The Dark Side of Krynn

Have we been made?

6th Session

From the Journal of Evanora

We finally finish at Armours by Ashley and Fredrick has now purchased himself some plate armour. Ven wishes to speak with the thief back at the hospice. I’m not particularly interested in being back at the scene (of the crime) and as I have a rip in my gown I tell Ven that I am going to head into the bazaar. Ven confers with Yru and he decides to head off alone while the others act as my bodyguards.

I eventually find a store that looks very professional. This place (David James) has been raised on a stand so it is actually off the ground. I start to head to the door but notice two Ergothian guards blocking the way. As I get closer they tell me to ‘piss off, our mistress is inside and won’t disturbed’. It seems that these guards are quite serious. I tell the others we will stop at a nearby food-stall to wait them out. Druzat is confused and Yru is questioning my suggestion but I explain that there is a good chance I will recognize the person if I see them or get their name it could prove useful (and it’s not worth antagonizing the guards). I buy some food for the others while I get a glass of mulled wine for myself (1 steel). After an hour there is movement outside the shop entrance and the guards step down followed by a further 8 guards (who were inside the shop)! A palanquin emerges from the shop and I quickly realise I will not be able to see the lady in question. Whispering quick instructions to the others we step to the side and head pass the palanquin and I loudly say in Ergothian (the others don’t understand Ergothian), ‘I’m surprised my uncle Lord Rathbourne Termaine of Hillfal did not tell me that there would be other Ergothian Nobles in the city’. There’s a slight movement behind the curtain and the palanquin stops and as we pass I see the woman motions over to her lead guard and whispers something to him. After that the palanquin moves off (peaked her interest? – Hopefully!). With that we proceed into the store and as I walk up the stairs Yru leans in and whispers that she asked the guard to find out who I am! (VICTORY). I decide Yru will be the best to deliver the ruse as the others have shown to lack tact. I explain to him my persona and tell him to go speak to the guard (who at this point is doing a poor job of looking inconspicuous). With that I head inside followed by Druzet who seems surprisingly interested in some of the wares.
I can tell the shop keeper is eager to get traffic back into his store (as none could enter while the Ergothian Lady was inside), he escorts me to the main dressing area where he sits me down and serving refreshments inquiries on my needs today. I use the story of a deceased relative’s funeral as an excuse for an outfit (green! And black) and a black veil also (to cover my face).. I attempt to inquiry about the noble lady and I realise I’ve been made by the shop keeper. Although discovered, he continues the charade and we both subtly come to an agreement (through innuendo and intrigue) that if I purchase enough from within his store he will give me the information. He shows me some lovely outfits (and this place definitely has some high quality items – the prices also match!).

I agree to one of the dresses and when we come to veils he shows me one of the most exquisite veils I have seen. It’s a rare black lace but what is most unique is that it does not impede my vision but those looking at me will be hard pressed to see my face or read my lips (-5 to perception checks, vulnerable to piercing and slashing). The price for the veil is 10 steel and while extravagant I think it’s a worthy investment – a) I don’t want to be noticed so easily in the city and b) this will ensure that the shop keeper will tell me the information I require). I approach the subject by asking ‘what are the latest styles being worn by the noble ladies this season?’ and it’s now that he reveals the lady is Lady Urthadar. The name doesn’t sound familiar straight away but he then mentioned her family – Rikus. Now that is a name I’m familiar with. They are a very powerful family that trade in opium & perfumes. They are luckily enough a southern family close to the throne and hence I have never met any of them. The shop keeper continues that she is here travelling with her family. He also mentions that many of his customers (included Lady Urthadar) have been in here the last couple of days for outfits for the gala tomorrow night. ‘Gala tomorrow night?’ I ask incredibly interested.

It seems that Warrick (Owner of the Gambling Boar) puts on a gala just outside the city where nobles and the merchants are wined and dined. No expense is spared; in fact Warrick hires wizards to setup the noble section of the gala as well as provide security during the event. But the event has since expanded and now all the citizens of the town are invited and food/drink/fireworks are provided. The bazaar closes for a full 24 hours (from Sunset to Sunset the next day). I explain honestly that we have only just arrived in the city and do not have an invitation. Being more helpful than I expected he explains that it is still possible to secure an invitation but would probably require a substantial investment (loss) at the gambling boar tonight – very interesting. I thank him and just as he’s about to hand me my items (wrapped of course) Druzat comes out with a felt hat. He asks how much it is and just drops over the 10 steel asking price, sticks it on his head and walks out. As he leaves the shopkeeper turns to me and says ‘he does know that’s for a woman doesn’t me?’ I shrug, take my items, thank him kindly and walk out. (35 steel later)
We take a moment to discuss what to do next. I suggest we should head past the hospice to find Ven so I can tell him about the gala. We head off and it’s in the middle of one of the roads of the bazaar when I sense it. A magical attack! It seems that Yru and Fredrick feel is as well as they both react at the same time I do. I sense it coming from behind and turn to face the threat.

There is a shimmering behind us and I see a hand reach out and a purple necrotic energy comes out and just as it’s about to be launched a crossbow bolt comes flying past me and hits the humanoid in chest. It seems that the bolt broke the creature’s concentration and I notice that the purple energy starts to move back up his hand and starts to engulf him. With that the battle is joined and Fredrick tries to charge him but unfortunately is impleaded by a fruit cart and goes down. I would later learn that the crossbow bolt was Ven’s and this poison he used on the bolt affects the mind of the person it hits, by making them attack their allies. (Very useful) It was this that made the cultist (a human) manage to gain control of the feedback power and direct it towards his ally. He turns and fires it at a man who is standing 30 feet away. Unfortunately the man seems to have some skill in evasion and he manages to throw himself out of the way. Unfortunately behind him was a woman holding a baby. The energy blast flew directly at her and afterwards…. Only burned remains! With that everyone in the bazaar nearby scatters!

Ven heads off to capture (kill?) the elusive individual but unfortunately lost him in some smoke bomb that the man dropped. As for the cultist I managed to silence him but unfortunately it does not affect him for very long. While Fredrick, Druzet and Yru are trying to knock the cultist he reaches out and managed to grasp Druzet’s leg and casts a spell…. I immediately notice that Druzet has been bewitched. He turns around and punches Fredrick in the mouth – breaking his nose and some teeth – (Oh boy!).

Yru finally manages to subdue the cultist but Druzet and Fredrick are now fighting each other. I use my own magic to separate Fredrick and Druzet but unfortunately Druzet still seems under control of the cultist. Yru realising this isn’t going well, pulls out his weapons and slashes the cultist. Unfortunately during this cultist had taken on an expression I can only articulate as calm and serene. He begins chanting. Yru kills him but whatever spell he was casting is continuing. I tell the others to move away from the body and before our eyes the body explodes with green blood and body parts going all over the place. (EW). With the Cultist dead Druzet is now released from the mind control. Ven returns and explains that the elusive man jumped down a man hole into the sewers.

While we are looking around to make sure we can make an escape without being seen, Ven notices two hooded figures (the ones that he showed me looking at our rooms in the inn). He signals to them and they motion us to follow. Before moving however I try to get a sense of what the cultist did but just as I’m about to extend my magical senses I hear a CawCaw. My raven familiar is warning me of danger. I decide to forego sensing the remains as I have learned that the raven is always right on these matters.

We are escorted out of the bazaar by these two gentlemen that seem to smell of spices and incense and are wearing belts with pouches…. Magic users…I’m sceptical of their help but Ven seems eager to follow (and learn more about) these people. We are finally led to a nearby house and escorted into a room with five other similarly looking individuals.
They welcome us and warn that the cultists will send more people and that the guards are already on their way. They say they will get us out of the bazaar. No talk of introduction or anything, also interesting they seem very worried about this ‘cult’. They open a hole in the floor that leads to a tunnel that takes us to a completely separate part of the bazaar. I did hear a name ‘Michael’ who seems to be the leader but they don’t even attempt to talk to us. Once we are lead out of the tunnel into a candle shop the guide who came with us says ‘stay here for 20minutes and leave quickly and quietly’. With that he heads down the tunnel and Durzet helps the store owner put a table and carpet over the trap door that we came out of. The owner is definitely not pleased that we are here and he shows his irritation by mumbling while watching from the window. During the fight Fredrick had his nose dislocated (due to Druzet’s punch) and is extremely sullen about it. Ven tells him to fix himself up and Fredrick just attempts to pop it back into place…. That just won’t do. I ask the young woman who is a server in the shop if she has a small room I could ‘tend’ to the room. We are escorted to the kitchen where I magical heal his nose. He is grateful but is still upset at Druzet. Hoping to relieve his anger I explain to him that I have similar powers to that of the cultist and that I can do the same – ‘bewitch a man – people like Druzet are easily susceptible’, Fredrick finally tweaks – ‘you mean stupid people?’ – ‘yes!’ He laughs at that and I hope that he won’t bring that up but he looks a bit more understanding of the situation. He does ask me if I can repair his armour but unfortunately I cannot. Perhaps that is something I should ask my familiar. It would certainly come in handy if my veil was ripped!

(Short Goal – Find a way to repair items magically {player knowledge – Ritual – Make Whole Level 1})

Returning to the group we wait the twenty minutes and it seems the bazaar in this area is still fairly normal. To try and placate the owner I enquiry about buying some of the lavender candles but the serving girl (her daughter) gives them to me to make up for her father (kind girl).

We head back to the inn and as we are approaching Ven stops us and shows us Captain Deathe. It seems he’s the leader of the city guard and corrupt. Why was he here… shouldn’t he be in the bazaar investigating the disturbance? He is leaving the Inn and heading in the opposite direction.

After he leaves, we enter the inn and approach the barman (the nice one). He explains that Deathe was here and they took Dingo (who was waiting for us – shit), He also asked for the keys to our rooms and his guards came out with bags for items. I’m immediately concerned and head off to my room. It’s been ransacked…Everything is overturned and my three books and all my clothes, writing materials are gone…..This will not end well for the captain I see…

I head downstairs and report that everything is gone and that we have to get it back and rescue Dingo. We enquire with the barman and he gives us directions to the nearest guard-house (the north). Hopefully Deathe will be too caught up with the bazaar incident that we will be able to get our stuff and the gnome.

We proceed to the guardhouse and it seems a standard structure. Ven does a quick re-con while I decide to go in and see if I can see if our gear and Dingo is here. I quickly disguise myself as a hunter to match Yru (Vala Del Tray), and proceed into the guard house to give a statement regarding the incident at the bazaar. The two guards – Will and Bill – are your standard plebeian guards and are not even interested in my story and Will gives me a form to fill out. While Yru and I act the part I confirm that our gear is in here (in an open chest) and that Dingo is in one of the cells. Unfortunately he is unconscious and looks badly wounded!

Finding out what we need I finish the ‘report’ and we leave. Ven returns and explains he has poisoned the food the guards are going to eat and we just have to wait for dinner time. We wait and eventually we see Will come to the door and put the closed sign in the window. We wait another 10minutes and Ven leaves to cover the back. Deciding that it’s getting dangerous to stay here I head up to the front door and manage to get inside (looking normal). The guards are slouched over their food (Will’s head is in his bowl and Bill’s head is thrown back). I approach Will and check – he’s definitely dead. I check Bill as well just as Ven walks in but I’m not sure if he’s dead (might be alive!!). I tell Ven and head over to the chest to gather all of our equipment. Ven later tells me that Bill is definitely dead and he stages the scene to cover our tracks. He goes and releases Dingo who is in even more hurt then I realised. He’s been beaten and he’s having a lot of trouble to breathe. (One interesting thing I found in the items – Fredrick has a scroll detailing his family’s lineage…. It seems his family has been Knights of Solmania for generations… oh my.. I decide to let that go).

Ven leads me out of the back exit where we meet up for the others and we decide to head to Yandon’s offices and hope to stay there the night. (Our horses are still in the inn’s stables).

We arrive and enter through the back and Ven takes Dingo upstairs with me while the others secure the building. I look Dingo over and he’s definitely in trouble.
I begin to heal him and this is the most extensive damage that I have ever healed. My healing energy goes to the most needed part and the most distressing thing is that all of the energy went to his chest and even then I wasn’t sure it helped that much. I pour more healing into him and this time I see a noticeable effect. (It seems he had a collapsed lung). He is breathing a little easier now but he is still unconscious.

I could keep going but I’m worried because I can feel a fatigue coming on (this is draining). I decide to rest and try again after my trance. During this time Ven comes up and gives me the all clear and Yru decides to rest now so he can take a later watch.
After four hours I feel better and attempt to heal him again. This time most of the energy goes to his face and I can finally feel that he is doing better. With one last effort, this time he actually opens his eyes and he’s conscious! He still has some marks on his face but his nose, mouth and teeth are now back to normal.

I call out to Ven and Yru and they come upstairs to hear what Dingo has to say.
It seems that Dingo learned quite a bit and they were actually after him for what he had learned more than what he was doing with us.
• The Hobgoblins are planning to attack the city at tomorrow’s gala (while everyone is outside!!)
• The wizards are here assembling the works (the Cultist/Hobgoblins probably have something to neutralise them).
• Parts of Spectre and this 3rd party (Cultist/Hobgoblins etc) will take control of the city after the attack
• Dingo works for the sleepers – They have a Day Master, a Night Master and the Sand Man (Overall leader).
• It’s at this point that Yru asks that he thought the cultist in the bazaar looked familiar. I remember back and realise that the cultist was a slave of Vicben (A merchant rival of Waheed’s in Lemish). They are planning to kill the master! This goes beyond the city. This has been planned for a while.
• It’s at this point Dingo says he has to go report in. We help me out of the secret sewer entrance
We discuss the situation further and Ven is even more determined to find Yandon as we might have to get out of here. I don’t think we can save the city (I don’t really care about the city itself – but it being here serves a purpose to Lemish as a whole). I consider the possibility that the only people who might be able to stop this are the wizards.
After a while Dingo returns with an associate of his named Robert. They both work for the Day Master (From what I infer – a much nicer fellow than the Night Master), The Day master wanted to meet Ven (The Contractor) but unfortunately he is outside the city at the moment and can’t be reached.

They have some more information – They have confirmed the Hobgoblins, I ask who would be in charge of the city’s defences and they answer Captain Deathe. That answers the question about whose side he is on (City guards have said that the nearby forests are all clear – lies!). We also discover that he has a cousin who is on the merchant’s council and one of the members is the name that Ven (Seth) has from that Red Brand’s missive providing the orders telling them to keep clear of Crafthaven. So some of the Merchant’s council are involved as well in this treachery! (Turns out that Seth is both the cousin and the leader giving orders to the red brands).

There is a warehouse on the opposite side of town. It has these creatures inside that no one can see because they are always hooded. It seems Yru found out something about them in the forest. The sleepers are watching the warehouse but they cannot see how the creatures are getting in and out (not sewers – they suspect magic).

Next Robert tells us that this gala is a bit more extraordinary. There are numerous high profile guests in attendance including Lord Tyrion (the leader of Lemish). I immediately suspect assassination but Yru thinks he might be involved in the plot…(really?!?!?). There is also a military officer here from Sanction, as well as Ergothian nobles (well I knew that )
The sleepers are hoping we can help but they don’t know how to get their people out of the city. They have a signal. If the bells from the Seeker temple ring 4 times before the gala prayer starts at sundown (where the gala starts with a prayer and proceeds to the festival outside), that is a signal to all the sleepers to GTFO out of the city ASAP.
We discuss possible evacuations but unfortunately the only place that has possibility is the caverns of Fireheart and even that is a dangerous option.

We discuss the situation and Ven wants to find Yandon and I am eager to warn the wizards (My mother was a wizard – call it professional curtsey – plus I am curious to meet them). Fredrick agrees to come with me while Yru will go with Ven. Druzet said he will remain here at Yandon’s. Dingo escorts Fredrick and me out a sewer tunnel that takes us outside the city (handy).

During Dingo’s visit with his thief friends I handed everyone back their items (not mentioning Fredrick’s scroll) but I discovered that one of the bags contained items that are not ours. I recognise the clothes as Ergothian and it seems that this is from the room where we saw that Ergothian man (Room6). While most of the items seem mundane I do find a necklace (made of pearl) that I can immediately tell is magic. Unfortunately as I’m examining it separates into two pieces?!?!?! I hope that’s intended. I don’t have much skill at this (especially considering my mother’s spell books and journals have continued to elude me) but perhaps I might just return it to the gentleman. I’m not a thief, and he has not done anything to wrong me.

We arrive outside and as I approach I see that efforts are already underway to setup for the gala. Even the area that will be for the normal citizens has a considerable group of workers preparing for the festival.

As we approach the noble area I am weary of being stopped by guards but it seems we are fine for the moment. I notice several wizards moving around doing various tasks. It’s easy to work out that the leader seems to be a red robe wizard who’s currently engrossed in some plans. I wonder how I can get their attention without alerting those in the city who I know might be tracking me now.

1000xp for finding Yandon. (Ven & Yru found him).

Solo session to catch up to the others (Evanora)
Fredrick and I are moving to the wizards and I’m surprised we haven’t been stopped yet. Taking precautions I check for any magic and I immediately notice a large barrier in front of me. I stop and alert Fredrick but unfortunately we’ve been made (we couldn’t make it look natural). We’ve been spotted and by a black robed wizard of all things. He’s watching us now. I pull Fredrick back and we inch around the barrier heading to the point to the least distance between the wizard and me. We reach that point and I turn to him and ask in Elven (Don’t want the plebs to hear) – Do you understand me? He nods. ‘I bring a warning for the wizards, at the gala tonight you will be attacked – The attack in the bazaar yesterday will be repeated at the gala tonight if you don’t stop it.’ Just as I say that I feel a flutter come across my mind. I’m being probed. Luckily my raven quick warning allows me to block it. It wasn’t hostile but there is something here, it was very subtle. The black robe seems to ponder my words and he starts to move towards us putting his hands into his robes. Fredrick step forwards but I motion him back and say ‘There’s no need for confrontation, I know you have a person who can read minds, and they can tell you I speak the truth’. With that the wizard stops and then suddenly disappears. By this time for some random reason the other wizards have all moved away!

Trying to work out what just happened Fredrick breaks me from my train of thought by saying that he can notice guards coming this way. For us! He offers to stay and let them apprehend him but instead I ask if he could escape if only half of them are after him. He nods and so we split. He heads off towards the gate while I start to head around the other side of the barrier. (I did check and my mage hand went through the barrier fine but it did send off a disturbance across the barrier, which was noticeable to everyone around.
As I am moving around to the opposite side I hear noise and realise that Fredrick has been caught. Stealing an idea from the black robe, I turn my outfit black and make myself look like a black robe. I come over the hill and proceed down where I see Fredrick is surrounded by a group of guards and a sergeant is telling him he has to come for questions.

I approach and intimidate – What is going on here? The guard blanches as my sudden appearance. He explains that Fredrick and a woman (a gypsy!) are wanted for questioning on charges of terrorism.

I explain that this man is my man servant but a woman like you described was here this morning but she left heading to the opposite side of the barrier. I try and fish for more information but unfortunately the sergeant catches himself.

I tell ‘Derek’ to come with me and send the guards on their way. They leave and Fredrick thanks me (explaining that he didn’t spot the three surrounding him until it was too late). It is at this point the black robe wizard reappears beside us and motions us to follow him.
We follow and when we reach the barrier I am nervous because some of my items (I.E. Green Book) are going to set off the barrier. Luckily the black robe pulls something out of his pouch and throws it on the barrier muttering some words and a small arch opens that allows us to past.

We are escorted to an opulent tent that has the symbol of Traditional Wizard Mark. The black robe lifts the flap and motions me inside. I notice that is pure darkness and I give me a quick glance as to say ‘really’. For the first time I get to see him – He’s human, Solid. Has a slight Paunch. Anglar face and has long black hair. Unfortunately I get nothing from his expression except stoic.

I step inside and immediately I sense being assaulted across my own body. I manage to barely repel the attack and I find myself inside a large wooden room – equally opulent. As I turn I see the black robe standing infront of Fredrick and he’s not allowed to come in…
I glance back around and now notice the Red Robe Wizard (He appears to be approx. 60 with salt and pepper hair – Very Vital), who is in charge of this operation is sitting at a desk. He stands and motions me forward and welcomes me in Elven. I respond in common and state that I only spoke in that language as to not alarm the people around.

He nods and says he wasn’t sure (I assume he means if I was an elf or not).
He invites me to sit at the table and pours me a glass of expensive wine and I toast to the gala tonight ‘to the twilight gala’.

It’s at this point I realise the black robe is here also.

He starts out by say that the wizards have been watching me and that I have piped their interest (WTF), he stops as if to ponder and says yes.

I take a moment to collect my thoughts and explain that the Cultist attack yesterday has links to Lemish and that we have information that says Hobgoblins are in the north forest and will attack the city.

The wizard doesn’t seem to fully believe the story but I explain that this also has links to Spectre. With that he looks concerned for the first time.

I explain that I came here because my mother was a wizard and that I wished to pay my respects to her memory. With that he stops me and I see he’s looking at the black robe and something seems to pass between them. The black robe leaves and the red wizard speaks again. He says that he has sent for officer that the wizards have been working with regarding this cult. Before long the black robe returns and we both stand and the Red Robe Wizard introduces Lt Ivan Karnak of the Sanction Guard. I introduce myself – Lady Evanora Khan. Lt Karnak has been set at the Sanction ambassador and military attaché.
We sit down and the Red Robe asks me to explain everything again. This time I explain in more detail what we have found.

I ask the Lt If he knows about the attack in the bazaar and he nods. I tell him that the cultist who was killed was a slave of a merchant in Lemish who is a rival of a man we have investigating. This man (the master) has links to a man down here in Crafthaven named Yandin who went missing 6 months ago. Yandin was the main supplier of Fireheart before he was usurped by Spectre.

At this I can tell there is something more here but unfortunately I can’t quite catch it.
I explain that the Hobgoblins are to the north even though the forests have been given the all clear by the captain of the guard. The Red brands have been ordered to evacuate and proceed to a place called the ruin tower in the east. At that the Red Robe looks shocked. I continue and say we have reports that they have been annihilated. I tell him that the orders for them to go there was from a member of Spectre who is on the merchant’s council. The Red Robe’s mouth drops and asks if I have proof. I tell him about a letter written by a Seth who we have discovered is on the council and is also the cousin of Captain Deathe (captain of the guard).

It’s at this I sense something is about to happen and I step away from the others. The Black Robe (Kallus) steps out from the shadow and launches a lightning bolt from a wand he is holding. I feel the power go past me and hit the Red Robe (Wills) who has a look of astonishment.

He’s hit square in the chest and flies across the room and I can tell from the smell that he is almost surely dead. (Kallus only speaks in my mind)
With that Kallus turns the wand on me and in my mind I hear ‘don’t twitch, don’t speak, or you will meet the same end’.

It’s at this point that Karnak all red faced turns to Kallus and goes ‘what are you doing?’
Ok it seems that they are in this together and I have stumbled onto something far more ominous.

They continue to have a mental conversation and during it I see Karnak is getting frustrated and shaking his head.

I give Kallus a look and he nods that I can speak – ‘Are you aligned with the cultist or do you just wish for the attack to succeed?’

They don’t respond and the black robe looks at Karnak and I get the feeling he is telling him to leave.

Karnak looks upset but I can also tell he’s afraid of Kallus. As he turns to leave I say to him ‘It was an interesting pleasure to meet you Lt’. With that he nods and starts to walks out of the tent. Just before he steps outside we both hear Kallus say – ‘By my actions, plans have been put into motion that cannot be halted. The decision has been made’.
Karnak leaves.

Kallus motions for me to sit and I notice for the first time the wand is actually more of a small tree branch. Very interesting!

Kallus stands before me and says ‘Show me the book!’ Knowing I don’t have much choice I pull it out of my robes still wrapped in the red velvet wrap. He tells me to put it on the table and unwrap it. At this I sense my raven familiar is concerned about the situation but at the moment I can’t do much about it. If I sense he’s going to try and use the book against me I’ll fey step behind me and throw him onto the book.

He moves over to the book and I am alert for anything dangerous but instead he puts his hands above the book and starts to chant. I work out that he’s doing some type of scrying and what is more interesting is the book’s green gem has once again become the eye (that I saw during the wizard at the hospice incident). It’s looking around at everything and I catch it for a moment and at that I glimpse something from it.

The book doesn’t exactly communicate me it somehow just shows me images and it makes sense to me.

The book’s power comes from a patron. From where this patron is I do not know. What is interesting is that I somehow know it and it is also known to me. It isn’t however linked through the raven. The book makes no excuses and flatly shows that’s its power is to do evil things. I wonder if it’s just some type of necromancy but then it clarifies to explain that it covers many aspects and themes of the lower end of the scale when it comes to Alignment. Not just Death/Necromancy.
Green Book (Link) I

I don’t get to explore further before Kallus stops channelling and collapses in Magius Wils’ chair (the book’s centre is back to the emerald). I can tell Kallus is weakened from the experience. He nods to himself and then says in my mind ‘You can put it away now’. I comply and recover the book in the Red velvet and slip it into my gown.

‘I’m going to offer you a way out – which doesn’t involve you ceasing to breathe; associates of mine have set actions into motion that cannot be stopped. You have discovered things that jeopardize our plans but I need you to understand that I need you to let what happens tonight to happen. After that you are welcome to do as you wish, in return for your cooperation, I have no interest in the book, it is yours, and in fact, I might have some ideas on how you might study such a tome’.
I nod for him to proceed.

‘I need the city to be saved’

I don’t hide my confusion at that statement. How can he want what’s going to happen to happen and also need the city to be saved…..

He notices my confusion and clarifies – ‘I need the city to be saved, and I need to be the one who picks to save it’.

Still trying to process what he’s saying – ‘What would you have me do?’

‘Don’t worry about that’.

He then explains what he might have of interest to me. It seems that he has captured the ‘elusive man’ from the bazaar incident, and he is prepared to turn him over to me if we do what he has suggested and not interfere with tonight. ‘He has the links back to Lemish that you are after’.

I ask him about the cultist and he says that he is not involved with them but they are on to me. (They want the book).

We finally come down to the grit of the deal – ‘We have selected you to be our contact. You must influence your companions to not stop what needs to happen this evening.’
‘The Attack?’ – Yes

I then ask about the foreign nobles and he says that if Lt Karnak is as good as he (Kallus) thinks is then they will be out of harm’s way.

It finally clicks…. The Sanction Ambassador… I bet Sanction has proposed a protection treaty and the merchant council have declined. With the hobgoblins attacking they will have to accept and come under Sanction’s control.

I then ask – how should I contact you after tonight’s ‘festivities’?

He reaches into one of his pouches and pulls out a ring and places it on the table. I get the word ‘Communication’.

I nod understanding.

I question him about those other mages I have seen in the city and he just seems to brush it off… I think something is up there but at the moment I don’t want to push it.
I stand and prepare to leave and say ‘Aren’t you happy that I turned up when I did!’
For the first time I catch a look that perhaps he really is ‘flying by the seat of your pants’. He has had to hasten his plans.

I ask him if he would like any assistance with Magius Wils but he declines and said that he must deal with it now.

With that I raise my veil and depart through the ‘tent flap’. I find myself back outside next to Fredrick and he says at my reappearance – ‘well that was quick at least’. I enquiry further and he says I’ve been gone about 5minute. (It’s was more like 30-45mins).
As we head back I decide to broach the subject and I ask him if he cares if the city falls? Fredrick responses in much the same way as I am thinking – He likes the bazaar and that under merchant rule the city is focused more on service and goods then on whims of a city leader. He does like that it’s not regulated.

I don’t know what Sanction will change when they take over but I’m pretty sure they will want the bazaar to continue as normal but I don’t think it will be as ‘unregulated’ as Fredrick likes if Lt Karnak is the standard by which Sanction operates.

We make it back to the gate and are allowed inside (much easier than before)
I suggest to Fredrick that we return to the Inn, gather the horses and then head for Yandon’s so that we can hopefully meet up with Ven and Yru. Fredrick does note after looking back that he thinks we are being followed. Unsure if it’s the guard, thieves or just someone that might want to sell the information to an interested party.

From the Journal of Ven

I head back towards the hospital, using the back alleys while ‘Lady Valentine’ goes shopping for new pants; I do hope they do not get into trouble. I am totally on my guard this time – no distractions as there is too much at stake. I arrive and see people outside the hospital and can tell they are Seekers and they are talking to some Guards. I think the best course of action is to see what is happening at the rear of the complex. At the back of the building I see another 8 Seekers with one of them a high ranking member. From his regalia it is the Arch Bishop himself! They are looking at the incinerator, praying and drawing circles. Seriously…
There is also an officer of the guard here; the Arch Bishop waves over a minion with a case, opens it and hands a large bag of money to the officer. The officer salutes and leaves. Bribe paid it seems. The others Seekers then take ash from the incinerator, place it in a box which is then placed inside another box and then all troop back into the hospital. I head back around to the main street and see the Seekers standing out the front again with some guards; they appear to be waiting for the Arch Bishop to come out. I then see coming up the street a horse drawn carriage and a behind it a wagon being pulled by another lot of horses.
The carriage arrives and the Arch Bishop comes out and enters it and leaves, with most of the Seekers following along behind. The wagon then pulls up and four seekers get in the back with the box of ash and head in the opposite direction to the Arch Bishop. An interesting sequence of events…
After another 15 minutes two people walk in – one appears hurt so I wait 5 more minutes before I enter and see a nurse attending to the person with the broken arm. The good doctor is nowhere to be seen so I walk around to see Leo. He is surprised to see me and shocked when I say his mission is complete as I hand over the item I received. I also relay the message from the owner of the shop to the Night Master of the Sleepers. Leo is also of the opinion that was not a good idea. Seems I have made a contact with the Sleepers as a result of my ‘good deed’. Excellent…
I ask Leo about what he overheard while the Guards and Seekers were here. Leo explains that the groups talked about how something ‘other worldly’ did this and that the dead are rising! A sample of the body (ash) was taken away to the seeker temple where the Seekers will perform a ritual. Raynerus the Arch Bishop rarely gets involved so whatever happened here must have been serious to bring him out to investigate. Little does Leo know…
Doctor No is at the watch house and I ask about the officer I saw take the bribe \ payment – Captain Deathe is his name and he has his hand in everything corrupt on the streets. Worse, is he has family connections to someone in a position of power on the council. Captain Deathe is a real untrustworthy asshole. I also ask Leo about Yandon and I can tell there is something he is not telling me, so I push it and get some valuable information.
As I had already discovered, Spectre has taken over Yandon’s business as whatever backing he had from Lemish no longer concerned them. Leo also says that Yandon is from one of the five original families that rented then purchased the land of Crafthaven. Or Yandon is very close to them. Fireheart and his gambling problems helped bring about his fall from grace. I privately think that the 3rd group, The Hooded Ones, had something to do with it as well.
I mention there is a third group involved – Leo says yes but no one talks about them! He also says that ‘An entire caravan was wiped out by these hooded creatures’. No one talks about the ‘Hooded Ones’ but it is agreed by most that they are in league with the hobgoblins. Leo thinks they are double agents and I agree as they are probably manipulating Spectre – pulling their strings as it were. He says that if I need to get in touch with him, go to the Toad Stool and talk to Bubba and it will get through. I finish with ‘Keep our conversation private’ and of course he agrees that this is a great idea. ‘The Contractor’ is open for business! He says he will get back to the Causeway with the item – very interesting that last bit.
I head back to where I last saw the others but instead see them coming down the street towards me so I wait to the side (they do not see me… typical) and wait for them. Just before I go to step out I feel a dreadful presence and from the look of it so do the others. Whatever this feeling of dread is, it is centred on the others and not me. I pull out my hand crossbow and the ‘Mithril’ dagger as this might just be a situation far more dangerous than what we have come across already – no more Mr Nice Guy.
Yru yells out to guard as something is wrong (good) but I have still not seen anything appear; and then I see a shimmer from a spot behind Evanora. I aim and fire my hand crossbow and the centre of the shimmer and hit. The shimmer \ illusion disappears and the ‘cultist’ falls to his knees and then turns and fires a bolt of purple magic towards another figure, but instead kills a mother and her baby. Yru and Evanora attack the ‘cultist’ while I follow the figure that is running and leaping over the tables and people! I throw my bolas but miss (this guy is good) but give chase and then hit with my ‘Dagger’. The figure felt that hit (and I felt the dagger try and do something to me as well… that will be investigated later). Evanora casts a spell and all the people around the figure fall to the ground, allowing me to close. We look at each other, a professional and courteous moment is acknowledged; he then opens his cloak and I see a utility belt from which he grabs a smoke bomb and throws it on the ground. I think that I want that belt before he is engulfed in the smoke.
Meanwhile the ‘cultist’ and the rest of the group are battling; Duzret attacks Fredrick as he is controlled then the cultist speaks in a strange language and looks to the sky as Yru leaps in, hits and knocks him out. Evanora goes back to the others and casts a spell to stop Duzret attacking Fredrick while as I look around for the thief. I move around to the back of the smoke and wait and then I smell the sewers… and realise there was a grate in the street right where the guy was standing; bugger. I hear Yru say there is something going on with the unconscious cultist and then there is an explosion – no interrogating that one!
I come back out of the smoke and explain that the guy has escaped down the sewers and we must leave. I grab my bola’s and expect them to follow me. I hear a chirping \ high pitched noise coming from Evanora and realise she has a bird under her cloak – that’s new. I take a closer look at my dagger and see that it is imbued from the blood and somehow feels different. Before leaving I do one last check and see the same two cloaked figures watching from an alley again!!!!
I use cant speech and say ‘You could offer me a job’ and they respond saying ‘Come here quickly as the cultist are coming for you!’ Well I was not expected that so make the decision for everyone to follow me. When we are close they say ‘come with us if you want to live’. Seems like a bad idea but I do want to know who these people are and this might just be the best way to it.
We go down the alley to a house, go inside into a sitting room area with 4 other people dressed just like them. The leader says we need to get these people out of here and we are lead into a tunnel system directly below the building and travel a couple hundred feet until we arrive at a ladder. One of the pair climbs up – taps three times and two taps are returned. The hatch opens and we are helped up into a Candle Makers shop.
It seems the one that stayed behind is called Michael and might be in charge of this group of mages (they both had lots of pouches and scrolls on them); Evanora appears a little frazzled. We are told to remain here for 20 mins and then we can leave. Do not go back to that part of the bazaar as they will try and scry us. Looking outside we see we are over near the butcher (Olaf) and the Happy Harpy. Fredrick says ‘what is going on?’ so Evanora takes Fredrick into the kitchen to explain and also to do a ‘healing session’ on his face while we wait. After 20 minutes we leave (much to the Candle Makers delight) and head back towards the Happy Harpy.
I ask if the guy that blew himself up was known to us – Yru says he is sure he saw him in Lemish and then Evanora and I remember that he worked for one of Master Waheed’s rivals. This rival, Vicben, was a low level merchant and not considered a rival by Master Waheed, but if Vicben has made a new alliance with the ‘3rd Group’ that is working in this city and the hobgoblins, then my Master’s position in Lemish might be threatened. This must also be reported!
Before crossing the road to the Harpy we stop and look around to see if Dingo (or anyone else) might be watching the inn. While we wait I ask if the cultist said anything and Yru says he did but he could not understand it. I add that I have additional information and then see Captain Deathe exiting the Happy Harpy – he looks both ways and walks of down the street. Is he investigating us because he was paid to do so? I explain the bag of money the Seekers gave to the officer walking away. We head towards the inn and enter to see who is on duty.
Inside the inn things are very quiet and subdued so we walk up to the bar and talk with the barkeep that we like. Seems the guard came in, blocked all exits and waited for Captain Deathe to arrive. They searched our rooms (as well as the Ergothians!) AND took Dingo away. I was not worried about my room – I carry everything of value on me, but Evanora ran upstairs – that will not end well. Later a guardsmen came and called Captain Deathe to the bazaar; seems the Captain did not want to go but did anyway. Why did they take Dingo? Previous run in with the law maybe? Evamora comes back downstairs and is not a happy camper – that’s what you get for leaving valuables in your room! I can also see why the Master recommended this inn. The cliental do not like the law and they help us to leave out the back without being seen by making sure a ‘beggar’ across the road is run off before we go.
We leave out the back way and head towards the jail. We arrive and the plan is to have Evanora go in with her ‘husband’ as a witness to the scene in the bazaar while I move around and check the rear of the watch house. The back door is open but an iron gate is locked preventing entry. I can look inside though – there is a food cooking in place on a stove nearby to the right of the door and directly across from the iron-gate is a closed door that leads to the main office area where Evanora and her ‘husband’ Yru are talking. The food vendor at the left front of the watch house probably provides the prisoners with food as the stuff cooking here looks too good for them.
As the door is open I grab a long stick and open my poison kit and remove one of the Glimmering Spider Glands and easily drop it into the cooking pot. I had thought about half a gland but as I do not yet know the strength of the poison I use a whole one. Since it is safe to do so I pick the rear lock and enter and can still here Evanora and Yru in the other room. I walk over to the pot and add some more spices to cover the poison (just in case). I close the gate, close the lock and head back around to Duzret and Fredrick that again do not see me coming – these two will make a great diversion for me one day. I tell them to go sit nearby and have a drink while Yru waits at the food vendor and eats. Evanora is also nearby watching and I move around to the rear again to watch for when they will eat.
Our window of opportunity arrives approximately an hour later when Bill the guard goes in to the kitchen and grabs two big bowls for food. The guards talk and I hear Will ask if there is enough bread – there is not so Bill goes off, gets some bread and returns. Will then places a ‘Closed Sign’ on the front of the watch house and the pair sit down to eat. At the rear of the watch house I wait for some riders to finish watering their horses and leave before trying (and failing) to open the lock. Pity. I go back to the front to wait for them to finish eating. As I am walking a group of Seekers go past saying ‘Praise and Worship to the Mother Lord’ – I have no idea who the Mother Lord is. After this group finally go, it has been about 30 mins again so I let the others know what I am doing and head around back again.
Evanora and later Yru both go in the front as I cannot open the lock (I obviously closed it too well) and Evanora opens the gate after I tell her where the key is. I enter as well and begin to clean up the crime scene (CSI: Dragonlance!) so that it appears it was not the food that killed them. Note to self – half a spider gland next time… Evanora locates the missing gear and I place Dingo in a sack so he cannot be seen. He is VERY badly beaten.
We travel via the back ways and arrive at Yandon’s Trading Post making sure we were not followed and then enter the building. A search reveals that the guards did not find the hidden entrance to the sewers but did move stuff around in the warehouse. We also have a chance to have a closer look at the wounds to Dingo – it is even worse than I thought! We place Dingo on one of the mattresses upstairs and move some downs stairs for the others. Evanora casts some healing upon Dingo to help him heal and also because she believes he will die with the aid.
I take a watch for the first four hours while the others rest; nothing happens during this time. After this time Evanora casts move healing upon Dingo and he is finally conscious but cannot really talk so he sleeps for another hour before waking again (the time is now around 10.30pm) but Dingo still cannot talk. Evanora says we are safe but Dingo shakes his head in a negative way. She casts another healing upon him and now he can talk.
Dingo explains what he found out:-
• The party tomorrow is going to be attacked in mass by the hobgoblins – he heard this from Wulfe’s – Wulfe is definitely an agent for Spectre. The Hooded ones are now going to take control of the city.
• I ask about Captain Deathe – he has a cousin on the Merchant Council. The Sandman knows what is going on and is the head of the Sleepers. The Night master and Day master should know what is going on as well.
• Captain Deathe was at the Happy Harpy for Dingo – not us. Dingo got spotted and was beaten to find out what he had overheard.
o This explains a lot actually.
• This year is a big festival – many visiting leaders for the surrounding cities will be or are already here.
• The Causeway is the Sleepers HQ and the Day Master wants to meet ‘The Contractor’. I explain that ‘I’ am the contractor and Dingo is surprised and relieved at the same time.
o Seems Leo was true to his word. Evanora also calls me ‘Ven’ and not ‘Hiro’ in front of Dingo… Stupid woman.
• At sundown tomorrow the festival will start at the Seekers temple and then a procession will head out to the party area. The wizards only protect the ‘special area’. Free food for all and the only day the bazaar is closed. All the populace are welcome to eat and drink.
• Yandon’s house is located in the richer quarter but has not been opened as far as he knows
• The last person to see Yandon was Olaf the butcher – Warrick sent around some strong arms boys to have Yandon beaten twice for not paying. Yandon is still alive and is hidden in the city
o We think Olaf might know where he is. Then daylight dawns on us all and we realise that the house Yru followed Olaf to be the location of Yandon!!!!! We have known all this time.
Dingo says that he must return to the Day Master quickly to report in – working for the Sleepers are we??? He is sheepish but says yes and that he needs the protection and he asks about a way out. I hit the latch for the secret exit and show him the entrance to the sewer. He will knock five times when he returns. After he is gone and Yru is on guard I ask Evanora about the bird in her cloak. She explains it is a Shadow Raven and the bird is her teacher. Was not expecting that answer.
Two hours later Dingo returns with ‘Robert’ an associate. He is here to give us information regarding the Hooded Ones. Seems they have taken over a warehouse on the southern side of the bazaar. The Sleepers do not know how they entered into the warehouse (magic portal for sure) but there is now a gathering of around 15 of them at this warehouse. We say that they could easily hold the docks until troop ships arrive and unload; only a theory of course but Dingo and Robert do not look happy. I also ask about the Red Sashes as I have information that says they report to and are to take orders from a ‘Seth’ in this city. This Seth person appears to be a member of the Merchant Council. Not good at all.
The guy that escaped down into the sewers could not be located by any of the Sleeper agents either. Captain Deathe has also closed the investigation in to the hospital – hence the bribe by the Arch Bishop (also explains things). The Day Master is outside the city at the moment but still wants to talk to ‘The Contractor’. I give a description of the thug from outside the gambling house; this is Vince a Lt of the Night Master. It is believed that a lot of groups that have been going into the Fire Caves lately are sponsored by the ‘3rd group’ (Hooded Ones). Yandon had an agreement with the Sleepers in regards to the Fireheart for many years but the Merchant Council and Spectre believed they had removed Yandon’s support from Lemish and thus with the attack on the city they struck at Yandon’s business.
There is one council member here that comes does from the original family that owned all the land the current five families first rented, then bought. Spectre is the spy group that works for the Merchant Council though they are much more involved in the rulership now. Evanora asks if the party can be stopped and Robert says no; the party will go ahead no matter what. I say that when all hell breaks loose tomorrow, the Sleepers will be targeted by the Hooded Ones for sure as they are a threat to their takeover of the city. Robert explains that there are tunnels that lead into the Fireheart caverns that the Sleepers could escape through. He adds that at 5.00pm the Seeker’s Bell on their temple will be rung. If it tolls 3-4 times before 5.00pm, all Sleepers are to get the hell out of city and protect their loved ones. Dingo can show me the way to the hidden tunnels in the sewers – one goes to the beach and the other to the forest side of the city.
I go with Dingo and check out the two passages out of the city; he also points out a third that leads to the Causeway. He also explains that tonight the city gates remain open all night so that everything can be setup for the Gala tomorrow night.
We head back to the warehouse and then and wait until early morning before Yru and I go out the rear and meld with the crowds. We use the thieves’ path to get to the house where Olaf and Yandon are located. There is no one around but we have breakfast first before knocking. Olaf opens the door and I say ‘I am the here to see Yandon’. Olaf freaks and closes the door but it is not locked. I open it and follow Olaf up the stairs and use him for cover as Yandon appears with a heavy crossbow. I explain who I am and he puts the crossbow down and we head downstairs to the kitchen for tea.
We talk about things and I say your habits did not help but as the conversation continues I know Yandon knows more than what he is saying. I mention Vicben and know Yandon is lying. Eventually I have had enough. ‘I know you have more to say’ and pull out my dagger… Yandon looks worried and Olaf is clueless but eventually Yandon gets Olaf to bring out a jar (not sure why?) and he asks me to open it. I slip the dagger around the top and pull out a head. I place the head on the table and then Yru and I both recognise the face. It belongs to a missing LT of Master Waheed’s that left over 6 months ago. This man was my assassination teacher – what is going on!?!
Yandon then explains that 6 months ago the man came and tried to kill him; both Yru and I are shocked by this and I put away the dagger. This action and the fact that Yru and I both reacted with such surprise to Yandon’s statement drops the tension in the room and things return to normal. This explains a lot and I ask about Marcus as he too has been missing for over around 12 months. Yandon says he last saw Marcus about 7 months ago before he headed out to the Red Sashes tower to investigate. He never returned…
Olaf then serves tea while Yandon brings out the items the dead LT had on him. There was more but Yandon used some items to settle his debts with Warrick so he is all square now. (Good to know).
In the sack is the following:-
• Scroll case with a trading post poster with Yandon’s face – good likeness
• Beads that represent slave, freeman and member of Waheed’s merchant group
• I mention this LT trained me in combat training
• Mithril chain shirt
• Ebony Thieves’ Tools (which I take)
• A set of Bolas – specially made ones (I take – will look at properly soon)
• Arm guards that flick daggers (which I will put on) – there are locations for poison vials in them in the arms guards so that every time you put a dagger in it is recoated (very nice!).
• Nice boots (given to Yru)
• I leave the pendant in the green velvet bag and hold it on my person.
The bombshell is the fact that the ‘Green Book’ and matching Pendant came from the dead LT. I really do think that Vicben is involved – he will be dealt with after I report to Master Waheed. He also adds that the Green book we found and the Cloak I am wearing were in the wagons because they are ‘blanketed’ from magical scrying (that is interesting) and is why Yandon hid them there. We really need to get back to Evanora before she does something with the book!

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