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Narrator GM
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Date/Time: 31st of Growth

Vogh and Talin departed the Minstrel. The temperature had dropped below the 60’s but the sky above was crystal clear. Cold temperatures must have blown in from the south and cleared out the always prevalent rain clouds.

[Private to GM:

) Sallina Kath (pink text. has icon) & Raul (lavender)

) Hallusiun Everfar, Leader of Knights of the Chord
) Nivae Tamelli, most famous bard in the land. Dire Song by different name. (lavender text)
) Nicalon Regelis, Navanna Vlaadam in disguise

) Mand Scheben, cleric of Asche (brown text)
– Spyncer Coil, vision from Asche, God of Cities forged the three Swords of Ptolus

) Kaira Swanwing, Knights of the Golden Cross, Elder Gods, Vallis Moon, Vested Vladaam.
) Dierna Hillerchaun, Knights of the Pale, with Holy Avenger (knows about Callin?)
– Received her holy avenger sword from Adlam Theobold, archbishop of Lothian. It was originally wielded by a paladin of Tarsis named Handel Werner.
– The most famous Knights of the Pale include Zophas Adhar, a male aasimar paladin/Knight of the Pale and member of the Runewardens adventuring company

) Lord Kirstol Dallimothan, sword of the dragonkings

) House Sadar

) The famous Delver and his kids and the painting he found

) Helmut Itlestein High Priest (has icon, aqua text). Sossibly sends an agent of the church, or fate weavers?

) Josiah Crand, of the Malkuth, dubbed the ‘Advocate of Light’ by some. (Chapter 5: The Quaan and Beyond msg #267 -> He was very curious about Callin)

) Prince of the Church, son of rehoboth, Kirian Ylestos

) Kalerecent (Who carries the Sword of Truth now?)

) Lady Fransin Nagel, House Nagel, Kurtlan Nagel was placed in the Prison for murder. Fransin Nagel is close friends with Doraedian Mythlord, master of Iridithil’s Home.

?) Someone to connect the group to Raguel/Lilith. Cardalian the halfling. Raguel figures the Calling got the sword of truth from the bane warrens and believes they might be touched by his parents so he sends the halfling to learn more about them.

?) Captain Pharis Noldstrom (blue text)

?) A Balacazar? The mom of Dullin, or the sister?

?) CERRINTHAN SANSERRA, lawyer for the Balacazars

?) Member of Skoyter family, Nupe’s parents or uncle (Secrets of Delver character) as he’s involved in the chaos cults. Possibly use Nupe as Yesnen Dhuromath’s son, the wealthy farmer that Vogh gave directions to the White House in Chapter 6.

) Doleen Kaffer (she has an icon), Husband Nartin. (Include the fake halfling from the reliquary as spy for Lillith) Rather famous author, with her most famous work being a treatise on Abesh Runihan, whom Runihan – or Delver’s – Square was named after. Doleen had also written books on several other people of note from the past few decades, documenting the exploits of delvers, knights, soldiers and even a few City Watch personnel.

Approaching them next was a couple of halflings who seemed to have some age about them. The female had sparkling green eyes and short black hair streaked in quite a bit of gray. Arm-in-arm an equally aged gentlemen halfling accompanied her. His hair was mostly gone, except a horseshoe about his head that was all cut short. Both were dressed well, if in slightly outdated fashion.

End of NPCs]

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Narrator GM
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Date/Time: 30th of Growth

Inside the Minstrel was packed. Not a single unoccupied table or chair were to be had. The conversation was a loud drone which made it almost impossible to speak to the one directly next to you. Several notable Delvers were easy to spot with crowds around them, peppering with questions and discussion. Sheva Callister, one of the city’s best known Delvers – now retired – stood in her telltale purple garb and knee-high boots, plus her oversized, two handed sword which looked too big for one so small.

Thorrim Kolvir, the centaur paladin whom they met at the Church party, was likewise in the common room. His large size took up a corner of the Minstrel.

Several more people of import milled around, but it was difficult to take in everyone due to the press of bodies.

Josiah the Celestia stood beside Thorrim. His light blue feathered wings tucked behind his back and his silver hair tied back with a silver cord.

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Vogh
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Whatever had happened in Delver’s Square seemed to be well under control now.  It was a strange thing that the people were killed though.  Before Vogh went in she did manage to move to one of the city guards and ask who was killed.

Once inside Vogh was amazed by how many people were inside.  It never seemed to astound her when she saw some of the famous retired Delvers inside.  Upon seeing Thorimm Kolvir, Vogh thought to ask him to join their quest against the Chaos Cultists.  She had heard many stories about him and his thirst to fight against evil.

Vogh then spotted Deacon and Julia at their usual table.  It was probably good that they had left them behind when they did for they wouldn’t have known the place would have been so busy so fast.  Vogh said to Talin and Bharash, “Looks like our table is available.  Shall we?  I want to buy Thorimm a drink and ask him over to the table as well.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Vogh veritably elbowed her way through the crowd to reach Thorrim. The centaur saw her coming and gestured for someone to make a hole. “Mistress Kath. Well met.”

Josiah the celestial nodded to Vogh. He had grilled her about Callin at the church party when the group shared their tale of saving an Astral Deva.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia had been speaking with Deacon or more like mouthing the words cause it was ridiculously loud in the Minstrel currently and then she spotted Vogh, Talin, and Bharash approach.  “Hey guys did you hear what happened out front?”

Julia had barely gotten the question out as Vogh had nodded and then sped off again.  Julia saw that she was headed to Thorimm.  “Were you able to send off the invitations?”  Julia quickly asked as there was a lull in the almost constant din.

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Talin
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Talin nodded back to Julia. “We did.” He practically shouted.

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Bharash
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“No!” Bharash replies, having only the vaguest idea what all the fuss is currently about but more or less certain that if he keeps paying attention he’ll find out all about it, one way or another.

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Talin
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Talin chuckled at Bharash and gestured for everyone to lean in close. “Perhaps we should go upstairs? Bharash, you want to tell Vogh? I’m going to order some food and drink to be brought up for us.”

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Vogh
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In reply to Thorrim Kolvir (msg # 4):

“Well met Thorimm and Josiah.  What brings the both of you to the Minstrel?  Or better yet what is all the fuss here?  It isn’t normally so boisterous here.”  Vogh commented even as she looked about the room.

Vogh then said something that came back to her that Mand had said to her.  Heroes should know heroes!  Here she was many days since meeting Thorimm to come to him with the very thing she had thought would be needed…. help!

“Thorimm and Josiah, I am a telepath.”  Vogh said aloud before going silent and then speaking in their heads where the words could easily be heard and understood.

“Our group has been delving once again and have come across enemies that are very strong, both in number and might.  The Chaos Cults have attempted to work together to bring about something called the Night of Dissolution.  A mighty Balor has joined their side along with other demons.  Just yesterday we barely escaped with our lives.  We are gathering as many heroes to aid in bringing the end of the Night of Dissolution before it happens.”  Vogh gave the both of them some time to think about what she had just said in their heads.

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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Thorrim and Josiah both blanched as she began speaking into their heads. Josiah responded first, Can Thorrim hear me too? Vogh explained she could address both of them, but only she could hear their repsonses. Josiah nodded and answered Vogh first, then addressed Thorrim audibly. I think we should take this conversation somewhere private. Out loud he said, “I believe we need to go somewhere to discuss things.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Thorrim widened his eyes and looked between the two speaking then nodded when Josiah spoke. “Agreed.”

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Bharash
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“You tell them, I’ll grab the food. I’m probably better off carrying it!” Bharash calls back, putting his head close to that of the other man in order to be more clearly heard and then heading over to make arrangements for a meat, cheese and fruit platter and a selection of drinks to be made available with a big damn’ tray – since he figures that the inn staff are going to be rushed off their feet and he’s perfectly able to handle the actual delivery.

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Talin
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Talin stopped and shrugged then made his way over to Vogh, pushing and turning between clutches of people. He kept a hand always on his coin purse. Talin held little worry anyone would steal SolarSong off his back. But a small bag from his belt could disappear easily.

When he caught Vogh’s shoulder gently she mentally relayed the plans which he nodded in agreement with. He spoke back with her through the telepathy. “I’m going to let Telleth know to send Kal up whenever he arrives.”

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Narrator GM
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Bharash waited for the food and drink to be laid out on a serving tray meant to be carried by two servers. He hefted the weight easily but had to use all his warrior skills to avoid a spill.

The centaur, angel looking guy, and the rest of his friends had all ascended the stairs already and awaited him in the room Bharash, Julia and Deacon used to share. Deacon hadn’t used it much of late, thanks to his residence inside the Inverted Pyramid.

When Bharash arrived, all of the beds had been shoved to one side and the group stood around. It was rather right quarters, but not as bad as downstairs was currently.

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Josiah deferred to Thorrim who looked down on all but Bharash from his considerable height. A human torso atop a horse body made him quite tall. With a serious express on his face the aram asked, “You’re fighting the chaos cults? Which ones? What have they done and how on earth do they have a Balor on their side?”

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Vogh
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Once everyone was in the room and the door closed Thorimm continued the conversation from the main room downstairs.  Vogh was already shaking her head as he spoke.

Vogh cast a quick detect magic and looked about the room for any sensor that could be watching them before beginning.  Satisfied that no one was listening or watching as far as she could tell she began, “It isn’t just one my friend.  We have run into members from multiple cults and have also found correspondence verifying that they are attempting to work with each other.  The Cult of the Ebon Hand, Brothers of Venom, Crimson Coil, and the Tolling Bell.
The others could be involved as well but we have yet to hear or see any of their involvement. Wuntad of the Tolling Bell is leading them all or at least trying for naturally the cults can’t work together without strife.   As for the Balor”
Vogh gave the name of the demon and continued, “we arent sure how he fits into this.  There is also a demonic centaur involved as well.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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“A demonic centaur? Pray tell, you must explain that further Miss Vogh…”

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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Josiah shook his head then ran a hand through his silvery hair. “I don’t understand. Someone has organized these nut cases? Wuntad? I’ve never heard of him. Thorrim?” The centaur shook his head. “Regardless, what is this Night of Dissolution you’re talking about? Is it a set date? Do you know when this will happen? And WHAT will happen? Also, who else knows about this?”

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Vogh
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In reply to Thorrim Kolvir (msg # 17):

Vogh knew she would need to explain more about this demonic centaur so she gave Thorimm a name.  “His name is Astared, he is half-demon-half-centaur.  He had human skulls that adorned his upper torso. We fought against him twice, the first time he and a Glabrezu teleported away from us as we got the upper hand.  The second time we were fighting a losing battle and we teleported away.”

To Josiah Vogh slowly relayed what Bharash, Julia, and Deacon had told her about their first encounter with Wuntad.  Vogh herself hadn’t had any idea what this Wuntad was but she knew that he has grown powerful beyond belief through the power of the Shigmaa.

“Wuntad is the leader of the Tolling Bell Cult and is growing in power thanks to the power of Shigmaa, and he seeks to bring about the Night of Dissolution. His ritual, if successful, will awaken the Lord’s of Chaos and grant him immeasurable power.  Unfortunately, we have no idea about the timeline as to when it will happen.  There are so many things going on in and around the city it is hard to tell if they are all connected or not.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon listened and was playing through all of it in his head as Vogh finished Deacon added, “I have already spoken to someone with the Inverted Pyramid about what we have found.  I am waiting back to hear from someone about any aid they could provide.  We were also given the name of someone that may help us.  We have just sent a message to meet with them.”

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Julia Graymantle
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All this was surreal as Julia listened to Vogh and their adventures below the city.  When Josiah asked about who was told about this Deacon beat her to the information he had and so she listened and bided her time to speak.

“I have gone to the Lothian Church, my Order, and have told them about this as well.  They are sending a representative here.  He will be here today.  They are also going to send the message up higher as well, much like the Inverted Pyramid Deacon spoke of.”

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Talin
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“One last thing I would like to say is that tomorrow, Vogh and I will become members of the Knights of the Chord and will be asking for assistance from them as well.  There is one other thing that Vogh forgot to mention.  We got information about some large machine that is located somewhere under the ‘White House’.  After our induction that is one place, we were going to check out as we have the way to get there without heading through the establishment itself.”  Talin added quickly before Julia once again spoke.

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Julia Graymantle
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“A few other things I learned at the church is that Lilith of the Fallen, seeks the awakening of the Galchutt. Nirech-thes the Balor 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.

Finally, it is believed that the Night of Dissolution must happen around thousands of terrified people. Four magical runes of some sort must be destroyed. A Vested ‘Wuntad’ must perform the ceremony while other followers participate in some manner. Lastly, a beloved King must die… the thought is the breath of Emperor Rudolf in the Cheilsecaro might suffice, but there is no evidence to support such.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Thorrim blew a great sigh and shook his head. “That is a lot of information. It seems you’ve got a long list of potential allies. What is the power of the Shigmaa?”

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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“I had the same question. The Shigmaa. But also, do you think this machine, if we destroyed it, do you think that would stop these chaos gods from waking?”

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Bharash
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Bharash dragonbornhandles the platter into the room with the expected level of strength, grace and eagerness that one would expect from having seen him exercise, fight and eat… What he doesn’t have however, is much to contribute to the long and confusing list of names, motivations, artefacts, rituals and general plots so he settles himself in by the door, snags that dog-eared notebook of his again and starts trying to make any sense of it all.

At all.

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Deacon Havenhold
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“I poured over many books and tomes long lost and forgotten.  From these books I was able to glean that the shigmaa is a ritual bestowed title. Reveared among the Forsaken, worshipers of undeath and death, these people were alive but deeply and evily connected to death. The shigmaa were reviled by anyone with a shred of good in them, as to obtain the title one must undergo a hideous, terrible scarification ritual and finally must die then be resurrected. Furthering the horror, it seemed each time a shigmaa died and was resurrected, they became more and more powerful, tied closer to death and its powers.

Shigmaa Irretharm, Herald of the Wintersouled was listed first, then Shigmaa Urasta was referenced as possibly highest in the order, a leader among the Forsaken.

There is mention that the Keepers of the Veil had documented several run-ins with Shigmaa Surmoil Rallekred, but no specific details were mentioned.

Both elves mentioned that it seemed almost all undead would defer to a shigmaa, and none of the authors knew specific powers wielded by these unnatural beings, but all hinted at immense power.”

The information dump was incredible and gave the two and anyone else gathered more information.  “As for the machine, we haven’t done any research as of yet but it is likely that it will at the very least stall their plans to awaken the gods.”

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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Josiah wore a look of horror on his face at the explanation. “Unholy abomination.” He practically whispered.

“I’m confused though. You listed several names. Are all of those alive, or whatever they are, today? Or are those past people through history? I’ve never heard anything about this ritual or these awful people. I’m not as young as I look and I’ve studied history extensively. I’ve never heard mention of anything you just shared.”

Looking at Torrim he shared an idea. “We should set a meeting with Sir Beck Vin Tibbitz.” Torrim nodded but Josiah saw no recognition on anyone else’s faces.

“He is the leader of the Keepers of the Veil. Perhaps their records can fill in some of these knowledge gaps. Damn all these foul creatures. They need to be destroyed. The Keepers might also help us.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon couldn’t say for sure if the names he gave were alive still or dead and still around.  With the undead one could never know.  “Honestly, I don’t know if they still walk or if they are long since in the ground dead.”  Deacon was careful to not say alive.

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Vogh
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All that was said by both Deacon and Julia had Vogh deep in thought.  There were so many moving parts, on both sides.  The biggest unknown was how long they had to stop this Night of Dissolution.

“I think including the Keepers of the Veil is a great idea.  One thing I know we must watch out for is the infiltration at all levels of organizations.  We have already run into that with other things we have investigated.  We can go there with you if you like or you can go and then let us know back here tonight?”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Thorrim nodded along, following the conversation. Finally he spoke up, addressing Bharash. “Bharash, would you like to accompany Josiah and I to speak with the Keepers? Sir Beck respects warriors and your reputation in that area is well known. We know him well and should be able to get an audience immediately.”

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Bharash
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The small notebook in Bharash’s hand is covered in small, skittery notes featuring words like ‘blackhand’, ‘venbros’ and ‘dingdongs’ with occasional loops, circles and crossings-out indicating his attempts to keep track of any of this nonsense, which means that when someone addresses him he looks up hopefully, then winces before admitting “Well, I can come along but I’m honestly not sure what use I’ll be. I don’t know anything about any of this, beyond what I personally experienced and I didn’t understand half of that.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Thorrim and Josiah both laughed and smiled at the warrior. “Not sure I understood everything either. But perhaps the Sir will be able to enlighten us. Plus, you’re the only one who took notes.” Thorrim smiled at the big warrior who had been scribbling all over his papers.

The centaur shrugged. “No pressure. Josiah and I will go meet with them and return here with all haste. I believe I speak for both of us when I say our blades are with you.”

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Vogh
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“Go ahead and go with them Bharash.  We will stay here to make sure we meet up with Kal and anyone that we sent a message.”  Vogh said and then turned to the others as she finished up the last bit of cheese from the platter Bharash had brought up.

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Narrator GM
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Thorrim and Josiah nodded at their departure.

Chapter 7.1: Dead or Undead – link to a message in this game

@Bharash, I know you hate it when I “move” your character so if you don’t go with them, that’s fine. I didn’t make any assumptions about you going.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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After the two new allies departed the group had some time to sit around and await Kalerecent’s arrival. They didn’t have to wait long until a knock came on the door. Opening the door revealed the attractive elf standing in his gleaming full plate armor, helmet under one arm. The Sword of Truth hung in an ornate, silver sheath attached to his wide belt that was buckled with a Lothian Ankh buckle.

“Hello again my friends.” He said stoickly before stepping inside the room and looking around at everyone. “Sister Mara told me some very disturbing things. It seems you all attract trouble.” Kal couldn’t say the last sentence without cracking a small smile.

“So… You’ve gone and found a whole new group that’s trying to end the world? No longer the Pactlords of the Quaan, but Chaos Cultists who want to awaken a sleeping evil and end everything? Ha. Have you all tried making friends with some nice people instead?”

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Talin
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When a knock came at the door, Talin was the one to open it.  Seeing Kalerecent standing there in armor identical to his own, though much more elaborate, Talin gave him a large smile.  “Come on in Kal, we were just about to finish off the food that Bharash had brought us.  Oh, and trust me we have tried to play nice, it is just that no one wants to do good things it seems.  Oh and don’t count out the Pactlords.  It seems they are still after us for what we did to them.”

Talin took a seat on the floor, joining his friends.  Vogh greeted Kal with a large hug though before she too took a seat on the floor.

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Julia Graymantle
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When Talin opened the door to reveal Kal, Julia’s expression grew to a huge smile.  The way the man looked and carried himself in his Lothian regalia put a warm feeling inside her.

“We heard you received a promotion as well Kalerecent.  You are in charge of others as well.  Seems like you are doing well for yourself and the church.  That pleases me.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon greeted Kal warmly but it was obvious he was looking at the blade and not Kal as he spoke.  It was as if the sword was speaking to him….

Finally, as the others took a seat Deacon sat opposite the man keeping his eye on him… or the sword, one couldn’t tell really.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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“Oh? No surprise there I guess, after the blow you all dealt them.” He responded to Talin then returned Vogh’s hug.

To Julia he smiled and answered, “That is correct. It is a huge honor, albeit a great deal more responsiblity. It’s much easier going into battle when you’re only responsible for yourself. Thinking about and being responsible for others is a great weight to bear. Commanding men to risk their lives I’ve found much harder than risking my own.”

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Bharash
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“If we’re relying upon my notes, we’re in trouble.” Bharash admits, flipping closed the notebook before anyone can see the small crudely-sketched caricature of a ‘wizzard’ shaking a magic stick as several large demon-figures (complete with little stink lines) approach them… But he nods to Vogh and rumbles “Fair enough. I’ll see you in a little while, try not to get caught up in any new shenanigans while I’m gone.”

With that, he snags a bread roll filled with meat slices from the platter and heads off with Thorim and Josiah.

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Vogh
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“Wow Kal, that is a lot of pressure.  Will any of your subordinates be joining you for this mission?  We need to make sure that we are able to handle any quick escapes,” Vogh asked the Paladin as they sat and ate after Bharash had left with the others.

Changing the subject to something lighter, Vogh asked, “have heard that tomorrow is a party at the Vogh Estate and we are going to be inducted into the Knight of the Chord.  Should be a pretty nice event.  I would like to invite you formally.”

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Narrator GM
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Bharash’s Side Thread to the Keepers of the Veil’s Siege Tower Meeting: link to a message in this game

Kal shrugged at Vogh’s question. “Well that’s the million gold coin question isn’t it? It all depends on your plans. You told Sister Mara about a Balor. A glabrazeu. A demon centaur thing. And more… What all do you expect us to face down there? My men are not so skilled as you. Nor am I for that matter. What plans have you made for an attack?”

At Vogh’s invitation he inclined his head in a small bow. “It would be my honor to attend. Thank you.”

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Vogh
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“I can understand that Kal and I respect your honesty.  There are many different foes that perhaps some of your men would be able to handle such as ratmen.  If I had a better idea of what your men are capable of that would give us a better idea of how we can utilize their talents.”

Though Vogh had never led a company of soldiers or anything like that, she had been a part of many organized groups outside of the city and had watched carefully how the leader led.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kal nodded and scratched his hairless chin. “They are mostly paladins like myself. The Sergeant is a Cleric. Then I have one other cleric. All of my men have seen combat, but mostly against ratmen like you mentioned. We’ve dealt with a few undead as well.”

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Vogh
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“Okay, that should come in handy.  You know it surprises me that the church doesn’t employ some sort of arcane user in their arsenal.  I have heard there are a number of them that attain their spells with great wisdom.  But I digress, I will leave it up to you about who could join us.  You could always hold your men in reserve and join a fight that would be one they could help in?”  Vogh suggested.

“The plan is for us to try and mobilize everyone the day after the party and take the fight to them.”

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kal nodded, his expression perking up at hearing some semblance of a plan. “The church does have a few arcane users, but you’re correct that there are very few. I can have my men ready by day after tomorrow. Where will we be staging? I’m assuming everything you’ve faced was below ground, yes? So we will need light sources. As to them joining us, how do you intend to go in? What can you tell me about the place where we’re going, access and egress?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Between Vogh, Julia, Talin, and Deacon they went on to explain what the route looked like from the top starting at the apartment building, where they would stage, down to the corridor that they had yet to explore.

“From the corridor that heads towards the White House, I will cast an Arcane eye and push it far ahead of us.  I will be relaying to you all what I see as it moves.  At the same time though we can advance so that we can react as quickly as possible to any threats the eye might find.  The eye can’t go through walls so if there are any ways blocked we will need to find a way through before the eye continues.  As for a light source, I can cast communal darkvision to give those that don’t have it the ability to see in the dark.”

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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“Interesting. That’s a handy trick indeed. Can it be fooled or tricked? Do you intend to cast that before we go into the apartment complex? Do you anticipate there being any conflict in the sewers or the first level you described?”

In response to the comment about dark vision spell Kal had further questions. It seemed the man took his new command very seriously.

“As for the spell Master Deacon, that could run out on so many or could even be dispelled or suppressed. Do you all object to mundane forms of light? Torches? Sunrods?”

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Deacon Havenhold
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“It is something we haven’t used often but it is a nice trick if used correctly.  The spell doesn’t have a long duration so I probably won’t use it until we begin moving down the corridor we haven’t been down yet.”  Deacon thought about the other part of the question and was shaking his head before answering.

“I don’t believe it can be fooled at all.  I mean it sees exactly as we would, do an illusionary wall would fool it but it could fool us the same.”

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Vogh
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“Kal I don’t foresee us running into any trouble unless the ratmen try and stop us once again.  If not we shouldn’t see anything until we get down into the temple we destroyed.  As for light sources, you can bring them but until something gets dispelled we would like to not have them used.”   Vogh added to the conversation.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kal pursed his lips in thought. Apparently he couldn’t think of any more questions. Finally he nodded. “Ok. I can report to the church and prepare my men.”

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Vogh
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“Okay Kal, it really was nice seeing you again.  I can’t wait to meet your men.  I am sure you run a well-oiled squad.  Oh, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.  You can bring someone if you like.  Like a lady friend or whatever.”  Vogh said the last part with a wink.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kal blushed and looked down at the floor. Seeing this stalwart warrior who had faced down monsters most people only saw in their dreams was almost comical. They quickly learned the reason why when he asked, “Miss Julia. Might you accept my invitation to be my plus one?” He met her with piercing and handsome eyes.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was totally taken by surprise at Kal’s question.  At first, she didn’t think she heard it right.  She hadn’t even thought about Kal that way, though he certainly wasn’t terrible looking, to say the least.

The way he was looking at her though, told her that he had feelings for her.  Would it be terrible to go along?  She could actually develop feelings for the Knight and that couldn’t be a bad thing.  With a light tone in her voice and a bit of redness to her cheeks she answered.  “Kalerecent, I would be honored to be your date to the celebration.  May I ask you what you will be wearing?  I believe I can match anything you have rather than you matching what I have.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Kalerecent’s face lit up and his smile nearly took in his ears. “Wonderful! As to my attire, I planned to wear a deep read tailcoat with a medium collar, embroidered in silver with black cuffs, then a black undershirt also embroidered in silver. But I’m happy to match the lady as well.” He gave a slight bow.

Kal departed and left the four friends in the room together. Talin sat down on one bed after removing SolarSong and propping it against the wall. “So. Do you have whatever you plan to wear tomorrow Vogh? I believe I’ve got suitable attire. But a bath, haircut and a shave would do me well.”

Turning to Second and Julia he asked them the same, “Do you each have suitable attire for the party? I’m not sure how uppity the knights are, but you know about those nobles.” He smiled and shot Vogh a wink.

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Vogh
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When Kal asked Julia to be his date, Vogh’s mouth dropped.  The two would make quite the pair she thought.  Vogh was happy Julia agreed, but she quickly looked to Deacon to gauge his reaction as they had been friends for a long time now.

“I have what I would like to wear already.  Though a bath and a good pampering would go a long way towards making me ready for tomorrow.  Shall we go to the bathhouse or just our room and have a nice hot bath brought in?”  Vogh knew what she wanted but let Talin choose.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Talin didn’t think the Minstrel would bring bath ribs all the way to the third floor so he suggested the high end bath house.

(Sorry. Didn’t have much to say or time. Feel free to do the bath stuff and any shopping you want. Julia and Deacon can do whatever as well )

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Vogh
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High end bath house…. Vogh liked Talin’s thinking.

“Deacon and Julia would you both like to come with us?  I will pay!”  Vogh said with a wink!

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon wasn’t thinking about anything after Kal had asked Julia to be his date for Vogh and Talin’s induction to the Knights of the Chord.  He had missed his chance at any relationship with Julia and while it was okay, it wasn’t.

When asked about joining for the baths Deacon nodded his head.  “Sure, I guess I could use a good bath. “  Deacon kept his face clean of any hair so a shave wasn’t needed.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The Row Bathhouse was only one street over on Tavern Row. Despite the rain, the foursome made their way over quickly. Crowds had begun dispersing in Delver’s Square and the bodies had been removed. A tall, slender and attractive elven woman dressed in wizards robes was atypically accompanied by a dwarven body guard, who was also female.

Private to Deacon Havenhold: Deacon noticed the Pyramid’s logo hovering over her head, which no one else could see.]

She had a spell cast which kept the rain off both herself and her bodyguard.

Inside the bathhouse wasn’t nearly as busy as everything else, likely since most of the populace was either inside or already received a bath simply walking the streets. It cost them several gold to get private bathing rooms, but the price was well worth the added privacy and pampering.

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Vogh
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Vogh and Talin shared a large bath and Vogh even had a massage as well.  It was a nice way to unwind and relieve the stress they have endured the past weeks.

Once they were done they returned to the Minstrel for a good nights rest.

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia got a bath to herself and enjoyed the time alone in her thoughts.  They drifted into what had happened earlier with Kal.  The description of his waist coat had Julia going through the dresses she had and a light smile came to mind.  She had the perfect one for the party and it would hopefully match perfectly to what his looked like.

Julia wondered if Kal could dance for surely there was to be dancing and she enjoyed that.  Another smile came to Julia then and even a giggle….  it was an hour or so later when Julia was told that the others were ready to head back to the Minstrel.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon noticed the elven woman with the bodyguard.  She was attractive so he thought what the hell.  He didn’t know if she saw him or not but he reached out to her in his mind.

“Hello, I don’t mean to startle you.  My name is Deacon and I was wondering if I could talk with you for a moment.”  Deacon had stopped so the woman could see him plainly and easily and even put his hand up if she looked his way.

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Narrator GM
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“Oh! Hello! A fellow member. Deacon, a pleasure to meet you. Oh. My name is Claira.” She had an accent which rolled her r’s more than most and elongated her vowels. (Spanish Accent for us real world people) “Well, standing in the pouring rain is an odd place to talk, but I’m protected. Do you know how to cast the parasol cantrip to keep yourself dry?”

[Private to GM: Description: This woman is moderately tanned and has just the faintest trace of an accent. She is wearing colorful clothing, dressed as a Navigator. She has moderate length white hair. Her half smiles and gray eyes are beguiling and draw you in.

Personality: She is almost excessively polite to everyone, even when angry. She enjoys reading and quiet.

History: She served in the navy to pay for her family’s outstanding loans. She has had some formal music training, and achieved minor success. She moves from town to town, unable to find a place to settle.

Motivation: She wants nothing more than to rejoin the army; and to share knowledge with the world

Ideals: Logical, Artistic. Flaws: Shy. Bonds: Immigrant, Attractive, Military. Occupation: Navigator

Voice: Spanish accent

Languages Common, Elven, Abyssal]

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Deacon Havenhold
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“The pleasure is mine, Claira.  To answer your question first, I haven’t learned that spell yet.  I usually just use my prestidigitation cantrip to clean me off after a nice Ptolus downpour.  I still wouldn’t mind learning it though.  Care to teach me over a glass of fine elven wine?  Deacon had waved on the others as he chatted with Claira.

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Narrator GM
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Claira blanched at Deacon’s forwardness but smiled and nodded. “That would be lovely. I cannot now, I’m heading to a meeting. But perhaps we can meet somewhere later? Are you familiar with The Wind’s Mystery? Say after sunset?” Deacon had never been to the lavish tavern and inn inside Iridithil’s Home, the elven sanctuary in Ptolus, but he knew of the place.

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Deacon Havenhold
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“I know of the place.  I haven’t been there yet though so it will be nice to see it.  I will be there after sunset.
I look forward to our visit.”
  Deacon gave her a short bow and then headed off for the bathhouse.

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Narrator GM
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Deacon’s Thread: link to a message in this game

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Vogh, Talin and Julia returned to the Minstrel after their bath and where met when Bharash, Thorrim and Josiah returned with the young man.

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Vogh
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Having thoroughly enjoyed the bath and pampering she received at the bathhouse, Vogh entered The Ghostly Minstrel revived and ready for a good meal and a little entertainment.  She couldn’t miss Bharash, Josiah, and Thorimm sitting at their table already and so pulling on Julia, and Talin’s hand she made her way over.  She noticed that they had a young man with them who was already digging into some sort of bird on their table.

“Well met everyone,” Vogh stated as she neared.  “Looks like you have a new companion.  Will he be joining us the day after tomorrow?”  Vogh and the others took their seat and waved over the waitress.  “Please bring us more of what they are having.  Oh, and what is the entertainment for the evening?”

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Narrator GM
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The young man, Rowan, shook his head no. “No Miss. I was sent by Sir Beck Von Tibbitz of the Keepers of the Veil to record a report of the happenings and return to him.” Rowan had eaten voraciously and quickly prior to Vogh and the others’ arrival.

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Vogh
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“Well, Rowan, nice to meet you.  Looks like you have had plenty to eat.  We will tell you everything we know soon enough, but we need to do it in a safe place.  There are ears everywhere.  While we eat you can tell us about you.”

Once they were done with eating everyone went upstairs and into the rope trick.. or at least all who could fit.  Vogh then told Rowan everything she could possibly tell him about all that they learned about the Night of Dissolution and the Cultists.

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Narrator GM
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Rowan took detailed notes. Thankfully he wrote with the hand that wasn’t missing three fingers. His two fingered hand held the papyrus in place and gripped the ink well like a claw whenever he needed to dip the quill. After several pieces were filled they determined he had all the information needed so the young man departed.

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Bharash
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Bharash opens his jaws to make introductions, only to be run right over by Hurricane Vogh as she more or less takes over the table, generating a stifled laugh from the big Dragonborn, who then proceeds to tear through his meal before stating “Alright, as much as I’d like to chip in I don’t really know much of anything… So I should probably go and see if I can actually get some shopping in before it gets fully dark. Unless there’s anything else you need me for?”

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Talin
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 75):

Talin nodded at Bharash and asked, “What all do you need to shop for Bharash? I wouldn’t mind accompanying you, if you wanted.”

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Bharash
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“Ugh. Basic adventuring supplies I somehow never thought I would need, half a dozen changes of clothes because these ones are about falling off me… And maybe something for this party bullshit that’s being sprung on me at the last minute, not that I expect I’ll be able to get it finished in time, because hello? Have you seen me?” Bharash answers in amenable, acerbic fashion.

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Talin
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Talin chuckled. People either laughed, or got offended, at Bharash’s rough personality. Those he offended he likely never knew about, because who was going to piss off a frost breathing warrior that towered over everyone short of a Giant?!

“Well, it’s best if we stick together. Vogh and Julia can stay here to prepare, or Deacon could teleport them to the shop. You and I could go shopping. As to getting you suitable attire for tomorrow, it’s unlikely anyone in town will have noble party clothes for someone of your proportions.” Talin winked at Bharash. “But I’ve got an idea. Noble House Dallimothian is known for having a long history of draconic blood. They are also close allies of House Kath, and Vogh and I met Lord Kristol at a Castle Shard party. If you’re amenable, we could go there and request to borrow a suitable outfit for you to wear tomorrow. Likely there are other dragonborns among their family, and one might have something that would come close to fitting you. What do you think?”

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Bharash
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He’s not exactly charismatic, exactly… Bharash is a little too rough around the edges for that, a little too prone to speaking his mind and damn’ what anyone else thinks – but once someone has his friendship they’ve got it through thick and thin and he’s long been vocal about his attitude towards character over heredity, which cuts through quite a bit of the usual bullshit and bigotry that crops up out on the street.

“Mostly, I think that I’m already twenty grand in debt to one nobleman and that The Great and Good of House Dallimothian doesn’t know me from a joy-girl down on the docks… I was going to hit up Marans, over on Berry Lane? I keep hearing good things about them from some of the other weirdoes out there and apparently, they do Thorrim’s ceremonial robes.” Bharash answers, albeit not without appreciation for the cleverness of the thought, “Besides, I need a bunch of clothes, not just party gear. I have like two changes of outfit and I’m wearing one. I was also going to swing by Saches. Did you know she and her husband used to be Delvers? Apparently she’s selling off his old equipment. I’m hoping I can pick up most of what I need there.”

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Talin
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Talin chuckled and nodded. “Indeed I’ve heard of Marans. But being shaped like a human, I’ve never needed to visit there.” He smiled and winked good naturedly at Bharash. But his face drained of color when the warrior mentioned Saches. He coughed a bit and wiped his mouth. “We know Saches well. She has indeed sold the gear. We know it both from past tailoring but more intimately because that’s where Phon worked when we rescued her. Have we never told you about her and our history with Helmut?”

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Bharash
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“Wellll, approximately like a human.” Bharash teasingly answers, giving the other man a wink, then looking surprised and fishing around in his pouches for a small folded piece of paper, “Really? No, I had no idea… I just came across some of these flyers. All sold then, you say?”

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Talin
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“Yes, all sold.  But, we could go to the undercity and see if they have the supplies you need.  It is a bit late for all the other shops I am afraid.  Though we could see if Maran’s is still open if you like?”  Still, the thought to head to the Dallimothian Estate seemed like the best idea for an outfit, but Bharash had to make that decision for himself.

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Bharash
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“Wellll, nuts. Although the undercity market’s pretty much open all sorts of hours, you’re not wrong.” Bharash thoughtfully states before motioning to the door, “Come on, let’s see if Maran’s is open.”, walking out into the rain with the other man and explaining as they go “I know there aren’t a lot of other Dragonborn around… But I’m around four inches taller than the next biggest Dragonborn I ever met*, except my father who was around four inches taller than I am now. We’re a big people, but thanks to Gramma Shadow, I’m built like a damn’ ogre. If I took hand-me-downs from someone else, I’d look like I was a street kid wearing cast-offs.”

“Not to mention that I only own two outfits. I need pretty much a full wardrobe, for some reason I never thought to get anything like that before.” – he sounds faintly puzzled about that, although not in a serious fashion, as if it’s a fleeting question he dismisses – “I don’t even have basic things like a canteen for when we’re delving. Just arms, armour and a few magic items.”

* Between the Jotunkhumatblood and his physical stats, Bharash is the Dragonborn version of ‘The Rock’ or Andre the Giant, just to remind you. ^_^

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Talin
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Talin joined Bharash in a hearty laugh.  The two had seemed to get along quite well together and Talin was happy for that, for who wouldn’t want a large Dragonborn warrior on their side instead of against them?

“Maran’s it is then, let’s get going before I am thoroughly soaked to the bone once more.  Even though I have some scales on me I am not covered like you are.”

As they moved Talin asked, “do you think someday we might meet your Gramma Shadow?  I would like that.  Oh and don’t worry about not having enough clothes.  When I first came here I only had what I was wearing and no extra. If I didn’t have my spell to clean me I would have smelled rather ripe!”  Talin laughed aloud once more.

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Bharash
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Bharash can be cynical, sardonic and occasionally sarcastic but he’s got a good heart, when you get down to it and he’s not one to hand out more grief than he feels a friend can take… “It’s worse than that.” he brightly adds, grinning down at his companion as they pad along, side by side “I don’t just shed water, I’m naturally resistant to the cold too. The sort of chill that’ll have you turning blue and shivering just feels like a balmy spring afternoon to me.”

“Huh, you know I don’t know. I doubt she’d come to Ptolus, she’s getting older these days – even if that’s apparently something they didn’t use to do where she came from – and she doesn’t like to move too far from where we buried Grandpa ‘just in case’.” he comments, musing about it “Maybe once we get the apartments done up nice… They had good, high ceilings and it’d be kind of fun to have some family around again.”, after which he snorts and looks back from the street to Talin “Trust me, I know that feeling. I don’t sweat like you do – it’s a dragon thing, we’ve sort of got this organ about…” – he frowns for a moment, putting fingers on his chest and moving them around for a moment before tapping just under his breastbone – “…here. Right behind the heart. All my blood goes through that, either before or after, I don’t remember. If I get too hot, it dumps heat into it… It’s what powers my breath, not that I use it very often. But yeah, I don’t sweat… doesn’t mean my clothing doesn’t get grimy though and frankly, it’s sort of worn down now. I just realised the other day that I have thirty thousand gold’s worth of magic armour and I don’t have one pair of matching socks. Or, any socks really but that’s because I usually go barefoot, you get the point though.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The two men exited the Ghostly Minstrel and saw Delver’s Square was fully back to normal, if somewhat sparse due to the unpleasant weather. Talin hailed a carriage, as was always his preference, and the clatter of shod hooves and wooden wheels on cobbled stone was added to the sound of pattering rain on the hard roof.

Center Street was less clogged with traffic per the rain so they made good time. The driver took a left down the strangely named “Ugly Child Street.” Talin tensed a bit knowing they were passing right beside Longbottom. Nowhere near as dangerous or impoverished as the Warrens, the Longbottom area was filled with a strange hodgepodge of warehouses and tenements, with a few private homes. It was a rough neighborhood. Many of the older buildings stood empty and abandoned today.

Outside Blackstock Printing a young man beneath a cloth overhang was hawking flyers for the Republican movement. The group was getting bolder by the day, pushing their agenda for Ptolus to break free of the empire.

Adjacent to Maran’s Odd Sizes was a narrow street, and a young woman clad in very little stood beneath a parasol speaking to the few passing men. She was likely a lady of the night seeking coin.

Talin paid the driver two silver then he and Bharash entered Maran’s. Inside three gnomes were dealing with three customers.

One female gnome had a pin cushion and several soft measuring strips draped over he shoulder. She was rather round, with reddish hair and full lips. She nodded to the two men as they entered, “I’ll be right with you gentlemen!” then returned to measuring the tall lizardman before her. He was halfway between six and seven feet with brown scales rather than green, with a large, gold ring piercing his bottom “lip.”

A male gnome, likely the same age as the woman, was thinner of body and likewise had measuring strips, dealing with a tabaxi male. He had brown fir with black stripes and green eyes. The tabaxi male was already in a set of high-quality, traveling clothes, and with a well-worn cloak that didn’t go with the fine apparel beneath. He was very lean of build, about five and a half feet tall.

Finally, a young female gnome was assisting a goblin who looked to be in his later years. The goblin nodded to the duo as they entered and had a bit of fear in his eyes. He had long, wavy gray hair and gray eyes. He was tall, for a goblin, at almost four feet and was very muscular for his size and race. All of his clothing was green, including a wide hat, and decorated with silver leaves and branches.

Concluding with the lizardman, the rotund gnome moved her way over to the two newcomers and greeted them friendly. “Welcome! I’m Maran and it’s clear why you’re here dragonborn.” She winked at Bharash goot naturedly, “But I don’t get many humans in here young man. Not that I mind the business, but you’re not so oddly sized!” Maran laughed out loud at her own joke which drew a chastisement from the younger gnome, “Mother! That’s not appropriate!” which Maran tisked-tisked off.

“My but you are a big one of your race sir! I mean no offense of course, but a compliment. What can we do for you today gentlemen?”

[Private to GM: Peddrenth is a 31 year old male lizardman bodyguard.
He has a smooth head and brown eyes.
He has dirty brown scales.
He stands 197cm (6’5″) tall and has a lean build.
He has a sharp, bulbous face.
He has a small piercing on his lip.
He discretely worships Asgorath, the Ninefold Dragon, head deity of dragonkind.(All alignments)
He has no concept of empathy.
He is very self-confident.
He has a preference for live food.
He judges people on their fighting skills.
He is fascinated by pens.Secret Thunder: Male tabaxi caravanner

Appearance. Secret wears high-quality, practical traveling clothes, and a well-worn cloak. He has brown fur with black stripes and green eyes. He is incredibly quick and graceful, and never drinks. He is 36 years old (adult), 5 ft, 4 in (163 cm) tall, and weighs 102 lbs (46 kg).Personality. He often insults others without meaning to. He believes it is important to be in touch with nature and to behave wisely. He believes fun distracts you from the important things in life. He is a devout follower of the goddess of stories and poetry, and his alignment is chaotic good (CG).Adventure Hook. It’s good to get out of the city every once in a while. There’s a beautiful secluded spot not far away that is said to be blessed by nature spirits.Rizkiold is a 53 year old male goblin forester.

He has long, wavy, gray hair and gray eyes.
He has veiny gray skin.
He stands 117cm (3’10”) tall and has a muscular build.
He has an oval, typical face.
He gestures profusely during a conversation.
He is very colorblind.

He quietly worships Selune, Goddess of the moon, stars, navigation, prophecy, questers, lycanthropes. (Neutral Good)
He always plays fair.
He is an example of modesty.
He feels uncomfortable in a urban setting
He has a pet pidgeon companion named Bobby.]

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Bharash
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Bharash grumbles about the carriage, having long held the position that riding around on or because of animals is the soft option – and because jogging around the city ticks off some of the exercise regime he keeps up about as religiously as Julia does her actual religion – but he succumbs to the other mans complaining about the weather and rides along, at least until they arrive at Berry Lane, where the big dragonborn happily accepts a flyer about the Republican movement then drops four silver moons into the hand of the prostitute with an amenable rumble of “It’s a cold night to be working miss, I’d call it early if I were you.”, moving on after doing so to duck into Maran’s without sticking around to draw further attention.

Inside, he grins for a moment and rumbles “It’s alright Ma’am, in your own time.”, lifting a hand to lightly touch his brow in a polite gesture before settling back against the wall to wait, grinning at the Gnomish woman’s sense of humour and observing “I don’t know, he seems a little runty to me…” as he gently elbows Talin by way of friendly contact, after which he rumbles amenably “I always cleaned my plate like my mother told me too.” in response to the comment on his height, before groaning and holding up his hand, “Off the top of my head? A couple of decent belts and one fancy one. A pair of delving boots that’ll keep sewer sludge and decomposing gibs – don’t ask – out. A couple of pairs of trousers, at least one in leather and one or two fancy. Half-cape to go with the fancy pair. A couple of jackets, one fancy and one leather. A decent rain cloak, felted wool. Couple of vests, one fancy. Gloves, two pairs – one for delving, one for dressing up. A fancy hat. Some underwear. A decent nightshirt. Three-four shirts, one fancy.”

A beat, and he sighs “Basically, just a whole wardrobe. I’ve sort of been letting it slip.”

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Talin
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Talin half-heartedly laughed at the joke tossed at him by the gnome.  He knew they weren’t being serious… or were they, one would never know what with their tone and how fast they spoke.

Then Bharash made a crack and ‘gently’ bumped him with his elbow which wasn’t a slight thing given his mass and all.  Recovering his balance once more since he wasn’t ready for the elbow, Talin said, “If it wouldn’t be too much of a burden I could use some gloves as well.  One in a nice dark blue color and the other can just be leather as well.  Other than that I think I am fine.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
The young woman Bharash gave the money too opened her eyes wide but didn’t stop to ask questions. She rushed away from him, clutching the coins to her chest.

As Bharash took a flyer from the crier the man thanked him and spoke quickly as the warrior walked, “Set Ptolus Free! Spread the word!”

Maran’s eyes lit up at the list Bharash gave her for clothing. The gentleman and young woman – Maran’s husband and daughter – were also a bit slack jawed. The portly gnome clapped her heands together and smiled big. “Absolutely! That’s quite an order! When do you need all this by?”

When Bharash explained he needed a fine outfit by the next day she gasped. “Oh my! A up scale party outfit? That fast? Well… I tell you what… I think we’ve got an outfit which was originally intended for someone larger than you. It’s not quite Noble quality, but with some accoutraments and modifications it could be made high-class enough. And, we could have it ready by tomorrow night as you need. Would that be sufficient?”

The woman began measuring Bharash, writing things down on a small piece of paper as she rushed about. She needed a step ladder to reach his neck, and her husband aided her one either side of Bharash to measure his full arm span.

“Master Bharash, with the rush order of the one outfit, and its nececessitated quality, then with the others, I believe we will be seeing a bill about 200 gold pieces. Is that acceptable? We can have the other clothes ready in a few more days, perhaps a week, but we will work as long as needed to get the first ready for you immediately.”

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Bharash
———————————————————–

“Eh, I know it’s a big order so the way I see it, it’ll be done when it’s done. I should probably have gotten this stuff in sooner if I wanted it in a rush.” Bharash admits, looking rueful more than anything – which is where Talin probably mentions the upscale party that’s tomorrow leading the big Dragonborn to shake his head, “I don’t much see the point in rushing. My friends sort of sprung the party on me at the last minute and it’s not like everyone doesn’t know that it takes time to get clothing made.”

Of course, that’s when the suggestion of cutting down an outfit made for someone larger than him – presumably someone with a tail – and he grins at the very thought, “I don’t know, I’m fairly distinctive looking and matching my complexion with an outfit’s not exactly easy. Still, we can look at it I suppose.”

He stands where he’s told, stretches how he’s told and flexes how he’s told (after the fate of the first unfortunate measuring-string tied around his arm when he bends it, rather sharply redefining the amount of slack his musculature is going to need) “Two hundred sounds better than I was expecting, and I can manage it readily enough. Oh! I’m thinking of getting a light mail shirt as well, the sort of thing I can wear under a jacket for going out and about. I should get a thin padded jack to go under it as well.”

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Maran smiled wide. “Excellent! Let me show you what we’re starting with and you can provide whatever input you desire. Oh!” She clapped her hands and looked over at Talin. “My daughter, Giva, will measure your hands Master Talin, to make sure your gloves are made perfectly!”

Give smiled at the human, much taller than her, and delicately recorded measurements of both hands and the digits of each.

(I am not worried about the clothes Bharash. I figured her having something partially made for someone a bit bigger than you was reasonable, which they can adjust to get you clothes in time for the party. If you want to make it more difficult, or role play it some more, let me know and I can delete/move returning you all to the Minstrel.)

After partial pre-payment was arranged Bharash and Talin stepped out into the ghastly weather once more. Rain poured down from above. Talin didn’t argue with Bharash over a carriage on their return, as they didn’t see one availalbe for most their trip. Both of them were surprised to see a pair of sahuagin fish men down an alley though. Talin couldn’t help himself but to stop and stare as the duo disappeared into a sewer grate and beneath the alley street. The alley was in the Longbottom neighborhood, which was a far cry from the Bay.

Back at the Minstrel, three dwarves were performing on the main stage. Two males and one female – they thought – were engaging in daring demonstrations with blades. Throwing knives, axes, and the like, much to the delight of the crowded room.

All of the place was bustling and humming with the usual mix of Delvers, those of wealth who enjoyed being in the former’s company, and a smattering of others. Adding to their aquatic races surprise, Bharash and Talin noted a strikingly beautiful, and scantily clad, triton female. She was nearly five foot tall and sitting with a trio of human men who were listening to her intently. Her long, curled blue and brown hair cascaded across revealed, delicate blue sholders and framed an attractive face. A scar on her left arm did nothing to distract from her beauty. The way she bounced her bared leg, crossed over the other, was meant to allure men to notice her impractically tall heels.

None of their friends were in the common room. Likely all had retired to their rooms upstairs.

[Private to GM: Bhaltyn Ehralnath is a 70 year old female triton prostitute.
She has extremely long, curled, blue hair and brown eyes.
She has soft blue skin.
She stands 142cm (4’7″) tall and has a round build.
She has an oblong, attractive face.
She has a scar on her left arm.She discretely worships the archdevil Belial, Lord of the Fourth. (Lawful Evil)
She will ponder the pros and cons before making a decision.
She can’t stand laziness.
She cares about her friends and will do anything for them.Plot Hook: She needs help gathering information on the local witchs’ coven.]

(p.s. I updated post msg #89 of mine to add details about the actions Bharash took before arriving at Maran’s.)

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Bharash
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There are of course, challenges to be overcome with dressing Bharash, but that’s why he came to Marans in the first place and compared to a full-on centaur or a minotaur he’s not that far outside the norm for folks who can manage to tastefully dress an Assarai so assuming that the trousers of the cut-down garment can be adjusted for a tail and the colours don’t clash too horribly with silver, something can probably be managed – as long as the big Dragonborn’s willing to stand, sit, crouch, stretch, bend, pose and whatever else he’s told to do while the gnomes go to work measuring him and sorting out what he’ll be wearing for the near future.

That accomplished, given the lateness of the hour he heads back in Talins company while commenting idly – although not in truth, with too much surprise since to be surprised at a Sahuagin, you sort of have to know what one is, otherwise it’s just another minority with its own taste in ethnic food – “Didn’t think we had shark-folk in town. Can’t even imagine what’s possess one to swim in that harbour.”

For the record, original Bharash was only 6’6″ & 275lb.’s.

Now that seems reasonable, since Dragonborn are 5’6″ + 2D8″ & 175lb’.s + x(2D6)lb.’s so a roll of 12 on 2D8 and then, uhm… 8.3 on 2D6 gets us there.

But Bharash has the Jotunkin class. Now there’s a feat in Forgotten Realms called ‘Jotunbrud’ which also covers giant-blood.

Humans are normally 4’10” + 2D10″ & 120lb.’s + x(2D4)lb.’s (an average of 5’9″ & 175lb’.s).
Jotunbrud humans are 6’4″ + 2D10″ & 210lb.’s + x(2D4)lb.’s. (an average of 7’3″ & 265lb.’s).

There’s a reason he’s a bloody tank. ^_^

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Talin
———————————————————–
Talin watched the gnome do the measuring of his hands and jot down the needed measurements with a smile.  “If I can get the one set tomorrow night I would appreciate it, the leather pair can be whenever you finish.”  Talin paid in full since it wasn’t all that much anyway.

Making their way back Talin saw the sahuagin down the alley.  He didn’t know what they were either but they were clearly not going to let him or Bharash get near as they ducked back into the sewers.  “Those things are really far in town.  I hope they aren’t up to no good.  Though with how hard it is raining I doubt they will find anyone to take under.  The late hour doesn’t hurt either.”

Finally getting inside the Ghostly Minstrel once more, Talin cast his spell to clean off and then looked around.  The act on stage was an interesting one.  Dwarves tossing weapons at each other.  He never thought them to be so agile before but the three seemed to be getting along well enough and the crowd certainly was liking it.  That was when he spotted the blue-skinned woman.  He hadn’t seen her in here before and by the looks of it she was quite busy talking with a few men who seemed enamored by whatever it was she was saying.  He wished he could ask her some questions, but it might be all night before he got a chance.  So he turned to Bharash and said, “Shall we have a drink before bed?”

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Bharash
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“You’d be surprised. The city never really shuts down. Every day tens of thousands of eggs are lain for its tables, flour is brought in for the loaves that are baked, grain for the beer that’s drunk. Leather for the boots, stones for rioting with… All day, every day. If they stopped just because it was raining, the whole place would be on fire by the end of the first night.” Bhrash remarks sagely, once more demonstrating a certain ‘bottom up’ approach to the way he sees the city, no doubt on account of his being someone who had to climb most of those rungs upon arrival.

Once they’re back at the Minstrel he takes a moment to look over the Triton girl and the dwarves, then thoughtfully answer “Probably best to turn in. I wouldn’t say no to a tankard of something, but the others haven’t been drinking and they’re probably going to want us to be up doing something ruinously important at the crack of dawn. And I still need to get a bath in at some point, if I’m going to be hanging out at the back of this damn’ party.”

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Talin
———————————————————–
While it was fine to head upstairs, Talin did want a drink, but he listened to Bharash’s reasoning and headed upstairs and slid into his bed.  Soon enough Talin was fast asleep dreaming of cherry plum trees….?

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Day 116 (31st of Growth)

Morning dawned on the final day of Growth. The sky had returned to a typical Ptolus overcast, but was no longer dumping buckets on the city by the second. Bharash and Talin both missed the bath house when the others went, so they decided to enjoy the cleansing comforts that morning.

Maran said Bharash’s Noble outfit and Talins gloves would be ready late in the day so they had all day to relax and prepare.

A knock came on Vogh and Talin’s room door shortly after they awoke. Taking necessary precautions Vogh determined it was Ilian, one of the Minstrel’s servers. She was a young and attractive halfling lady. Her family had farmed outside Ptolus for generations, but Ilian wanted to experience the excitement of the city so had left home. The young girl couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it, which was fine for the bards as information was valuable.

Ilian carried three letters on a silver platter and presented them all to Vogh. “Good morning Miss Vogh! A busy day of post for you miss.” She gave a full curtsey and blushed looking in at Talin without a shirt on.

After giving her a small tip the young halfling curtsied again with a polite thank you. “Would you like me to wait for you to pen responses and have them sent with runners for you miss?”

One letter was from Tristan confirming her would be happy to attend, but explained he needed a formal writ or invitation lest the soldiers of Dalenguard deny him entrance.

The second was from Helmut, politely accepting their invitation and confirming he would be present that evening, despite the short notice.

Finally, the third was from Jamir. He explained that Belie was still away on his business trip, but that Jamir would be happy to attend in his stead.

[Private to GM: Bright father’s Day, 2 weeks away. ]

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Vogh
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Vogh had slept well once Talin was back in the room with her.  With all that was going on in the city things weren’t always a definite.

When morning came Vogh and Talin had begun to get ready when the knock came to their door.  Opening it, Vogh saw Ilian standing there with briefs.  After a quick read of each Vigh nodded and said “Yes I would like to write to Jamir. Thank you Jamir and I will look forward to seeing you later. Enclosed is a formal writ for you to gain entrance to the Noble District.  Please give the same to Tristan as well.”

Vogh will then write up a writ and have her family stamp and her signature formally inviting each of them to the Vogh Estate.  She will hand them to Ilian and then give her a gold piece and a wink.

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Bharash
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Bharash meanwhile, rises early after the habit of someone who grew up around a family whose attitude towards sloth involves big sticks. He rises early and sets to getting breakfast in – even going so far as to carry it up to the others, where a tap on the door reveals to them by turns a yawning dragonborn in tattered trousers holding out a tray, half a bread roll dusted with some sort of cinnamon sugar held in his other hand and an expression of ‘it is too early for this’ plastered across his saurian features.

[Private to GM:  Bharash will, in fact have attempted to infiltrate the kitchen to cook this morning, where he will have put his +12 to cooking to good use. ^_^]

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Ilian actually giggled with excitement at receiving the high tip. The average laborer barely made around a gold piece per week in Ptolus. The extra money, and tips of the wealthy who frequented the Ghostly Minstrel were the main reason she decided to leave her family farm. The attractive halfling hustled away to get the missives delivered with all haste.

Bharash showed up with some delicious treats for the group!

Private to Bharash: Sounds good. They would totally let you cook. :D]

Bharash and Talin were able to enjoy relaxing baths, separately of course, before going to fetch their clothing from Maran’s.

(Sorry for not getting a post in today guys. Phone rang off the hook. Are we doing anything before the party? If so, let me know, otherwise you can go ahead and write yourselves getting ready and arriving at the party. I’ll post the party opener tomorrow if you do! 😀

Vogh, note higher than average security. Lots of guards. On the wall. Around the walls. Checking people entering.)

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Bharash
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Breakfast is actually unusually good, even by the standards of the Minstrel with lightweight, layered berry-baked breads that crunch when bitten into and well-fluffed butter, complementary cheeses and dried meats as well as a couple of light beers to go with them – and Bharash, once he’s brought the tray up is not at all shy about indulging.

Once he’s eaten, bathed and generally gotten ready for the day he heads over to Marans, coin in hand to see about picking up whatever they have for him.

[Private to GM:  In which case he’ll have risen an hour or so early and gone to work on the bread, whistling softly while he did so and extracting a promise from the regular cook to keep shtum about it in exchange for some recipes. ^_^

Incidentally:
(p.s. I updated post msg #89 of mine to add details about the actions Bharash took before arriving at Maran’s.)
Did you? Because I didn’t see anything of it.]

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Talin
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Talin enjoyed his breakfast and bath as well and returned to the Minstrel after.  Vogh had told him they would just be taking it easy for the day at the Minstrel so he took his time.

Talin went with Bharash to Maran’s to fetch the items that they had made for them.  Talin then returned and showed Vogh what he had made.  It fit perfectly with his outfit.

When it was time to go Talin gathered with the others down in the main room.  The only one not there was Deacon who had said he will meet them at the Kath House.

Talin had already given Vogh a huge compliment on her dress before they came down and even now stood next to her and paled in comparison to her beauty.

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Narrator GM
———————————————————–

Private to Bharash: I updated the post now. Not much, I just wanted to make sure you knew your contributions were appreciated.]

Another message was delivered by none other than two House Kath guards in full livery. Vogh knew Ellyn

[Private to GM: Twoorb]

, the head of House Kath’s security, very well. She didn’t recognize the young man who accompanied her. Ellyn was a warrior aasimar. She stood barely shy of six feet and had all the beauty of her celestial heritage. Ellyn’s auburn hair and chocolate eyes would draw in anyone. She wore a magical breastplate emblazoned with the House Kath Coat of Arms, and a heavily echanted elven curved blade at her hip which featured an elaborate hand guard. The beautiful woman was grinning ear to ear when she saw Vogh. Ellyn bowed deep, then straightened and overly formally addressed her, making a show of propriety in light of the deep honor of the situation.

“Greetings Miss Vogh of the Noble House Kath. I have come to inform you that your transportation has been arranged for this evening. Two House Kath carriages will await you in the Square. You will be accompanied by an honor guard of House Kath Guards, and Knights of the Chord. If you or any of your companions require anything special, please inform me now, and it shall be arranged.”

With her duty handled with pomp and circumstance Ellyn dropped the formality and embraced Vogh in a powerful hug. “We are so proud of you Vogh! And I’m assuming Master Talin…” She addressed Talin with a small bow. “Your mother has been abuzz with all the planning and the House is spectacular. It is my honor to deliver you this evening. All you, and your friends, have accomplished is simply astonishing! I hope you will share stories. I’ve heard so many rumors it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. So proud of you! I cannot wait to pick you up tonight!”

The two guards departed short after, leaving the friends to get ready.

— Evening —

The five friends exited the Minstrel amid buzzing conversation. Many followed the group out into Delver’s Square to watch the two dozen resplendent warriors accompanying guilded carriages befit a rich and powerful Noble House of Ptolus. People gawked and looked on around the square and on the street to see such a regal cavalcade.

Once everyone was loaded the march was on. The carriage drivers did not rush, as the Knights of the Chord and House Kath Guards were on foot. They reached Dalenguard Castle and passed without question or papers into the affluent Nobles’ Quarters. Passing by the Imperial Academy of Music revealed dozens of students cheering and waving at the carriages. The Dalmothian (House Dragon) estate’s lone tower, topped in an open dragon’s head caught Bharash’s eye. Finally, as the sun was dipping beneath the horizon, they arrived at the gates of the sprawling Kath Estate.

House Kath Guards and Knights of the Chord both stood at the gate and waved the carriages and their honor guard through. They crossed over the magically circulating stream and through the lush, green grounds. Banners with the Kath Crest and the Knight’s Crest flapped in the wind from the peaks and walls of the great house.

(Ran out of time. I need to write more about getting you into the estate and announced. If you all want to add any flavor or anything for getting ready that’s up to you. Otherwise I’ll do my best to do a post tomorrow getting you into the estate and meeting people so you can start interacting.)

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Vogh
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After Ilian left another knock came to the door.  Vogh was right in the middle of trying on her dress and had to quickly change back before she answered the door.  It was a pleasant surprise to see Ellyn standing at the door looking all regal in her uniform.  It had been a while since she had seen Ellyn and had to refrain from jumping forward as Ellyn began to speak.  Vogh listened as she spoke of how they will be picked up and delivered to her House.  It was all too much for a girl who was an orphan.  The fact that Knights of the Chord would have a contingent meant a lot to Vogh and as she looked next to her at Talin she could see it clear on his face as well.

When Ellyn was finished Vogh was about to say something when Ellyn wrapped Vogh in a powerful hug.  Ellyn had been with the house for a long time and even trained Vogh in her sword play.  It certainly was good to see her again and to have her escort them all to the party.  Yes, this is Talin,   Vogh said before continuing on.  It certainly is nice to see you once more.  I hope all is well with you?  We will be happy to give you a run down of our exploits in the best bardish way once we have the time. Vogh chuckled at the comment she made.

If we have any needs I will send a runner before you arrive this evening, but I don’t foresee any issues or extraordinary needs.

I will post more on the arrival this evening!

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia slept well a d was ready for the day when Bharash came back up with the playter of food stuffs for breakfast.  “Thank you Bharash.  I am so excited for tonight but have you seen Deacon?  I haven’t seen him since Kal came yesterday.  I hope everything is okay with him.  I had a feeling he was a bit upset that Kal asked me to be his date for the party.  Do you know anything about him liking me more than just a companion like you and I or any of the other 3?”

A bit later after getting cleaned up and ready Julia went to Vogh and Talin’s door and knocked.  When Talin answered, Vogh was trying on her dress in the background.  “My my Vogh that is a gorgeous dress!”  Julia said as she walked in with Talin”s urging.

When Vogh told her about what would happen for the evening Julia’s eyes lit up.  This was going to turn out to be quite the evening, she thought to herself.

“Have either of you heard from or seen Deacon since yesterday?”  When both shook their heads, Julia got a worried look on her face.  “Hopefully everything is fine and I am just worrying over nothing.  Ever since he joined the pyramid he has been a bit more distant.  I hope that it doesn’t happen to the both of you as well.  Julia liked her friends and even though they put her in danger like every other day it was a friendship she needed.

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Narrator GM
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(House Kath Estate Home Floor Plan

http://randwulf.com/hogwarts/grafix/plBilt1.gif

http://randwulf.com/hogwarts/grafix/plBilt2.gif

Front of the Home:

https://hips.hearstapps.com/hm…photo-1586443854.jpg

Another image of the Kath estate:

http://archonshiva.com/blog/sp…016/02/HouseKath.png)

All along the roadway in front of the home banners of House Kath and the Knights alternated on poles. Their guard and carriages stopped directly in front of the home’s towering front doors which led into the main hall. Two more House Kath guards, wielding long halberds, moved forward and opened the doors of the carriages.

The five were escorted through the open doors, up the stairs inside the vestibule and into the main hall. A chorous of applaus greeted them as Ellyn stamped her foot, echoing throughout the chamber and silencing everyone then spoke loudly to the congregants. “IT IS MY HONOR TO PRESENT TO YOU… VOGH KATH… TALIN URSALATO… BHARASH SHADOWGLASS… JULIA GRAYMANTLE AND DEACON HAVENHOLD. HEROS OF PTOLUS!”

Ellyn finished with a deep bow, holding her arm across her stomach, and holding her sword straight back which caused another round of applause to begin. The main hall had sitting places of deep couches and plush chairs all around. Servants swifly moved around the attendees, deliverying food and drink. All eyes were on the five though.

There were dozens of people in the hall, all applauding for a while until the noise died down and the five made their way among the group.

Sallina and Raule were nearest the group and rushed over. Vogh’s adopted mother was dressed in a regal gown, clearly custom made for this evening, and she threw her arms around the young woman in a strong embrace. “It’s so good to see you!”

Raule likewise was dressed stylishly, befitting a noble son. He extended a hand to Talin, “Well met again Master Talin.”

Notable among the attendees the group noticed, Lady Devina Kath and her husband Matrenus and their ballerina daughter, Ethisha. Ethisha’s husband Tallaeth, a half-elf, was with them too. The foursome waited near the center of the room with many around them, not immediately approaching the five upon their entrance.

Hallusiun Everfar, Leader of Knights of the Chord and Nivae Tamelli, the most famous bard in the land, were both off to the side among another small crowd and smiled wide upon seeing the group enter. Mand Scheben, High Cleric of Asche and friend to Castle Shard stood with them as did another High Cleric, Helmut Itlestein.

[Private to GM: Remember Vladdam]

The beautiful Kaira Swanwing, leader of the Knights of the Golden Cross, stood with her father Naevin, and Dierna Hillerchaun, leader of the Knights of the Pale. Kirstol Dallimothan, Lord of House Dragon as it was affectionatly called, had two tiny dragons flitting about his shoulders again, as he did when they met him at the Castle Shard party. One gold. One silver. They would take flight and enjoy the high ceilings of the massive hall.

Lord Renn Sadar and his pleasant wife, Lady Enis, stood with another friend they had invited, Tristan and the lovely Fulun with her golden eyes twinkling when Vogh saw her. Something must have drawn this group together as House Sadar was also known as house Shadow, while Tristan and Fulun were both kayal, their race born of the plane of shadow.

Dozens more milled about as music began from the Music Room beyond the hall. The accoustics were phenominal and the orchestra could be heard throughout the whole place.

Moments after the group entered a familiar face strode out of the hall’s wings. The attractive half-elf was dressed to kill, despite carrying no weapons that evening, and his smile nearly took in pointed ears as Kalerecent boldly approached the group, took Julia’s hand and bowed low with a single leg extended behind him. “Miss Julia, if beauty could fell monsters, the tarrasque itself could not stand before you.” He finished by kissing her hand. The pair wore nearly matching outfits and cut an impressive figure among the crowd.

(Bharsh, please make sure to describe your outfit. LS, can you easily share the photos of the outfits we picked for Julia & Kal? What about Deacon’s? Also, ha, forgive me, I forgot about Deacon’s date! Would he have sent a carriage for her or what? She could likely teleport just outside the estate – but not in it… magical protections and all.)

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Bharash
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Left to his own devices, Bharash tends to prefer fairly straightforward clothing that’ll serve him in and out of an unexpected scuffle, wear hard and leave him able to pay more attention to his arms and armour. Fancy clothing is something he’s seen others wear, and he has Opinions About but he’s never actually purchased or designed any for himself…

…and indeed, he still hasn’t because the thing about having some hand-me-down garments taken in to fit is that there is only one ‘major’ population group in the city who are reliably larger in stature than he is and of them, the two most notable representatives, most likely to have a standing order waiting for collection are a priest of the God of Secrets… And a mage.

Robes then, which fortunately are relatively easy to take up and hem in, which in turn means that when Bharash joins the others to attend the party he is – grumpily – wearing a fine set of embroidered red-velvet-and-gold mage robes (the colouring of which do him no particular favours) which at least look fancy enough even if he’s been forced to leave his weapons at home for lack of anywhere to put the damn’ things, growling only “Not. A. Word.” to the others as he hauls himself into the carriage and grumbles about the ‘damn’ dress’ while trying to use one hand to gather the thing up around his legs so that he doesn’t catch it on anything.

The general delay this engenders continues at the other end, putting him at the back of the group when the horrifying realisation that they’re about to be announced to an entire audience hall hits him, which – because everyone else in the group is a normal person of normal height – means that there’s still a perfect view of the uncomfortable rictus grin he assumes as his name is hollered out across the room and dozens of eyes latch onto them, leading to his growling softly “I am going to kill all of you. Horribly. With a couple of spoons. It’ll be a great tragedy. They’ll write plays about it.” to the others, although this is almost certainly an empty threat.

After all, right now it’s not as if he could even catch them. Not in that dress.

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Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon had spent the day at the Inverted Pyramid doing research on the Chaos Cultists and the Night of Dissolution.

He had eaten there and when it began to get late in the day he knew that Claira was going to be showing up so he got his White Jacket out and put it on as well as his pants that matched.  He put in a red Kerchief in the pocket and had picked a red rose from one of his vases and headed out to the main area ready to meet up with Claira.

Deacon didn’t have to wait long and within 30 mins Claira appeared, dressed in a beautiful white dress with red trim and embroidery.  Deacon was even amazed at how well the whites and reds had matched.  “Greetings Claira, you look ravishing.  I hope you had a good night and an even better day up till now.  If you are ready I will teleport us to the Kath Estate, we will need to do a little bit of a walk though as we can’t teleport inside the House.”  Deacon had given her a deep bow and reached out with his hand for her to take it.

When they appeared just outside the gates, Deacon saw the parade of coaches approaching.  He could only shake his head and wonder at the grandeur that was being shown for his friends.  “It looks like that we were just in time.  Let’s hurry inside and meet up with the others.  I want to introduce you properly to them.”

As the carriages stopped and the guards opened the doors Deacon and Claira moved in and Deacon waved to his friends to get their attention.  After warm greetings and introductions Deacon and Claira joined them as they entered the Main Hall.

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Vogh
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The procession across Ptolus and into the Noble Quarters has a smile on Vogh’s face.  She was thoroughly enjoying all of this.

When they got out of the carriage she saw Deacon and another woman she didn’t know but when he walked up and introduced her Vogh gave her a huge smile.  “Welcome to my home, Claira.  It is nice to meet you and I must say, your dress is spectacular.  Deacon you look handsome as well.  Shall we head inside?”

Vogh and Talin had their outfits coordinated as well.

Together they all walked inside and once they were announced and Bharash made his comment under his breath Vogh let out a slight giggle.  In their minds, she said, “It will make for a wonderful ballad, Bharash.”

Vogh had looked around and seen many faces she had met already and as she gazed around she gave slight nods to each of the groups.  When her mom came over and wrapped her in an embrace, Vogh softly whispered in her ear barely able to catch her breath at all that was happening, “it is good to see you mom.  They have gone over and above any expectations I would have had for this event!”

For Talin it was all so unexpected, and when Raule came over and extended his hand Talin gladly took his hand and gave a sturdy grip and shake.  “And to you as well Raule.  I pray that things are well with you.”

Vogh then turned to her friends and said, “please join me in the middle to meet the head of the house, Lady Devina Kath and her husband Matrenus.”  Vogh then moved over and began to introduce her companions and their dates.  With a short curtsy, Vogh greeted them, “Lady Devina, Master Matrenus, thank you so much for all you have done here.  The House looks amazing!  I know they announced us, but I would like to formally introduce my friends.  You know Talin already,”  Talin gave a low bow and a smile.  “This is Bharash Shadowglass, he keeps me quite safe, don’t let his outfit fool you any.”  Vogh said with a little laugh.  “Julia Graymantle and her date Kalerecent, Knight of Lothian.”  Each of them gave their proper greeting and Vogh continued, “Deacon Havenhold and his date, Claira Rhuivaul.”

Vogh then turned to Ethisha and her husband Tallaeth.  “Greetings to you Ethisha and Talaeth.  I hope things are going well with you both.  You both look wonderful, I must say.”  It had been a while since she saw Ethisha but the woman looked pretty much the same.  Life at the Noble House certainly was an easy one.

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Bharash
———————————————————–

With Vogh’s perfectly-judged retort, the faint sound of grinding teeth follows Bharash around at first, although he’s at least polite enough to rumble a deep “It keeps me tolerably busy Ma’am.” when introduced to the Lady Devina and Master Matrenus, adding a small bow of his upper body to the statement which, in serving as a modest witticism ought to do duty as conversation and leave him free to cast his eyes over the crowd from the esteemed position of being in the vicinity of the hosts, a view that does not, initially fill him with optimism for the night to come.

It might be interesting to sit down with the elf, Tamelli and talk over… things… but not while the others are around to ask awkward questions and there’s the Lord Dragon of course, but never having actually met a dragon, Bharash leans somewhat on the word ‘Lord’ and isn’t about to go and strike up a conversation with one of them without good reason, not when he’s basically a gruff hillfolk in a borrowed robe.

As for the rest of them, noble elves and humans abound – all scrawny, short and not likely to appreciate an evening of raised tankards and obnoxious boasts (which was the favoured means of unwinding where he grew up) – with whom if he’s stupid enough to talk about cooking with any of them, he’ll quickly be relegated to ‘the help’ and no mistake.

He rapidly decides that this is going to be a long, long, long night and starts plotting his assault upon the buffet and bar.

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
Julia was surprised to see a woman show up with Deacon.  She was pretty but not overly so, and she was elven.  Julia didn’t know her at all and it was curious why she was here.  Had Deacon known her long and never had said anything?  She didn’t know but would ask more as the night went on.  If she was a girlfriend then Julia would want to know her well for Deacon was a dear friend.

Julia had on a gorgeous red dress which by Kal’s description of his jacket, would fit perfectly.  She hoped so for her stomach was all in knots.


The butterflies grew as she entered the main hall and the Ellyn called out her name.  A moment later though as Kal, who was looking dashing, stepped to her and took up her hand and kissed it.  His words had her cheeks almost the same color as her dress.  When he looked up at her she caught something in his eyes, something honest and real.  This would definitely be a night to remember!!!  “Thank you, Kalerecent.  You look very handsome yourself!”

As they made their way over to Kal, Julia laid her hand on his forearm.  It felt right to do such a thing.  She greeted the head of the Kath family as properly as she could following Vogh’s lead.  But, once the music started playing the sound almost seemed to magically fill the entire room.  It wasn’t overbearing so people could hold a conversation but it was welcoming.  A few of the guests had taken to the dance floor as the affair seemed to kick off.

Julia looked around to see if she could find any other members of her church, particularly Sister Mara.  She did spot Helmut though and she couldn’t understand Vogh inviting the man to the ceremony.  “I can’t believe she invited Helmut.”  She softly whispered into Kal.  “So, how fine of a dancer are you, Kal?”  She asked finally with courage.

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Lady Davina Kath
———————————————————–
Sallina and Raul followed the group over to meet the heads of their house. Lady Devina and Matrenus greeted each of the group politely with wide smiles. Ethisha and Tallaeth did the same. “Vogh. You have brought great esteem to our house. Of all the children we’ve ever brought into our home, none have won such notariety as you. Your accomplishments, and that of your friends, have brought great Honor to House Kath. Friends of Castle Shard, Heroes of the Lothian Church in recovering the Sword of Truth,” she nodded to Kalerecent when saying this, “Delvers beneath the city, and now induction to the Knights of the Chord. Your renoun is worthy of all you see, and more.” Again the regal and beautiful woman bowed her head slightly to Vogh and Talin.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
———————————————————–
Kalerecent was happy to accept Julia’s arm and walked at her pace over to the group. He scrunched up his angled, elven features at Julia’s statement. “High Priest Helmut? Of the Watchers? Why? What discord is there between Vogh and he?” Kal pursed his lips in intrigue as he listened to Julia’s answer.

At Lady Davina’s compliment and acknowledgement Kalerecent bowed his head low, bending forward at the waist slightly to make his bow deeper than her own.

To Julia’s question about dancing he smiled while answering quietly, “Well Miss. I was formally trained in all manner of finery, which included the delecate art of dance.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
Bharash couldn’t help but notice Lord Kristol return his gaze and even nodded to the dragonborn. As he noticed the dominance of humans in attendance, his searching revealed a goliath male who stood halfway between seven and eight feet. Bharash also caught sight of a tiefling female with a very modest dress, high neck, and lose compared to most of the ladies. He caught sight of a female dwarf with High Priest Mand Scheben. Finally he also noted a very handsom and muscular aasimar male wore an ornate sword as his hip and kept turning his head, surveying the surroundings with military precision while standing very near an attractive female elf who was holding an ornate and expensive looking walking cane.

[Private to GM:
Lionkiller is a 32 year old male goliath cleric.
He has a bald head and green eyes.
He has soft gray skin.
He stands 235cm (7’8″) tall and has a regular build.
He has a round, common face.
He has 2 complicated piercings on his right ear.
He fidgets sporadically.Inurath, Mistress of War (CN) : Fire, Strength, War. The most popular of many war deities, Inurath was originally a goddess of the people of Nall.He values skill and talent over all else.
He is not very obstinate.
He has story about his god for every occasion.
He has a story for everything.He needs help organizing a grand melee tournament.Andlech is a 95 year old female tiefling butcher.
She has short, braided, auburn hair shaved on the right side and gray eyes.
She has rough purple skin.
She stands (5’6″) tall and has a lean build.
She has a sharp, sightly face.
She has 3 piercings on her lip.

She openly worships Kossuth, God of fire, purification through fire. (True Neutral)
She hates fair play.
She is an example of modesty.
She gets very mad at any semblance of an insult.

She needs help stealing a precious bracelet from a nearby house.

Zaghak Magmabrew is a 181 year old female mountain dwarf acolyte.

She has long, wavy, brown hair and brown eyes.
She has soft, dirty, golden skin.
She stands 140cm (4’7″) tall and has a beefy build.
She has an oval, ordinary face.
She has a lisp.

She openly worships Moradin (Lawful Good)
She is a very good diplomat and always works towards resolution of conflict.
She is an example of modesty.
She constantly hums old dwarven songs.
She frequently misquotes sacred texts.
She loves partying.
She owns a box full of dead animals.

Her house has been eaten by a purple worm. Further inspection of the tunnel reveals a complex cave system.

Benedict Moonwatcher is a 29 year old male aasimar bodyguard.

He has very long, braided, brown hair and golden eyes.
He has soft, sunburned, brown skin.
He stands 157cm (5’10”) tall and has a muscular build.
He has an edgy, very typical face.
He has 2 piercings on his left eyebrow.
He constantly squints.

He zealously claims to worship Talos
He is very focused.
He judges people by their actions, not their words.
He seeks to spread sadness and sorrow.
He spends every morning training.
He stretches the truth to tell a good story.

He has angered the archdevil Glasya and needs help avoiding the consequences.

Enwenen Elervir is a 262 year old female high elf smuggler.

She is very selfish.
She only talks in whispers.
She uses a beautiful walking cane.
She believes in whatever deity is most helpful to her at a given moment.

Relationship Status: In a relationship

She is a fountain of wild magic and cannot control it.]

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Bharash
———————————————————–

The graceful focus of their hosts on Vogh and Talin generate an opportunity (or so it seems to him) for Bharash to slip back another pace from the conversation and start circling around to approach the buffet table, a process only slightly derailed by the attention of the dragon, which generates a slightly sickly smile, a bow of the head and a subtle shift in direction to approach the bar instead, on which way he picks out the Goliath standing similarly head and shoulders above the crowd to himself and – rather than focus on the pretty tiefling or the handsome aasimar – he swings around further to pass him by and, while en route rumbles “They’ve put on quite the show, haven’t they? I’m almost afraid to drink in case I use the wrong glass and provoke a duel.”

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon caught the look on Julia’s face as he approached them outside.  He couldn’t quite put a finger on what she was thinking but knew she was.  Deacon hadn’t honestly brought Claira to tease Julia, no, he did so because he needed to for his own sake.  He needed to branch out as he did with joining the Inverted Pyramid.  He needed his own life beyond his companions.

Now inside the Kath Estate Deacon was all smiles as he was introduced.  He looked to Claira with a large caring smile on his face.  Then they were off to meet the hosts and as Devina Kath spoke of their exploits Deacon once again beamed.  Deacon was proud of himself and the others for all that they had accomplished.  It was a far cry from his simple life those many months back.  Once the introductions were complete it seemed Bharash had enough. Julia and Kal likewise broke off from the group so Deacon asked Claira, “Shall we get a drink and meet some of the others here?  I saw Tristan and Fulun standing by Lord Sadar, and would like to introduce you.  Or if there is something else you would like to do we can.  Perhaps a dance?”

===========================================================
Vogh
———————————————————–
In reply to Lady Davina Kath (msg # 111):

“Thank you Lady Devina, I am only following my heart.  Something my mother taught me over and over again.”  Vogh had her Castle Shard bracelet on even now.  It was something she always wore.  “Now, if you’ll excuse us, I’d like to go over and speak with Hallusiun Everfar and Nivae Tamelli and pay our respects.  I really am excited to join the Knights of the Chord.  It will intertwine us even more with the family.”

Vogh was keeping the worries of what the next days may hold out of her thoughts for the moment but she would need to speak with a few of those gathered about it, after all, she did invite them here for that very reason.

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Kalerecent (msg # 112):

Kal was certainly the complete package.  Loyal to Lothian and the church.  Honorable and courageous and could dance??  She would see about that.  “Well, then show me?” That was all Julia said as she reached out with her hand, teasingly.

You forgot to mention is I had seen any other members of the church or not. 

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash (msg # 114):

The large goliath male smiled and laughed in a deep voice. “Well said. Your fears are likely unfounded though. I doubt any would dare challenge you sir…” He waited for Bharash to share his name then nodded in response with a raised glass. “Well met. I doubt any here would challenge the likes of you. Most of these effeets wouldn’t even know the business end of a weapon.”

He took another drink from his large mug the used a cloth napkin to wipe his gray lips. Bharash noticed his right ear had two, thick gold rings piercing the lobe. A platinum chain hung around his neck with the symbol of Inurath, Mistress of War, the most popular war deity in all of Ptolus. All of his skin was gray with dark striations at random. Like most of his race, he was also bald.

“My name is Lionkiller. Cleric of Inurath. So you’re one of the guests of honor then?”

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Claira Rhuivaul (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 115):

Claire smiled wide as Deacon mentioned the Sadar nobles, nodding slightly at wanting to meet them. “I would absolutely love for you to introduce me to Lord and Lady Sadar. I’ve never had the pleasure. I have met Naephos Worldsea, Lord Sadar’s proxy. He is also an elf, and a wizard of considerable skill himself. The Lord is one of the highest ranking members of the Pyramid as you know, but be eschews most meetings. I don’t know Tristan or Fulun. She is breathtaking.”

===========================================================
Deacon Havenhold
———————————————————–
Deacon had never met Lord or Lady Sadar either but if Tristan was with them then it would be easy to give Claira something she desired.  “I never met Naephos Worldsea before.  Does he visit the Wind’s Mystery often?”

When Claira commented that Fulun was breathtaking, Deacon took it upon himself to give Claira a compliment, “You are breathtaking, Claira, and I am happy that you accepted my invitation.”

Now in front of the group they meant to speak with, Deacon gave a slight bow as he addressed Lord and Lady Sadar, “Greetings my Lord Sadar and Lady.  Tristan and Fulun, nice to see you all here.  This is the lovely Claira Rhuivaul my date.  This is quite the gathering of important individuals.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 117):

Julia scanned the crowd, but didn’t immediately notice anyone else from their church. Sister Mara was not present, which made sense as she was so busy with church business. Kal and her moved closest to the Music Room, from where the melody flowed. They spun among the few others who were dancing. “I’m pretty sure some of these people are professionals.” Kal laughed, seeing the graceful movements of a couple dancing partners. It wouldn’t be surprising that House Kath, famous for their music, dance and art, would want a good showing on their dance floor.

Kal maneuvered them away from the other dancers as they spun and leaned in close, quietly asking Julia again, You didn’t answer me about High Priest Helmut. Was that on purpose? What animosity is there between he and your group?

===========================================================
Claira Rhuivaul (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 120):

“Yes. He can be found there quite often. He also enjoy’s the Swordthrower’s Club since it’s here in the Nobles’ Quarters. Have you ever enjoyed a meal there? Exquisite food and drink. The Wind’s has it beat on anything elven, but they keep out undesierables very well.”

Claire blushed at Deacon’s compliment and mouthed a simple “Thank You.”

The elven woman moved with all the grace befitting her race and bowed low to the Lord and Lady of House Sadar. My Lord. My Lady. She looked a bit confused looking over Tristan and Fulun but hid it well. Greetings.

Turning back to Renn Sadar she asked, Lord Sadar. It’s wonderful to meet you. Your proxy, Master Worldsea, I’ve met several times. An accomplished wizard, not doubt due to your wise tuteledge I’m certain.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 116):

The Kath family all nodded their understanding at Vogh and Talin’s movement to the Knights of the Chord leader.

Hallusiun smiled wide at their approach and shook Vogh and Talin’s hands. “Vogh! Talin! What a splendid celebration! I don’t believe we’ve ever had such a grand induction ceremony as tonight.” He said the later only as a compliment and no slight. It was easy for the bards to realize few of the Chord inductees would likely come from Noble families with the means to have such lavish coronations. “Vogh, your mother has laid out the itinerary, which we are happy to follow. The induction will be in a little while. She will let us know. No rush. I know she wants everyone to arrive and get some refreshments. We are very excited to add you to our number.”

Nivae, the beautiful elf wearing a splendid gown, smiled and nodded, “Indeed. The Knights have waned and waxed over the years. Unfortunately we are in a waning period. Perhaps your notariety will bring us into a period of growth again. The gods know we need all the heroes we can get in these uncertain times.”

Hallusiun, Mand and Helmut all nodded in agreement.

“Here Here! Ptolus is a city of heroes, you and your friends are a testament to that legacy.” Mand spoke up, raising his mug of pale ale.

Helmut smiled, “Quite right. Our fair city deserves all we can give her. Disaster looms on every horizon. We all need to be doing all we can to keep our way of life safe from those who would destroy us.”

[Private to GM: Hallusiun Everfar, Leader of Knights of the Chord Black
Nivae Tamelli, the most famous bard in the land Lavender
Mand Scheben, High Cleric of Asche and friend to Castle Shard Brown
High Cleric, Helmut Itlestein. Aqua]

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Bharash
———————————————————–
“So they’ll cut at me with words instead. Considerably harder to deflect and no less deadly on the right lips.” Bharash observes, although he seems to find the notion more amusing than alarming as he’s found someone he can defensively say he’s talking to with an opinion about all this not far from his own.

Which of course leads neatly into the topic of his being one of the guests of honour, a point which causes him to pull a slightly sour expression and remark, albeit not unkindly “Bharash Shadowglass, ambush victim. The others told me about this nonsense only the other day and that I’d be expected to turn up, yesterday which is why I’m dressed like the red-scaled stepchild of an archmage. Mostly I’m here to keep them happy, since I can’t protect any of them worth a damn’ without my swords and I couldn’t wear those over the dress without rumpling it, which would make Madam Maran extremely unhappy with me. What about you, how did you get roped into this?”

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Narrator GM (msg # 121):

Keeping her head on his shoulder, Julia said softly, “High Priest Helmut and his watchers had a vision that runebearers are going to bring the fall of Ptolus and perhaps even the world, I don’t know.  Anyways, though we don’t have definite proof that Helmut has killed any of the children who have been identified as runebearers, he has admitted he would do anything to save the city.  We believe that he even put a hit out on the mother of his child.  He, of course, has outright denied it naturally.  Vogh has struck a deal to get the children out of the city as long as he acts no further with trying to eliminate the ‘proposed threat’.”  The disdain in her voice is quite apparent as she speaks about Helmut.

“That brings us to why he is here tonight, Vogh is going to ask him to join us to defeat the cultists and stop the Night of Dissolution that they are planning.  If he wants to help the city so bad he shouldn’t pass up the opportunity.”  Julia looked up to Kal then to see his reaction to the news.

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash (msg # 124):

Lionkiller chuckled. It was a deep rumble like thunder happening far away. He raised a large glass in salute. “Interesting sentiment. Indeed, words can often do more damage than weapons. Very well said. You have the build of a warrior but the speed of an author. Fascinating mixture.” The large man took another deep draw of his ale then explained.

“Oh, I wasn’t roped. Tallaeth invited me. While he doesn’t share my revelry in combat, we do share a taste for the finer points of thespianism. We became friends after frequenting many of the same plays. Mind you, I wasn’t born into money. Rather I had some success delving years ago then got rather lucky with some investments thanks to those gains. So now I enjoy the finer things in life.”

Lionkiller looked Bharash over and a smile creased his face as he raised on large finger. “You know. I’m working on something you might be interested in. Outside the low brow and illegal fights at the Onyx Spider, and the deadly Arena gladiator battles, there isn’t much in this city for hand combat. I’ve been working to organize a Grand Melee for true warriors. A civilized display, and certainly none of this “to the death” nonsense. Man your size could do very well.”

===========================================================
Kalerecent (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 125):

Kal couldn’t hide the surprise from his face at all Julia just told him. The elf didn’t miss a beat in the music or misstep once, but Julia could tell he was geniunely shocked and conflicted. “I… I… I can’t believe that. Sorry. Forgive me. I do not mean to imply you aren’t tell the truth, I am simply taken aback. Granted, I’ve only met the man a handful of times, but Sister Mara has shared that some of the High Priest’s visions have been accurate and aided herself, and friends, in times past. I truly hope what you say isn’t true, but I pray they are just terrible coincidences. Forgive me. I trust you Julia. I am simply nonplussed. If he does join with you all, then I’m grateful I and my men will be along to keep an eye on him.”

Kalerecent danced for a few moments without speaking, just taking it all in. “What did you mean about the runebearer children? Why would someone want to kill children? What threat could they be?”

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

Perking up slightly at the mention of thespianism, Bharash naturally asks “Really? I try to get to the theatre when I can, but I usually find myself dragging around after my friends. They’re good people, but you know what adventurers are like, if I left them to their own devices they’d be setting up pit traps in their inn rooms and trying to use fireball spells to toast bread.”, which is only a little bit slanderous, given some of the things he’s seen them do of late.

And anyway, it’s said affectionately.

“Been working on that part of things myself. I’m trying to purchase a place in the city. a block of Apartments between Crossing Street and Tower Road whose previous inhabitants were turned into half-demon insect monsters. There’s a bit of a hole into the undercity in the basement so it’s a fixer-upper, but I hope it’ll work out.” Bharash allows, without seeming to consider any of this especially strange (well of course he wants to buy the murder house, have you seen what real estate prices are like in this city for houses where the former residents weren’t turned into alien bugs?).

The tourney though? That sparks his interest somewhat, the burly dragonborn lifting his eyebrows and – after a mild chuckle of – “If big was all it took to be dangerous, we’d all have been conquered by minotaurs years ago. Fair point though, I’ve got a good reach and I’d kill – metaphorically speaking – for a chance to train and spar against the best in the city.”

===========================================================
Re: 284323 Vogh
———————————————————–
“Lady Devina has never shied away from throwing a spectacular party,”  Vogh said as she gave a slight nod of her head as she and Talin listened.  “Ah, good, I wasn’t sure how the evening would proceed.  We are looking forward to joining your organization, aren’t we Talin?”  Vogh turned to Talin then to let him respond as well.

Talin didn’t nod, but gave a slight bow to Hallusiun, “Yes, I am really excited!  I have read so many things about the Knights and if our current fame can bring growth then even better!  Speaking of refreshments, I would like to take the edge off.  This is all so far from what I was born into.  Do you mind,” Talin asked as he spotted the bar and then gave a smile to Nivae.  “You’d think all the performances I have done in front of crowds would prepare you for this, but it doesn’t.”  Talin also used the excuse to remove himself from Helmut as well.

“Oh, of course, my love, can you bring me back champagne, please?”  Vogh said as Talin nodded then left the group.

“Thank you, Mand and High Priest Itlestein.  Speaking of keeping our way of life safe.  I would like to speak with you all once the ceremony is over.  I don’t want to put a damper on the celebration for now.  But, it is very important.”

===========================================================
Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Kalerecent (msg # 127):

Juia knew that she had opened up pandora’s box by saying something to Kal but she wanted to be open and honest with the man if they were going to possibly be starting a relationship.

“I am not certain with the whole of the situation, Vogh knows much more about all of it than I or probably anyone else in our group.  But, apparently according to the visions, the children bring doom to Ptolus by being inside.  It is not known how they do it or even when, but as you have just said, they are only children, some even babies possibly.”  Julia held tight and followed Kal’s dance steps quite well.  She had danced before but wasn’t classically trained like some of the dancers on the floor even now.

Julia pulled back once more and looked deep into Kal’s eyes with soft eyes of her own and said, “Kal, I just want to make sure that there are no secrets or information untold between us if we are pursuing something more than just being friends.”  There she said it.  She couldn’t take it back, nor did she want to.  She wanted Kal to know that she wanted him romantically.

===========================================================
Lionkiller
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash (msg # 128):

The large goliath looked taken aback, pleasantly, by Bharah’s interest in the theater. “You enjoy the theater as well? Wonderful! Where do you stay typically? We can get great tickets to any show in the City. Obviously Tallaeth has the most pull at the Crown Theater, since his family owns it, but we aren’t limited to there. Have you been to the Shadow Theater in Oldtown yet? It’s a fascinating new display! Rather than plays with alive actors, they magically cast animated shadows on a huge white wall to portray epic stories. Sometimes with hundreds of characters at once, like epic battle scenes. I’ve even seen some amazing effects like flowing rivers or even trees blowing in the wind during a storm. It’s all wizards, sorcerers, or bards doing the magic, but it’s quite fasinating.”

When they moved onto real estate Lionkiller smiled and nodded. “Oh smart! Yes indeed. The gods only gave us so much real estate, especially in Ptolus. They aren’t going to build new walls anytime soon, so we’re basically a land locked place. Real estate is a premium. Part of my investments were real estate as well. Very smart Bharash. Hopefully the “murder house” reputation doesn’t taint your ability to rent! Haha!” The big man’s laugh rumbled again as he took a drink.

“Quite right sir! Minotaurs. I’ve met a couple. Fierce warriors. I would love to have you in the grand melee. I’m still in the organization phase, but I’ll certainly keep you informed.”

===========================================================
Kalerecent (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 130):

Kal shook his head, a bit confused. “That’s all very confusing. If you all feel he is dangerous though, capable of killing children even, then is it wise for Vogh to request he accompany us? I don’t want to have to watch my back for a dagger, if you know what I mean.”

As the elf danced he smiled back at Julia’s statement. “I appreciate your honosty Miss Julia. I strive for the same, always. Lothian guide us.”

===========================================================
Narrator GM
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 129):

Everyone nodded at Vogh’s request to remain behind, none minded. Helmut had the most shock on his face as Vogh used his full title and honorific, something the bard had never done before that moment. He relaxes his face into a smile and nodded amicably.

===========================================================
Nivae Tamelli (NPC)
———————————————————–
Nivae spoke up after Talin had left, “I don’t want to cause too much tension talking about politics, but I know where all of us standing on this issue. Vogh, I’m curious how you feel about the Republican movement Helmut is spearheading? As I’m sure you’re well aware, before the empire, it was the Noble Families and elected leaders who decided the fate of Ptolus.”

===========================================================
Re: 312760 Bharash
———————————————————–

“Of course! Back home we had skalds and the occasional lowland bard down on their luck come up to earn some gold, but the chance to see a full stage production’s something you only really get here in the city. I couldn’t have been here more than a few days before I caught a production of The Caged Bird Sings Free” (a play in which a princess, trapped in her loveless web of duties goes axe-crazy and many tropes are inverted by means of her and a succession of sharp fairy-tale objects before the terrified inhabitants of the land are rescued by a dragon) “and the week after that, I managed to catch a small production of Last Rites” (a thoughtful, serious play about the ethics of resurrection as applied to a well-loved grandmother with little time left) “which was simply wonderful.”

The fact that the parties enormous, violent and cynical dragon-man has a passion for theatre would probably surprise the team-mates he has yet to persuade to come with him to any of the shows he keeps recommending to them, but there you have it.

“The Shadow? No, I appreciate the idea of it, but I love the small-scale productions most of all. The whole challenge of painting a world in a few scraps of cloth and timber.” Bharash answers, before grinning wryly “Not to mention that tickets are ridiculously expensive. I can see a dozen shows for the price of decent seats there.”

“I can only hope, although even if it doesn’t it’ll be nice to actually have some space to stretch out. I’ve enjoyed staying at the Minstrel, but it wears on you, after a while being able to own nothing more than you can fit in a carry-case.” before the talk of the tourney reaches the point of actual involvement and Bharash warmly answers “I’d be thrilled to take part. I fight with falcatta by preference, usually in heavy armour but I’d understand if the preference was for a mix of arms and armour, magical or otherwise. Oh! And I’ve looked into means of subduing a foe of late. There’s an enchantment for it, apparently… I don’t pretend to understand the details, but it turns a deadly strike into a nasty headache and a short nap. Might be worth seeing if there’s a means of acquiring it in some fashion.”

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Vogh
———————————————————–
In reply to Nivae Tamelli (msg # 134):

Vogh didn’t know they would be getting into politics so soon but knew enough about the republican movement to speak to it a little.  “We,” Vogh looked to Helmut, “have spoken a little about it and I have heard much about it throughout the city of course.  I mean you can’t walk a block and not have a crier talking about it.  I do think that we the people should be led by an elected official though it will be hard to buck the way things have been running for a long time now.  We can speak more about the movement another time if you want to. But, getting back to my previous request.  I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you.  For now, though I think I should move along and welcome the others for coming to the important event.”  Vogh gave a slight bow and as long as no one had something else she departed.

Vogh turned and saw that Deacon and his date were speaking with Tristan and the others so she headed that way.  When she neared she spoke up, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt your conversation.  But, I wanted to say a Greetings Lord and Lady Sadar, it has been a long time, hasn’t it?”

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Nivae Tamelli (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Vogh (msg # 136):

The foursome nodded as Vogh departed with smiles and agreements they would speak more later. Nivae spoke quickly before Vogh walked away, “Remind me to tell you about my research into the Dire Song.”

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Sadar Group
———————————————————–
In reply to Deacon Havenhold & Vogh

Deacon and Claire had been sharing pleasantries with the Sadar’s, Tristan and Fulun. Lady Ennis smiled as Vogh walked over and moved to give her a polite hug. “Vogh. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

Lord Sadar nodded at Vogh & Talin approaching. He was a man of few words with a darkness around him. It confused most people that House Sadar and Kath were allies considering the “shadowy” aspect of Sadar. But Lady Ennis stood apart through her work with the Order of Dayra helping orphans and the underpriviledged. She and Vogh had always gotten along well with their benevolent hearts.

Tristan raised his glass in greeting to the duo, but Fulun – with her alluring golden eyes – like Ennis moved and embraced Vogh. “It’s been too long Vogh. Talin. Thank you for the invitation.” Fulun was breathtaking as always in a golden, flowing dress with sheer elements overlaying glittering fabric.

“Indeed. I must say I was surprised to get your sending, but grateful. It seems Lord Sadar and his house share an affinity for shadow magic.” Tristan said. He was dressed stylishly in a near black long coat and gray shirt, as they had seen him before, but without his magical staff.

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Lionkiller
———————————————————–
In reply to Bharash (msg # 135):

“Oh, no! The shadow theater is only a silver piece per ticket. Not at all expensive. But I share your taste for live performances. Seeing the expression and movement of gifted thespians cannot be matched by magical displays.”

The goliath nodded and smiled at what Bharash shared. “Indeed. There are several spells that can also blunt weapons to prevent killing blows, so long as they are used correctly. Even a blunted sword hard against a neck can cause death. But as I said before, I’m not interested in hosting a lethal forray. I’ll leave that to the Arena. I am partial to hand-to-hand combat and wrestling tactics. True feats of strength, subtlety and power.”

Bharash would easily note that someone of Lionkiller’s size would obvoiusly like feats of strength, considering there were few humanoids who would likely match his power.

[Private to GM: Remember to have Navanna Vladdam (Nicalon Regelis) give Vogh and Talin something she can use to track them.

Halfling from Lilith, plus Doleen Kaffer, and Jamir

Commissar’s Men, Captain Pharis Noldstrom (blue text)
Goldshields
Mention the Swordthrower’s Club
Kirian Ylestos, prince of the church
Lord Abbercombe

Knights of the Pale, Diena, has a Runewarden in the Knights, the same group Sister Mara adventured with, so she would know of the Calling’s members. She also carries a holy avenger longsword presented to her by the current archbishop of the church, Adlam. She also works closely with the Malkuth and knows about Callin.

The famous Delver and his kids and the painting he found.

Lady Fransin Nagel, House Nagel, Kurtlan Nagel was placed in the Prison for murder. Fransin Nagel is close friends with Doraedian Mythlord, master of Iridithil’s Home.]

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Julia Graymantle
———————————————————–
In reply to Kalerecent (msg # 132):

The butterflies erupted in her stomach as Kal made his proclamation.  She held his hand tighter and it was as if the world around her had disappeared.  “I am so happy that you asked me to be your date this evening.  Should we go say hello to some people? I mean don’t get me wrong I could dance with you till the sun comes up but this is a party afterall.  Julia giggled like a little school girl then, lost in her thoughts.

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Kalerecent (NPC)
———————————————————–
In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 140):

“Me too.” Kal smiled back at her with his impossibly high cheekbones. “Actually, I would like to speak with Kaira and Dierna.”

The two moved off the dance floor and stopped their spinning. Julia had met the leaders of the Knights of the Golden Cross and Knights of the Pale at the Church party for them, but only briefly. Lord Dallimothan had stepped away from the group and was moving toward the bar.

“Lady Swanwing. Lady Hillerchaun.” Kalerecent held Julia’s arm and bowed low as he greeted the two powerful women. “Allow me to introduce Sister Julia Graymantle, Priestess of Lothian. And I am Kalerecent Isilielenion, Paladin of Lothian and wielder of the Sword of Truth. It is an honor to make your acquantainces.”

[Private to GM: The beautiful Kaira Swanwing, leader of the Knights of the Golden Cross, stood with her father Naevin, and Dierna Hillerchaun, leader of the Knights of the Pale. Kirstol Dallimothan, Lord of House Dragon as it was affectionatly called, had two tiny dragons flitting about his shoulders again, as he did when they met him at the Castle Shard party. One gold. One silver. They would take flight and enjoy the high ceilings of the massive hall.

Knights of the Pale, Diena, has a Runewarden in the Knights, the same group Sister Mara adventured with, so she would know of the Calling’s members. She also carries a holy avenger longsword presented to her by the current archbishop of the church, Adlam. She also works closely with the Malkuth and knows about Callin.]

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Narrator GM
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Kaira and Dierna both smiled and nodded to the two. Dierna was the first to speak, “Well met Julia. Kalerecent. I already know a bit about you both. Zophas Adhar is a member of my Knights. He is also part of the Runewardens group of heroes, which includes Sister Mara von Witten, with whom I know you are both quite familiar. Little known fact, Mara and Ephendus – a wizard friend of Zophas – worked together to craft his holy greatsword, the Ankh of Justice. As you received your sword from the great Adlam Theobold, so too did I receive mine from him, Emberling. Finally…” Dierna lowered her voice and leaned closer. “I had the pleasure of meeting Callin shortly after your efforts freed him from his imprisonment.”

The Lady leaned back and took a sip from her long, fluted glass with bubbling liquid. Dierna was dressed in a gown that likely cost more than the carriages the group arrived in, with the symbol of her Knights sewn subtley into the breast of her gown.

Kaira Swanwing was likewise dressed incredibly regally in a blue evening gown with a low neckline with lace covering her clevage. She smiled and shook her head a bit as she stood with one arm crossing her stomach and supporting her other arm holding a similar glass to Dierna’s.

“Is that all Dierna? Perhaps you know their grandparent’s middle names as well?” Kaira teased back, good naturedly. “You’ll have to forgive my friend. She enjoys connections. Julia, it’s nice to meet you again. Our last passing was quite brief during the Church’s celebration of your group’s discovery. Kalerecent, congratulations on your recent promotion.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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“Really? But surely the use of capable mages must mean the place runs at a loss? I mean it’s what, five crowns to get an apprentice to clean boots!”* Bharash replies, seemingly surprised at how reasonable admission is – at least compared to the sort of prices one parts with to get a decent seat at the Crown (something of a guilty pleasure of his).

As for the martial display?

“Oh, I can slap someone senseless with the flat, but it’s a lot easier when the people you’re fighting aren’t in your league. Against someone more skilled than I am, I’d want every edge – as it were – I like the sound of the spells though. Something to underscore what we’re there for. I appreciate that you’re one of Inurath’s followers, but it might be worthwhile dedicating at least some part of the contest to Unnah. I’m not exactly a follower myself, but I make the occasional offering.” the big Dragonborn answers, at least as interested in the whole operation as the Goliath chap.

* Based on caster level x 5gp for a cantrip out of spellcasting services. Maybe there’s someone backing it.

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Lionkiller
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 143):

Lionkiller crinkled his nose in thought and looked to the ceiling. “I never thought about that. But, if they don’t have to pay actors or create real sets, maybe that’s how they do it?” He laughed his low rumble and shrugged strong shoulders. “You’ve got a keen mind my friend. Unnah you say?” Lionkiller had something cross his face that Bharash couldn’t quite place, a flash of recognition, but something beyond that. Unfortunately he didn’t have a moment to ask the goliath because the big man stood straight up from leaning against the bar as he looked over Bharash’s shoulder with surprise on his face. “Lord Dallimothan. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Lionkiller bowed forward deeply to the Noble House Leader.

[Private to GM: Another rumor has it that Menon keeps a minor goddess, Unnah, Mistress of the Blades, captive in his manor north of town. This incredible rumor is true. Within a vault this minor goddess remains trapped inside a magic candle. Apparently, a group of powerful wizards in Kem captured her just before their own murder. The candle was traded to the Balacazars and brought here. The Hussar—fanatical warrior-cultists who serve Unnah—must work as enforcers and assassins for the Balacazar family while he holds their deity hostage.]

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Narrator GM
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“Well Met. Bharash. Might I steal you away for a moment?” The Lord wore a beyond elegant white coat with embroidery so intricate and fine only a dragon’s eye could pick out all the overlapping and interwoven patterns. If Bharash would indulge him, the Lord walked away a few paces to stand in a gap with no one fewer than several paces away, although the music flitted through the entire hall. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. You already know who I am and of my house, and I already know more than a bit about you. While this party is thrown to celebrate your friends, I only agreed to attend that we might meet. Your reputation is stalwart and raises the esteem of all dragonkind. I would like to invite you to house Dallimothan to get to know you better and introduce you to a few of my household.”

Private to Bharash: You’ve talked about grandma shadow, but do you have his draconic heritage plotted out?]

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Bharash
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“Perhaps. It till seems as though it would be expensive as hell, but I never actually went because I thought it would be. Assuming they’re not having to pay actors and the mages are casting simpler spells I suppose it could be profitable though, if there are enough seats.” Bharash replies, frowning a little as he works through the numbers while his fingers twitch not for his sword-hilts (which are absent anyway) but his notebook, since numbers are, in his experience slippery things until you can pin the buggers down on a page and get a good look at them.

“I think so. Her cult’s entirely about swordsmanship, rather than battle in general so there’s less chance of some…” he goes on to reply, only to get slightly quiet as he feels himself loomed under from behind, which is a truly disconcerting experience at least on a par with being loomed over, particularly when his abortive attempt to bow his head and move to the side is stalled by Lord Dallimothan addressing him by name instead of the cleric.

That’s… not good, not really.

“I don’t see that I could really hope to stop you, your Lordship.” he replies as he comes out of his bow, keeping his eyes firmly on the level of the nose-or-below (everyone knows that you never make eye contact with a dragon or they might seize control of your mind or something), and although he follows obediently it’s mainly with an eye to – when he’s addressed – answer nervously “That’s… ah, very kind of you your lordship although I fear that I’m quite fully employed as a delver at the moment and therefore unavailable to go into service.”

[Private to GM:  I’ve mostly been going off a combination of Scottish highland clan tropes and https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dragonborn (the former explaining why he has a family in the conventional sense, the latter just filling in around he borders).
He’s dragon-kin, but only in the same sense that kobolds are (just a bit more so, having a few minor dragon powers). Family-wise, his immediate circle include: Gramma Shadow (his fathers mother) & Grama Icinglass (his mothers mother).
Gramma Icinglass had one other son, a skald/bard who now owns a bordello.
Gramma Shadow has three sons, the other two being a smith and a hunter.
There are some aunts and many cousins.
His little (adopted) sister, a Gnoll.In a wider sense, there’s a clan of mostly white-and-silver Dragonborn living in a highland mountain area, mostly with barbarian-and-similar classes. As per FR Dragonborn, they’re not deeply fond of dragons, on account of having had to serve them in the past – likely one of Father Claw’s brood. ^_^]

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Vogh
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Before Vogh left she gave a smile to acknowledge Nivae and said, ”I certainly will do that Nivae.  I’d like to hear about it, or at the very least Talin will.  His music is a bit more haunting and affects others as opposed to his companions.  We really complement each other that way.”

When Lady Ennis moved to give her a hug, Vogh accepted it with one of her own, ”It is good to see you again as well.  It has been a while.  It was Fulun’s turn then to move in for a hug.  Vogh accepted it warmly, the golden dress making her eyes pop all the more.  ”Fulun it is nice to see you too.  It has been far to long!  Vogh turned to Tristan then and gave a warm smile, ”Tristan I am glad the both of you came to the party.  I would like to speak with you both after the party if you will indulge me.  There are a few things I want to ask you both.”

Turning back to Lord Sadar Vogh spoke up about the shadow magic, ”Yes, they have really concentrated their efforts towards the shadow arts.  They and our family have quite the history together as well and I thank you again for coming Lord Sadar.”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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As Kal spoke it was the first time she had heard his last name.  She blushed a bit as he introduced her.  Julia then turned and looked at Deacon and the woman he was with.  They had both only met just outside but it seemed that Deacon was taken by her.  Certainly, she was dressed to be at the party and together they struck quite the couple.

Julia was about to say something to Deacon when Dierna spoke first.  Turning back to her Julia gave a wide smile.  “Ah yes, the Runewardens.  Sister Mara has spoken about them a few times.”  Julia’s eyes lit up at the mention of her blade having been crafted by the same person that made the sword of truth.  “That is quite the coincidence I must say and there must be quite the story there as well.  I wouldn’t mind hearing of it when we have the time.”

As Dierna leaned in and spoke of Callin, Julia gave a sincere look of thanks on her face.  Julia hoped that Callin was finding his way around in this ‘new’ world that he now finds himself in.  “I hope he gave you a story.  He has many to offer!”  Julia said lightly then leaned back to a neutral stance.

Kaira’s comments put a snicker to Julia’s lips.  “It is nice to see you as well Kaira. I would really like to know more about the both of you if we could meet sometime over dinner or something.”

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon listened to Kaira and Dierna talked about this and that before Julia and Kal came over to speak with them.  Deacon gave Julia a warm smile when she looked at him.  It seemed she wanted to say something but was then interrupted.  So, Deacon let it go and listened to them talk.  “Perhaps we could all get together for a dinner and talk lightly.  I think that would be wonderful.  What do you think Claira?  Would you like to do that sometime?”

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Kirstol Dallimothan
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 146):

Kirstol smiled with one side of his mouth. “My invitation has naught to do with requesting your service. Rather, we would simply like to become better acquainted. But if you’re not interested…”

Private to Bharash: I would like to use an origin story for Dragonborn as having draconic heritage. Meaning far enuogh back there was a full blood dragon who mated with a humanoid. Elf. Human. Whatever. Is that a problem with what you had in mind? My thought was Dragonborn’s are essentially “half-dragon” but they favor their draconic heritage far more than most. So there are some half-dragon’s which could pass as human b/c they favor that heritage. Thoughts?]

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Narrator GM
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Lady Ennis Smiled as they stepped back. “It seems you and your companions have done quite a bit of good for this city. I’ve also heard your Lothian friend, Julia I believe? That she has helped with the soup kitchen down by the Warrens. It’s wonderful to see the powerful people of Ptolus doing something to help the less fortunate among us. The measure of any society is how they treat the lowliest among them.”

Fulun and Tristan raised their glasses to this sentiment. Lord Sadar looked impassive as he stood among them. He was always a man of few words.

At Vogh’s statement the Lord and Lady looked at Tristan and Fulun with interest but didn’t comment. The two kayal nodded and agreed to meet with them whenever they desired. “Everyone here is dressed so regally! I’ve never been to a noble party before. Your home is beautiful Vogh. I cannot believe you grew up here?!”

Tristan spoke up in regard to Vogh’s comment about shadow. “One of the things that has so fascinated me about this world, and Ptolus especially, is the connection to ‘shadow’ here. In the city there is a Noble House connected to shadow, the Shadow Theater, Shadow Sendings, and have you ever heard of the unseen Shade Tower? It might all be councidence in namings, but I don’t believe in such.”

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Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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“The Runewardens don’t do much together anymore. They performed many heroic feats for the city in their day though, and Zophas is a powerful addition to my Knights. Thankfully none of them have saught out full retirement yet.” Dierna smiled at this statement.

“Archbishop Theobold holds many great artifacts of good and doles them out as Lothian guides him.” She took another small sip from her bubbling drink.

Waving her opposite hand in a dismissal she commented on Callin, “He was not willing to share much of his history. I gleaned he is much older than any of the Malkuth today. When I inquired of the Pale Tower they actually have no records of him, which is quite peculiar. Perhaps you can share more…? He was very distraught over the evils in Ptolus and has the zeal of a young paladin to eradicate all the wrongs he can.”

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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“Certainly dinner would be nice. I know Dierna’s recent selection to be among the Commissar’s Twelve Commanders has kept her busy. Especially with all that’s facing Ptolus with the advancing barbarian army and all the unrest in the city.”

Kaira paused a moment after finishing her statement and narrowed her eyes in thought as she looked over Julia. “Sister Julia… You… You serve Lothian? Is that correct? It is him to whom you pray for your spells?”

Kaira looked at Dierna with a quizical look to which the other woman looked confused. Upon Julia’s confirmation that was true, Kalerecent looked between all the women with an equally confused look on his face.

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Re: 313577 Kalerecent (NPC)
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“Forgive me Miss. What are you asking, or implying?” Kal asked with concern in his voice.

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira shook her head, still looking at Julia, then she looked over at Deacon, and finally back to Julia, “Nothing. Forgive me. Nothing at all. I just sense something about Sister Julia that’s… different. Special. Yes, I believe we should have dinner very soon as well.”

Something passed across the beautiful woman’s eyes. “Pray tell, might you share with us what has kept you and your friends occupied of late Julia? We know you recovered the Sword of Truth from the dungeons below, correct? Have you been delving further…?”

(Not marking this as private since LS controls both Julia & Deacon, but the following is only happening where he would know, so don’t have anyone else react to it.)

Deacon heard in his head from the thoughtstone that Kaira was trying to contact him. Whenever they connected she spoke into his mind through the magic of the stones. Deacon, it’s my understanding you are exclusively an arcane caster, is that correct? Do you have the capacity to channel the divine?

(Look at Kaira’s photo in her description as the one rpol has isn’t really right)

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Bharash
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[Private to GM:  If that’s what you’d rather do! It’s probably best to assume that rather than a single-point occurrence, it was an ongoing thing however. A group of dragons and humanoids interbreeding over an extended period of time and, thereby creating an entirely new, self-sustaining species with just enough dragon in them for appearances, but not the power of true half-dragons (because: https://www.aonprd.com/Monster…ItemName=Half-Dragon). This of course, would have been a long, long time ago and since the most notable dragon in history was Father Claw and his followers (which story implies that dragons are a kind of mortal outsider native to another world altogether) you can square the circle nicely by having that as the origin of a race of servants bred by the dragon servants of Father Claw, who patently have improved ethically over the centuries.
And, since the Dragon House explicitly interacts and contains all manner of dragon colours, that’s not a problem either. Neat!]

Bharash has approximately the diplomatic facility of a gently concussed market trader and a similar level of knowledge regarding the fine details of noble etiquette, but he’s absolutely and morally certain of one key thing:

You don’t say ‘no’ to dragons.

So, perhaps an excuse instead? Not that he’s really very good at that, either “I, ahhh… simply don’t see how I could be of use, your Lordship. My people have been independent for a long time now. We would make poor thralls.”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Speaking to Lady Ennis, Vogh turns to Talin a short second and then back and smiles, “Well, thank you very much Lady Ennis.  We have not only tried to help protect the city from the evils of the world but we are also trying to make the city a better place to live.  Another friend of ours is working with the less fortunate children of the city and has even opened up a magical toy shop in South Market.”

Vogh gave a shrug of her shoulders when Fulun spoke of her house.  Of course, the place was glorious and wonderful but she had lived there all her life and didn’t look at it that way.  It was refreshing to hear it though and so Vogh gave her a big grin and said, “Yes, the attire tonight is most extravagant isn’t it?  As for you not being at noble parties, perhaps we can fix that in the future cause you look radiant!”

“I just used the shadow sending to find you.  It was the first time I had used them before and honestly, I may have to invest in the other developments in the city that makes life easier.  You may be on to something though about things being tied to the shadows.  I am sure there is a lot of research that has been done on just that topic.  I know Talin is interested in it as well.  Bharash our other companion would be as well.”

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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“He has missed a lot of what has transpired in the city having been gone for a long time.”
Deacon kept the words as cryptic as possible as to not give away anything that didn’t need to be given.  “It seems that he was in a sort of time suspension as well.  Not sure that was done.  But, he is back and hopefully, he will help the city overcome some of those evils he has discovered.”

When Kaira said that something about Julia seemed different, special, Deacon looked at Julia to see if he could see it.  “I am glad to know you’d like to have dinner with us.”  Deacon looked to Julia again when Kaira asked about where they have been and shrugged his shoulders while holding out a hand to basically say, ‘go ahead’.

Deacon heard the call from Kaira and answered, “Private Greetings Kaira.  Yes you are correct.  I am not capable of channeling Divine energy.  I never had a tie to the gods like that before.  Not that I am not a believer but just it never drew me to study and pray to them as Julia or others do.  How about yourself Kaira?”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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Julia took the cue from Deacon with a soft smile and looked to Kaira and Dierna.  “We have in fact been delving further and further.  We have uncovered a plot to bring about something called the Night of Dissolution.  We have found that the Chaos Cults have somewhat been brought together under an iron fist of a demonic creature who calls himself Wuntad.  He is trying to become Shigmaa.  Matter of fact, Vogh has asked a few people here specifically to ask for aid in defeating Wuntad and stopping this Night of Dissolution.  If it is something either of you would be interested in helping I can ask Vogh when she plans to speak to everyone.”

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Re: Kirstol Dallimothan
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 156):

Private to Bharash: Sounds good.]

Kirstol turned his head sideways and regarded Bharash with cool contemplation. The  man straightened and spoke, “As you wish.” He nodded to Bharash then turned and strode through the crowd.

Private to Deacon Havenhold: Deacon saw Lord Kirstol stride away from Bharash and noticed for the first time the sword on the man’s hip. It was a golden sword which resembled a dragon in flight. From it’s mouth came a golden blade. Deacon had a flash back to a vision he had received quite a bit ago. He saw this same man, wielding that sword while it glowed like fire. In his other, he drug a black chain which glowed with power behind him.]

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Re: 364192 Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 158):

Kaira narrowed her eyes in thought as Deacon mentally answered her while listening to Julia. Indeed I do not channel the divine. I study the arcane like you, but my order has a long history with the divine…”

In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 159):

At Julia’s satement Kaira’s eyes opened wide. Dierna and her met each other’s gaze and the two women’s expressions changed dramatically as they looked back to Julia, Kalerecent and Deacon. She lowered her voice and gestured for them to come closer.

“I believe we need to speak immediately Julia. Let’s not wait for dinner. We have much to discuss. We will wait until after Vogh and Talin’s Ceremony, then have Vogh tell us which room in the house would be the most secure to have a conversation.”

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Narrator GM
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At Tristan’s comment about the Shade Tower, Vogh and Talin caught a glimmer of recognition in Lord Sadar’s eyes, but it was gone in a blink then Lady Ennis smiled and clapped her hands together. “That is wonderful! Oh we will have to pay a visit there. Magical toys?! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?” She chuckled. “What is the name of the place and where is it located?”

Fulun blushed at Vogh’s compliment, which was hard to see with her dark complection. “Always happy to attend such wonderful gatherings. Thank you.”

At Vogh’s statement about the Shadow Sendings both Lord and Lady Sadar smiled at one another and Lord Sadar spoke for the first time that evening. “Did you enjoy the Shadow Sending system?” The dark man actually smiled out of one side of his mouth. “I designed the magic which makes the sendings possible. Few know that. I would prefer it stays that way.” He nodded to Vogh and Talin and his face went back to the impassive mask he had worn all night.

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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“Ah, I see, so your order has both divine and arcane users along with the ones who can do melee?  That is very cool.”  Deacon was certainly curious since he was a gather of knowledge and power.

Before Julia could answer Deacon tightened his grip on Claira’s hand and spoke, “I suppose if we are able to steal a few moments we could do that, but I am not sure interrupting the flow of Lady Devina’s schedule will be good.  I know there will have to be a discussion and preparations discussed and this will take some time.  From what Vogh has told us it shouldn’t be a problem finding a secure area to speak in private.  How about we get her and then we can speak to Lady Devina about when a good time would be to speak?”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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“The name of the toy store is called, Miraj Toys.  Actually, the one who runs it with our friend is a companion of our friend.  He should be joining us this evening.  I wonder if he is here now even.  He can certainly give you a lot more information about the place.  I guess he makes a lot of the toys.”  Vogh looked around to see if she could see him.

Vogh turned then to Lord Sadar who just claimed to be the one that designed the shadow sending.  “Your secret is safe with me Lord Sadar.  I must say I will probably be using them a lot more often.  I like the fact that the sending knows where the recipient is and delivers it to them.  As I said it is how I was able to invite Tristan and Fulun here this evening.”  Vogh tossed Fulun a wink then.

“Now if you will all excuse me I am going to keep moving and thank others for coming.  There are many an important person here this evening and I want to make sure to acknowledge their arrival.”

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Bharash
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Bharash, being Dragonborn can’t actually blanch the way a mammal could – blushing and the like are achieved by the blood flow to the skin changing and he has supple, resilient scales instead of translucent hide but he manages to make a good go at it when the Dragon Lord speaks and moves to depart, parting the crowd like a warship under sail.

A shaky breath follows, and he glances to the nearby Goliath before reaching for the strongest drink a passing servant has on their tray and murmuring “Blood and ashes, and I thought the undercity was frightening.”

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Lionkiller
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 165):

Lionkiller looked completely confused. “Bharash. I don’t understand. Why would you refuse his invitation?”

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 163):

Kaira waved her empty hand in a small movement. “No. No need to disrupt anything. We will wait until after the Knighting, then we can meet when most of the crowd has dispersed. Dierna and I will wait. This is important.”

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Re: Sadar Group
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Lady Ennis smiled and nodded. “Absolutely. His name? Jamir? Wonderful. If you find him, do tell him to introduce himself. I know you have a lot of people to speak with this evening. Let’s get together soon. I would also like to meet Julia again, as we met her only in passing the once. We will have you over to our home sometime soon.”

The Lady Sadar was so opposite her husband it was strange that the two were a couple. But weirder pairings had occured before. Nine hells, just think about Bharash’s lineage. (wink wink. haha)

Lord Sadar nodded in recognition and appreciation to Vogh before she walked away.

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Lady Davina Kath
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Vogh and Talin didn’t make it far before she saw her mother waving her over to their group again. An elderly man and woman, with a younger man and woman, were now standing with her family.

Lady Davina introduced them as soon as the bards came over. “Vogh! You simply must meet some very important friends of our House! This is Adatol and his wife Oudre, then their two children, Marcus and Thalia. Adatol was one of the first people to brave the horrors in the labyrinth beneath the city. On his very last trip he brought back something amazing which we will be unveiling later tonight, after your knighting of course! Adatol discovered a long lost heirloom, a painting by Solorence Kath almost four
hundred fifty years ago of Lothian’s
mother! Isn’t that wonderful? He has decided to retire on this high note.”

Lady Davina was grinning ear to ear with pride. Turning to Adatol she added, “Adatol, Vogh, Talin and their friends have spent a fair amount of time down in those horrible tunnels too. I’m sure you all would have some fine stories to share.”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Vogh was about to go speak with Lord Dallimothan when she caught her mother waving her and Talin over to them once more.  Vogh saw a few people standing next to Lady Devina and wondered who they were even before Lady Devina introduced them to her.

“Adatol and Oudre, nice to meet you,”  Vogh said before listening to Lady Devina tell her story.  A lost heirloom?  Of course, Vogh had heard of Solorence Kath.  Vogh probably knew more about the family history than a lot of the family since she wasn’t originally of the family she wanted to know about them all.  “A painting of Lothian’s mother?  By the Lothian!  That is a glorious find.  I can’t wait to see the painting Adatol.  I am sure we can share many a tale about what lies beneath our wonderful city.  If you would be so generous as to join us for dinner one evening I would like to share stories.”  The sincerity in Vogh’s voice was evident and it was obvious she would look forward to what the elderly man had to share.

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Bharash
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“Refuse? Stone and sky, I wouldn’t have the balls for that… I just got lucky in that he changed his mind.” Bharash answers softly, shakily… Before explaining as he holds up a hand, turning it so that his scales catch the light “Look, I’m a bit… y’know, dragon-y, right? It’s alright, you can admit it, I’m not offended or anything.” – at that point, he’s trying to smile but it’s a slightly sickly expression.

A beat, in which time he empties his glass and he gives another shudder before carrying on “Well the way my clan got that way goes back a bit, but it involves generational servitude, being in a cult and lots of inbreeding… All of which we were freed from by a fellow called Ni-Gorth – nice guy, you may have heard of him. Shame my ancestors were some of the ones who cut him to pieces although I hear he got better.”

Another moment, another empty glass and the Dragonborn breathes in and out, slowly “I’ll spit in a demons eye and I’ll go sword to sword with any man – or woman – alive, but dragons scare my piss white. It’s poetic when you say ‘you were made for this’ of a person finding their passion, but I know what I was made for… What all my kin were made for. Kneeling at the feet of him and his, with no thought in our minds but what they will us to have.”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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In reply to Deacon Havenhold (msg # 163):

“Sounds like a good idea to me.”  Julia looked at Kal and took his hand in hers and the group moved over to where Lady Devina was.  It seemed that she was busy with some other people though but then again she probably would be all evening.

Just then Vogh and Talin moved back to Lady Devina and began speaking with them once again.  She seemed quite happy at whatever news was given to her as she spoke to the elderly man.

The small group stopped in front of the group led by Lady Devina and Julia cleared her throat and spoke, “Sorry for the interruption Lady Devina and everyone.  I have need to speak with you for a moment if you will allow.”  As long as we are able to interrupt Julia continues, “Lady Devina, I am not sure what your schedule is for the evening but after the ceremony inducting Vogh and Talin into the Knights of the Chord, we have the need to speak somewhere in private about a dire matter.”  Julia looked to Kaira, and Dierna then and then back to Vogh and the others.  “Vogh I think we should gather those we are wanting to speak to and make our plea.  Kaira and Dierna agree that we shouldn’t wait till the end of the evening.”

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Re: 284320 Narrator GM
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In reply to Julia Graymantle (msg # 172):

Davina looked concerned but nodded and told Vogh to convene in a secure room. She quickly smiled wide and redirected the conversation to something light hearted.

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Re: 284320 Narrator GM
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Adatol smiled and nodded. “Certainly! The dungeons have changed. Well, the spaces haven’t really changed, but by the gods, the number of people down there now is stifling. I’m no young cur any longer, so this find was a fantastic note to end on.”

Everyone chuckled as his musical pun.

“Plus my wife has been pressuring me for years to let the next generation explore the depths. We did very well. Hopefully I can adjust to relaxation.”

His wife elbowed him in the ribs playfully while holding his arm. She wore a fanciful dress which was several years out of fashion, but looked good on a woman her age. “You had better adjust. And our children better not follow in your dangerous footsteps.” Oudre shot her son and daughter a mockingly angry look. She turned to Salina with exasperation in her voice. “I don’t know how you take it Salina. Your daughter down there. It was bad enough worrying after my husband, but the thought of my children facing death just for baubles is intolerable. They’ve both got promising options for careers. They should prevent their mother graying worse from worrying after them and focus on safe jobs.” She smiled lovingly at the duo who just shook their heads and shrugged.

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Sallina Kath (NPC)
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Vogh’s adopted mother nodded in understanding. “By Lothian and all the other gods my nerves have been shot.” She looked to Vogh with a smile.

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Vogh
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In reply to Sallina Kath (msg # 175):

“Of course, mother.  I am sorry it has been difficult, but there are many evils about this town and someone must do their best to eradicate the evil once and for all.  That is why I have my friends with me.  We all play our part well and have worked well as a team.”  Vogh caught the shift in the conversation and applauded Lady Devina for it.  The woman knew how to work a crowd.

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Narrator GM
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The group shared pleasantries, discussing the influx of delvers into the city recently, and how things have been getting more stressful for the city with the threat of the barbarians and so much else happening around the city.

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Talin
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After a few minutes Talin nudged Vogh and pointed to the side. She saw four halfings standing together, looking their way. Vogh immediately recognized Jamir and she was certain she had met the older couple who stood together, but the fourth young lady halfling she didn’t know. Talin confirmed he did not know the female with a shake of his head after Vogh asked him in a whisper.

Talin held Vogh’s arm as they moved over to the foresome. “Jamir! It’s a pleasure to see you again.” The bard greeted the halfling and shook his hand. “And forgive me miss, sir. I am certain we have met before, but I cannot place your names.”

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Re: 337909 Jamir (NPC)
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“Greetings! Vogh! Talin! Thank you for the invitation! I had never thought to see how the Nobles lived. This is truly spectacular. Our friend laments his inability to attend this evening, but he is attending to the needs our other friends.” The halfling winked at the duo, who both easily knew he was discussing Belie and the gnomes. Until Deacon was able to create the teleportaton circles, Belie had to manually carry supplies to the gnomes in their hidden mine and had to carry the gold they mined back to the surface. Hopefully they would start seeing some income from that joint venture soon.

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Doleen Kaffer (NPC)
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The older woman halfling huffed with false annoyance at Jamir’s vaguery. “Well met again Miss Vogh. Mister Talin. My name is Doleen Kaffer, and this is my husband Nartin. We indeed met at the Church’s party to celebrate your recovery of their sword. Jamir here has a penchant for obscurity, and for an author who seeks to weave fascinating tales of remarkable individuals, that is beyond frustrating!” She chuckled and shook her finger at Jamir who merely smiled and shrugged in response.

“And this young lady with us is Cardalian. She refuses to let me write a book from her stories, but she has proven an incredible knowledge resource about the fascinating process of delving in this city.”

Doleen was most famous for her treatise on Abesh Runihan, whom Runihan – or Delver’s – Square was named after. Doleen had also written books on several other people of note from the past few decades, documenting the exploits of delvers, knights, soldiers and even a few City Watch personnel.

“As I told you both once before, I am certain a book about your lives would fly off the shelves! The orphan turned noble turned city hero! What a tale to tell!” The elder halfling lady was gesturing with her arms with the pinache of, well, of a bard.

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Lionkiller
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 171):

Lionkiller shooks his big head with a look of shock and confusion on his face. “I… My. I don’t know what to say to any of that my good sir.” He downed the rest of his drink and shook his head once more. Then he leaned in closer to Bharash and lowered his voice. “So… Are you saying the dragon house enslaves people like you?”

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Bharash
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“Buggered if I know. All this nonsense was what… A thousand years ago? More? There’s not been a dragon-dragon in my lineage in centuries, not as far as I know… But we still sharpen lances, build in stone and watch the sky, if you know what I mean.” Bharash answers, sounding spooked as he secures himself a second drink and nurses it uneasily, allowing in the scant defence of the Dragon House “I’ve never heard a bad word spoken about them I couldn’t account as being based on jealousy or rivalry mind you… but when you grow up hearing the stories, knowing how your kin came to be, what they did under orders, never even knowing to question them… Well….”

He empties the second glass, nervously as he admits “I don’t know. Not really. For all I know, I was just scared out of a years growth by my great-great-great-going-on-some-grandfather… Which, in my defence would be entirely justified if it were true. I’ve always avoided their estate while I’ve been in the city though. I didn’t even know they knew I existed.”

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Re: Lionkiller
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The goliath nodded, “I don’t know the history you speak of, so I cannot comment. But it seems to be they know who you are now. You think his invitation had the intention of wanting you to become some sort of servant to them? Or a hireling or the like?”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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“Jamir! Nice to see you as well.  It is too bad Belie wasn’t able to make it.  We know he has much to do so he gets a pass but he can’t stay away from us forever!”  Vogh said with a laugh and a pat on Jamir’s shoulder.

Turning to Doleen, which Vogh had remembered, she nodded as she introduced herself and her husband once more.  “Well met to the both of you as well.”  Vogh knew much of the writings of Doleen.  Vogh had read a few of her works.  She was very good with the ink and pen.

“Pleasure to meet you as well Cardalian.  So you’re a deliver as well?  Perhaps we can share some stories sometime?”  Vogh said as she once more turned to Doleen.  “Perhaps one day we can sit and speak about a book of my life but for now, there is much to do that would fill the pages even more!  Isn’t that right everyone?”  Vogh looked about to her friends and gave a light smile.

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Re: 337909 Jamir (NPC)
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Jamir tensed a bit as Vogh used their friend’s name, but he shrugged it off as unnecessary paranoia considering their current company. “Indeed. I agree wholeheartedly.” The halfling tood a big drink from his small wine glass.

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Re: 364323 Cardalian (NPC)
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The attractive halfling smiled back at Vogh but pursed her lips and shrugged at the question. “I wouldn’t consider myself a Delver. Perhaps you would call me Delver-adjacent.” She shrugged again and chuckled. “I’m not as interested in what’s beneath Ptolus as what’s above.” Cardalian answered cryptically. “But my skillset and abilities allow me to get along well with those occupied with dungeons and tunnels. I would love to share some stories with you. Doleen has written about many fascinating people, and I’m certain she would paint you all in a fantastic light.”

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Doleen Kaffer (NPC)
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Doleen clapped her hand against her fist, spilling a little of her drink from the fluted glass she held. “Fabulous! Oh just fabulous! Cardalian is absolutely right, I would write you as the consumate hero of the city. Ask anyone else I’ve worked with! None were dissatisfied with their portrayal. I will keep on you about this Miss Vogh. Especially in your line of work. Oh heavens, you never know when some terrible tragidy could befall. The sooner we capture your story to date, the better. Do you remember the story of Mironwe Gadilinion the albine? No? That’s because he didn’t let me write anything about his exploits and he fell before I could document anything, and now no one will ever speak his name again.” The elder halfling woman was a remarkable sales woman.

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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“No idea. At all. I wouldn’t even want to guess at what he wanted… But… Every story I know of one of my ancestors interacting with a dragon begins and ends with us kneeling before them. Kinship and service to them is bred into our blood and bone.” – the new glass is also emptied with a rueful snort before he adds “And yes, I am aware that that makes us sound like unusually tall kobolds, but there’s some truth to it… it’s a bit unfair to kobolds too, they’re damn’ hard workers.”

Relaxing, just slightly as the newest wave of alcohol hits him and sooths his nerves, Bharash looks over the crowd again and gives a little shudder “Give me an hour or two to think about it, and maybe I won’t be quite so nervous but from my perspective I just got ambushed by the monster under the bed.”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Cardalian seemed much like herself.  Vogh didn’t necessarily want to be going underground to fight evil but that is where it had taken her and her friends at this time.  ”We seem of like hearts Cardalian.  I will look forward to speaking with you about our deeds.  Do you stay in South Market?”

Vogh turned to Doleen then as she spoke and Vogh had indeed not heard of Mironwe Gadilinion so she asked, “Who was Mironwe?”  As Doleen spoke Vogh crept into her conscious, Don’t be alarmed Doleen, this is Vogh.  I would like to invite you to our house again soon so that we can work on things I and our group has done.  It must be kept under extreme care though for there are things that if it were to get out could be dangerous to all people in Ptolus.  Our meetings would need to be done in secret and the writings would need to remain here on the estate.  If that is something that would interest you, I would be willing.

When Doleen was finished explaining who Mironwe was Vogh looked to Julia and Kal, then to Deacon and Claira.  “Lady Davina told me a moment ago that the ceremony should be starting any moment.  Talin and I would like to have you close to us if you will indulge us.”

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Doleen Kaffer (NPC)
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In reply to Vogh (msg # 189):

Doleen smiled mischeviously and shrugged her small shoulders, “Who is Mironwe? No one now. That was my point. No will ever know about his exploits. I don’t want that to happen to you Miss Vogh. Or you Master Talin.” The clever woman winked at them both.

Her expression changed to extreme shock as Vogh spoke into her mind. She covered it with a cough and shook her head with a quietly spoken apology. Doleen pursed her lips and nodded as she held Vogh’s gaze.

[Private to GM: Is it possible for someone to block your telepathy? Do they get a will save or anything like that?]

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Jamir (NPC)
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Jamir chuckled over his glass. “Quite a strong sales pitch there miss.” He also winked at her to show he meant no offense.

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Lionkiller
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 188):

Lionkiller shrugged and chuckled. “As you say Master Bharash. I don’t know the first thing about any of what you’ve said. Thankfully I’ve never encountered a dragon in my lifetime, and despite the novelty of such an experience, I daresay I would like to avoid it. Present company excluded of course!” He raised a refilled cup in toast.

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Bharash
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“Well, that’s two of us. We don’t get many of them in the hills near where I grew up, probably because my kin go into a panic at the thought and start loading crossbows.” Bharash answers, clinking his goblet against that of the burly Goliath, then taking a slow deep breath and visibly centring himself and snorting, “Bloody typical though. I didn’t know about the party until the last minute and no-one thought to run the guest list past me. I swear… I definitely like my adventuring companions but there are times I wonder how they feel about me.”

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Lionkiller
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 193):

Lionkiller scratched his hairless chin, “You know. I could never pay you as much as delving earns you. But you just said you’ll be a land lord here soon. Perhaps you would be interested in working with me? You could help me with rent collection. It’s unlikely someone would refuse to pay you! Ha! Plus, there is the rare occasion opportunities arise which are more lucrative…”

[Private to GM: Lionkiller is a Knight of Shadow in the Knights of Enlightenment group, wanting to overthrow the Commissar. https://ptol.us/organizations/knights-of-shadow/]

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Vogh
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In reply to Doleen Kaffer (msg # 190):

“Well, I will have to think it over with Talin and the others.  They are part of the story as well so they should have a say.”  Vogh turned to Jamir and said, “You are quite right, she is pretty persuasive.”

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Hallusiun Everfar (NPC)
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Doleen readily agreed and told her she would contact Vogh at the Minstrel to set up a time for them to meet.

The music silenced throughout the Hall and Hallusiun Everfar stood atop the raised platform with the Music Room behind him. Conversation ceased and everyone turned to regard the attractive elf who clapped and raised his hands. In a booming voice, possibly enhanced by magic, the addressed the congregated individuals.

“Greetings and Welcome to this auspicious occasion! The Knights of the Chord have long been connected with Noble House Kath. Tonight that association is strengthened by inducting Vogh Kath into our organization! We also welcome Talin Ursalato to our number! Would you both join me on the stage?”

The crowd moved aside to allow the bards to pass up to the front.

“The Knights of the Chord are dedicated to upholding freedom and protecting the innocent. Every member of our number has mastered the art of drawing power from music, song and dance. Some call us bards, but we are not mere minstrels. Every person in our order is a warrior to their core! Think us not mere thespians! The Knights of the Chord are a powerful martial and magical force for the cause of good!”

A cheer rose up from the crowd, especially those Knights present, and even the guards on the periphery of the group. Hallusiun’s speach was powerful, and several eyes were no longer dry. His voice rose to a near shout as he finished his last statement. Waiting a few moments for the clapping and cheers to quiet, the elf continued.

“Vogh Kath and Talin Ursalato exemplify that mission. They have proven themselves stalwart defenders of the right and, with their friends, are already hailed heroes throughout the city. Each wears a bracelet presented to them by Lord Zavere and Lady Rill proclaiming them as Friends to Castle Shard. Archbishop Adlam Theobold of the Lothian Church honored them for their part in recovering the fabled Sword of Truth. The Knights of the Chord are honored to add their swords and songs to our assembly!”

Again hoots, cheers and clapping echoed through the huge hall. When the noise quieted, Hallusiun stepped back and drew his magnificent sword. “Take a knee.” He instructed them where only those closest could hear.

Once the duo were kneeling before the elf he instructed them to repeat after him and led the duo through recitation of the Knights of the Chord oath binding them to the organization until death. When they had finished he sheathed his sword once more and raised both arms. Loudly he proclaimed to all present, “Rise! Knights!”

All assembled erupted into a cacophonous celebration. Glasses were raised in salute and honor. The Knights standing guard around the room snapped to attention and presented their hands in salute.

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Vogh
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When the music stopped and Hallusian stepped up on the platform and began speaking Vogh knew it was time.  Suddenly her pulse quickened as he spoke of their accomplishments.  It was time to join the knights.

Vogh then heard Hallusian tell them to kneel.  As he said the oath Vogh said the words in sync with Talin.  “I will uphold the chivalrous tradition and godly ideals of the Knights of the Chord.  I will do my best to provide a voice to the oppressed, Strength to the weak and afflicted, and largesse to the poor.  I will bear true witness to my brothers and sisters and will serve them and the Knights of the Chord to the best of my abilities till death takes us!”

Vogh looked to her friends that had pressed forward and were standing before them as Hallusian told them to rise as Knights.  It was a proud feeling and Vogh gave a huge smile to the crowd.  She looked to Talin who wore a smile but also she could see that his eyes were watery as if he may cry.  Vogh tossed her hands up and called aloud to everyone.  “Thank you all for coming and for giving such a rousing ovation.  Now let’s party!!!!”

Vogh then turned back to Hallusian and said, “That was excellent.  We both will uphold all we said and more.”

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Re: 284320 Narrator GM
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Hallusiun shook both of their hands and declined his head in the smallest of bows. He was technically their superior at this point. While the Knights of the Chord had a far looser higherarchy than the more formal organizations of Ptolus, they had now sworn an oath to follow commands for the first time in their lives.

As they descended the few stairs that brought them down to the main floor several people reached out to clap them on the shoulders, shake their hands and join the sea of people congratulating them. A familiar face stepped out of the crowd holding a gold inlaid wooden case with one hand on top and one on bottom. Nicalon Regelis, the young man who was also a Knight of the Chord smiled up at them with a big grin.

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Re: 338492 Nicalon Regelis (NPC)
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“Well met again! Vogh! Talin!” The young man looked overjoyed to see the duo again. “It’s been far too long! It is an honor to invite you into the fold of the Knights, and I am truly honored to name you as fellow Knights.” His enthusiasm was no less than the day they first met him in the Minstrel. His long hair was pulled back in a tight braid and his goatee well trimmed and oiled. His leather vest was embroidered with the Chord’s golden harp on a field of red. Opening the box he revealed a pair of cloak brooches made of gold. They were designed to mimic the Knight’s symbol as well, with one harp chord string acting as the pin, and a red backing.

“It is my honor to present these to you. They posess no magic of their own, but they will hold your cloaks well and proclaim your affiliation with the Knights wherever you go.”

Nicalon bowed low to them as he held the opened box up bearing both brooches.

Chapter 4: The Banewarrens msg #838 was when you first met him.

[Private to GM: Vladaam in disguise give gift, from all the knights she says

Remember to have V&T see some of the goblins on time while traveling.

Remember to have one of Julia’s spells be affected in a fight. Elder God and Parnaith touch.

Lady Fransin Nagel, House Nagel, Kurtlan Nagel was placed in the Prison for murder. Fransin Nagel is close friends with Doraedian Mythlord, master of Iridithil’s Home.

Bright father’s Day, 2 weeks away.]

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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After shaking Hallusiun’s hand who was now her superior, Vogh and Talin meant to join their friends but at the bottom of the small stairs, they met a familiar face, Nicalon.  They had met the young man briefly before and so Vogh smiled wide at seeing him.  When he presented them with the brooches, Vogh and Talin both smiled and reached out for them.  Naturally, Vogh didn’t have a cloak on at the time so she just put the brooch in the small handbag she was carrying.  “Thank you so much Nicalon!  I will wear it once I am appropriately attired.”

Talin likewise gave thanks and then said, “We are most humbled and hope that we can prove ourselves worthy of wearing the crest.  Now if you will excuse us we want to talk to our friends.”

Vogh and Talin both moved over to their friends and Julia came over and gave Vogh and Talin a hug.  Kal and Deacon gave them a slight bow as well.  Vogh looked around for Bharash but the crowd was thick about them all and even with his height she couldn’t see him right away.  “We must gather now that the induction is over.  Lady Davina said we could gather in the Den to speak to everyone.  Can you help me gather them all up?  We have an hour or so to speak with them.”

Everyone broke then and moved to gather those up that Vogh had told them. Vogh and Talin spoke to Hallusiun, Nivae, Mand, Helmut.  Julia and Kal moved to get Thorimm and Josiah, Dierna and Kaira.  Deacon and Claira moved to get Bharash, Tristan and Fulun.  Once everyone was gathered in the Den Vogh would begin to tell them all of what they had uncovered.  Vogh with the help of her friends would recount from the beginning, from the apartment to the room with the mirrors and then the women who gave them further information about the White House.  No stone was left unturned in the conversation which included the foes they fought and the objects like the lightning towers and the machine that they hadn’t seen yet.

It was a lot to take in and Vogh would give any further information to anyone who had a question during the recalling.  “So, as you can tell we not only have the barbarians coming our way but also a threat right in our own city.  This is why we have decided to gather assistance from those who we know are wanting a safe and secure city.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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“Well, Delving’s high-risk, high-reward I won’t lie… Not entirely sure about money collection, but if the tourney you’re hoping to put together goes well, we’ll probably end up seeing more of each other and I could…” Bharash begins to answer, only to break off abruptly at the raised voice from the pretty elf-boy up front, who gets a nod of general approval at his speech-i-fying and then another when he offers the two their oaths, until at last the big Dragonborn’s able to join the general hullaballoo by clapping his hands together with resounding impact, clapping loudly enough to bruise as a broad, proud grin spreads toothily across his features, followed a few moments later by a cheerful “Alright, alright… They’re inconsiderate assholes, all of them but they’re still my friends and it’s good to see them get the recognition they deserve.”

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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Helmut raised his finger into the air as the first to speak following Vogh’s retelling.

“I prophesied this! You just confirmed my visions are correct! This final ritual, you said yourself Vogh, runes must be destroyed. That MUST be the runebearer children! If all these children were gone, then this ritual would fail, even if we can’t do anything about the other items. These children, my own unborn child included, must be dealt with immediately. Before the horrible chaos gods return and end everything!”

His voice raised to a crescendo as he stood, looking to Vogh and then the other powerful people around them. Some looked to agree with him, others not.

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Vogh
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Vogh wasn’t the least bit surprised to see Helmut stand and proclaim his visions were true.  There was a problem with the math though, if it was correct there were at least 5 that had the runes.  Who knows how many more there could be as well.  “High Priest Helmut, thank you for bringing this up.  I must admit that I was skeptical when you told me about the runebearers bringing destruction upon Ptolus but the more we uncovered while following different leads the more I am beginning to believe you.”

The look on Talin’s face was something she had never seen before.  Vogh turned to her other companions and found shock on Julia’s and Deacon’s faces. Vogh looked to Bharash as well as Kal to see their expressions even as the next person spoke.

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Re: 364192 Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira was the next to speak. They could see her expression put in her in the sceptical camp. “High Priest Itlestein, your visions have been proven true many times in the past, and I don’t doubt their veracity this time. However, the runebearers are seeing a resurgence. They had all disappeared after the legends of times long past, with no new children being born with them for centuries. Now, there are new children being born with the mystical runes. Your own child included, if I understand correctly? Having them leave the city would not be enough, as more could be born this very day.”

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Re: 286214 Talin
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Talin had to pipe in then, “I would like to think that if we took the head off the snake then we wouldn’t have to worry about him trying to bring about this Night of Dissolution.  That is what we have been trying to figure out ourselves as opposed to finding the runebearers.  Kaira, I am not sure if that is what you were getting at but it would certainly stop the possibility.  And if any of you are thinking someone else could step in and just continue what he was doing I can say that it would take a long time because the one doing so would have to have died multiple times and been brought back.  This is what has happened with Wuntad.”  It was clear that Talin wasn’t in the line of hiding any runebearers.

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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Helmut looked at Kaira and the others in the room, judging support and opposition. Following Talin’s comment about the head of the snake Helmut was shaking his head.

“That’s a fair assessment, but you want to decapitate the unknown. A phantom. The rune children are known and easily found. Vogh already said you all don’t know where this leader is. The chaos crazies you captured said they don’t even know. How can we kill what we cannot find? The variable we know is the children. We can immediately act on this knowledge, then you can try to find Wuntad.”

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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Josiah spoke up, his voice was calm and steady. They didn’t know his age, but he had hinted before at being older than his appearance suggested.

“Talin. I would like to see this abomination dead as well. But there are already other Shigmaa. The Keepers of the Veil have personally fought against one who still lives. As much as they live. Anyway. There have been more prior, and there likely will be another after. Saying that, I am concerned with the High Priest’s word choices. What do you have in mind for “dealing with” the children sir?”

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Re: 345232 Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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The high priest’s eyes hardened at the question but he shrugged. “Whatever is necessary. Vogh and Talin suggested they be taken away from the city so they cannot be used in the ritual. I am amenable to this plan and would be willing to send my own unborn child to the end of the Empire to protect this city and our people.”

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Re: 313577 Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kalerecent cleared his throat and uncomfortably spoke up. It was clear he was not yet used to voicing his oppinions around thsoe above his station. Before his promotion, Kal had been a mere soldier. An exception soldier of the church, but still one who had followed orders. He had never been asked his oppinion on such matters of importance before, and now he stood in the room with two High Priests, and leaders of three of the most powerful groups in the city. Still, he wanted to offer help.

“Pardon. If our first goal is to protect the children, and get them away from the city, my men and I can handle this immediately. This very night. The Church has tasked me as your liason, and as such, I could easily muster as few as two dozen men tonight, with another two dozen tomrrow before sun down. We could find the children, explain the situation, and rush them from the city to safety.”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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As Helmut spoke about dealing with the runebearers and then Josiah spoke her thoughts, Julia was about to burst.  Helmut though came back a little less harshly explaining himself.  Still, this wasn’t enough for Julia.  Then Kal spoke up… she looked up at him and gave a light smile.  “Kalerecent, while I don’t doubt you would lay your life down in defense of the children.  I think a whole troupe of soldiers would raise enough of an alarm to have the cultists and their demons nipping at your heels.  That is too much to ask.  I think that if this was going to work it would have to be under the dark of night and with as little fanfare as possible.”

Julia was much calmer now that she spoke but she had more to say.  “We are still uncovering more and more.  The fact that we fought against a Glabrezu and a Balor can only mean we are getting closer to Wuntad.  We thought by gathering you all here that we could get assistance and perhaps attack from three sides.  Get the children to a safe place, move on the White House, and attack from the tunnels below towards the White house.  There needs to probably be more information gathering as well to figure out the other unknowns.”

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon was not able to see everyone as the talking began.  He tried to position himself so he could see the speaker but when they started speaking over one another it made it near impossible.  He did try and stay where he could see Helmut and Vogh though, even motioning to Vogh showing he couldn’t ‘hear’ the whole of the conversation.

When there was finally a small lull Deacon spoke up.  “I could hide the children in the Inverted Pyramid.  I think that it might be one of the safest places to do so.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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Groaning quietly, Bharash glances sidelong at Lionkiller and murmurs “Sorry about this.” before stepping forwards, since it seems as though someone has to be paying attention to the practicalities.

He strides forwards, the flapping hem of his wizard dress billowing magnificently and coughs in a fashion that echoes from one end of the hall to the other, drawing a moment of attention so that he can call out “I’m sorry, but how exactly do any of you mean to make this work?”, which is a challenge he clarifies a moment later “I’m no mage, but presumably you only need some of these marked children to bring about this rite and without knowing how many there are, or where most of them are, you can’t do more than ship them out wholesale as and when you find them and hope for the best.”

Which sets up the framing of the problem, before he gets into the meat of it “There are what? Seventy, eighty thousand people in the city? And who knows how many more below? And how many of them are children?” the aggressively pragmatic Dragonborn can’t help but ask, skipping questions of ethics and theology to go straight for the meat and bones of the matter as he sees it, adding “Not to mention that last I heard, these cute marks can happen to anyone… Anyone here ever tried shaving a ratling, see if they’re getting them too? What’s the cut-off point? And given the stakes, can we really afford to get cocky about it and invest all our efforts on a plan we can’t be sure will actually work instead of finding the bastards and giving them a damn’ good kick in the fork?”

Well, okay so he might have lost the high ground there at the end.

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Re: 345232 Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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Helmut looked at Bharash with pinched lips of frustration. “Finding the children should be a rather simple affair. A few powerful divination spells should narrow down their locations very rapidly. The Balacazar grandson will be the most difficult, as they are likely warded against such detection. But it should not be hard to get word to them that he might be in danger and to get him out of the city. Vogh. You and Talin once saved the boys life… Didn’t you?”

This drew shock from a few faces in the room.

The priest rubbed a hand in his beard before continuing. “Furthermore, there is no reason we cannot do both.” He looked around the room and gestured at all assembled. “There are a lot of us present. Some could focus on the children, some could focus on finding this creature and destroying him.”

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Re: 364193 Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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Dierna shook her head as she spoke up. “Yes, there are several of us here, and yes, we represent our organizations, but speaking strictly for myself, my Knights are spread very thin at the moment. The Commissar has us all at full readiness due to the approaching barbarians. I don’t have the manpower at present for an offensive.”

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira nodded in agreement, “We are few as well, but we are willing to help. It seems we are facing a two front war, possibly more. The known rune children should be found and spirited to safety, as the High Priest is most passionate about this, and since his own child is at stake, it seems right that he head this effort. Vogh, you and your friends are closest to the situation with these chaos cultists and tracking down the creature known as Wuntad. You attacked them once but were forced to retreat. You expressed the intention of attacking again which seems prudent. Then there are the other elements you discussed, denizens of the Dark Reliquary being involved. Thankfully the Veil have already been warned. It would be devestating if all the evil in the Necropolis spilled out to attack while we’re also trying to defend our walls against another threat. Ptolus would likely fall even without the chaos gods awakening.”

The beautiful elf pursed her lips in frustration and looked to the ceiling in thought. “Kalerecent, you said you have men to commit to aid in attacking the cult dungeon again, yes? Ok. Good.” She looked back at the Calling’s members. “Two dozen troops is better than I can field at the moment, by far. But I will see who among us would be able to aid you.”

Private to Deacon Havenhold: Deacon was notified in his mind that Kaira was contacting him through his thoughtstone. Deacon. Take care what is said here. Can you communicate with Vogh? There is more I wish to share, but I would prefer to do so only in the company of your companions and Dierna.]

People Present:

Hallusiun
Nivea
Mand
Helmut
Julia
Kal
Thorimm
Josiah
Dierna
Kaira
Deacon
Claira
Bharash
Tristan
Fulun
Vogh
Talin

[Private to GM: Kierna of the Knights of the Pale know something of what’s going on. But she’s one of the Commanders and has to be ready for the coming invasion. She can comment about the fear.

Have Vogh sense the halfling]

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Tristan (NPC)
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Tristan spoke for the first time. He simply raised his shadowy hand, then addressed the group in a voice quiet enough some had to strain to hear. “I have extensive knowledge of demons and devils. Vogh requested I assist them and I am ready to go immediately to destroy these creatures, or the ones they cavort with. You have my staff and blade Miss Vogh.”

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Thorrim Kolvir (NPC)
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Thorrim raised his hand in kind. “You have my sword and shield.”

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Josiah Crand (NPC)
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“You have my axe and bow.”

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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Helmut looked frustrated, but he maintained his composure. “This is all well and good. My church is not large, and they are not warriors. Dierna, could you request the Commissar lend me two dozen Watchmen to aid me in spiriting the children to safety?”

Seeing the doubting look on her face he furrowed his brow in anger and clenched his teeth. “Of course not. He won’t let precious resources leave the city with an approaching hoard. Even if the interior threat could destroy the whole world! Can’t you wizards just go blast a few hundred of the brutes and send them scampering?!” He raised his voice toward Deacon and Claira.

“I gave Vogh and Talin the names of these children days ago. Nothing has been done. So am I to assume this will fall to me alone and no aid will be rendered?”

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Mand Scheben
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Mand stepped forward a bit and patted the air to address Helmut. “High Priest. I will aid you. Our churches can work together on this. Who better to cast the divination spells than us?” Mand, always the diplomat gave his winning smile to Helmut and then the others congregated. “We are not without warriors, but they should not be necessary. Furthermore, we should be able to devise plans to get the children out of the city and headed far to the south, away from the approaching army and away from the city.”

This seemed to mollify Helmut.

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Hallusiun Everfar (NPC)
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Hallusiun and Nivea had remained silent, watching the proceedings, but he finally spoke up in his mellifluous elven timbre. “I had no idea how much you all had been doing which wasn’t public knowledge Vogh. Talin. We too have been asked by the Commissar and Holy Emperor to ready our number in case of the worst happening with these barbarians. The Knights of the Chord are not plentiful, but we stand for good. What do you need Vogh? Do you need more men to attack this dungeon of the cultists? What is your plan?”

Private to Vogh: As Vogh stood there something tickled the edge of her mind. Something wasn’t right. Finally she slipped into her thoughts and allowed her senses to radiate out from her body. She felt the minds of each person they had invited, but then she brushed against the mind of a halfling woman which she could not see! The halfling had to be invisible and standing in the corner of the room.]

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Vogh
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Vogh had been listening to everyone talk when she suddenly felt something.  As she reached out with her mind and touched those present she felt another presence.  A halfling woman in the corner near Mand. Trying not to alert the halfling woman, Vogh reached out to Mand and  Deacon.  “This is Vogh, I will explain later but I sense that there is a halfling woman standing in the corner by you Mand.  Deacon can you dispel the woman’s invisibility?  Mand be ready to grab her!”

Deacon heard Vogh’s words clearly and since he didn’t need to cast his spell aloud he made the appropriate gesture and targeted the invisibility on the halfling woman.
19:07, Today: Deacon Havenhold rolled 24 using 1d20+14.  dispel magic.

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Re: 364323 Cardalian (NPC)
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Mand blanched at the quick connection but as a halfling female appeared behind him the cleric spun and began the words to a spell.

The halfling female they met earlier in the evening, Cardalian popped into existence and shrieked in fear.

“Wait! Don’t kill me! Forgive me! I saw all of you sneaking off from the party and my curiosity got the better of me!”

Mand’s spell washed over the halfling and she immediately froze in place.

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Re: Mand Scheben
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Mand spoke plainly, “She is held.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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Diplomacy isn’t the strongest of Bharash’s suites, which is why he doesn’t comment upon the relative scarcity of ‘powerful divination spells’, nor on the fact that the other side probably has access to them to, or that there are enough folk living under the city that these cute-marked kids could as easily be being born there as on the surface.

He even manages to keep his mouth shut through the bull-headed decision to press on with just what they were already doing, because if he didn’t sway them once he sure as hell isn’t going to sway them twice and so he growls softly to himself, folds his arms and settles in to listen to the plots unfolding while he radiates low-grade disapproval into the immediate vicinity.

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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When it was revealed that Cardalian was the woman in hiding, Vogh eased just a little bit but not fully.  ”You shouldn’t have done that.  You know now what is going on and are now a part of it.  So, I think what would be best, given your presumed talents and what you have told me prior to this, is that you work with Mand and High Priest Helmut to recover the children.”  Vogh looked at both Mand and Helmut then and said, ”you can release her Mand while I don’t know much about her it seems to me she may be useful.  She knows a lot about the city and can help I am sure, if you let her that is.  She already knows too much about all of this so we may as well use it.

Before continuing she let the others comment on that.

Vogh then turned to Bharash and his comments, ”You are right, there are a lot of people in the city and yes the enemy most likely has divination abilities.  Yes, we don’t know how many children have the marks but we do know the names and can at least try and get them away.  I liked Deacon’s thoughts on having him bring them to the Inverted Pyramid, but Deacon are you sure that you will be allow.  You are a new member and it may have to come from higher.  I still think taking them out of the city is a horrible idea for certainly we couldn’t put a big enough force together, what with the barbarians at the gate, to be able to protect them if demons and such go after them.  I am certain now that they must stay within the walls.  Any number of Houses would be suitable given the defenses each of them hold.  I could even say that the Balacazar’s might even be the best choice.  Before anyone says to the contrary, I’d think that they would defend them with the best of their ability.  I could speak with them given we saved their grandson.”  Vogh looked to the others who had gasped and gave a nod, he is a child and children aren’t their parents.  He was going to be killed and we saved him.”

Then addressing the people who said they would aid her and the Calling, she said with a light smile, ”Thank you all for agreeing to aid us underground Tristan, Thorimm, and Josiah.  Also, Thank you Helmut and Mand, I am certain between your two organizations and with the help of Cardalian you will find the children and get them to safety.  As I said, I don’t think them leaving the city is a good option, there is too much risk involved with that.”

Vogh turned to Hallusiun and Nivae then, leaders of their organization, who even now is asking how they can help her and the city overcome this evil.  That said a lot about the organization they just joined and Vogh was very proud.  She bowed to Hallusiun and said, ”Hallusiun and Nivae, one thing we have talked about is having a frontal assault on the White House.  Though we don’t have enough evidence to do such a thing.  I think the best thing would be to set observers to see if anything unusual happens once we assault the lower tunnels.”

Vogh turned to Dierna then and said, ”I understand the Commissar has your troops stretched thin and on the alert but that threat is a bit far off yet.  This threat is right here in our face and could happen any day.  Perhaps you can work with Kaira and if she needs any help dealing with anything that may come from the Dark Reliquary or the Necropolis?”  Vogh wasn’t about to try and tell leaders of organizations how to conduct business but subtle suggestions went a long way.

Vogh lastly looked to Kalerecent and said, ”If you and your men can meet us before the sun rises we can begin our assault.  Deacon will be providing reconnaissance as we move to ensure we don’t walk into any ambushes.  I would like to only have your men engage if and when we fight any ratmen or troops they might have below.  We don’t need any deaths that could have been prevented.”

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Re: 364323 Cardalian (NPC)
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Cardalina nodded in understanding and apologized several times. “I would be happy to help. Anything to help these children be safe. A worthy cause. Thank you and again, forgive my impertinence. I had no idea the magnitude of what you were discussing. My curiosity overwhelmed me upon seeing so many important people gathered. Thank you. Thank you.” She bowed each time she apologized and thanked them.

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Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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Everyone indeed blanched or gasped at Vogh’s comment about the Balacazars. Helmut was visibly frustrated with Vogh’s comments. “Vogh. With all due respect. The children simply cannot be allowed to remain inside the walls of the city. These people have bested you in the last battle and have powerful forces. If the children are even near the city they pose a grave threat. How many of the Noble houses could repel a Balor demon teleporting onto their grounds and smashing down the doors?”

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Re: 364369 Hallusiun Everfar (NPC)
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Hallusiun shook his head at the notion of attacking the White House. “Vogh. The White House, while it’s business is grotesque to me personally, is a completely legal entity. We don’t have nearly enough proof to go knocking down their front door.”

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Re: 364193 Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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Dierna and Kaira nodded. “Of course we can redirect our people if a threat arrises in the Dark Reliquary. Prayerfully that will not happen, but it is a concern. That said, it’s always been a concern. However, if these evil gods are indeed stirring, I fear so too will their followers and kin in such an evil place.”

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Kalerecent (NPC)
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Kalerecent nodded in understanding and agreement. “Absolutely Vogh. My men and I are ready.”

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Deacon Havenhold
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Since Vogh had spoken to Deacon through her connection with him, Deacon was able to speak back with her.  He could never initiate it but could always answer and so he took the chance to say, “Vogh, Kaira said she has more to add to the conversation but wanted to keep it quiet between us.  Can you contact both of us so we can have a private conversation?”

Deacon then added, “Yes, I will be using a spell to scout out ahead of us to make sure we aren’t surprised.”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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In reply to Hallusiun Everfar (msg # 229):

“Master Everfar, if I may?  You are quite right, the White House can’t be attacked which is why Vogh had asked if perhaps it could be spied upon to make sure that if anything out of the ordinary went in or out of the place.  We will be making our assault from below and the enemy may try to escape out that way.”  Julia said to Hallusiun.

Julia grasped Kal’s hand much tighter before continuing on with a comment to Helmut.  She still knew well enough to address the man in the appropriate title even though she didn’t agree with him.  “High Priest Itelstein, from what Vogh has told me about the estate here, no one can scry either.  So, that means that the enemy won’t know the children are here.  There are also as you well know, ways to hide the children via spellcasting.  Simply taking them from the city is too risky and will be seen, unless of course they are teleported away.  If that is your idea then as long as they are protected against divination before the teleport then I can see it a viable option.”  Julia turned to Vogh for her confirmation.

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Re: 286214 Talin
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Talin had been quiet until now for too many voices in the conversation could cause confusion.  “Dierna, thank you and any assistance will be appreciated I am sure.  We all know what is happening with the Commissar and the orders that have come down to protect the city from the barbarian horde that is advancing.”

Talin turned to Kal and gave him a wide smile, “Thank you as well as the rest of you that have thrown in your assistance.  We will need it I am afraid.”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Vogh contacted Kaira and Deacon while the conversation continued, “Kaira, Deacon said that you have some information that you didn’t want to share with the rest, is that right?”

Vogh listened to the others while Kaira spoke and then replied to Julia, “Yes, I suppose if the children can be masked from divination taking them out of the city via a teleport would be far better than keeping them inside.  IF that is something you were thinking High Priest Helmut then let it be.”

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Re: 364192 Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira’s face showed the shock of Vogh contacting her then spoke out loud, “What…” She quickly pinched her nose to cover the expression then wiped her eyes to further disguise her reaction. I don’t understand. I didn’t receive a notification through the thoughtstone. How are you speaking with me now?

When Vogh explained her telepathic ability Kaira nodded, caught herself again and rolled her neck to hide her movement. Interesting. It would be best if we could clear the room and speak together with your companions and Dierna as well. If this works like the Thoughtstones, then only you can hear me, correct?

Vogh confirmed and the elf avoided any outward gestures this time. Then I would rather not have to play a game of relay with all I need to say. Furthermore, I know nothing about this Cardalian and am quite nervous we are continuing to plan in front of someone we know nothing about. Let Helmut and Mand take her and discuss their plans to protect the children. The fewer people here the better.

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Re: 345232 Helmut Itlestein High Priest (NPC)
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“There are always methods to circumvent wards and discover information. The gods will often answer questions no mortal could answer. No amount of magical protection can counter everything in this world I’m afraid. And if the children are discovered, do you want to risk this house? Or any other Noble house? What if a horde of demons teleported to just outside this estate and started tearing it down? Could you stop it? Could your guards? Would you risk any other House sharing the same fate? At least if they were far, far removed from the city it would make their discovery, and recovery, far more difficult. There is only one method which would make absolutely certain the children could not be used in the evil ritual, but I know we all find that distasteful.”

Helmut rubbed a hand through his beard again. “I suggest we expend every available effort to ward the children against divination, then transport them as far away from the city as possible. Perhaps some of the Wizards could even teleport them to the far reaches of the world without anyone else needing to leave the city?” He looked to Deacon as he asked this.

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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Helmut had pretty much just echoed what Vogh and Julia had said so Deacon gave him lip service.  “I can certainly teleport them far out from the city.  They will need escort though once they are gone since they are children afterall.  It should obviously be someone that is trustworthy and known to as little people as possible.  I think I have an idea who that can be.  Once you have the children we can send them off.”

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Vogh knew too who Deacon was talking about and so all they would need to do is contact him.  Whatever he was doing would have to wait.  ”I think we have enough information now to move forward with our plans.  I thank you all for your time and I am sorry to take you from the party with such dire information.”  Vogh then reached out to Deacon, Julia, Bharash, Talin, Dierna, and Kaira, ”This is Vogh again, please stay behind while the others depart.  There is some other information that is to be shared that the others don’t need to be privy to.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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It’s for the best that Bharash actually trusts Vogh because the hard look she gets when he realises that she was reading his mind* is accompanied by no more than a gruff ‘huh’ and a great deal of hard focus on the most annoying, repetitive piece of musical doggerel he can recall off-hand…

…not that that keeps him from observing “Most barbarians don’t float well, and I’m given to understand that all that wobbly blue stuff we have that’s rubbish for growing things on is an ocean. Damned if I know if a demon can teleport to a ship at sea, but it can’t be any harder to ward them there and then you don’t need to spend all that effort bouncing around the world with children in tow. Assuming of course that you can find them and this isn’t all a colossal distraction.”

* Bharash didn’t mention the other side having divination spells out loud, that was after he realised Helmut probably wasn’t going to listen and everyone else had more or less decided to complicate matters. ^_^

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Narrator GM
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The rest departed, promising to be ready and asking the group to keep them informed about their plans moving forward. The night was still young so the party would likely go on for hours.

Dierna had also been shocked by the telepathic intrusion but covered it well. Finally it was only the Calling’s members and the two Knight leaders in the room.

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira cast a silence spell on the door then arcane locked it as well.

“Hopefully that will grant us some protection against any other unwanted visitors. Vogh, however you checked before, could you do the same to make sure we’re truly alone? I would love to learn more about your abilities but now is not the time.”

Vogh scanned and confirmed they were the only ones present. She could also sense no one was near the door on the opposite side. Thankfully the silence spell would stop someone listening at the door anyway.

“I wanted to speak with you in private. I believe I can trust you as nothing I’m about to share with you is public knowledge…” The elf wore a serious expression on her face as she met each of their eyes.

“I only share this with you because of your deeds, and… I can sense something in each of you…” She waved a delicate hand to ward off any questions.

“Almost no one outside our order remembers this far back, but the Knights of the Golden Cross date back to 9500 years before the empire. Roughly ten thousand, three hundred years ago. But who’s counting?” She said with a small smile.

“Our archives are deeper than even the oldest sages alive today. Deeper than the memories of any living dragon. In those early days Ptolus was founded and the Knights defended the city while a few noble families ruled. In 9000 BE, the Galchutt provided their servants with chaositech, which they used to attack all the civilized lands. The forces assailed Ptolus with the aid of the traitorous House Vladaam and destroyed everything of the first city, except Castle Shard. You see, the progenitor of House Vladaam was a Vested of the Galchutt. Evil reprobates, all of them.”

Kaira watched their faces for recognition before continuing.

“Between our order’s blood, and the evil nature of our enemies, the chaos gods’ forces were defeated. Two millennia later a good cleric named Danar Rotansin built his vault to hide evil artifacts, which he called the Banewarrens…” Again she scrutinized their faces, a small smile spread across her face again.

“As I suspected. That’s not the first time you’ve heard those names, and that confirms my theory where the Sword of Truth was recovered from. Fear not. I hold far more secrets than this and I’ll not expose the truth.”

She walked over and filled a glass of wine then drank to wet her throat before continuing.

“Just five centuries before Danar started his doomed venture, Father Claw was fettered by Ni-Gorth with the dragonchain. Ni-Gorth was killed by his former fellow priests. But he ascended to godhood and became the first of the New Gods. This… this is why I share with you. You see, no one says new gods anymore, because almost no one knows about the Elder Gods. The first Knights served the Elder Gods, and we do still, but silently. We were persecuted by the Lothian church for a time so we have since kept our faith secret. Lothian’s hate discussing their deity only ascended barely 1200 years ago.”

Kaira and Dierna both chuckled at this and Kaira took a deep drink, looking at Julia with a wink.

“But I digress. Ni-Gorth’s followers were Wizard-Priests and were drawn to Danar’s work, but they were so in awe of the man that they spent more time with his wife, Parnaith. She was a powerful sorcerer in her own right, likely equal to her husband before he became evil. Together they created wonders we can scarcely imagine today. Now… Why do I share all of this with you? Because as a follower of the Elder Gods I can sense their touch on you. Each of you. But especially you Julia. In addition, I can sense the touch of Parnaith on Julia, Deacon and Bharash. She did not die. Indeed, she ascended as well, but almost no one knows this.”

The elf looked over Julia, Deacon and Bharash to see if they had any recognition of the touch she spoke of.

“Finally… This I share with you on your promise that you tell no one else. I will have your words, on your lives…”

She waited for each of the group to give their word, then continued.

“High Priest Helmut is correct in his prophecy. He has said something is hurtling toward this world in the heavens. He doesn’t know what it is. But we do…” Kaira and Dierna shared a look again.

“The Vallis Moon is returning. I don’t know why, but I will tell you that if the Galchutt arose with the Moon near our world that everything would be destroyed. Not just Ptolus, the world, MANY worlds! The Elder Gods flung the Vallis Moon away from here to protect it from the Galchutt. Upon the moon rests the Seven Chains which are what imprison the chaos gods here. If the Chains were to be dissolved, the Galchutt would be free to leave our world and wreak havoc. This is known as the Night of Dissolution, and we’ve been fighting and preventing it for a decamillennium.”

She drained her glass.

“Now, in our lifetime, it seems that fight will reach its most critical moment. And for some reason the Elder Gods have chosen you to play an integral part in that fight. You have been touched by the Gods, by Parnaith herself, you have walked the halls of the Banewarrens, and you find yourself as the tip of the spear against the forces of pure evil in this world. I’m not sure where the name, ‘The Calling’ came from, but it seems to me your name should be The Called.”

Kaira smiled at them, visibly weary from her sharing and the obvious worry about events to come.

“You now carry knowledge long forgotten by the world, which I hope will aid us in protecting that world.”

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Vogh
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Once everyone had left and the silence spell was cast.  Vogh reached out with her mind and was able to tell no one was in the room nor listening to what was happening at the door.  The silence spell didn’t affect Vogh’s ability to detect intelligent beings.  Vogh and her friends then listened to the history lesson from Kaira.   When Kaira made the comment about the Banewarren’s Vogh tried to keep an expression from her but it was obvious that Kaira had a keen eye.  Clearly she knew much more about all this then they had expected or known.

Vogh thought she knew a lot about things in the city but clearly there was much more she needed to study and perhaps she would be able to visit some of these older orders libraries in the near future.  When Kaira suggested that she could sense a touch of the elder gods on them all Vogh felt something inside, something of a pride or perhaps it was acknowledgement of something she might have already known about herself, she didn’t know for sure.  But, hearing this from Kaira put a smile on her face as she looked to her companions.

When Kaira came to the Vallis Moon she had heard about that before but of nothing of which she spoke next about the Galchutt being chained to it and that the Night of Dissolution had something to do with it.  It was all coming together though and obviously putting it in more dire straits.

”That is a lot of information to digest.  Rest assured, we will keep a tight hold to the chest.  As you are aware, we have secrets that we are even now keeping.  The question that I have is about this touch from the elder gods.  What can it be and have you seen or heard of it happening to others before?  If so how did it manifest or reveal itself?”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia followed along with the story and she knew of course that Lothian was a relatively new God among the people.  Course Julia didn’t know much before that as her teachings didn’t get into that… quite typical of teachers to do so.  One thing that stuck out to her was House Vladaam.  One of them was a Vested back in the day… or currently, Julia didn’t know that either.  They had broken into House Vladaam and stolen a few things of value to them.  They had also accused the Calling of doing as such which had to be taken into account at some point as they go along.  Perhaps even now House Vladaam was conspiring with the Chaos Cultists and was helping them.

Then something hit Julia, something Kaira had said about being touched by another besides Lothian.  This wasn’t the first time this had been said either.  Sister Mara had said it not too long ago.  Then when Kaira mentioned Parnaith, Julia suddenly felt weak at the knees, but Kal was there to hold her steady, even asking if she was alright.  Julia nodded meekly and looked to Kaira once she was finished speaking and when Vogh finished.  “I have been told that I have been touched before by multiple people, but Deacon and Bharash remember when we had chased those goblins down under the city and found that pool of insanity?  Also those strange blue rippling doors?  Do you remember what I had said?  Parr nah A-eeth!!!”  Julia said putting some things together.  “I had felt I wasn’t alone down there and now I know why.  This is all so overwhelming.  What does it mean though, that is what I need to know.”

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira pursed her lips and shook her head.

“Those answers. I do not have. Unfortunately. Those of my Knights which use divine magic pray to the Elder Gods who still grant their spells. I feel a similar touch on them, that’s why I asked Julia and Deacon if they were followers of Lothian. But you all… There is something different. I’ve never felt it before. I’m sorry. I also don’t know what it might mean. Only time will tell it seems. But we will aid you in stopping this and defeating the chaos followers. I will not be the one who allows Pramael to fall after ten thousand years.”

The elf practical growled the last sentence, grinding her teeth, quite atypical of the stately elf.

“Too long we have held back, affecting from a distance and undermining evil like the Vladaams. It’s time we start letting the blood of chaos lovers flow.”

A twinkle sparkled her blue eyes that was a little unsettling.

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Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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Dierna had remained silent up to this point but she nodded in agreement with the Golden Cross Knight. “To true. It’s impossible to know the mind of a god, let alone dozens. But the elders have chosen you for a reason. If the Vallis moon returns and the vile ones are awake, there will be no stopping them. This ritual must be stopped. My responsibilities to the Commissar and the City now are great, but we will do whatever is necessary to aid you. Kaira and I both have Thoughtstones. Deacon can contact us at any time day or night. The war with keeping these dark terrors is eternal. It falls to us to win this battle. We have faith in you.” She finished with a wife smile.

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Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira nodded in agreement and smiled back at Dierna. The two women, so different in appearance and race, seemed to be quite close.

“Now. What were you saying about the doors and Parr nah A-eeth?”

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Julia Graymantle
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Julia had a question about the thoughtstone just as Dierna had explained Kaira and her had one.  “How could I get one of the Thoughtstones?  Would it be possible?”

Then just before Julia thought the conversation completed, Kaira asked a question about the doors.  “Well, it was back before we met Vogh and Talin.  We were following some goblins in the sewers and I felt a connection to something, unknown.  It was malicious and it was trying to lead me somewhere.  The feeling and the goblins led us to a room with a pool of insanity.  Deacon had read about them and warned us not to get too close to the pool due to its properties to turn people insane.  Anyways, I was drawn to the wall next to me, and when I touched it felt weird like I was touching a pool.  It even rippled at my touch.  Suddenly a metallic blue door appeared where I had touched the wall.  That is when I received a calling.  I had no idea where or what gave the calling but it imparted the word Parr nah A-eeth in my head.  Deacon had said that the doors were usually found in Ghul’s Labyrinth.  Instead of trying to open the door, we returned to the surface to report we had taken care of the goblin problem for the gentleman who gave us the job.  Once that was completed we returned back to the spot where the door was and I touched the wall once more but the door was gone.  I checked the room and found a door on the opposite side of the room and so we moved to the spot.  This time I felt the urge to say the word, Parr nah A-eeth, and the door clicked as if unlocking.  I pushed on the door and it opened easily then.  Upon walking through the door I felt washed with something pure.  In the middle of the room was a machine, a tall cone capped with a large orb. Rods stuck out from the orb and looked like they would rotate. The central sphere was the largest. Three smaller spheres were on the shortest rods that positioned them closest to the central one, but none of the rods were the same length.  Seven more rods were all longer than the central three, each was a different gemstone, and instead of being mounted directly on their rod, a silver chain dangled each different lengths from their rods.”

Julia went on to explain what Deacon had told them and then that the door had closed on them and then as they cast light she described the relief’s on the walls and ceiling.  “I had begun to freak out wondering why I was led to this place when I fell to my knees and began to pray.  At the time I had nothing in my hands but as my friends came to my side I realized I suddenly had 2 rods in my hand.  On my knees, with my two friends’ hands on my shoulder, I felt divine power flow through me. I began to move my lips and words of magic came forth while my hands moved in a pattern I had never performed before.  Bharash and Deacon gasped as they felt themselves become less than substantial then to see the room disappear around us. No longer were we in the sewers, nor the stone room. They stood, while I still knelt, on what resembled clouds, except we weren’t falling through them. Deacon then recognized the insubstantial plane which extended in featureless white in all directions as what scholars referred to as the Ethereal Sea.  Wanting to see if I could complete the spell once more, I moved through the words and movements as if I had studied them for years and suddenly we were in grassy fields.  That was when we met Vogh and Talin and some friends of theirs.”

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Bharash
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Bharash – who has absolutely no classical education and no knowledge of history beyond what he picked up from the fireside stories of his family – doesn’t look as though he has the least idea who the ‘Galchutt’ are, although he has of course at least some grasp of what the Banewarrens are. Bringing up Father Claw makes him blanch and reach for a bottle however, with which he tops off his drink with a fine disregard for what he’s pouring down his neck, making a gruff sound of agreement about the general attitude of the Lothian church as he does so.

When asked for a pledge, he groans softly, finishes his tankard (and refills it) then remarks “In for a Jenny, in for a Throne.” and pledges ‘To keep his damn’ fool mouth shut’ at least until the end of the story, whereupon he observes glumly “At this point, I have regrets.”

Julia’s story causes him to groan and admit “I barely remember any of that morning… I think I may have been hit in the head a few times. Sounds sort of familiar though. Sort of. So, uh… these ‘elder gods’ then. Any way to sort of… figure out which ones have been playing you?”

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Re: 364193 Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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Dierna confirmed Julia could get a thoughtstone. “The Inverted Pyramid controls the system. I’m certain you would be allowed, however it is expensive. First you have to be invited, but securing that should be no problem. I believe its a thousand dragons to join and ten per month.”

(10,000 gold to join and 100 gold per month)

Both of the women were wide eyed when Julia described the device.

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Re: 364192 Kaira Swanwing (NPC)
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Kaira spoke so softly it was hard to hear, especially for Deacon. (haha. Sorry)

“An orrery… She led you, to an orrery.”

Shaking her head she asked more clearly. “Could you find this place again? Parnaith must have led you to this room. The device inside is typically used to show the rotations of planets, but the way you described it can only mean it’s a guide to the Jewels of Parnaith.”

The elf was visibly excited.

“This orrery I have read about, but never seen. No one has seen one in thousands of years! What you described is the Spire, with three moons revolving around it. The third being the Vallis Moon as we discussed. But the seven items on chains are called Pergolas. These are… Gateways. Access points to the Seven Jewels of Parnaith. She, along with the Wizard-Priests of Ni-Gorth crafted Seven Ethereal Islands and these Pergolas are the access points to the islands. But they are invisible and no one knows the path of their orbits around the Spire. This orrery is the only way to find one as it moves. However, to further complicate matters, a Pergola will only reveal itself to someone wearing a magical item called an illitor. Unfortunately we have no idea what one is, what it looks like or where we could find one. Further, we don’t know what is on the islands except they are marvelous constructions which can grant immeasurable power. It is even said some of the New Gods gained their deity by traveling through all Seven Jewels.”

The group remembered being in the Banewarrens and Saggarintys the silver dragon mentioning Seven Etheral Islands. They had no idea what those were at the time.

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Re: 364193 Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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“The cloud space you described sounds like the Ethereal Sea. A world that mirrors our own but nothing that happens there affects matters here. It’s… A void. Few have ever even visited the Sea. The rods you were given are required to plane shift. It seems you were given a way home, and something else. Have you ever duplicated the spell you were granted at that time while holding one of the rods?”

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Re: 312761 Julia Graymantle
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Of course, Julia could remember how to get to the room with the insanity pool.  What she didn’t know was if the blue metallic door would be there again though.  “I can lead us to the chamber with the insanity pool but it is unknown if the door will be revealed once I am in there.”  The information about the seven jewels of Parnaith was something she would remember well.  Julia then remembered what Saggarintys had said.

“Do we even know what an illitor looks like?”  Julia asked Kaira.  “Bharash you should really pay more attention to the things we are doing and seeing.  You may even pick out something we missed.  You know you aren’t just a walking muscle-bound warrior.  Many times you have had some really great insight into things.”

Julia then turned to Dierna and shook her head to the question.  “No, I haven’t tried to do that.  It was only that first time which took us to that Ethereal Sea.”

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Re: 286214 Talin
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“To me, it sounds like the three of you had quite the adventure there before you met us.  I would love to see this contraption you call an orrery.”  Talin said and as Julia finished he put a stong hand on Bharash’s shoulder.  “Yea buddy you are more than just a pretty face!” Talin laughs, lightening the mood a bit which was strange coming from him for normally Talin wasn’t the joker of the group.

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Re: 364193 Dierna Hillerchaun (NPC)
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Both the women shook their heads to Julia’s question. “Unfortunately no. Illitors have only been mentioned in ancient texts, and some truly old religious tomes. However, many of those now deities who mentioned the items later scrubbed the referece in later versions. Thankfully Kaira’s and my order’s libraries – along with the Malkuth – keep long, long records. Gods don’t want people remembering that they were once mortal, it seems. That’s what’s also special about the Elders. They were born gods. They were never temporal. So… Do you think you could lead us back to where you saw these doors?”

Dierna caught herself and held up a hand. “Not tonight, obviously. We have stolen away from the party for too long. Lady Davina might have us both beaten and hung out to dry like rugs.” Dierna chuckled good naturedly.

“But you mean to attack the cult temple first thing in the morning, is that correct? Ok. Perhaps you could draw a map so I can dispatch a retainer to check for the doors presence. You mentioned it moved once. I fear it might have again.”

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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“You say insight, I say ‘applied common sense'” Bharash points out dryly, “You and the others can warp reality with a few muttered words and a hand-wave, so it’s not particularly surprising that you need someone to remind you to come on in out of the rain but this?” – he gestures vaguely at the exposition-providing knight, then patiently goes on “Julia I don’t think you really understand how much of an education you have compared to a normal person. I recognised maybe a handful of the names in that whole spiel, and I don’t know what any of them actually mean. I’m not stupid but I was born up a mountain, didn’t learn to read until I was nearly an adult and the most books I had ever seen in one place before coming here was six, one of which was an almanac, one of which described – in detail – the diseases of sheep and another of which was a pillow book.”

For context, Bharash has a base of 2 skill points per level, plus 1 for his intelligence.

When it comes to academics, he knows enough Arcana to identify a few very basic monsters and spells (1 rank), enough dungeoneering to navigate around an ooze (1 rank), and enough nature to tell if a mushroom is poisonous (1 rank).

He cannot make tests on Geography, History, Nobility, Planes or Religion with a DC higher than 10 – so he could tell you that The Plane of Fire is a plane, but wouldn’t know that he was on it (despite his being on fire at the time).

He’s not stupid by any means, but to him most of this stuff is an incomprehensible word salad of events he’s never heard of by people he doesn’t know and by this point, he’s a little drunk. Sorry, I kind of think skill points are important, so I try to play lacking them as well as having them. ^_^

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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“I too would like to visit this place, Julia,”  Vogh commented.

Julia nodded her head to Dierna, “Yes when we are finished with all this I will take us all.”  Julia then turned to listen to Bharash.  She wasn’t sure if she hurt his feelings but he was right.  The other Calling members probably had countless more hours of book training than Bharash had.  All 4 could pull spells from either long hours of study or prayer.  She just wanted him to know that she appreciated him more than he knew.  She laughed finally though and gave him a warm smile.  “You are right my friend.  Now shall we return to the party?  We have been back here far too long.”  Julia offered her hand to Kal then and said, “Let’s have another dance.”

Vogh made sure that Kaira and Dierna both knew that in the morning bright and early that they would be heading below to hopefully put this Night of Dissolution to rest.  She then reached out for Talin to take her hand and said, “Let’s go have some fun Talin!”

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Re: 344916 Captain Pharis Noldstrom (NPC)
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The party was back in full swing after the presentation. It seemed people didn’t stop enjoying themselves in the group’s absence. Lady Sallina came over to chastise Vogh for disappearing during her own celebration, but Vogh’s quick explanation about important business sated her frustrations. The recovered painting sat stop the platform on an ornate easel. Clearly Lady Davina had already presented it and told the congregants about its history. A few milled close to the tapestry, but were respectful enough not to try to touch.

A familiar face stepped up to Vogh and Talin. The gentleman was tall and ruddy. A reddish-brown goatee was neatly trimmed beneath his hawklike nose. His face was stoic and represented all business as he walked back-straight and proud in his Commisar’s Man livery, bearing two golden bars on each shoulder, marking him a Captain.

“Well met again Master Talin. Miss Vogh. Pharis. Pharis Noldstrom. We met at the Cathedral. The Commissar is quite interested in you and your friends. He sent me to extend an invitation to dinner for all six of you. If you would tell me a few dates that might work for you, I would be happy to relay those to him.” The Captain offered with a small bow.

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Re: 284323 Vogh
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Back at the party now Vogh tried to have a good time.  Her mother Sallina though came over and wasn’t happy that she and the others had disappeared.  It was obvious that they had missed the unveiling of the painting, which if Vogh was being honest, she was disappointed.  Sallina too and with a few words Vogh and Talin both eased her mother’s mind about why they were gone.   Vogh moved to the painting to take a look at the masterpiece and while they were looking at it a man came up next to them and introduced himself.  ”Nice to see you again Pharis, quite the painting isn’t it?”  Vogh asked the man before answering his question.   Vogh looked to Talin and gave a shrug of her shoulders, ”How about a week from today?  That isn’t too late is it?  It isn’t too important is it?  If not then the next date can be two days after that.  I am not sure what will be happening at that time as of right now but it should be okay.  If we have any updates to the time shall we get in contact with you?”

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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Deacon led Claira back out to the dance floor and began to lead her about gracefully.  Claira, I am sorry that you were dragged into that whole mess there.  Obviously we have a lot going on right now.  Even more so that I had originally thought.  I was wondering what you thought about it all? His words being said through his thoughtstone directly to Claira.

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Re: 344916 Captain Pharis Noldstrom (NPC)
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Captain Pharis bowed deeply. “Absolutely. I will inform the Commissar straight away. No. No. Nothing so urgent as you need to rush. I will tell him a week from today and be back in touch if that is not ammenable. Congratulations to you both on becoming Knights.”

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Re: 363561 Claira Rhuivaul (NPC)
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Claira grabbed a light and sparkling champagne flute from a passing servant and took a sip before answering mentally. An interesting life you lead Deacon. Interesting indeed. I did not realize, you being a Pyramid member, that you would be so active in the Delving lifestyle. With all teh dangers that accompany it. It’s unsettling to thing you could be dead tomorrow morning after going below the earth to face off against untold horrors. As an elf who should live a life spanning centuries, the idea of endangering my existence in such a cavalier is… simply terrifying. But… Learning what I did, it seems you are not like most of the other crazies who venture below seeking fame and fortune. You are protecting the rest of us… Deacon noticed a twinkle in the woman’s eye as she said this, and the look she gave him over top of the glass she took a drink from was unmistakable.

Private to Deacon Havenhold: Deacon could definitely get laid tonight if he wanted! hahaha]

[Private to GM: send the cooking stuff to bharash from Acadia 11

Change the dire song to the godsong

Remember godsong scions from a Acadia 11]

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Re: 312760 Bharash
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Raising his glass, Bharash sips at it rather than drinks deeply and then makes his way back out into the party proper, wondering just exactly what the hell he did to deserve all this – at around the point where he’s speculating as to whether he might have forgotten beating an albatross to death with a mirror while standing under a ladder, he catches sight of the military-aasimar-and-elf combination stood off to one side and – with nothing in particular to lose and grateful for almost any distraction – heads in that direction, trying to get a sense for what they’re up to as he walks.

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Re: 286214 Talin
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In reply to Captain Pharis Noldstrom (msg # 261):

“Thank you, Pharis, please thank the Commissar for sending his representative to this grand occasion.  I think I speak for both of us when I say thanks.  We look forward to having dinner with the Commissar.”  Talin remarked happily.  Talin was eating up all this attention.  It was like nothing he had ever experienced before.

“Now Miss Vogh, I owe you a dance!”  Talin said as he stuck out his hand for Vogh to take.  Once she did, with a huge smile, Talin led her out to the dance area.  The two bards were light on their feet and having danced in their performances before made it all look effortless.

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Re: 312762 Deacon Havenhold
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In reply to Claira Rhuivaul (msg # 262):

Deacon caught the twinkle in the woman’s eye and returned it with a smile.  He didn’t need to explain to the woman that he felt it his duty for it would just sound cheezy.  Instead, Deacon grabbed a glass of champagne and clinked it against hers.  “To a beautiful woman worth protecting.”  He then took a sip of the champagne and mentally asked, “I hope once the party is over we can continue our date in more private quarters.”

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Narrator GM
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In reply to Bharash (msg # 263):

The elf was engaged with polite conversation with a small group of people. The aasimar looked like a caged lion, someone new to a protection arrangement who took their job a little too seriously. Bharash had seen green warriors on their first patrol act the same. But judging by this “young man,” he was no novice. And the sword he wore was no crude weapon. The aasimar stood just under six feet and was dressed in fine clothing, but unless he was thicker than most of his race, his clothes were concealing some light armor.

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Bharash
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Envy is an established part of a ball like this one, representing as it does a chance for the finery to show off their… Well, finery but Bharash is probably the only person in the room deeply envious of another man’s concealed armour, not that that shows as he ambles up to just outside the range of a comfortable lunge on his part (fairly certain that the swordsman with recognize the choice he made in doing so for the polite gesture that it is) before asking amenably “Your first protection detail or are you expecting a specific threat?” in what can only be described as tones of professional sympathy.

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Benedict Moonwatcher
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The aasimar eyed him suspiciously and couldn’t help the action of dropping a hand to the hilt of his sword. He wasn’t so foolish as to draw the blade of course.

“Certainly not my first detail sir. I seek to anticipate all threats, of which I certainly hope you are not one. Who wants to know?”

He spoke with a posh accent, like a high born elf who looked down on everyone else.

[Private to GM: Benedict Moonwatcher is a 29 year old male aasimar bodyguard.

He has very long, braided, brown hair and golden eyes.
He has soft, sunburned, brown skin.
He stands 157cm (5’10”) tall and has a muscular build.
He has an edgy, very typical face.
He has 2 piercings on his left eyebrow.
He constantly squints.

He zealously worships Tardeshou, Goddess of Truth (LG) : Good, Knowledge, Law. Sister of Navashtrom, this deity is overshadowed in Ptolus by the worship of her better-known brother.

He is very focused.
He judges people by their actions, not their words.
He spends every morning training.
He stretches the truth to tell a good story.

He has angered the archdevil Glasya and needs help avoiding the consequences.

Enwenen Elervir is a 262 year old female high elf smuggler.

She is very selfish.
She only talks in whispers.
She uses a beautiful walking cane.
She believes in whatever deity is most helpful to her at a given moment.

Relationship Status: In a relationship ]

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Bharash
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“Well… if I was I’d probably have tried to get closer before I addressed you, and opened by throwing a drink at your head… Not the ideal place for it though, given how many clerics and the like are in attendance. Huh. Never really thought about how killing someone would only count as a warning before.” – he sounds more speculative than anything however, as he then happily notes “Unless I was a distraction. I’d be good for that.” Bharash concludes his answer, keeping his hands where they can be seen in his ridiculously over-the-top mage robes and then breaking into a cheerful grin, introducing himself “Bharash Shadowglass, half guest of honour and half ambush victim. And yourself?”

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Benedict Moonwatcher
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The aasimar’s eyes widened considerably and he tightened the grip on his blade’s hilt. Clearly his humor was not on par with Bharash’s own.

“Mark me… By all the gods… What under the Spire…?” It seemed the man was struggling to produce a retort. He seemed rather indignant.

The elven woman he stood so near didn’t even look their direction or break conversation with those she spoke.

“My name – if a coarse creature such as yourself even deserves to hear it – is Benedict Moonwatcher, triple A rated protector for Lady Enwenen Elervir.

He looked that dragonborn up and down with white, pupil-less eyes.

“By what do you mean half guest of honor? I was under the impression this party was for the adopted Kath woman.”

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Bharash
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Being described as a coarse creature appears to delight Bharash, who did indeed grow up half-way up a mountain and could, reasonably be described as ‘coarse’ by anyone who’s been subjected to his sense of humour for an extended period of time, although he’s still polite enough to nod his head and answer “Well met, Ser Moonwatcher. Triple A? That sounds… Well, actually I assume it sounds impressive, I’m sorry to say that I’ve no real familiarity with the personal protection culture in Ptolus. I’m… well… On the rare occasion that someone jumps out of the shadows to attack me they tend to take one good look and get apologetic.”

“And you’re not wrong. Vogh Kath is one of the members of the Calling, a small band of adventurers who have acquired a modest degree of notoriety while running around and tripping over wicked plots, I’ve just been fortunate enough to occasionally bask in the shadow of her munificence, which is a wonderful word I recently learned and resolved to find excuses to use more often.” he explains helpfully, or at least his version of helpful when he’s talking to someone managing to use their second sword for spinal support.

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Benedict Moonwatcher
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Benedict shook his head, making his long braided hair flop from left to right. He clearly didn’t know what to make of Bharash.

“Yes. It is impressive.” He said tersely.

“Receiving a Tripple A Protection rating means I have a perfect record of never losing a protectee. I have kept Lady Enwenen Elervir safe from several plots and attacks in the last year. Pray tell sir, what is it that you have need of from me?”

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Bharash
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A nice set of hide armour for a gnome or halfling?

At the very least he’d make a decent pair of boots, although there’d probably be some squabbling involved in reducing him to that state.

“Well, then you’re right it is impressive… And nothing in particular, I’m just at the stage of the party where I’ve had my ear bent about the latest world-shattering peril that’s lurking in my immediate future and I thought I should mingle before I get too drunk.” the burly dragonborn explains with a pleasant smile, using his goblet to indicate Ser Moonwatcher “Of those present, you stood out as looking like you knew which end of a sword was pointy and not having a great deal of fun. Of course, now that I know you’re protecting someone who’s been repeatedly attacked this year, I’m half-tempted to stick around in case someone makes another attempt.”

Beaming, apparently with good humour at the prospect, he clarifies “For some reason, I rarely get straightforward perils to deal with. The chance of bouncing a hired killer off the dance floor by his ankles a few times sounds like just the  way to close out an evening.”

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