street.  Our dimension doors will take us there.”  Vogh then climbed back out of the rope trick and waited for Deacon and Talin to cast their spells.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The groups popped onto the street, each arriving simultaneously. Unfortunately, one group arrived directly on top of a City Watch Patrol starting to march away from the Watchhouse. Deacon had the misfortune of appearing directly in a space occupied by one of the Guards. He, and each person with her, received a painful jolt (only 1 dmg), while Deacon was moved several paces away from the Patrol.

“HERE! What’s the meaning of this?!” A middle-aged woman shouted at the group, seeing one of her men jolted and the people appearing from nowhere. She wore a blue breastplate and bore the yellow sash which marked her a Constable. Short, curly golden hair was pulled behind her head in a tight braid, which accentuated her golden brown skin and rather plain face. She stood about Vogh’s height and was clearly in good athletic shape.

The rest of the Guardmen drew weapons and pulled shields into place at thir leader’s barking.

[Private to GM: Isolde Stonesworn is a 41 year old female human torturer City Watchmen.

She has short, curled, golden hair pulled into a braid and brown eyes.

She has veiny, pockmarked, golden skin.

She stands 162cm (5’3″) tall and has an athletic build.

She has an edgy, typical face.

She smokes the pipe sporadically.

She loudly claims to worship Cyric, but secretly worships Cyric, God of murder, lies, intrigue, strife, deception, illusion. (Chaotic Evil)She is very patient.She judges people by their actions, not their words.She sporadically gives money to the poor.She collects sea shells.Sexual Orientation: StraightRelationship Status: MarriedPlot: She needs help stealing a precious bracelet from a nearby castle.You may not notice this when first meeting *, but the fact he’s tactless and careless is just the tip of the iceberg. Let alone the fact he’s also petty, angry and brutal, but their effects are at least lessened by impulses of being surprising as well.But focus on his as this is what he’s often despised. Even the best intentions have been soured because of this and his blunt nature, much to the annoyance of others.

Fair is fair though, Jonathan does have some rays of light. He’s freethinking and leaderly to name a few, there is still some hope yet.Unfortunately his carelessness tends to ruin whatever good comes from those traits.]

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon felt the little jolt and cursed the luck of the travel.  It wasn’t often that he appeared in a spot where someone was already so the jolt was unexpected.  “Oh, I am so sorry!!!”  Deacon pleaded with the woman.  “If I had known there were people here at this moment I would have chosen a different spot, though then again teleportation isn’t always perfect.”

As the men pulled their blades he looked to Vogh and the others.  “I believe she can explain what is going on here.”  Deacon pointed to Vogh.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh appeared right in front of a guardsman who immediately stepped back and drew a weapon.  Vogh patted the air to calm the situation and said, “Greetings, I am Vogh Kath and we are sorry for any injuries we have caused.  I will gladly heal anyone that was injured in our porting.  I have here with us three chaos cultists that have admitted to many different crimes about the city.  I will gladly tell you what they are and who admitted it.  Once again I am sorry….”  Vogh dropped off on the last word to let the Constable give her name.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Yeah, if it’s all the same to you I’ll just leave them gagged and bound. Concussion’s no fun and it’s not like they’re going anywhere.” Bharash replies when the proposal is made to knock them out again, slinging one, two and then a third woman over his shoulders with the sort of alarming ease that’s likely not helped by his adding “Better come with us ladies, or I’m going to walk back here and drag you by the ankles through the streets.” in a cheerful voice to the three women.

At the other end, he looks cheerful about their being threatened by a mob of armoured guardsmen, since their vigilance is going to keep him safe and mostly contents himself (as Vogh negotiates) by muttering to the nearest bunch in a helpful fashion “Shield a bit higher there. And if you rotate your grip on your spear about two thumbs it’ll rest easier.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“Well maybe that’s why civilized people don’t magic around without lookin first! Eh?! The woman barked back at Deacon. She spoke like the uneducated, but she couldn’t be stupid and have gained her position.

She looked Vogh up and down, disdain clear on her face. Then she looked over her men. All of them had stepped back in their readied positions to gain some space between everyone, while she remained forward, clearly unafraid.

“I’m to just take yer word for it that these ones are part of some cult and confessed to some crime and then lock them up? Is that yer way of thinkin? From what I see, a big brute is holding three unconscious women… What’s to say you’re not the ones that need arresting?”

All the Watchmen widened their eyes and stiffened at their leaders words, grips tightening on drawn weapons.

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon gave a weak smile at the woman’s words. Clearly, though, the woman had no idea what civilized meant for there were many wizards and the like casting these types of spells all over the city, but that didn’t put a damper nor will it make Deacon think twice to do it again if the need arose.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Something about this constable’s demeanor wasn’t right.  Though Vogh could respect that she would question such a thing as she sees.  Had she done something to this woman in the past?  She didn’t know for sure.  Though since Vogh did announce who she was, she thought there would be some recognition of the deeds she has performed for the city.  It was perhaps time for a bit of education.

“No of course you are right.  How could you take our word for it.  That is why we will ensure that the one who spoke will give you the same answers.  Course, it is up to you all to deal out whatever punishments their crimes warrant.”  Vogh started with and then continued after a moment again.

“I know you know who I am, I could see it in your face.  So, you should know who we are as well.  Do I need to remind you of all the things we have done not only for the city but also for its citizens?”  Vogh’s tone was condescending and dripping with sarcasm.  It was a long day already and she didn’t need some constable questioning her about her actions.

“If you are having a problem with dealing with us, we could go deal with a more reasonable constable, Alys Caskbow, to be more precise.  Or even Commisar Urnst.  I am sure he can fill you in on the aid we have given to the city.”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“You forgot dumb.” Bhrash chips in helpfully, jiggling the three bound women over his shoulder as he ‘helpfully’ clarifies “Big dumb brute. Oh, and if we get arrested can I have a cell with an east-facing window? I get surly if I sleep in.” in a fashion which may not actually be useful but at least establishes his bona fides as someone who isn’t likely to start whaling on people without good cause.

Never underestimate the power of a sense of humour.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
“SERGEANT Caskbow actually.” The woman barked the correct at Vogh. “And I bet she would just adore you. Delverlover. Ridiculous.” She practically spit the last two words, but did so quietly.

“Don’t regale me with your exploits and try to convince anyone you people were doing anything other than pursuing your own selfish interests! Would you have done all those things without the promise of great wealth and fame? No. There are those who risk life and limb, annonymously, just for the betterment of others. You will receive no appreciation from me.”

[Private to GM: Connected to Lorb Abbercombe and his fight against crime in the Warrens]

At Bharash’s injection she pinched her eyebrows together then cocked one in confusion.

“I’ll not be arresting you. We will take these women into our charge and use truth spells to extract the truth.”

The guards around her sheathed their weapons and moved to take the women from Bharash. Two turned back into the Watchhouse and produced manacles some time later, plus ball gags.

“Be more careful from now on with popping around. If I catch word you’ve injured someone else in your too-good-to-walk-transports you can rest assured you will be charged and fined. Goodday!”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh nodded in acquiescence when she was corrected for not calling Alys by her rank.  She did smile though as the Constable spoke on.  It was clear she had a disdain for adventurers.  Probably sore that she never took on the life herself.

“As you will.  Mind if I ask your name?”  Vogh asked her last question.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Fair enough. Here.” Bharash replies, sounding somehow disappointed as he unshoulders the first woman and passes then over, then the second, then the third only to remark cheerfully “Oh, now those look like fun.” when the gags and manacles come out, aiming to carry on as he began it works seem, by making the entire experience so casually disorienting that the question of arresting them is going to forever hover arrive the question of whether or not it’s worth the headache of having to explain what happened.

===========================================================
Constable Isolde Stonesworn ()
———————————————————–
“Constable Isolde Stonesworn.” She answered proudly and with defiance. Once again her eyes widened at Bharash’s strange statements but Isolde shook it off with a huff, only cementing in her mind a dislike for all “delvers.” The women were taken inside the Watchhouse after they were restrained.

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
“Thank you Constable Isolde Stonesworn. I really do appreciate your dedication to your job.  If there is anything else we can do for you and the watch you can just let us know.”

Once they were left again Vogh said, “Okay, I think it is time to call it a day.  I would like to meet up for dinner and we can enjoy the entertainment.”

As long as everyone was good with it they went back to the Minstrel and had dinner before retiring back to her room for some talk in the rope trick.

Inside the rope trick, Vogh asked if they wanted to do another quick run into the temple or check out the White House in the morning.

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
“In the morning I could attempt another Arcane eye and figure out what we can.  From the sound of where that machine is I doubt I can send the eye that far unless I went down to the turnaround spot.  The other thing we could do is follow the eye from a safe distance.”  Deacon suggested.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
“Don’t forget that you can try and finish building our home in the morning.  I have been keeping track as I am as excited to see it finished as you probably are.”  Talin added.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“For my part, I need to finish scraping the money together for that apartment building, so a quick tally of what, if anything we took away from the last couple of expeditions would seem to be in order…” Bharash notes, having settled down in the corner of the Rope Trick with a tatty scrap of notebook, a much-chewed pencil and, it seems something of an effort to keep tabs on what his actual responsibilities are in the near to immediate future – which since hitherto, the groups most notable memory of his using a writing implement was to pick his fangs, is progress of a sort.

“Other than that, given that this is a city-wide threat, we might want to try telling someone important about it? Drop a letter off at the Temple of Gaen, maybe get one of The Twins to read it?” he suggests, “They might know other delvers with their own leads we could collaborate with.”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was listening to what the others were wanting to do or suggesting things to do when Bharash said something about the Temple of Gaen.  “When I visit my church I could make a stop at the Temple and make sure they understand what we have uncovered about the Night of Dissolution.  I was going to do that after breakfast so seems like a fine time.  Who do you propose we talk to to get the most participation from delvers without alerting that we are doing it?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
When Bharash was ready to figure out how much gold the group had recovered since their last tally, Vogh pulled out her paper which had a bunch of numbers and names on the sheet.  Scrolling through the names she came to Bharash’s name and shook her head.  “Well according to my accounting numbers here with the latest sale of stuff not to include the women’s gear we just recovered you stand at a total of 17,138.105 gold.  How much did you need to pay again?”

Back to the others, Vogh said, “Let’s just say we meet up around dinner time tomorrow night and we can decide then whether or not we head back down and do something.  I sure wish BElie was available so we could get some spying done on the White House.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The group all retired to their rooms for some much needed rest. Morning dawned the following day but it was hard to tell. The group could hear rain battering the roof of the Minstrel and the stone streets outside.

In the common room the group saw an entertainer performing a puttery act on the stage. They were behind a half wall and screen showing on the puppets above the bar. Everyone near the stage was laughing enthusiastically at the commedic show. Apparently the puppeteer was mocking the Holy Roman Emperor and Prince of the Church with Commissar Igor chastizing them. Puppets constantly changed, women the Prince was wooing, the Emperor doing something foolish and being mocked. It was unlike anything the group had seen before, such open and flagrant disregard for someone in such a high authority position.

Another table stood out and caught the eye of the group. Three naval officers sat around a table. All were dressed in splendid finery with long, deep blue coats, golden vests and carried cutlasses. Their blue coats were emblazoned with a symbol that looked like a griffon, but if the head was a lion and the hind feet taloned.

Many others dotted the Minstrel’s tables and bar. The wealthy who enjoyed being in the company of others, and the armed and armored delvers who had done well enough for themselves to afford the high price of accomodations here.

With the rain, it was no surprise there were very few tables open. Thankfully the group found one and took their seats. A very attractive young woman with more than a little elven blood, but not likely fully elf, came to take their order. She had a diamond-shape, very attractive face with coppery skin and long, straight platinum hair left loose and bouncy.

[Private to GM:
Ship Name: Scythian
Symbol: https://ptol.us/wp-content/uplo…ymbol-Royal-Navy.png
Captain & Crew
Captain Charlotte “Giant ” Avery
Quarter Master
Jamie Petie
Sailing Master Alvilda Ivanov
Boatswain Nora Russo
Carpenter/Surgeon Adriana  Canon
Master Gunner Hudson  Campbell
Mate Stewart Oliveira
Able Bodied Sailor Jacquotte  Campbell
Cabin boy/girl Elisabeth
Powder monkey Sophia

Server: Ilmindel Mithmirelen is a 20 year old female half-elf slaver.
Relationship Status: Seeing someone who is married
Plot: She has been hired to steal items from the PCs.]

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Vogh
———————————————————–
Vogh rolled over in her bed as she began to wake but hearing the rain outside.  Not the most pefe t of days to build but the rain wouldn’t affect her playing, no not today.  Finally deciding it was time to get out of bed she gave Talin a quick kiss and jumped out of bed.  Light on her toes even with the dour weather outside.  “Let’s go meet the others downstairs.  I want to eat and then get moving so I can finish our house.”

Once Talin had gotten dressed they both went down to find a decent morning crowd.  It usually got busy when there was too much rain but thankfully there was a table.  As Vogh passed the Navel Officers she gave them a nod and a godd morning greeting.  Wasn’t every day there were sailors in the Minstrel.  Most the time she assumed they stayed at the docks.

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Talin
———————————————————–
When Vogh woke him with a kiss, Talin watched her lithe form as she sprung from the bed and landed with practiced ease.  Vogh was like no woman he had ever met before.  She caught him staring at her as she got dressed and his cheeks flushed with color.

“Hopefully the others slept as well as I did.  Though I must say my skin still feels like it is sunburned from the fire blast of the Balor.  Vogh I am honestly worried about that one and if Wuntad is going to be more powerful what could we possibly do to stop them?”  Talin let the thoughts hang in the air as he too rose and dressed for breaking his fast.

Talin’s first thought of the puppet show was disrespectful but he knew sometimes the people needed to feel like the leaders were real people too.  Taking a deep breath he could smell the fresh bread and pork being prepared in the back.  It smelled delicious and he was starving.

Taking his seat Talin ordered his food.

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia had risen early and prayed to Lothian.  She looked over at Bharash as he slept and wondered if she should wake him.  It seemed that at some point during the night that Deacon had left for he wasn’t in the room anymore.  She figured he may have went back to the pyramid but would ask the others when she saw the.

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon’s mind didn’t stop turning as he laid down and tried to sleep.  They needed help to deal with all that was happening and what might happen.  After midnight Deacon cast his spell to teleport him back to the pyramid.  Once inside he called out lightly through his connection to Dora to see if she were awake.

[Private to GM: I think we can post in Deacon’s thread for what I want to do.]

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Twenty thousand thrones for the property, at an interest rate of between ten and thirty percent to be finalised at point of signing of the contract – the less time it looks likely for me to pay it off, the higher the rate, basically.” Bharash explains, referring to the battered notebook he’s working with through those ridiculous small reading glasses he’s gotten out and balanced on his nose.

He sits up for a bit, scribbling in his book and then eventually turns in, where he proves to (for once) be able to sleep without snoring, waking a touch after Julia in order to wash then head down for breakfast in a full-length dressing gown, cinched at the waist (and giving him something of the look of a wizard, ironically). He pauses to take in the puppet show featuring the Tarisian Emperor and the Holy Lothian Emperor before he joins the others, smiles at the waitress and orders enough breakfast food to choke a small warband.

“Morning all. Sleep well?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
To answer Bharash Vogh gave a smile and a look to Talin, “Yes, but my body still feels like it is burned a little.  How about yourself?”

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Mm? Oh, most everything hurts a little but that’s nothing new. Healing magic gets everything but the aches, you know how it is. You’re fine to fight, but you can still feel the places where you’re held together with wishes and happy thoughts.” Bharash replies cheerfully – as indeed, he does most things – while starting to demolish his breakfast platter.

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
“Those happy thoughts are blessings that have kept us all alive and able to fight the evil that we have faced.  Bharash, while the others are going about their day today can you come with me to the church?”  Julia gave Bharash a wishful look even as he stuff his face with a large pastry.

===========================================================
Bharash
———————————————————–

“Gods have better things to worry about than my sorry ass, Julia. Besides, if I took them seriously, I couldn’t do a lot of the things I enjoy.” Bharash points out hopefully, not at all immune to the power of that puppy eyed gaze, attempting to deflect it after a few moments by pointing out “Also, also, isn’t fighting evil and standing up for the helpless sort of like a prayer to the half decent ones anyway? So you could say I spend loads of time in church. Technically.”

Theologically dubious, likely verging on probable heresy (or at least it would be if his sins weren’t ones that lean heavily on his food, pretty girls and a good fistfight) this line of argument subsides as he downs a couple of sausages and a fried egg.

It’s probably for the best.

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
“Very well, I just thought perhaps you could come with.”  That pouty face didn’t have its magic this morning on the hardened Dragonborn.

As she finished eating, Julia stood and said, “I better get going.  I have much to do as I am sure the rest of you do as well.  I will make sure I am back for dinner though so we can discuss what we accomplished for the day.”  Julia left and went to the church to speak with sister Mara once again.

===========================================================
Talin
———————————————————–
Talin had finished eating by that time as well and said to Vogh, “I think we should start as well.  If we finish early we can perhaps do a bit of shopping for the party.  What do you think?”

Of course, Vogh’s eyes lit up at the mention of shopping and hurriedly ate the remaining potatoes on her plate before standing and said, “Let’s get going then.  Bharash I wish you a pleasant day and we will see you later.”

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Bharash
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“Yeah… Kind of don’t forget, it wasn’t that long ago that the Lothian church was pretty big on setting fire to anyone who followed another god on the basis that Lothian was the only true one and the rest were demons. I mean sure, they’re a lot more reasonable now but…” Bharash replies, before ticking off his fingers “Granna Shadow keeps a little altar to Maleskari in the family shrine but she’s not really serious about it these days, Granna Silverglass keeps one to Navashtrom in there too and they argue about it all the time, but each keeps the others clean. My sister offers to Sylvanae, my uncle to Mirresh… I dedicate my swordplay to Unnah…”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The group departed the Minstrel, each going their separate ways. Each stepped out into the pouring rain with hooks drawn low and cloaks pulled tight. Several carriages sat in wait off Delvers Square, anticipating extra business due to the bad weather.

Vogh and Talin had a smooth, but slow ride, with extra traffic and slick streets. Ptolus not being a flat city, all the water flowed into the sewers and toward the Bay. Several times the horses lost footing and the carriage slid a bit, but the driver was a skilled coachman. He used the brake well and kept the vehicle under control.

It was quite a descent from Midtown to the Guildsman district. All over Ptolus the elevations changed. But it was a steady decline from the Spire and Nobles district down to the bay.

Finally they arrived at their half finished home. It lacked a roof but Theriol had followed the instructions to pitch the tent over the home’s walls and unfinished second floor.

All the weatherproof materials were still on the property, while the wood and other items less tolerant of weather were inside, protected from the elements.

A red haired woman Vogh recognized as one she spoke with at the last construction day stood on the far side of the street beneath a large umbrella, hugging the nearest building to further her cover from the rainfall.

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Vogh
———————————————————–
When Vogh and Talin got to the lot, Vogh noticed Nalleth standing there.  She had almost forgotten about the woman until she saw her again.  Vogh smiled and waved to her to come over.  “Nalleth, so nice to see you again.  I just need to cast a spell before I begin and then I will be ready to play.  I just have a little bit left and I am done.  You know I had been thinking.  You said you aren’t a great sculptor or stone worker.  Were you being humble?  Have you done any work that I could look at?  I have been thinking about adding some sculptures at our place.”

Once she was ready, Vogh said, “Here goes!!”

Vogh thought deep about how she wanted the rest of the building to be completed and then began to play the lyre.  Even though the rain was pouring down, the melody rang out, and true to its name, the building began once again.  Vogh played for an hour non-stop and the building was taking its final form.  She needed a bit longer though and so she pushed on.
23:40, Today: Vogh rolled 23 using 1d20+13 second hour

Finally, as Vogh kept playing the roof was raised and the tiles flew on forming the roof.  The steepled roof had a skylight in it as well.  For the rest of the hour, Vogh strummed the lyre putting the finishing touches on many of the small pieces to make it all just right.

Drenched and with tired hands, Vogh finally stopped playing.  With the work complete she looked over the place from the outside and then over to Nelleth and lastly at Talin and smiled.  “What do you both think?”

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Nalleth ()
———————————————————–
Nalleth smiled at Vogh recognizing her. She then frowned and shook her head beneath the umbrella at Vogh’s question. “Sadly no. I was not being modest at all. I am indeed untalented at sculpture. I would be happy to recommend some fine sculptors who would do you proud. I am excited to see your magical construction though! It has been the talk of the District of late! Many are worried you item will harm business but I reassured them it is not your intention at all.” The woman said with a smile then watched enraptured as the building began to take shape.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin watched as the place was finally completed.  They were both in disguises they wore the last time they built.

“Nallah, that sounds good.  I think I speak for the voth of us when I say thank you for making sure the guilds understand we aren’t going to take their business away.”

Talin had a thought about something he had read before on how to protect from scrying.  “Might you know a person that could give us a deal on iron?”

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Nalleth ()
———————————————————–
Nalleth blanches but nods. “I know of someone you could speak with in the Ironworkers’ Guild; however, do not mention my name or referral. The ironworkers’ guild and the masons are at constant odds. There has been open bloodshed in the streets due to the bad blood. There have even been threats of all out war in the streets.” Nalleth shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal. “It’s happened before. Seventy-five years ago the guilds engaged in a blood conflict that caused the deaths of more than a hundred guilders between the two sides.”

At the question about knowing someone she nodded. “I don’t know him well, but Lynal Demanik would be a good man to speak to. He is an Iron Worker, but not a devout guild-follower. He works at the Foundry over on Smith Street. Shouldn’t be hard to find in the sea of stumpy dwarves over there.” She finished her last statement with a smile.

Vogh knew of Veda Medaris head of the Ironworker’s guild. She was a rather severe woman. Never having met her herself, but Vogh knew her by reputation. The Ironworkers’ Guild was one of the most powerful guilds in the city. They controlled all the other metalurgical guilds, goldsmiths, silversmiths, tinsmiths and more. There was always rumor around the guild having fingers in darker happenings in the city, but Vogh didn’t know their veracity.

[Private to GM: Lynal Demanik: This short human man sticks out his broad chest when he walks, cocking his bare, muscular arms at his sides. A small cap sits askew on his head. His clothes bear the dirt of months of hard labor. Lynal works in the smelting chamber of the Foundry, and although he belongs to the Ironworkers’ Guild, he really bears it no love or loyalty. His thoughts stay always on his ailing wife and their two daughters. He is probably on his way to or from work, or perhaps from an herbalist, having purchased medicine for his wife, Magda.

“Drilling for Godsblood.” The Shuul use the Foundry as a cover for secret activities. Beneath it, they are using a sophisticated deep drill and pipe system to plumb the depths below Ptolus where a reservoir of great power lies in liquid form. This liquid, which some call “godsblood,” may be the residue of a dead god (or even a dead Galchutt).]

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
— Julia & Bharash Timeline —

Julia likewise hailed a carriage just off Delver’s Square. The sky was black with clouds and so blocked out was the sun the magical lights along Center street around the Square were still lit to aid people. Rain poured down from the heavens and beat on the roof of her carriage.

Rumbling down Center Street they slowly reached Lower God Row and crossed the Blessed Bridge choked with small shrines to hundreds of gods. Atypically the bridge was rather clear, thanks to the wet weather. Julia could see down into the King’s River and saw the swell of its high, rushing tide coursing through the center of the city toward the bay.

Down the Street of a Million gods they went until turning onto Sunrise and rolling before the Great Cathedral. Across from the church a street vendor was frantically collecting apples which had spilled from his toppled cart and were floating or rolling away.

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Bharash
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Given the general state of traffic in the city, Bhrash – or rather, Gnarash since he’s currently wearing the sometime Gnoll disguise he slips into readily – jogs along in the wake of the carriage, taking the opportunity to stretch his legs a little and get some exercise in, while the chill rain that sluices down over his body achieve little more than refreshing him – since he’s largely inured to cold.

The street vendor, meanwhile gives him something to occupy himself with while Julia slips inside and pesters the divine for this or that, since he’s not about to go into a temple to a god he doesn’t worship (well, except to rob the place and/or set it on fire, since there are some decidedly dodgy gods out there) and he doesn’t expect anyone to make an attempt on her life while she’s surrounded by relentless do-gooders.

Instead, he steps in and starts helping out with the lost apples, cheerfully growling “Miserable day to be out.” to the flustered salesman.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
The rain on this day was so much more than she had seen in a while.  Julia was thankful that the coaches were lined up and waiting for her. As she stepped into the coach she pulled her umbrella down and gave it a fine shake to get most of the water off before pulling it in and telling the driver where she wanted to go.

Once she arrived and the coach stopped she once more pulled the umbrella and stepped out.  She noticed the poor vendor had spilled his fruit and was about to head over to help when a gnoll moved to the man’s side.  Julia watched closely and smiled as the gnoll began to help the man.  Nodding her head she went inside the cathedral.

Once inside Julia asked for Sister Mara, explaining to the attendant that is was important.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
— Bharash/Gnarash —

The older man grumbled under his breath then froze in place, staring down as “Gnarash” hairy hand came into his view, picking up one of the spilled apples. Despite other apples floating and rolling away he slowly lifted his head and Gnarash could see the whites of the man’s eyes as he regarded him with fear and trepidation. The man didn’t outright run, but it was clear to Gnarash it was on his mind.

“Ye.. Ye… Yessss it is…” He sputtered out, rain falling around his head and onto the shoulders of his good quality leather cloak. Slowly standing and taking a step back then man stooped again and carefully knelt down to grab another of the fleeing fruits.

“Yo… You.. You can take that if you want…” Again he struggled to speak due to fear.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
— Julia —

The attendant, another priestess, recognized Julia immediately. “Oh my! Sister Julia! It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance! We’ve never met, but I was at the Sword of Truth Ceremony! Oh, where are my manners, my name if Fay! Fay deGrey!” Clearly nearing or past middle age, Fay had extremely long, curled but dyed black hair. Bits of gray showed through the coloring added to her hair in an effort to hide her age. Crows feet marred her in her golden skin beside deep, dark eyes. Furthermore, the woman was under five feet but might have been equally that size in diameter! Her oval face was still glamorous, showing she was likely a beautifuly young woman many years ago.

“I cannot believe I get to meet you! What a blessing of Lothian! Wait here Miss. Wait here and I’ll see if Sister Mara can join us. Come, come with me! There’s no call for you to be standing about out here. Come. Come.”

Despite her size, the woman moved quickly and rather nimbly. Fay led Julia into a sitting room and tisked a young woman in all white into following them. She instructed the young lady in a terse tone, brooking no dissent. “You fetch Sister Julia anything she wants while she waits for Sister Mara!”

[Private to GM: She is very greedy.

She is looking for her lost precious tiara.

She makes anyone she speaks to feel like the most important person in the world.]

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Gnarash
———————————————————–

“Eh, I’ll take one when the cart’s full.” Gnarash replies, giving the terrified salesman a toothy grin and tossing the one she’s snagged into the wagon bed, then stooping for a couple more, both hands moving smoothly as she hunkers down on the street and sets to tossing one apple after another up into the cart, waiting a couple of moments before rolling her eyes and adding “Calm down, I’m not going to eat you…”, letting a comedically-perfect beat pass then finishing “…merchants give me gas.”

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Samantha Tetherin
———————————————————–
Samantha looked at Nallah intently as she spoke and was so honest about her skills.  It was actually pretty neat that she was so open.  It wasn’t something a lot of people were capable of doing, herself included, at times.  Even now, Vogh was hiding her own identity from the people here.

“Thank you for being so honest.  I like that.  What do you do exactly if you are not trained?”  Samantha asked.

Nodding at Nalleth’s explanation Samantha would ask more, but she wanted to speak to Veda Medaris as well.  “I will make certain that I don’t say anything.  I know of what has transpired in the past and know that the tensions are still on a blade’s edge.”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
When Fay deGrey called Julia Sister, Julia’s cheeks turned a little flush.  She had never been called that before and didn’t know if it were appropriate but she let it slide not knowing the protocols of the church all that well.  She followed Fay, “So, you say you were at the ceremony?  I am sorry I don’t remember, that moment was like a blur to me.  Everything happened so fast and well know how it is sometimes.  We get all caught up in the moment.”

Once they arrived at the sitting room and the young attendant asked what she wanted, Julia gave the young woman a warm smile and said, “A glass of warm tea would do me good right about now.  It is a bit on the chilly side out there today with the rain coming down.”

Julia then turned to the older woman and asked, “I hope I am not being too forward, but what do you do here at the cathedral?”

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Nalleth ()
———————————————————–
In reply to Samantha Tetherin

Nalleth smiled, then shrugged at Vogh’s question. “I am an orphan and was given to the Mason’s Guild, but despite instruction, I was simply never any good. So for the most part I just move around the stones, barrels of chemicals and clean up after the Masons.”

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Fay deGrey ()
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

“Oh isn’t it though!” The elder woman exclaimed. “The angels must be pouring out the bath water.” Fay chuckled at her terrible joke. At Julia’s question about her job at the Cathedral the woman smiled. “Oh, I do whatever they need me to do. We have several services each week, so there is a great deal of preparation, cleaning and assistance. I’m no one of import like yourself Miss Julia! But I stay busy. Lothian has blessed me with some small healing, so I assist there as I can.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Gnarash

The man eyed the gnoll askance but shook himself out of his fear as Gnarash was clearly not threatening him, despite the jest. He snapped back to work and gathered up the remainder of his apples which hadn’t escaped him. “Tha… Thank you… Wou… Would you like one? Its… It’s on me for your help. Forgive me. I’ve never met a… Uh… Anyone like you before. My apologies for my rudeness.”

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Gnarash
———————————————————–
“Be surprised if you had. Most Gnolls are assholes.” Gnarash answers, rolling her eyes as though exasperated at even having to call them to mind, then stooping to assist with the remainder of the apples, taking her time to gather them up and see the cart loaded – even rinsing a couple off in a rainspout, cackling darkly at the offer, answering “Not much of a one for fruit, but sure. Maybe I can use it as bait for a street kid… Also joking.”

Once the cart’s mostly loaded, she asks lightly “You aiming to catch the temple crowd once they finish banging their heads on the floor?”

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Samantha Tetherin
———————————————————–
In reply to Nalleth

Samantha didn’t actually like the fact that it seemed as if Nalleth was indentured to the Stonemason’s Guild, so she asked the question.  “Do you owe the mason’s or are you free to make your own life decisions?  Like if I wanted to hire you to be my store keeper would you be able to take the position?”  Taking care of others was something Samantha enjoyed doing because she had to pay it forward for all that she got.

“My sweet brother, shall we go inside and see how it looks?  You can come inside as well Nallah if you would like..”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Fay deGrey

The color stayed on her cheeks as Fay made another comment about her.  “I am just furthering the will of Lothian beneath the streets of Ptolus is all.  There are many dangers and evil about this city that with the help of Lothian my friends and I will purge the evil doers from the area.  That is why I have come to speak with Sister Mara.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Gnarash

The man again blanched at the strange humor but laughed uncomfortably. “Yes. Yes I am.” He cocked his head sideways and regarded the gnoll then laughed again, looking toward the church.

“So… You not going in? What brings you into this churchy district?”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Samantha Tetherin

Nalleth shrugged then scrunched her face in thought. “Oh I can do whatever I want. But the pay is good and I know the work, and I’ve been doing it forever so it is what it is. What? Why… Why would you want to hire me? And what will you be doing? A shop you said? What kind?”

She was happy to talk as they entered the front door.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

Fay smiled and listened to Julia explain. “That’s fascinating! I’ve never had the courage to go down below. Plus… I’m not as young as I once was. Things are much more difficult as you get older.”

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Gnarash
———————————————————–

“Bodyguard gig.” the Gnoll replies, lightly tapping one of the hefty-looking axes at her waist, then tossing the last-but-one apple onto the cart and keeping the very last of them, cackling merrily “You know how it is. Anything to put some coin in the purse. Take it you don’t see a lot of warrior sorts in these parts then?”

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Samantha Tetherin
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM

Samantha walked up the stairs and entered through the door.  She would need to make sure to get a good locksmith to put a fine lock on the door she reminded herself as they entered.  Samantha’s jaw dropped as she wondered at the interior of the first room.

Coming out of her wonderment she answered Nalleth, “A magic shop is what it will be.  Can you imagine suits of armor over there with other magical baubles on those bookshelves?  Oh and over there on the right, I can see it now, will be the weapons and wands and stuff like that.”  All the bookshelves and tables were clear of items at this time, but in due time it would all be full.  “Not sure how much they are paying you but perhaps we can come to an agreement.”

Samantha then went behind the empty counter and through the door into the back rooms.  It was all as she had thought it would be and more.  The meticulous work on the wood framing and stone motif carvings in the walls were top-notch.  “I am going to need to get furniture for the place, that is obvious.  It looks so empty.”  Samantha said as she entered the two back bedrooms she had planned for Theriad and Degar.  Course, Degar had said he would rather remain below where his shop was.

Next Samantha went to the second floor and found the large open space just perfect for whatever she wanted to do.  She then went to the 3rd floor and wondered at the craftsmanship of the bedframe and the large skylight above.  It all was just perfect, she thought to herself.  “Let’s head back downstairs.  We can talk further in the main room.”

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Sebastian Tetherin
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM

As they walked inside, Sebastian’s eyes went wide.  The magic of the lute was amazing.  To imagine music made all of this possible???  “Samantha, this is some very good work.  I am glad we paid a little extra for the wood we got for it really is nice.  We should have added a hearth in the main room though.”

He followed along as they went and when they got to the top he blew out a low whistle.  “So you are sleeping here all by yourself or can I get a bed over in the corner, Sister?”  They had talked about the relationship they had beforehand and had decided that siblings would be best, for if they were a couple it could possibly lead people to think that they were Vogh and Talin.

Samantha only shook her head.  “No, I don’t think so brother.  Though if you need a place to stay for a night, I am sure we can figure something out.”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM

Julia rested a hand on Fay’s shoulder and said warmly, “Well, you are doing Lothian’s work here and nothing bad can be said about that.  It warms my heart to have met you on this day, Fay!”

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Nalleth ()
———————————————————–
Nalleth marveled at the interior and the craftsmanship. She mirrored “Talin’s” awe at what the instrument could accomplish. “That thing could put a lot of people out of work… I would watch my back… Despite what you’ve said about not wanting to use it to do so, people already feel threatened and desperate men do wild things.”

She chuckled at the banter between the “siblings” and hesitated to answer Vogh’s question about employment. “I’ve only known work with the Masons. It would be hard to leave them behind, but I’ll think about what you said. Where do you plan to gather all these buables you want to sell? Aren’t there already stores like that in Midtown around where all the Delvers gather? Are you delvers?!” She asked with a bit of excitement in her voice, looking at the duo in a new light.

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Fay deGrey ()
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

“And I you Sister Julia.” Fay stood as Sister Mara entered and bowed to the powerful woman, then exited politely.

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
“Julia! Sorry to keep you waiting, things are a bit chaotic at the moment. You indicated this was urgent? Is everything alright?”

Mara was older than Julia by several years, maybe decades, but she walked like a warrior and was still in great shape. The latter was mostly hidden by her large white robes and hood, but one didn’t move with such practiced ease and grace without underlying fitness. The blue and silver Ankh of St. Lothian hung round her neck.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia gave the appropriate greeting to Sister Mara when she entered the room.

“Yes, it is urgent and there is no telling how much time we really have.”    making sure the door was closed, Julia began to tell everything she knew and had experienced with the Night of Dissolution.  Julia gave pauses for questions along the way to make sure the depth of the trouble was real.

“So, besides this Wuntad gaining the power of a god we have a balor to contend with.  I don’t  need to tell you how dangerous they are, I am sure.”

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Samantha Tetherin
———————————————————–
Samantha gave a giggle inside at Sebastian’s and Nalleth’s gasps of awe.  She felt it too but didn’t outwardly display it.  The lute was spectacular.  “Well I am sure you will continue to spread word that we aren’t using the magic to cause any conflict within the guild district.”

Finally when Nalleth asked if they were delvers Samantha thought it best to keep that secret as well.  “Delvers?  Oh no I wouldnt be caught dead trying to head below the city.  That is for heroes not artists and business people like Sebastian and I.  We have family money and try to purchase items at cost so we can sell for profit.  while we know we are competing with Delver’s Square there just isn’t room for another shop there.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

Sister Mara’s face grew hard and unflinching as she listened intently to Julia’s retelling. Mara didn’t interrupt or ask anything during the long monologue.

Even after Julia finished speaking and expected a response Mara stared at her in silence to the point of making Julie feel uncomfortable.

Finally Mara drew a deep breath and nodded. “There is a great deal happening around us all. It seems you’re heavily enmeshed.” Mara again looked Julia over, holding eye contact with the woman.

“Sister Julia… I’m seeing you in a new light…” Again the woman paused for an inappropriately long time before speaking once more.

“You serve Lothian… right? You pray to him for your spells?” At Julia’s confirmation Mara’s lips turned up in the faintest smile. “I never noticed this before, but there is a touch about you. Fear not, I’m not speaking of anything nefarious, quite the opposite. You have been… Touched… This is the only way I can describe it.”

The elder Sister shook her head very lightly, keeping her small smile. Her long, dark hair tossed beneath the white hood of her robe.

“Forgive me. All you have shared only depends my already considerable concern from my own visions, dreams and the knowledge others have shared. Something is happening Julia. Something big. Something bad. Very. Very bad.”

She paused and took a drink of a dark wine the young attendant brought prior to departing the room. Pausing another moment Mara continued.

“Nirech-thes is a name known to me. Have you heard of Raguel and Lilith of the Fallen? No? That’s probably for the best. These two command a group of fiends all of whom live in the Dark Reliquary of the Necropolis. The Forsaken and they tolerate one another and have been a black stain of evil in the city for centuries. Ironically, for demons who dwell within the city’s walls, they actually cause surprisingly little trouble. The Knights of the Pale and Keepers of the Veil have skirmishes with the groups occasionally, but fewer than you would expect, and never large scale conflict. If reports are to be believed, this is confounding based on the number of demons, devils and other vile denizens reside there.”

She took other drink to wet her throat. “I have heard numerous times, and from numerous sources that this Lilith seeks the awakening of the Galchutt. Nirech-thes is an agent of Lilith’s. The fact that he is with these chaos cultists is even more concerning, and further confirmation Lilith seeks the Galchutt. Almost nothing is known of Raguel, other than nearly all the denizens of the Reliquary bow to him. To command such respect from so many powerful creatures, he must be mighty indeed. Furthermore, we have heard rumors for decades Raguel sought a powerful artifact. Very recently it’s been said ALL of his agents seeking this item… Stopped. Which means he either gave up… Or found what he sought. While this might be unrelated, around the same time The Cheilsecaro disappeared from an Empirical vault. It looks like a five-inch ceramic hemisphere with a long iron bar extending out of the flat portion of the stone. The ceramic portion of the device contains the dying breath of Emperor Rudolf Von Tessel, who once held the title Main Purveyor of Law. Why a demon lord would seek such a holy item is beyond our reasoning.”

Again Mara paused, but not long enough for Julia to interrupt. “I apologize for overwhelming you with information, but I feel something of this might aid you. I believe you DO know Helmut Itlestein, high priest of the Watchers of the Skies. Despite any feelings you might have toward him, many of his prophecies have come to fruition and recently my visions have coincided with his observations: we believe something is moving toward our world in the heavens. But we cannot ascertain anything about what it might be. Finally, I will burden you with one more piece of information we have garnered at great cost of life and wealth. We know a bit of a Galchutt ritual which must be what you spoke of. This knowledge is ancient Julia. Ancient. Older than Lothian. Almost as old as the world. We know the ritual must happen around thousands of terrified people. Four magical runes of some sort must be destroyed. A Vested must perform the ceremony while other followers participate in some manner. And finally, a beloved King must die… My personal thought is the breath of Emperor Rudolf in the Cheilsecaro might suffice, but I’ve no evidence to support such.”

Mara blew out her breath, leaned back against the high chair and chugged the last of her wine.

“Well Sister. Copper for your thoughts?”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia indeed was overwhelmed with the amount of information she was just given.  It seemed the church knew quite a bit about what was happening, or at least about those that are involved.  Not having a lot of knowledge about the item she spoke about Julia could only shake her head.  “I believe I have been ‘Touched’?  By Lothian, you think?”  This new bit had Julia’s mind in a whir.

“The Dark Reliquary and the Forsaken?  That isn’t good at all.  Would the church be willing to help us fight what we the city is up against?”  Julia asked rightfully worried about it all.

Finally, she said about one of the four runes, “I think you could be right about the last dying breath.  It should work for what they need it for I would assume.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
Mara pursed her lips and thought for a moment as she studied Julia, then shrugged. “I can’t quite say. I can say it’s not Lothian, or, at least, not just Lothian.” Again a small smile turned up the corners of Mara’s lips.

“As to helping, the church is already doing a fair bit actually. However, it does seem you’re closer to this situation than any of our people. Are you still staying at the Minstrel? Ok. Good. I’ll send Kalerecent over.” Sister Mara leaned forward in her chair nearer Julia and waited for her to do the same before continuing. “He has been promoted and…” Mara cocked her head to the side and smiled. “He also carries the Sword of Truth.” The Sister leaned back with a satisfied grin on her face. “As he was part of the effort to gain back the weapon, the Archbishop awarded him the artifact and promoted him. Deacon might not like it however. The Sword is especially dangerous to arcane spell casters.”

[Private to GM: Sword of Truth: +2 Holy Longsword. SR 18. Bane weapon against anyone with arcane spellcasting class. True seeing continually.]

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia noted in her mind that Sister Mara hadn’t expounded on what she meant by ‘Touched” and so she listened further.  “Yes, I am staying at the Minstrel still,” was Julia’s response to the question.  When Sister Mara said Kal was going to be sent Julia’s smile grew.  She liked the paladin and had spent quite a bit of time with each other while he was with The Calling.

Julia leaned in just as Sister Mara had and when she said what she did, Julia had to stop herself from saying it aloud herself.  “That is quite the gift he was given.  I won’t have to tell Deacon, he will see it for himself, but it will be good to have Kal back with us.”

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
Mara nodded. “Deacon needn’t know the sword’s power against arcane user’s though. The Inverted Pyramid tried to prevent the recovery of the sword due to this ability. They fear a return of the Edict of Delivery. But I’m sure you understand that will likely never happen again. Regardless, please keep us updated. Kalerecent will be a valuable asset and is well connected in the church.”

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Gnarash
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Having assisted the apple merchant and offered him a short, amenable conversation ‘Gnarash’ takes herself off to the temple opposite the main Cathedral walk, where she can lean against a wall and peruse the options on offer from the street vendors of the Temple of Mocharum, who (understandably) lean rather more towards solid, filling meat-and-stuff-in-a-pastry-case, rat-onna-stick and ‘street beer’ options (thick enough to be worth drinking, not so alcoholic as to be problematic – anything from a good thirst-quencher to liquid bread for the working Gnoll on the go) while keeping a loose eye on the Cathedral.

No weapons her (currently) fuzzy arse.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Sister Mara von Witten

“I will keep you informed about our progress.  If there is any other information you receive that could help us please send a runner to the Ghostly Minstrel.”  With that Julia said her goodbyes to both Fay and Mara and exited the Cathedral and into the downpour once more.

A quick look for a carriage Julia would find one and head back to the Minstrel.

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Sister Mara von Witten (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

Sister Mara nodded and stood with Julia. She offered a final word before the younger woman departed. “I will leave word that I am to be notified immediately of any runners or dispatches from yourself as well. Do be careful Sister.” The way Mara said Sister came across very warm, and almost motherly. “I was told the same repeatedly in my youth, and I’ve the scars to show from not heeding wise counsel. The world is not yours alone to save, and you do not stand alone in it’s defense. I’m proud you came here today. Kalerecent will be a strong aid, and I will speak with the leadership about what more we can do, on addition to sending out messages to a few friends.” The elder woman wrapped Julia in a warm embrace before watching her go.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Gnarash

Indeed Gnarash chose a fantastic location for hearty ale and food.

Mocharum was the main dwarven deity, popular in particular among the Grailwarden dwarves, and whether at work, play or worship it was a stereotype for a reason, dwarves loved to eat and drink. Despite the downpour, a number of well covered carts were serving things like piping hot meat pies, rabbit on a stick, some steaming spiced wine and iced cold ale.

The “gnolls” hair wasn’t getting wet due to the illusionary nature of the glammer, but that was easily corrected.

Despite Gnarash’s penchant for the same beverage and food as dwarves, none near “her” seemed to be over fond of a gnolls presence. No one said anything overt, but one comment in Dwarven had a few chuckling while looking toward her.

It wasn’t long before Julia appeared from the Cathedral and hailed a carriage.

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Nalleth ()
———————————————————–
In reply to Samantha Tetherin

Nalleth chuckled and nodded in understanding of “Vogh’s” statements and explanation. “Very interesting. Hopefully none of them get upset with you, stealing away business, but I also know few delvers come here anyway. Hopefully your business flourishes regardless. What you’ve created here, and with music no-less, is nothing short of astounding. I’ll be sure to stop by again soon to see how you furnish the space.”

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Samantha Tetherin
———————————————————–
With the tour over and the conversation dwindling, Samantha says farewell to Nalleth promising to find her when the place is furnished.

As the door shut, Vogh locked it and then went to the stairwell to enter the basement.  With a knock on the trap door to alert Degar and Theriad that she was there.  A few moments later the door opened and Vogh, who was now Vogh asked the both of them to come up inside to see the finished work.

“Come on you two, I want to show you everything.”  Vogh did just that just a few moments later.

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Degar Ravenspell (NPC)
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Degar was beside himself.“You see! This is why I LOVE magic!” The dwarf ran his hands over the ornate carvings and felt the stone joints. “My kin mocked me for devoting my life to the arcane powers. But it would have taken a team of highly skilled dwarfs, weeks to do this same amount of work. Fascinating! This is beautiful Vogh. Truly beautiful.”

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Theriad ()
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Theriad was much less vocal, but no less impressed. He walked about the whole complex with them. The big man was clearly emotional and when Talin asking him if all was well, Theriad’s eyes moistened as he answered. “I just feel very blessed Sir. I was surely marked for death in the Vladaam dungeons. But thanks to you all, I am safe, have a good job and a wonderful place to live. I cannot thank you enough. I will serve you to my last breath Sir. Ma’am.” The tall and strong man bent his neck in a bow to the duo. Degar couldn’t hide the emotion from his own face either.

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Vogh
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Smiling wide at what both of her friends said, Vogh says back, “Neither of you serves me nor Talin nor any of our other companions.  The both of you are our friends and help us take care of the evil that we find.  Shaping that evil to good so that it can be used for good and not evil.”

Vogh looked around at the place the magic had made and said at last, “the only thing now is to furnish the place.  As I have stated before, both of you are welcome to stay up here if you like or remain below.  It is your choice of course.”  Vogh looked pointedly to Theriad and continued, “think you will be able to get this place looking like a home?  All except for the top floor of course, which is Talin’s and mine.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Both the man and dwarf nodded and smiled at the duo, shaking their hands. Both promised they would handle it.

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Vogh
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With their home finished it was time to go.  Vogh and Talin said goodbye and good luck to Degar and Theriad and changed back to their disguises as the Tetherin’s and then exited the front door.

Looking for a carriage Vogh asked Talin if he would like to go get bedroom furniture.  The grin on his face told Vogh plenty.  They finally found a carriage and headed off towards the store.

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Narrator GM
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Julia’s carriage rumbled away with rain beating on the roof. The carriage driver was covered head to toe in a leather wrap around cloak that included a very wide brimmed hat to deflect the rain.

There was an accident where two carriages had collided on the Midtown side of the Blessed Bride so the driver had to detour and follow along the King’s River. The River was swollen from the rain and rushing by fast. This route took them well out of their way.

Julia happened to look to her right as they passed an alleyway and noticed a group of goblins with their weapons brandished and staring out at the road.

They had to go all the way to Malav Street to connect with Center Street and head to Delver’s Square once more.

Gnarrish could easily follow Julia’s carriage if she so choose.

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Narrator GM
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Vogh and Talin had to walk a ways before they could find a carriage, the rain thumping against their leather cloaks and splashing around their high, leather boots. Finally they found an empty vehicle and waved it down. The Dwarven driver even had his beard tucked into his leather vest to keep it dry. He was not succeeding as droplets of water ran down the thick hair.

They rumbled along, heading up to Midtown and near the beautiful Emerald Hill which Tilly’s sat just south of. They could barely see the lush, green landscape of the Elven neighborhood due to the rain.

Inside there were three halflings and one elf working. The duo recognized Tilly from the last time they visited and she was not currently helping anyone.

Tillie Milkwood had her short, auburn hair pulled back. She was short even by halfling standards, closer to three foot than four, but she was rather muscular for her size. A wife grin spread across her oval, pockmarked face.

“Greetings on this glorious day.”

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Gnarash
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The general lack of welcome from the dwarves doesn’t bother Gnarash so long as she gets her meat pie and ale – and for a moment, Bharash grins to himself as he contemplates just how his sister would actually address their looks given how much she enjoys winding people up with their own expectations – but she’s done and has wiped off her hands by the time Julia reappears and takes off at a lazy jog to follow the carriage at a comfortable distance, ducking into an alley to cut the corner on it…

…and not reappearing, as instead a tall half-orc in hardened leather with a couple of vicious-looking spiked truncheons on his belt appears at the far end of the alley, jogging along at an easy pace, making sure nothing untoward happens to the priestess before she finishes her journey.

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Julia Graymantle
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Before Julia arrived at Delver’s Square she noticed the goblins.  With a quick call to the driver, she had him stop the carriage and wait.  Getting out she called out to the goblins to see what they were up to.  It had to be a funny sight as she looked like a wet dog, rain soaking her to the bone.  “Hey, what are you all doing over there?”

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Samantha Tetherin
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In reply to Narrator GM

“And a wonderful Ptolus day to you!  My brother and I are looking for some new furniture and there isn’t a better shop than yours in the city.”  Samantha said with a huge smile.

“I have recently built a home and need some bedroom furnishings to start with.  We can look at other stuff as well if you don’t mind showing me all you have or can make.  I would like to open a line of credit if that is okay.  I have some friends that are helping me furnish the place.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle

Being noticed and called out the goblins scrambled over themselves to escape down the dark alleyway.

Gnarash saw Julia lean out of the carriage in front of him and shout down into an alley.

—–

Vogh and Talin picked out a set of bedroom furniture to their liking and gave their new address for delivery. The affable halfling was excited by the sale and promised to see to their items.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia wasn’t about to go chasing after the goblins alone, so she returned to the safety of the carriage and out of the rain.  With a quick, “Go ahead” they were back in motion towards the Ghostly Minstrel.

Once there she got out hurriedly and entered.  She did a quick scan for her friends hoping to see Deacon or perhaps Bharash inside.

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Gnarash
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Orcash, the new disguise being worn by Bharash – because if you have a hat of disguise, why would you limit yourself to a single look? – slows down and stops as Julia dismounts the carriage in order to shout at some random street toughs, his expression just a little bit strained as he waits to see whether they’ll try and mug her or…

…no, it looks alright. Jogging on, he heads back around the rear of the Minstrel and assumes his own appearance before padding back inside to amenably ask “Julia! Did you have a good old pray?”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Bharash actually startles Julia as she is looking for one of her friends.  “Come sit with me, I have some news for us.  I also have a thought I need to make vocally to see if it makes sense or not.”

As long as Bharash goes with her she sits and asks, “have you seen any of the others?  Wait your soaking wet.  What did you do today?”

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Bharash
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Giving Julia one of his patented looks – the sort he uses when she’s said something more than a little bit away with the fairies than usual – Bharash patiently reminds her “It’s raining, Julia dear. How did you not… Oh, right. Carriage? Carriage. Never got into the habit of spending the money myself.”

“And no, I assume they’re off building their secret clubhouse. I keep meaning to get them a sign that reads some variation of ‘no gurls allowed’, but I suspect Vogh would slap me upside the head with it… And Belie would give her a leg up so that she could reach.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon walked through the door to the Minstrel 15 minutes after Bharash and Julia.  Seeing them at a table he didn’t go over right away, first, he went to the main desk and asked about Tristan by giving his name and a description of the man.  “I was wondering if you might have seen the man come in before?”

Regardless of the answer Deacon would go see his friends once he had an answer.  He waved when he neared and then took his seat.  “Greetings my friends I hope you had a good night and morning.  Vogh and Talin going to be coming soon?”

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Laughing aloud at Bharash’s comment Julia could only shrug her shoulders.  “I hope they don’t take too long.  I would rather only tell what I know once and not 3 times.  You didn’t answer my question though about what you had done this morning.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold

Telleth wasn’t working that morning as she typically handled the evening crowd but the middleaged woman who spoke with Deacon only shook her head. “My apologies sir. I’ve never heard that name before. We can ask Telleth when she comes in later. She’s much better at remembering such things.”

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Bharash
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“Me? Oh, I was… Hey Deacon! Yes. Slept the sleep of the righteous and just then dragged myself reluctantly out of bed just in time for Julia to invite me along to see if the Lothianites still burn people.” Bharash replies, naturally switching topics when the wizard returns, “No idea when they’ll be back, you know them. What about you, meddling with the fabric of the universe again?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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The joke wasn’t lost on Deacon.  Often times wizards dig a little too deep in their research for knowledge and how to use the weave to do all sorts of things for them.  Deacon was a gatherer of knowledge though he was a lot more aware of what he could do if he were to use the weave improperly.

“Not today Bharash.  Not today….  I did try to ask for help but things are crazy right now with the barbarian horde advancing on the city.  The Commissar has even called back all our members to the city.
Jevicca will be contacted though and may perhaps give some sort of aid.  I also have a name of someone that might be able to help us.  Though I am not sure where to find him.”

Deacon was about to say more but noticed Vogh and Talin enter through the door.

“Ah, here they come now!” said Deacon as he nudged his chin towards the door.

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin had entered first through the doorway followed by Vogh.  Not surprising that neither of them looked to have a drop of rain on them.  Talin spotted the others and moved to the table.

“Greetings friends.  Looks like you all started without us huh.”  Talin could see the drinks on the table already.  “Did you order food already or did we make it on time?”  Talin sat next to Julia and Vogh next to him and Bharash.

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Deacon Havenhold
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“I have just sat down myself.  Let’s get some drinks and then head upstairs.  We can chat in the privacy of another rope trick.  I think we need it.”  Deacon said as he gave a nod to the others before waving over a waitress to get drinks for himself, Vogh, and Talin.

Once the drinks came they went upstairs and into Vogh’s room.  Deacon cast his spell and went inside.  Once everyone was in he pulled up the rope and began speaking.  “So, my night was uneventful as we got in too late but in the morning I spoke with the Majordomo, Dora and she told me that the Commissar is pulling all the Inverted Pyramid members back to the city to prepare the defenses of the city against the oncoming barbarian horde.  I guess he is taking the threat seriously as he should.”

Deacon took a long swig of his wine to let any questions come out for the information he just gave and then continued.  “I did ask her about any help that could be given for helping us defeat this Night of Dissolution before it happens.  She will get word to Jevicca, who will contact me, hopefully soon.  She also gave me the name of a non-member that might be willing to help us.  Trawarin Omageiros Virsalor.  Apparently, he has a major distaste for demons which if we tell him what we are against we might have some help.  But, I have no idea how to contact him or where we could find him.”

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Vogh
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Nodding along with Deacon Vogh smiled wide when Deacon mentioned that Jevicca may help.  It grew, even more, when he began to describe this other person that may help.  With a laugh, she said, “Deacon, I think you may be talking about Tristan.  We met him and Fulun (Chapter 4 post 951) downstairs.  Remember she had the golden eyes?  If that is him and it sounds like it then that is a great idea.”  Vogh thought to herself it would be nice to see Fulun again.  “They said they rent in the north part of town.  We could go find them once we have something to eat.”

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Julia Graymantle
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“Oh I remember them.  I loved that dark wine they were drinking.”  Julia added.

“I have some news you all will like as well, Kalerescent will be joining us.  Sister Mara has sent a message to have him meet us here sometime later today.  It will be good to see him.  He is wielding the Sword of Truth and has been promoted and has people that work directly for him.  I wanted to make sure to tell you this Deacon, as you know what that blade is capable of doing against arcane users.  Sister Mara will also speak with her superiors about any other aid they could offer.”

[Private to GM: “I would think that it would be better like our blades.  Perhaps some abilities of the mage slayer feat from 3.5 or the mageslayer rogue archetype”]

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Talin
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“Oh right! Fulun! She had those golden eyes…” Talin stopped himself and made an over pronounced facial expression like he was scared of upsetting Vogh. But Vogh acted equally attracted to the woman at that time and she knew Talin was faithful.

“He was fascinating to talk to. Remember Deacon? That standing Blue staff? I know Yeshla can do the same thing.”

“I sure can! And more than that. Certainly more than whatever stick some other wizard carries.” All but Deacon heard the childlike voice ring out. Talin smiled at the staffs self importance. They didn’t talk to her enough, and all knew her frustration with Deacon’s deafness. Maybe one day they could find a solution.

Talin went on to discuss further. “He specifically loves killing demon kind. Now, we have no idea of his martial or magical abilities, but if we can find him, he might be a good addition. Fulun told us they each had permanent dwellings in the north part of town. Surely ones of their description shouldn’t be too hard to find if we ask around.”

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Bharash
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“I totally forgot about the barbarian horde. Does anyone know who’s behind them, or what their makeup is?” asks Bharash as he takes up a couple of jugs – one of wine for everyone else and one of mead, for himself – and carries them up the stairs to the rope trick, where he spends a few moments navigating the difficult task of getting them up into the dimensional space so that everyone can chill out and enjoy a drink or two as they talk.

“Demon hunting fellow, right? I sort of remember him although I was a little drunk at the time. Fetchling, right? I remember thinking at the time that I’d have to write Gramma Shadow about them. She’s from the same place as they were… Got caught up in some sort of magical shenanigan involving a corrupted dragon and a swamp and blam, she ended up here, where she met my grandad.”

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Julia Graymantle
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“Bharash are you saying that your Grandma Shadow was also stuck here because this is the prison plane?  I am sorry but also thankful, for you are here with us now and that may not have been if she were able to return.”  Julia stated as she placed a hand on the large Dragonborn.

Julia had thought then that she remembered she wanted to ask and weigh between her friends.  “While I was talking with Sister Mara she brought up a familiar name that could have interest in helping our cause.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring it up, but she said that Helmut Itelstein could be a resource of at least information about this Night of Dissolution.  I know our history isn’t the best with him and so I was hesitant to bring it up.”

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Vogh
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“Kal is coming here to meet us?  That is great!!  Pretty exciting I must say.”  Vogh looked to Deacon as Julia said her next thing to gauge his reaction.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon’s eyes shot wide open after hearing about Kalerecent and him wielding the Sword of Truth.  Though he wasn’t as intertwined in the politics as perhaps some other wizards he knew well enough about the properties of the blade.

“I guess it is a good thing Kal is on my side then.  That blade is a nasty tool against arcane users most definitely.”  Deacon smiled to calm any fears of a bad reaction.

“Helmut?  That murderer?  I won’t fight by his side.  If he gives information that is fine but I can’t have him with us.”

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Bharash
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“Look, assholes are assholes but I’m pretty sure that they’re going to have to work damn’ hard to be worse than actual demons who have a plot to destroy the city. Not to mention that this is dangerous and there’s every chance Helmut could die doing it, just like the rest of us.” Bharash observes, knowing full well that an extra warm body between themselves and failure is a good thing – even when that body belongs to someone whose schemes they actively oppose “And if they don’t, seeing us fighting on the same side against a real threat might give us the opening to change their mind about those children – which I don’t see us changing our minds about. Win-win-win, really.”

As for Julie, he nods “I never really understood the details, but yeah. She described her home pretty much the way the Fetchlings did.”, smiling down at her tiny hand on his forearm “And thanks. I’m sort of glad of it myself, even if I did have to grow up listening to her grumble about it.”

[Private to GM: GM here, I just added color to help]

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon thought about what Bharash said, and then a wide grin came across his face.  “Yes, you are quite right.  I hadn’t thought about it that way.  Okay, I agree we should at least give it a try.”

Deacon turned to Vogh then and said, “Why not invite him to the party tomorrow?  If he comes we can ask him there.”

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Vogh
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Vogh was about to calm Deacon down when Bharash came up with a good idea.  “Yes, Deacon I think I will do that.  I also need to send one to Belie.  I sure hope he is back!  Now anyone have anything else we need to hear before heading downstairs to eat and then find Tristan?”

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Talin
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In reply to Bharash

Talin raised a finger to Bharash and very politely corrected him. “Remember they call themselves Kayal. Tristan and Fulun explained to us that fetchling is actually a pejorative term ascribed to them by humans. Just don’t want to offend them.” He smiled to make sure he didn’t offend Bharash with the correction

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Vogh and Talin decided to use Shadow Sendings to contact Belie, Helmut and find Tristan. The magical sendings could actually find someone based just on their name and deliver the message. Few knew that Shadow Sendings was backed by House Sadar. It was, in fact, Lord Renn Sadar who invented the magic that made the sendings possible. Because Sadar had a bad reputation in some circles, the house kept its involvement secret so as not to raise suspicions. Vogh had spoken with Enis Sadar several times and the Lady Sadar had shared the sensitive information with the young woman.

After hailing a carriage in the still pissing rain the duo rumbled down Center Street. Water poured off the countless trees in the Mane as they passed the lush, green landscape. They turned down Malav Street and passed Katterwood, the halfling neighborhood. A left on Bridge Street had them passing Qualin’s Books. Vogh caught something peculiar as they passed the Book Store, a rather attractive elven woman was beneath a temporary covering painting a second story building’s exterior. Why someone wouldn’t wait to finish painting after the rain passed. Perhaps she was under pressure to finish.

They took another right onto the South River Road that had the King’s River bordering it on the left. A long, long walkway led between other businesses up to the Shadow Sending office. Inside six people sat at desks, three on either side of the walkway, writing down messages and also allowing people to record their own voices. Rondella Loyath, the owner, sat at a desk raised on a small platform, watching over everyone working. She cocked her head sideways and smiled as Vogh walked in. The older woman was a wizard of some power, and had worked for House Sadar for a long while.

“Vogh! As I live and breathe! Welcome!” Rondella stood and walked around her desk to embrace Vogh.

[I rolled a 1d20 and a 1d100 to see how well she knew you. I rolled a nat 20 and a nat 100! haha. So I’m going to play this like Vogh has met her several times. Feel free to make up whatever you want to deepen that.]

[Private to GM: Her blood is the cure to a terrible and deadly sickness. Painter painting a fence, wall, or windowsill (actually a rogue6/assassin3 observing a target).]

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Bharash
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One thing you can’t say about Bharash is that he lacks for relentless pragmatism, and he grins back at Deacon cheerfully, just in time to catch a gentle telling-off from Talin which he weathers in good stead, chuckling “I’ve been called worse. Kayal just sounds like jumped-up cabbage, but I’ll try and avoid mentioning that… I probably shouldn’t mention Gramma Shadow either, truth be told. I got the impression that her sort have a pretty rough reputation more or less everywhere.”

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Talin
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In reply to Bharash

“You’ve mentioned her several times but never told us much about her. What was her… Kind?”. Asked Talin.

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Vogh
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It had been some time since seeing Rondella.  Vogh had seen the older woman many times before at parties and Vogh knew she was a wizard back then.  Matter of fact she learned one of her cantrips from Rondella.  But, Vogh had no idea Rondella worked here nor she would have the reaction she had when Vogh walked through the door.

Vogh returned the embrace and said, “Rondella!!!  If I had known you worked here I’d have come by and sent more messages before this.  My Lothian how have you been?”

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Rondella ()
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The woman smiled and shrugged. Her fine robes marked her a wizard for certain, but they were more ornate than functional. A wide golden belt around her waist didn’t even hold a spell component pouch or dagger. She was clearly used to comfort and luxury. “Blessed. Running the business has been very enjoyable. The couriers aren’t happy with us, but everyone fears the new and furthermore, fears an upset of the status quo.”

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Vogh
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“Yes, agreed!  People are resistant to change.  I think most people just don’t understand how things work and that scares them.”  Vogh said as she gave Rondella a wide grin remembering something from their past.

“Speaking of your job here, we have a need to send off a few messages.  One reason why we came was that we need to send a message to someone we don’t know their whereabouts.  I think what you have here can be something that could possibly bring people together again.”

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Rondella ()
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In reply to Vogh[*]

“Certainly! That’s one of the most wonderful aspects of the Sendings. It cost a bit of extra coin, but we can send directly to one person. It costs less to send to an address, but with that you never know who will receive the message. Oh! Plus! Did you know we can send images now?! We sure can! Again, it costs extra, but we can actually present a visual of whatever you show our casters. Isn’t that glorious? Come. Come. I’ll dispatch your Sendings myself. Now, you can send your own voice or I can voice it for you.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“Gramma Shadow? Oh, well… You know when I get into a fight and I sort of… grow? Pull shadow to me and use it to extend my strength and reach?” Bharash asks, smiling in a fashion that’s way less upsetting than the actual process itself tends to be, his voice obviously filled with a certain familial affection “Well, that’s her heritage. She’s kind of crocodile-like I guess, a bit more than a head taller than me… Big thick tail, really dark scales and a darker sense of humour. My dad’s bigger than I am, darker-scaled too. I take after my mum a bit more in colour.”

Since Bharash himself is well over seven feet tall and built like a fortress bastion, ‘Gramma Shadow’ is probably the sort of creature no-one would want to walk into in a dark alley.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash

Talin screwed up his face in confusion. “Craw… crocodile… like? I don’t understand… Like, like a lizard man or similar? I’ve never even heard of such a race. Is it a shadow thing? I mean no offense. Just confused.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
In reply to Rondella

Vogh thought about the options for a second and then looked to the others for any confirmation.  She didn’t get anything really besides a shrug from them.  So she decided, “I would like to do the visual message that goes directly to the person.  We can start first with Tristan.  Are they able to respond, or do we get a notification they received it?  What if we try and send to someone and they are dead and we don’t know it?”

Another moment of contemplation of what to say Vogh started, knowing she needed to be 25 words or less.  “Greetings Tristan!  We are in need of your expertise and would like to invite you to dinner tonight at the Ghostly Minstrel to discuss.”

She then sent one to Belie as well, “Belie, this is a cordial invitation to Talin and my induction into the Knights of the Chord.  It will be at our Estate tomorrow evening.”

The same message will be sent to Helmut Iltelstein, “Talin and I cordial invite you to our induction into the Knights of the Chord.  It will be at our Estate tomorrow evening.”

Then Vogh’s cheeks turned red and she turned back to Rondella, “I hadn’t thought to ask you if you wanted to come.  I just figured your House would be coming anyways.  Would you like to come to our induction to the Knights of Chord tomorrow night?”

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Bharash
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“Don’t have the foggiest. Weirdly, one of the things I never asked her was what species she was… I mean, how do you even start that conversation with your gramma? She’s your gramma. Doesn’t look much like an Assarai though.”, before looking around at the others and cheerfully suggesting “Oh hey, if we’re not doing anything much until tomorrow, does anyone want to go look up the chap who tried to poison us the other day? I’ve got a name and a place to find them, we’ve just been sort of busy.”

Which rather opens the question ‘how the hell did he find that out’, but that’s Bharash for you.

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Rondella ()
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In reply to Vogh

“Of course! Happy to assist!” Rondella had Vogh record the messages after casting a spell the woman didn’t recognize. “Unfortunately there is no ability to respond, nor is there a notification about whether the person was reached. We are still working on the spell though, adn those are all good suggestions we’ve heard before.” She smiled at Vogh.

After all the recordings were handled Rondella further explained how the sendings work. “The messages go out once every hour. The process is very complex, and proprietary, so I cannnot tell you more.” The older woman winked. “Your messages will be dispatched at the top of the hour.”

She smiled at Vogh’s invitation. “That’s so kind! I’ll do my best to attend. The business takes long hours and I’m not sure I have something suitable to wear. I don’t often go up into the Nobles District. Anyway. I’ll do my best! Congratulations! What a high honor. Your mother must be over the Spire proud.”

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Talin
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In reply to Bharash

Talin’s eyebrows rose, and stayed high, through Bharash’s explanation. Then his job dropped open a bit at Bharash’s last statement. “How…? Wait, what? You know who tried to poison us?” Talin laughed out loud and rubbed his face. “Bharash. I’m glad you’re on our side. You never cease to amaze me. You mentioned a while back you can cook. We’ve got the house done now. We’ve got to take you up on that offer and have you regale us further.”

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Vogh
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“Honestly I don’t know what she thinks.  We have talked besides to arrange the party.  I am sure she is proud though.  If I don’t see you I will know you at least tried.  Have a good evening Rondella and it was nice to see you again.  I will try and stop by soon when I have more time.”

Vogh then turned to the conversation between Talin and Bharash she had overheard.  “I would like to follow your lead on that but can it wait till after tomorrow?”

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Bharash
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“Well, it’s not like it was difficult to find out.” Bharash protests cheerfully, his voice a rumbling chuckle, apparently gratified by the cunning thief’s astonishment (which is probably better than ‘but you’re a fighter, how did you ever come to brain this out?’) “No idea who hired them yet, regrettably but I thought we could see if we couldn’t shake some answers out of them with a few questions and a little magic.”

Vogh on the other hand gets a grumpy look – not an angry one at all, just grumpy as he asks “I suppose, I mean they’re not going anywhere it’s just that I heard all this being prepared for tomorrow and I thought we could do with something to keep us busy this afternoon. If not this, what do you have in mind?”

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Talin
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Talin nodded at Bharash but pursed his lips. “I completely understand what you’re saying Bharash. But…” He turned and looked at Vogh. “I am remiss to tackle anything so close to our induction party. What if something bad happened? I know we’ve made it through all odds together, but you just never know. If one of us was laid out, hurt bad enough we couldn’t attend, or gods forbid, kidnapped or killed. I don’t want to sound like a milquetoast, but this is a big deal for both of us. You know?”

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Vogh
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Vogh really wanted to follow the lead Bharash had but as he even stated himself it will hold.  Talin made a good point, anything could happen and she didn’t want to jeopardize anything at this time.  They still needed to follow the lead for the Night of Dissolution as well but they were putting it off till they could garner more help.  Plus, they were meeting Kalerecent soon at the Minstrel.

“Bharash, let’s talk more back in the room about this.  I am grateful you were able to somehow find more information in your spare time.”  She had no idea how as he was as busy as they were most of the time.  “We will follow it when we can.  Now, do you have something nice to wear for the party?”

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Narrator GM
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After all the Sendings we’re recorded and done they bid Rondelle farewell and hailed a carriage to return to the Minstrel.

Lightning exploded overhead like a dozen fireballs erupting. The blue flash illuminated the city in a strange light.

Back down the long walkway the friends trudged. Few people were on the roads. A lone centaur woman had a cart strapped to herself which was covered by a tarp obscuring its contents. She wore only a shirt on her human torso and seemed unbothered by the driving rain.

The first carriage which passed by, Talin flagged down and held the door for Vogh to enter first. Annoyingly the carriage had a small leak near the center wetting the floor and causing a small stream to run out the door.

With far below average traffic they made good time back to Delver’s Square. They were shocked to see a large number of City watch blocking off a square section between the statue and the Minstrels front door. Three bodies were covered in blankets, laid out near the middle of the protective square formed by Watchmen wielding pikes to keep the crowd away.

Several officers of the Watch stood near the bodies, speaking beneath umbrellas. Talin asked one of the bystanders what had happened.

“An explosion of some sort I was told. I didn’t witness it myself but the same is on everyone’s lips who was near when it happened. Killed three people, and injured several others. Was totally random. No one quarreled or anything. All was well then boom.”

Movement overhead caught their eyes. Three flying figures in robes were spread out at least five men’s height above everyone. The rain did not touch them but struck an invisible barrier and ran off the sides. Each carried a wand while they surveyed the surroundings.

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Bharash
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The truth is, that Bharash is nothing of the sort, mostly spending his days in exercise and training or walking the streets of Ptolus in his usual tireless fashion while his companions scheme with magi and raise buildings, develop agents and walk with saints…

…but that very preoccupation on their part is a large part of why Bharash so readily forgives them their but rarely finding time for his quiet life except when they’re in need of his martial prowess – it’s not as if he is vastly better, after all.

Still, he snorts and observes “Yesterday we attacked a lair of demons under the city… But today, cornering a hired poisoner is too risky.” with dry tones, glancing between the his friends before waving a hand nonchalantly “No, no it’s fair enough. This is something you’re looking forwards to.”

The question about clothing options makes him open his mouth to answer, then snap it shut, as he recalls that, on fact he does not and that, as a seven and a half foot dragon man, it’s going to be… Challenging… To rectify that in twelve hours “Ahhh, actually, I may need to cry off on that front.”

According to the equipment list I inherited, Bharash doesn’t own any clothes, or that waterskin I keep having him mean to buy. I chose to assume he does in fact have one set of adventuring clothing. ^_^

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Vogh
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The explanation from one of the bystanders has Vogh wondering something that Deacon had told them back in the rope trick about the wizards that had escaped the Asylum.  IT was then that she looked up and saw the floating-robed figures.  She tried to remember the descriptions Deacon gave as she looked at them.

Do they look like the ones Deacon told us about?

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Narrator GM
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In reply to Vogh

Unfortunately, or perhaps thankfully, no. Those wizards floating above them did not fit any description of the escaped crazies from the assylum. It appeared these were either part of the Watch, Inverted Pyramid, or even possibly members of the Goldshield, the group of wizards who supported the Watch and reported directly to the Commissar. Whoever they were, they were standing vigilant over the crowd and surroundings.

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