War of the Burning Sky

Episode 3 - The gnome is an elf?!
At the Depository

You manage to catch up to Breora, who had not gotten very far.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking in Elven
Beryl looks behind her wistfully, hoping to one day find another dire weasel.
Shava moving as quickly as she can, Shava is breathing heavily by the time they catch up to Breora

Beryl: Fine… What are we doing again? …
Rhakesh fills up his waterskin from a nearby well and offers Shava a drink
Breora Lif’illian has a slightly irritated tone as she speaks in elven but calms a little.

Beryl scritches behind her ear, thinking for a moment while the screams of people flood the night air.
Shava gratefully accepts the water
Rhakesh: Heading for the depository and solving the problems of every damned fool in town I presume
Breora Lif’illian: We are finding a certain case.
Torrent: We have wasted enough time on dire weasels, let us hurry.
Rhakesh: And our poor cutthroat didn’t even get a pet weasel out of it
Oberon follows Torrent.
Beryl: Fine fine. Sheesh.
Shava: Helping others is never a waste
Breora Lif’illian does not elaborate even on the chaotic streets out of fear of being watched or easedropped
Beryl traipses alongside the more irritable party members.
Rhakesh: Helping others who are in serious need of help is not a waste, helping a man who can’t be trusted to watch over his own pet is another matter
Beryl: Come on. Mittens woulda been awesome to have around.
Rhakesh: And presumably you wouldn’t have lost her
Shava: One day Beryl, you may have an even better pet.
Breora Lif’illian ([walking): to the dipository] I agree with our scaled friend, we have more than enough to deal with besides a large furry rat.
Shava: The Depository is just ahead, let’s find out gnomish friend and get out of this city before the Ragesians find a way to get inside.
Rhakesh: Eh, Gate’s Pass is a tough place, in these narrow streets and alleys, the Ragesian numbers are meaningless
Rhakesh: It cost them a lot to take this city last time and it will do so again
Torrent: Yes, I believe that Gate Pass is strong enough to fight off an assault, and can easily survive a siege of several months, long enough for us to get to Lyceum and bring back recinforcements, but only if we hurry.
Shava: True, that’s why they were never able to hold it long. However, the inquisitors don’t have to be here in number. They are apparently very good at hunting those of us of the arcane inclination down
Breora Lif’illian: But it certainly doesn’t help that the council rolled out a silk rug for them…only for the Orcs to relieve themselves on it
Rhakesh: The collaborators will get their due
Beryl sighed as the other talked.
Beryl: Boring. Are we there yet?
Shava: Next corner I believe
Rhakesh: Once the masters holding their leash are gone, there’ll be nothing to save their hounds
Oberon (curiously): Why is there such a hunt for arcane users?

You see the dark needle of the Depository Tower long before the guarded gate appears along the roadway. Now as you come to the massive iron gates, four well-armed guards, three orcs and a dwarf snap to greater attention and prepare for a challenge. In a respectful voice, the dwarf asks for the required owner’s key, which Torrent produces. He and the other guards visibly relax.
“The riots have us all on edge, please forgive our harsh diligence,” the dwarven guard says as he tests the key on a special lock plate. He hands it back mechanically when the latch opens. Placing his lips against the opening, he whispers something and the large cog- work gears on the sides of the gates rumble and turn. In a moment, the way is open and one of the orc guards clumsily gestures a welcome for all to enter.
Rhakesh: The Ragesians are smart soldiers, and there’s no finer force in the world than the Ragesian Army, they can deal with common soldiers
Shava: I am not certain, perhaps they don’t trust us?
Rhakesh: Mages are unpredictable, mages deal in forces they do not understand
Rhakesh: That threatens them
Beryl strides right in the depository.
Breora Lif’illian nods briskly to the guards as she enteres the depository

As you pass in, the chaos of the city disappears. Untouched as yet by the Ragesian bombs, a beautifully tended garden wends its way past splendid fountains. The left basin recalls elemental spirits of local legend — a dragon, a worm, a kraken and an eagle — while a statue of Emperor Coaltongue posing with a torch held high dominates the one on the right. The torch glows as if lit by a neverending flame.
Shava: Ah yes, the Depository, I’ve heard much about it, but my kind don’t get to come here very often.
You count four other guards patrolling the grounds, dwarves and orcs again, and continue towards the large double iron doors that are the only entrance to the central structure. Once again, Torrent’s key is used and the orc guard speaks a secret phrase to gain entrance.
“There’re guards inside,” the orc politely says, with a gruff and graveled voice; his smile looks like a grimace. “So be careful and don’t accidentally open the wrong locker. There are lanterns here for light.” With a chuckle, he adds, “You’ll regret them if you meets up with the ugly gnome in there now.”
Rhakesh:(warily) And where is this gnome?
Oberon (understainding): Ah, fear of the unknown has plagued all races in one form another. It was a contributing factor to my kind’s issolation and eventual downfall.
Shava: Is he really that bad?
Guard: You’ll soon find out
Shava: I agree Oberon. IF only we could convince remove so much of this hatred and distrust. Personally I blame most of it on the Humans
Beryl (pithy): Gee, thanks.
Rhakesh (in agreement): Indeed, though I’ve found fewer things interfere more with spellcasting than a blow to the head, hard to cast spells without a good head on one’s shoulders.
Oberon chuffs.
Shava takes a lantern and lights it
Beryl moves onward, eager to find that damn gnome.

Breora Lif’illian opts to pass on a lantern figuring her allies provide enough light on their own.

The first floor of the tower is one huge room, and though the far side is hidden in shadows, it looks to be about sixty feet in diameter. A broad stone ramp circles clockwise upward to the left of the door, while the interior of the room is filled with aisles of metal lockers, each slightly larger than a coffin propped upright. Squat round columns twenty feet high support the ceiling.
Rhakesh brings a lantern along just in case
Beryl: Hmm… no one yet, eh?
Rhakesh: Remind me what we know of this gnome again? Other than his name and his rather disreputable ways?
Shava looks around, taking it in with little reaction.
Beryl: He’s really ugly and he has something important. That’s all we really care about, really.
Breora Lif’illian (whispering to Rhakesh): They say he is ugly as sin.
Shava: As far as I know he’s the one who has the information we are trying to get to Lyceum, hopefully information we can use to fight the Ragesians
Rhakesh (Whispered): That much I recall, let’s just hope his information is good

Upon seeing you, a rather ugly gnome heads down the ramp and feebly nods to you, coughing and complaining that he caught a cold on his trip from the Ragesian capital. He appears to be a pug-faced, ugly gnome with blue robes and a runny nose. He looks at you when he reaches the floor and sneezes.
“I hear the war outside,” says the gnome between coughs. “Good to be in here. Very safe.” He clumsily turns around and begins to ascend the ramp, “Follow me, Peppin, it is time to conduct our business.”
Beryl: ….Who?
Shava (whispering): Peppin? Wasn’t that the contact who died?
Beryl: …Oh, right. Yes. Lead the way.
Rhakesh (Whispering): Go along with it, see what he gives us
Shava follows the gnome
The gnome takes you to the second floor, randomly pausing in front of one of the countless lockers.
Shava (whispering): I agree
Breora Lif’illian clenches her jaw to stop herself from commenting in common or elven about the gnome’s appaearance as she follows
Rivereye: What is the password?
Shava looks to Torrent
Breora Lif’illian looks to Torrent expectantly
Torrent: I know nothing about a password, also you are quite mistaken about what you said earlier, I thought it was odd. Peppin is not with us.
Shava has a slightly worried look on her face
The gnome at this point looks rather worried, and immediately rushes off towards the third floor
Beryl: After him!
Shava: Stop him!
Rhakesh: Oh there’s no way I’m letting a gnome outrun us
Oberon rushes after the gnome.
Shava pulls her wand and prepares to cast a spell

Breora Lif’illian lets out an elven curse and chases after the gnome
Shava (ponders out loud) He’s running up. Is he planning to escape from the Roof?
Oberon runs after Rivereye and marks him, moving adjacent.

The illumination is dark, with only the lanterns for light. Each floor contains dozens of metal lockers, you can jump or climb ontop of them. The walls and ceilings are masonry and the ceilings are 20 feet high with the stone ramps circling around the interior wall
Oberon (forcefully): Stop! We must speak with you!
The gnome infront of you changes, and his apparence becomes that of an elf
Oberon (angrily): Treachery!
Rhakesh: So many elves!
Breora Lif’illian is visibly surprised and confused by this turn of events
Elf: It seems I cannot escape easily… I need some assistance.
Oberon is speaking in Dwarven
Beryl pulls out her shiny new dagger, eager to stab someone.
Shava rushes up the stairs and across attempts to close the distance with the fleeing gnome/elf.

Beryl: CATCH!
The dagger catches the elves leg, wounding him.
Rhakesh: By the goddess… this one needs to be on a leash
Shava a blue-wihte beam of light flashes from the tip of her wand and lances toward the elf
Rhakesh dashes off in pursuit of the elf
Rhakesh: There’s no escape, just quit running and come quietly
The elf is struck by the frost, and it begins to freeze one of his legs
The elf is unphased by your intimidation
Breora Lif’illian moves towards the staircase as she attempts a different tactic, diplomacy.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : Elven
Elf is Speaking: Elven
Oberon tenses, not know what Breora said or how this mysterious elf will respond.
Elf is Speaking Elven
Oberon He keeps his eyes on the elf, though one ear turns toward Breora for a possible signal.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : Elven
Elf is speaking : Elven
Torrent stays behind watching and waiting at the stairs, protecting Laurya
Shava is speaking : Elven
Breora Lif’illian grimaces as she seems to dislike the response she is getting
Suddenly
Arcs of lightning traverse from one wall of the room in a straight line to the opposite wall or end of a row of lockers in a seemingly random pattern.

Shava: Oh crap, he triggered some sort of trap
Lightning shoots out of the wall next to Shava, arching to the opposite wall.
But does not hit
Shava senses the lightning at the last second just ducking in time, though her hair is practically standing on end

Shortly after this lightning, you see another flash… This time a flash of fire, as something that seems to be surrounded in fire teleports into the room near Larion
Solon is speaking : Elven
Elf is speaking : Elven
The elf moves up as much as he can with his frozen leg.
Shava: Surrender! We will treat you well!
The elf then turns around and throws a dagger towards Oberon
The dagger flies past Oberon and hits the wall near Beryl
Beryl (coy): Ooooh. He wants to play.
Oberon (Howls angrily): You shall pay for your insolence! I am Canim!
Shava: So it would seem
Oberon channels his psionic energy to mark both the elf and the other creature (elemental?) and keep them in his awarness.
Beryl: Shava, can you get that thing outta my way?
Oberon moves adjacent to the Elf, ignoring the attack he knows will come from behind.
Breora Lif’illian (worriedly): Do not kill him
As Oberon walks up the stairs, the solon attacks the canim with a flaming whip
Oberon raises his hand and it bursts into crackles of lightning. He then plunges it into the chest of his foe with a roar of triumph.
Larion dodges out of the way effortlessly, dispite his leg.
Larion: Too slow
Oberon (Snarls in frusteration): You will not escape my grasp in the end!
Beryl: Maybe YOU can catch.
Beryl chucks her new fancy dagger towards the flaming elemental.
Beryl carefully checks the nearby door and attempts to open it.
You notice the door is already partially open
Beryl pushes it right open and steps outside, wary of that scary lightning.

Shava calls on her training at Gabal’s school and targets the enemies with the Magical Missile spell he had developed
Rhakesh starts off with a running dash down the staircase and bounds towards the enemy

Shava The missiles speed toward their targets, rounding the curve of the stairs to strike at the elf.
As the Wisp solon is bloodied, it emits a blinding flare around itself.
Oberon (Angry): What magic is this?!
Beryl flails about, swinging her dagger wildly.
Rhakesh realizes the danger this new enemy faces and takes a deep breath before charging into the foray for a fresh assault
Rhakesh and as he approaches the burning image, Rhakesh squints his eyes to get a better swing and swings his axe as hard as he can in a curving, wicked arc in the creature’s direction
Rhakesh: Lights out fireman!
Rhakesh: Listen to the sound of my voice and whatever you do don’t hit ME with your sword
Breora Lif’illian (annoyed): as long as you talk, that should not happen.
Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
Breora Lif’illian tries to remember where the stair are and more importantly where the elemental was as she channels her more unotherdox abilities.
Solon is speaking : Draconic
Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
Breora Lif’illian unable to feel the effect of her control over the wisp, she quickly realizes that she missed and prepares for another assault.
Solon burns brightly with fire, and seems to heal its own body.
The Wisp teleports away from Rhakesh closer to Larion, hovering in the air.
The solon then gazes towards Oberon with a lustrous Gaze
Laurya proceeds down the stairs and heals Shava
Torrent stays back to protect Laurya
Shava: Ouch! That hurt!
Lightning again bursts out of the wall, this time near Torrent
Larion, knowing that Oberon cannot attack him as he flees, runs up the stairs onto the third floor
Oberon (Howling in frusteration): I can hear you puppy! You shal not escape me so easily!
Solon is speaking : Dwarven
Oberon then proceeds to run after him like a blind fool.
Breora Lif’illian (mutters): and this is truly not helping our case…
Oberon is momentarily startled by the random voice speaking dwarven from no where, but keeps his mind focused on his prey.
Oberon rushes up the steps, with a fire whip cracking towards him from the Solon as he does so
Rhakesh: Cmon lady hatchlings fresh out of the egg hit more often than that!
Beryl fumbles about, searching for the door.
Beryl grabs ahold of the knob, shutting the door, and tries to catch her breath.
Shava pulls herself to her feet and stops to catch her breathe.
Oberon (Growling at the Elf): I can see you clearly now.
Shava pointing her wand at the Wisp Solon, once again a beam of blue white light strikes the creature momentarily freezing it’s brilliant flaming ball
Rhakesh dashes up the stairs not a moment after Shava hits the thing with her best shot and brings his axe down in a vicious uppercut to slice the flaming abomination’s head in twain
The Solon dances around Rhakeshs’s axe
Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
Solon is speaking : Draconic
Breora Lif’illian uses the sounds of Rhakesh’s ranting to try and locate Solon again.
Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
Rhakesh ducks
Due to her blindness she misses Rhakeshs’s head by an inch but also misses the Solon
Rhakesh: Elf, I’m on your side!
Breora Lif’illian phases the air around Solon but does not manage to teleport or damage the creature
The solon, teleports away from Rhakesh up to the third floor
Rhakesh shouts up after her
Solon Gazes lustfully towards Oberon

Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
Oberon snarls at his atacker, but refuses to fall unconscious so easily.
Oberon (Yelling): Everyone get up here, I can’t contain them on my own!
Rhakesh: Don’t worry lupine, I’ll be up to put out that annoying fire in no time#
The lightning strikes harmlessly in the edge of the room, but you also notice that it strikes on the third floor as well
Larion runs
Beryl braces against the door, making sure nothing gets through. Being blind is scary.
Shava tosses the potion of healing to Rhakesh “Rhakesh, catch, feed this to Oberon before he dies”
Oberon roars with fury, and musters his streangth oncemore.
Oberon runs after the Elf once more.
Beryl pounds on the door. “Go get ‘em guys!… I’ll wait out here ’til I can see again.”
Shava: and on that note, I’ll try to toss the potion to Oberon instead of Rhakesh
Oberon catches the potion and offers his thanks.
Rhakesh grimaces intently as he looks up and gives climbing another try to make it up from the staircase onto the next floor
You manage to successfully climb up
Rhakesh then charges right in the direction of the flame abomination with his axe held high as he practically leaps through the air to give more force to his swing.

Breora Lif’illian tries to make her way up the stairs despite her blindness.
Breora Lif’illian (Aiming): Someone tell me if i’m facing the right direction of our elven friend
Rhakesh: Just don’t shoot me again
Rhakesh: What… what did you say you do for a living again?
Breora Lif’illian conentrates in Larion’s direction as she hears his footfalls on the steps. She forcefully teleports him off the steps and back down the floor
The wisp teleports to where Larion is
Then gazes towards Rhakesh

Rhakesh spits on the ground and pretends not to be hit too hard
Rhakesh is speaking : Draconic
The lightning bursts harmlessly at the egde of the room
Larion, decides to screw running aroun, but instead decides just to climb up the side of the building to the top of the ramp
Rhakesh: Lay down your arms and dispel this abomination before I stick my axe in one end of you and out the other
And succeeds magnificantly
You hear a door open on the fourth floor
Shava: Is he going outside??! What can he be thinking it’s like 4 stories to the ground!
Oberon quickly drinks the healing potion and runs (double run) after the Elf. He can’t let him escape!
Shava: He can’t be thinking of climbing down 80 feet to the ground? Do you think he can fly?
Rhakesh: let’s not find out
Oberon (Angrily): Screw it!
Oberon Oberon action points and runs after the Elf again.
Oberon: Not for the first time, Oberon wishes he could fly.
Beryl blinks, finally seeing that nothing is trying to kill her.
Shava rushes up the stairs to the door, opens it and steps out onto the balcony

Shava (awestruck): You gotta see this
Breora Lif’illian (upon hearing more footfalls moving away): He is still climbing isn’t he.
Shava: Well yes, I guess, but it looks like the gates are holding for the moment.
_ Breora Lif’illian she runs her hand along the wall and continues upwards though she does rub her hand on Shava’s back at the open door by accident_
The wisp solon, teleports to the top floor
Rhakesh (fiendishly): She never wants to wait around for a proper scrap, what a coward
The lightning again bursts randomly, harming nobody
Shava jumps at the sound of the lightning bolt nearby, getting refocussed, she looks around to see if she can assess where she might need to go to get a good shot at the elf.

Larion reaches the roof, then makes an impossible jump of over 30 feet, clearing the 20 foot high fence and landing lightly on the sloped, snowcovered rooftop of a building. He then quaffs a potion, falls off the roof, and floats down to the crowd on the city street below.
Shava: Aw Crap!
Beryl: …Well.
Shava: He’s getting away!
Oberon is speaking : Dwarven
The wisp Solon teleports away instantly.
And shortly after, the guards burst up the stairs!

Guards: All of you, drop your weapons!
Beryl immediately plays dead.
Shava surrenders to the guards.
Shava: It’s all a misunderstanding!
Beryl succeeds at playing dead, they pay her no heed.
However, she is so convicing that one guard picks up her body to dispose of
Breora Lif’illian mutters something intelligeble under her breath and immediately drops her broadswoard.
Shava: they probably were warned when we first triggered the lightning trap… They were probably following us up the stairs
Shava: So Where were your inside guards. They should have been here to stop those fiends from attacking us in the first place.
Breora Lif’illian surrenders without a fight but does not volunteer the fact that she can will her blade back into her hand anytime she wishes
Rhakesh realizes a lost cause and puts his weapon away
There’s about 8 in total, 4 orcs and 4 dwarves
They’re spread out on the 4 floors that you’re on

Guard: I said, drop your weapons!

Oberon refuses to surrender and jumps over the side, hoping to catch the ledge of the second balcony.
Shava raises her hands over her head.

Shava: Don’t shoot, Don’t shoot, I’m innocent!
Oberon jumps off the side, and fails to catch any of the balconies… Landing on the cold hard ground.
However he is mearly rendered unconsious by the fall.
Guard: Err… What just happened?
Guard: He’s dead, leave him.
Shava: Damn… and he seemed like such a good puppy
The guards on the other floors proceed to take your belongings and begins to search through them, Beryl is thrown on a bunch of corpses of dead guards.
Rhakesh: My friend and I are his companions, may we gather his possessions to pass on to his loved ones?
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : Elven
Rhakesh looks over at Laurya
Guard: No, you are to remain until we confirm who you are.
Oberon will lumber away from the scene looking for a place to rest momentarily.
Beryl looks for an opening to escape.
The guards search the tower and then return to you with a Gnome in tow.
The gnome looks through the belongings and notices Peppins signet ring and pile of equipment and scans you all carefully.

Rivereye: What is the codephrase?
Torrent recites it perfectly.
Rivereye: My saviours!
Rhakesh: Well now that that is cleared up mind if I get my weapons back?
Breora Lif’illian archous a curious brow at the proceedings.
Rhakesh: Being disarmed leaves me feeling a little uncomfortable when folks are dying left and right
Rivereye: Guards, let them go, I was attacked by an elf calling himself Larion, he captured me. They saved me.
The guards let you go, and then give their leave, then proceed to remove their deceased colleague (Including a Half-orc that was burned to a crispe)
Torrent: Quick, we should go to Oberon.
Torrent: And where is Beryl?
Rivereye: Please, retrieve your belongings.
Shava: I’m not certain, last I saw she was out ont he balcony, perhaps she eluded capture
Breora Lif’illian retrieves her things and opts to not magically teleport her sword to herself.
Shava retrieves her dagger and wand
_Torrent finds you unconsious and heals you
Rhakesh gets his axe back and looks at one of the guards_
Beryl continues to play dead, even as the party tends to Oberon.
Rhakesh: Any of you fellows happen to know a Dwarf by the name of Greywood… Fundul… Fundus… Fundin! That’s the name
Guards picks up Beryls body and takes it to you.
Guards: Deal with your dead colleage
Rhakesh takes the body and slings it over his shoulder
Shava: Thank you for returning her.
Guards: No
The guards leave you
Oberon thanks his companions for his revival, though shame is evident in his face at his failure.
Shava examines Beryl for wounds

Torrent: That was foolish Oberon, you should have been killed by that
Torrent: You are very lucky, now let us head up to Rivreye, we have much to discuss.
Beryl (giggling): Shhhh. That tickles.
Shava: Oh get up, you lazy girl!
Rhakesh unceremoniously drops the body
Beryl: OW.
Beryl gets up and dusts herself off.
You also noticed that the lightning blasts have stopped, around the same time the guards burst through
Shava: Are you hurt? You had me worried
Shava: Oh wait did I say that out loud?
Oberon (with a hint of defiance): I’ve known death before. I do not plan to know her embrace again.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking: Elven
Beryl: Thanks, but I prefer the name Beryl.
Torrent proceeds to head to where the others are.
Oberon lumbers to join the others.
Rhakesh looks at Oberon with a look of mild surprise
Shava heads to the meeting with Rivereye

Rhakesh (wrily): a creature of many surprises. So how is it that you managed to avoid giving the Raveness what she wants?
Oberon (looking weary): if we could rest a moment, that would be appreciated.
Breora Lif’illian seems surprised that Oberon is still alive.
Torrent: Yes, that is an excellent idea.
Breora Lif’illian: I must admit…I thought you jumped to your death.
Oberon (in response to Rhakesh): Who’s the Ravenness?
Rhakesh: She is called the Raven Queen by most
Rivereye sits on the floor and looks at you, as if he wishes to say something.
Oberon (in resposne to Breora): I did.
Shava: Goddess of Death

“So, Peppin is gone,” Rivereye says with a sigh. “The loss is great in my eyes, though I fear few would agree. Life has become so cheap in these dark days. As a servant in the imperial palace, I saw things that put all faith in a good future to the test. Oh! How I wish the Inquisitors had not enslaved my lips and hands to never reveal what I know.”
Rhakesh: Aye, though I was taught that there is but one Queen in this world
Rhakesh: And that is Tiamat, the Queen of Vengeance
_ Oberon narrows his eyes._
“But I realized others could see what I know! That is why you are here tonight. That case is valuable because it contains all of what I cannot say. It must be retrieved and sent to Lyceum!”
Beryl: So….. where is it?
Shava: You mean you don’t have it?
Oberon (curiously): I wonder if that was the bitch who keeps sending me back here.
Rivereye: No I do not, however I convinced the imposter that the case was trapped. I am not positive as I do not understand the elf language, but I think that the rogue you encounter is named Larion.
Beryl arches an eyebrow.
Rivereye: I also overheard the solon talking with three eladrin. The thieves have a contact at Gabal’s school, a shahalesti eladrin named Shealis. At one point in the converstion, the solon, not good at keeping secrets apparently, mentioned something.
“The escape tunnel to the Singing Chasm is a week away from completion. Our mission will be done soon and we can return to Shahalesti with all we have gathered. Shealis is more difficult now that she is near the end of all this. I hope this information will make her happy.”
Shava (whispers): Well if he shows his face again, it will be mud
Rhakesh (with interest): Death is not Tiamat’s domain, however, it is not unheard of for gods and goddesses to call upon a particularly faithful servant to be raised up again. If that were so, you would owe two goddesses quite a great debt
Beryl: …Shealis? You know ‘er?
Rivereye: Sadly not
Shava: That name sounds familiar
Rivereye: I shall now discribe the case that you must seek. It is black and metal, about a foot long and wide, and half a foot deep, made of (I think) adamantine, with a lock.
Rivereye coughs harshly
Beryl: So…. it’s NOT trapped, but locked?
Rivereye: Yes, but they think it’s trapped.
Beryl nods in thought.
Shava: Oh, clever gnome
Shava: So that’s why he wanted the password is it?
Rivereye: Most likely, I think he gave the case to the three eladrin.
Rivereye: Hmm, I remember something.
“The imposter left this cloak and belt behind as he prepared for your arrival. He traded them out for mine, I suspect, to make his disguise more convincing. They’re a little large for me and it seems that you might benefit more from them than I.”
Beryl: DIBS.
Rhakesh: Do you have any idea what properties they possess?
Beryl immediately grabs the cloak and belt, inspecting them for shinies.
Shava begins to examine the items
Rivereye chucks with a mean grin and starts a coughing fit that makes it rather clear that the gnome’s strength is flagging.
Rhakesh nudges past Beryl and starts looking at them as well

Torrent: I recommend we take shelter in a nearby temple.
Beryl tries them on, but finds them to be a bit on the large side.
Torrent: It is one of the resistances many safe houses, we shall be safe there.
“Thank you my lady,” splutters the weary gnome. “A good rest will prepare us for the task tomorrow, and help me recover my wits. I hope that all of you are willing to go to Gabal’s school and help me regain the information from the Shahalesti. They have no business interfering with all this. Will you join with me on the morrow?”
Shava: Sounds good, I’m tired, and it appears that Rivereye is quite ill
Rhakesh looks interested in the cloak
Rhakesh: Let me see if I can give that a decent fit
Breora Lif’illian: The problem here is that the rogue escaped. His allies know our faces and will be on the look out.
Beryl: Bleh. Whatever.
Beryl hands off the cloak and belt to anyone willing to take them.
Breora Lif’illian also seems interested in the cloak
Rivereye: Yes that is a problem, but we have to push past that.
Rhakesh shows the cloak to Breora
Shava: Most likely, though I’m pretty certain I can get us into the school undetected.
Rivereye: So, will you join with me and retrieve this case?
Rhakesh: It seems we’ll both be in the thick of it, though perhaps you could take the belt and I the cloak
Shava: Most certainly, it is the key to everything it seems
Breora Lif’illian (musingly): I would rather the reverse. As you saw, I have teleportation abilites. The cloak would help ward against sudden combustion if I need to teleport myself
Beryl looks to Shava, then at Rivereye (regretting the decision).
Rhakesh: Sudden combustion?
Beryl: Uh…. sure. I guess. Eh.
Torrent: Then, we shall leave for the temple immediately.
Breora Lif’illian (deadpans): You know…all teleportation is faulty now. Anyone teleporting reappears on fire…
Shava: would the belt not provide protection from sudden combustion, at least over the short distance?
Oberon (looks at Rhakesh): Have you not noticed how everyone who teleports bursts into flame?
Beryl: Ooh. Temples are fun.
Rhakesh: Only a buffoon sets themselves on fire
Shava: Well at least without some protection.
Rhakesh: Perhaps we could draw lots over it
Rhakesh: and see who gets what
Breora Lif’illian nods slowly, “Very well”
Shava forms a jar with several straws sticking out of it in the air…
Shava: Draw if you will
Oberon: I will abstain. You need it more than I.
Beryl: Wait… wait…. Hold on.
Beryl waves her hands over the jar….
Breora Lif’illian frowns as the lots are drawn and Breora loses out
Rivereye has a rather loud coughing fit while waiting for you to settle this.

Beryl: Pick that one. That’s the longest.
Shava: You were right
Shava looks amazed
Beryl: See? That’ll be 3 gold.
Shava: You and your 3 gold…
Beryl: I’ll get it outta you eventually.
Beryl smiles.
Shava chuckles

Beryl: ….So, Temple!
Shava: Yes, let’s get to the temple
Oberon nods.
Rhakesh: Aye, it is agreed
Beryl looks about. “Temple temple temple…. That-a-way!”
Beryl points in a random direction.
And so, you begin to leave the depository, loot in hand, and prepare to go to the a resistance safe house

Breora Lif’illian looks weary like she wants this day to just end.
Rhakesh (looking at Breora): Worry not, I’ll make sure the next great prize goes to you

View
Episode 2: The amazing adventures of Kiki the dire weasel
Oh, and the journey to the depository, plus a burning pub.

Beryl: Aw crap.
Laurya: They’re assaulting Gate Pass with fruit?
Breora Lif’illian keeps her hand on the broadsword while trying to listen to the number of “guests” above.
Shava: (whispers) Perhaps it’s rotten fruit?
Rhakesh is mumbling angrily to himself
Rhakesh: Why can’t they just kick in the door and attack already?
Laurya peers out the door into the alleyway to see if anything has changed in the immediate area.
Shava (whispering): Do you think they are outside too?
Rhakesh: Not that I’ve heard anyway, and we’ll have a while before they can break down the door if that is the case, we’ll be ready for them
A few moments late, you hear a noise outside “Front door: go!” and then the front door shudders as a battering ram slams into it.
Rhakesh: Fight well comrades
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
The door slams open and a man steps inside.
You can see men behind him through the door
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
The thug shouts “Drop your weapons and come quietly. We don’t want to break your valuable little heads!”
Torrent: Just try it, buddy
Shava chuckles
Beryl pops her head out and fires at the first foe she spies.

Beryls attack hits, wounding her target.
Breora Lif’illian (sarcastically): I hear grunting sounds but I can’t make it out, come closer and repeat your words
Beryl: ….Oh boy.
Rhakesh: Time to face the music Ragesian hounds!
Rhakesh attacks one of the bounty hunters and hits.
Rhakesh: Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Rhakesh spits on the ground disdainfully
The thug spits blood on the floor and falls to the ground.
Another thug bursts through the door
Rhakesh strikes at the thug as he bursts through
The thug retaliates with a blow of his own
but the strength behind it causes it to be slow, and rhakesh dodges out of the way
Rhakesh: I’m right here, you blind or something?
The recruit dances around Rhakesh but quickly dies
The other recruits take no chances, and stay outside
Shava points her wand at the thug, a blue-white ray speeds in it’s direction.
Breora Lif’illian draws her blade as a layer of ice cakes onto it. She swings it towards her foe hoping to freeze him in his tracks
Torrent moves back, hoping to protect the spellcaster Shava should anything bypass Rhakesh and Breora.
Then she readies herself just incase

At the end of the round, you see motion on the steps as more enemies begin to travel down them. However, as the second makes it down the building shakes and a deafening boom sounds overhead! The tavern has been struck. Ceiling boards crack and buckle, and the flaming oil spraying around upstairs leakes down into the room like fiery rain. Overhead, a handful of screams sound out as the remaining scouts are caught in the flaming burst and slain. A dying scout stumbles down the stairs, on fire. The bronze bust of Emperor Coaltongue falls off the wall and lands with a thud.
Laurya cries out in pain as bits of flaming shrapnel pelts her from overhead.
Breora Lif’illian mutters an elven curse as she is struck by a falling board
Shava shrieks as she is doused in flaming oil, batting out the little flames that dare to touch her hair.
Beryl hopes no one pays any attention to her.

Rhakesh calmly brushes the burning pieces of wood and shrapnel from his body
Shava regaining her composure, critically assessing the burning building.
Shava (whispering): It seems that the fruit is filled with burning oil
Laurya is speaking :
(Elven)
Breora Lif’illian is speaking :
(Elven)
Shava is speaking :
(Elven)
Laurya: Get out of here, NOW!
Shava (whispering): Rhakesh, cut us a path out of here, I think the ceiling is about to come down on us
Beryl pokes her head out again, and sees she’s in a bad spot.
Beryl: Time to skedaddle.
The fire above has caused burning debris on the floor
Rhakesh: Won’t be too hard to carve a swathe through these louts and make our way somewhere safe
Beryl skillfully dodges the debris and moves out of the way
Shava looks at Laurya “Perhaps through the alley”
Beryl: …Nah. We got this
Beryl: Oh, by the by, friends at the stairs.
Rhakesh: On your guard wretch!
Rhakesh takes a big swing at the nearest thug
Shava (whispering): Good, we could use some friends about now
Beryl: HEY Rhak! Breath out the door, would ya?
Shava (whispering): Oh… Those kind of friends, Aw Crap!
The thug falls to the floor, and the other bounty hunters look on in fear.
Rhakesh: You all better run before I change my mind about mercy!
Recruit 2: I surrender! We all surrender! Let us tend to the wounded!
Rhakesh grumbles at the lot of them
Rhakesh: Just get out of my way before this whole place burns to the ground
Laurya moves to exit the building via the alley door. “Fire and buildings dont mix. Getting out now.”
As you exit, the recuits don’t touch you
You now see clearly outside
As you get outside, you spot a man riding a horse watching.
Shava follows Laurya out the alley door

Rhakesh: You lads aren’t going to get any of those fellows in there back, we saw to that.

Hidden under grey plate armor is a tightly muscled man, his armor worn from many battles and marked with symbols of sacred honor. His eyes have a darkness like a judge laying sentence. A broken helmet, cloven in the face, hangs from his belt. A raven stands on his right shoulder, staring at you with black eyes.
Rhakesh still has his freshly-used axe out
Rhakesh: Be you friend or foe, stranger?
As Laurya opens the door, she is greeted by three attack dogs snarling and barking at her
Kathor: We are beaten, men surrender.
Faced with snarling dogs, Laurya slams the door and rushes out the front door instead.
The attack dog snarls at you, but on Kathors command retreats
The recruits run off as well
Rhakesh: Yeah you better run
Unfortunately, while Lauya managed to escape, Shava was not so lucky, as just as she was about to move the ceiling collapses from above her head!
The ceiling above the door collapses, creating a 5×5 radius of debris
Blocking the side door

Rhakesh: Tiamat’s horns!
Rhakesh: The whole place is coming down
Breora Lif’illian turns suddenly as she hears the collapse
Beryl: Come on, you guys still wanna play? Let’s play!
Shava dodges avoiding the worst of the debris and sprints for the door
Shava emerging to safety (so to speak) she collects herself, straightens her robes and takes stock of the situation

The scout rushes for the door, not even caring about anyone else
Shava (To): the Man with the Raven
Shava: What is your business here?
Breora Lif’illian shoots a glare at the two scouts as if silently daring them to try something as she moves towards the door
Kathor: You are users of magic, worth quite a bit of money, but we cannot best you, so allow us leave in peace.
Breora Lif’illian Remains at the door to wait for the other two but won’t stop the scouts from leaving
Beryl: ….Aw. No fun.
Kathor remains still and waits for his men to escape
Torrent, badly hurt by the collapse, manages to wretch free and heads for the door
Shava: They may go… You, stick around for a moment.
Beryl: ‘Scuse me.
Beryl walks and moves about the cluster of people.
Rhakesh looks over at Kathor

Beryl: ….So…… we’re just lettin’ them go?
Rhakesh: Do you have any idea if the Ragesians are actually in the city now?
Rhakesh: (whispered) “Well, every moment we spend fighting this lot means less to find Menash and get out of this place.”
Kathor: I am not here for idle chatter, my men and I are leaving.
Shava indicates the burning city and general mayhem.
Shava (shouts): I SAID WAIT!
Beryl arches an eyebrow at the usually meek elf.
Kathor does not respond.
Laurya moves away from the burning building.
Rhakesh for the time being just stands there and tries to get his bearings

The attack dogs wait for their master
Shava: How did you know we were here? This is NOT a coincidence
Beryl: ….Shava, ‘I’ knew there was a meeting. I don’t even know the resistance.
Shava: Yes, but the resistance isn’t made up of mages. He was looking for mages.
Breora Lif’illian as the scouts approach, Breora steps to one side to let them pass her through the door.
The scouts, run through the door
Breora Lif’illian leans into her running position as she waits for Torrent.
Torrent: Go, I will be right behind
Breora Lif’illian she nods a bit and comes out
Shava: Fine… don’t answer us then, but if we see you again, the kid gloves come off.
Rhakesh: Wasn’t using those to start with
Beryl: You have a bit of face left on your ax.
Kathor looks down.
Rhakesh snorts a bit
Rhakesh: I’ll pick it off later
Kathor waits for the others to leave.
Torrent escapes the building, completely shattering the foreshadowing.
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Breora Lif’illian takes a good look at the man leading the group.
The bounty hunters and the dog all rush off, with Kathor leaving last taking one last glance at you.
Shava: I’m not sure… an hour perhaps? Torrent?
Shava seems to shrink back into herself once again
Rhakesh: Strange that that one chose not to join in the fighting
Just after the bounty hunters leave, a strange wolf like humanoid arrives at the pub.
Shava: He did seem eager to retreat
Rhakesh: I reckon he was a sight better at it than those other louts that followed him
Rhakesh: Which leaves me concerned
Beryl: …Can we kill THAT one, at least?
Laurya narrows her eyes, “There are all sorts of weird codes of honor with people.”
Shava points her wand at the wolf-like humanoid
Beryl points over at Oberon.
Oberon: Oberon strides up to the building and looks at the others there.

Rhakesh: Be you friend or foe stranger?
Laurya: I thought the dogs had all left?
Laurya: Bring it, dog breath.
Breora Lif’illian draws her broadsword and points it at the stranger as it once again is caked in ice.
Oberon: I didn’t not come to this assembly to be mocked.
Rhakesh Rhakesh’s brow raises at the physical form of the stranger he does nothing beyond that
Beryl: ….A talking, giant dog-man thing?
Shava: Assembly?
Oberon: Oberon croutches and raises his hands, now crackling in lightning.
Rhakesh: I wouldn’t precisely call this an assembly, not much debate, and our meeting place just burned to the ground courtesy of the Ragesians
Oberon is speaking : (Dwarven)
Laurya rolls her shoulder at the burning building behind her. “Its basically an assembly now.”
Breora Lif’illian: …you aren’t another inquisitor lap dog are you.
Beryl: ….Yeah, so….. kill Ragesians?
Rhakesh: Always a good bet
Torrent walks forward and takes a look at the stranger.
Oberon: Oberon straightens.
Torrent: What is your name?
Oberon: I care not for these Ragesians or their people, I’m here for another purpose.
Oberon: I am Oberon, last of the Canim.
Beryl: Oberon? Mind if I call you Obi?
Torrent: Yes, I had heard someone rather strange would be meeting us, although you are late.
Oberon: super old, pre recorded history
Oberon: Obi is acceptable
Breora Lif’illian (surprised): So, he was…expected then…
Dispite your best efforts, you cannot wrack your brains for any information on them, realzing their history has been lost.
Oberon: looks at the burning building.
Breora Lif’illian lowers her weapon and wills the ice to vanish as she hangs the weapon back on her hilt.
Beryl: Cool. We’re gonna find a gnome that’s got something important, then escape the city. That cool with you?
Oberon: Apparently not.
Laurya shrugs. “At least we wont be noticable.”
Oberon: It suits my purposes for this season.
Oberon is speaking : (Dwarven)
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Shava: Well, welcome to our group. it seems we are all travelling in roughtly the same direction at any rate
Torrent: Well, after that we should take a short rest, afterward we should begin our journey to the depository.
Rhakesh: Nah it’s fine, me and the lupine here can impersonate pack animals and we can tell the Ragesians we’re all just traders caught in the city and that this was all a big misunderstanding
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Beryl: ….Yeah…. a short rest sounds good. Let the elves babble about stuff.
Shava chuckles
Oberon: Can we not simply knock the guards over and be on about it?
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Rhakesh: I prefer that approach but somehow I suspect we wouldn’t make it far with that
Beryl: That, and we got less ‘dagger in my back’ kinda solutions.
Oberon: sigs, though it kind of sounds like a muted snarl
Shava looks at Rhak, and Obi…
Shava: Well, shouldn’t have too much trouble getting lost in the crowd here

After the ambush, and Oberons arrival, you have time to take a short rest, providing you a moment to see what has happened to the rest of the city. The strees are filling with panicked people, and though the bombing ended withbin minutes, a battle has begun at the nearby west wall. Townsfolk rush about trying to put out fires or get to the shelter of temples, and soldiers hurry to their posts, slowed by the throng and chaos. All the while, bells ring urgent warnings up and down the mountain pass.
Oberon: These fires do provide an opportune distraction.
Beryl: Ah… This brings back memories.
Rhakesh: Anyone have a waterskin handy?
Beryl: ….You don’t have one?
Rhakesh: Not a full one, no
Oberon: Unfortunately I am not the stealthiest of hunters, not when everyone else is so tiny.. I stand out.
Rhakesh: Bah, no need for all that nonsense, if you can take the enemy in a straight fight, let ‘em see your face before they die
Beryl: Whatever. Just look big and scary and people should stay outta your way.
Shava: Big and scary works for me
Oberon: Roars and lightning dances around his body.
Oberon: I like this attitude.
Shava: Shall we go find this gnome – Rivereye? I think you said his name was?
Beryl: Depository. Full o’ stuff. I think…..
Shava: I like the lightning, how do you make that happen?
Breora Lif’illian: With all the chaos from the bombardment, we should hurry.
Beryl looks around, and picks a direction.
Shava: Oh wait, not here, Breora is right, let’s go
Beryl: Onward!
Laurya: I think the looting is going to start soon.
Beryl: Shame I can’t join in.
Torrent: Yes, then we should hurry on. I will lead the way.
Shava: Yes, and I don’t want to get looted
Rhakesh: Forget the looting, the smart folk take the food while they still can
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Torrent: The depository is in the next ward, it will not take long to get there.
Oberon: Rhakesh speaks truly.
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Rhakesh: After a couple weeks the city’s so starving you get noble ladies selling all their diamonds for a loaf of bread
Rhakesh: By the time the gates open to trade again, these lads are the richest men in town
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Beryl: ….Right. Lead the way! ONWARD.
Shava following Torrent
Oberon: follows as well.
Laurya moves with the group, keeping upwind of the Canim.

As you head for the rendezvous with Rivereye at the depository, the confusion and the mass of people surging about in near darkness makes travel difficult.

Traveling quickly from the remains of the pub, you see that Gate Pass is in turmoil. Torrent moves ahead about twenty feet, making haste for the depository. As you round a corner, you nearly run over a man carrying a woman out of a doorway. Both are burned severely and he appears nearly spent. Three children, huddled in coats and whimpering, follow behind. “Help me,” the man croaks, his pain clearly visible.
Beryl: Yeouch.
Laurya motions for the man to bring the woman to her.
Shava quickly assesses the situation

The man does so, limping towards you carrying the woman.
Oberon: Oberon looks around with sadness in his eyes – he mounrs that he does not posess the skill to help these people survive this tragedy… yet.
Beryl looks around a place for the group of refugees to get cover.
Breora Lif’illian winces under her hood at the man as she keeps up with the group. She doesn’t have the skills to assist so she tries to gauge how far away the gate is.
Shava seeing that Laurya has the main situation in hand, moves to the children, digging in her pack and pulling out her waterskin and some food

Man: Thank you, Oh thank you! I am Rensar, myself and my wife and children are deeply in your debt.
Shava: Does anyone see someplace they can take shelter? Where are the refugees fleeing?
Torrent: They seem to be fleeing to nearby temples.
Breora Lif’illian: More than likely the temples or any stone building that would resist flames
Shava: That sounds good, can we get them to one?
Laurya addresses the woman’s wounds first, allowing a cool blue light to grace her hand before passing the healing magic into the woman, and then again into the man. Her face flushed, she addresses him, “Take them far from here, the violence will only get worse. Seek succor at the House of teh Aquiline Cross.”
Breora Lif’illian looks like she wants to say something but stops herself and just sighs.
Shava: Merceneum
Rensar: Oh thank, I feel better already, I shall.. but first we must find shelter in these hard times.
Beryl: Hm hm hm….
Laurya: Do not tarry, or violence will be visiting not only upon you and your family without mercy from the Ragesians.
Beryl: Head down there. About a block away.
Beryl points down the road.
Shava: Can they make it on their own, or should we accompany them
Beryl: It’s only a block. They’ll live.
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Breora Lif’illian nods at Beryli’s comment
Shava wraps her cloak around the smallest child.

Shava sighs
Shava: I suppose you are right
Rensar: It is fine, we can make it ourselves, thank you for your kindness.
Laurya gives Rensar a hard look, “Take them now. Run.”
_Rensar takes his wife and children to the temple.
Rhakesh flips them a coin
Oberon: May the goddess of death forget your names this night.
Rhakesh gives Oberon a strange look
Rhakesh: Goddess of death?
Laurya looks at the Canim. “The Mistress never forgets.”
Breora Lif’illian continues to follow Torrent east
Rhakesh: I’m not so sure about that
Shava follows as well
Oberon: I do not know her name, only that it was she that brought me here after the death of my people.
Beryl: Wait. So you’re…. an undead-giant-dog-man?
Rhakesh: Oh, you refer to the one that is called the Raven Queen, yes?
Laurya continues to stare at the Canim, “You and I will talk later.”
Oberon: I am Oberon, last of the Canim. Do not tread on my people’s memories by calling us ‘dogs.’
Beryl: Hey, don’t get bent outta shape. I don’t get ruffled when people call me ‘thief’ or ‘con-artist’.
Rhakesh sighs loudly
Beryl: Shava, being one of those sorts.
Rhakesh: or lizard…
Rhakesh: It’s always lizard, nobody even bothers with dragon
Oberon nods in acquiescence.
Shava: I call it as I see it
Shava: or simply elf! You’d be surpised how they spit the word elf at you
Beryl: It’s a legitimate business. Like, hold on.
Beryl closes her eyes for a second, and hovers over Shava for a second.
Laurya: Elf, pointy ears, knife ear, tree-hugger…
Rhakesh: Though, much as I understand the role of the Raveness, I have always been taught that there is only one Queen that matters
Beryl: I… foresee….. Lots and lots of fire and war in your near future.
Beryl: That’ll be 3 gold.
Shava: Really?! I wonder how you came to THAT conclusion
Rhakesh: You sure that wasn’t my fortune you were telling?
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Shava: Seriously? And did I ASK for you to do that?
Rhakesh looks over at Oberon and whispers
Rhakesh: The elves are doing that elf-thing again
Oberon: Elves, Humans, Dragonlings… so many new races upon Cania. I wonder how long I slept…
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Laurya: Expand your horizons, Rhak.
Rhakesh: Dragonborn, not Dragonlings
Beryl: Not as long as Rhakesh. He woke up with dirt on him.
Rhakesh: That… wasn’t sleep
Shava: He still has dirt on him
Oberon: Apologies.
Rhakesh: And yes, for the record I would like to get a chance for some fresh clothes and a decent meal, but such conveniences are hard to come by in a city under siege
Shava: Some of these alleys are so narrow
Oberon waves a clawed hand.

As you pass a number of burning structures, you see people crossing the connecting skybridges to safety. From a building ahead, you hear screaming and see a cluster of bystanders staring and pointing upwards towards the fourth floor, just below the roof.
Oberon: The name of the thing matters little in the end.
Shava: Hey what’s going on?
Beryl looks up.
Rhakesh: Aye, though Dragonling implies offspring of dragons, that is not necessarily the true origin of Dragonborn
Rhakesh: or at least not in its entirety
Beryl: Shh. History lesson later.

You see a woman is looking out an open window to the people below, screaming for help. Smole billows from the portal and she looks back into the burning edifice, and then screams even louder as she turns back to face the street. She claws up the frame and places a foot on the sash.
Beryl: ….I don’t suppose anyone has a tarp handy?
Shava: She’s going to jump
Oberon: I would be most interested in a history of the world when time permits. When I last walked these lands those you call dwarves had just begun to emerge from benath the mountains.
Rhakesh: If someone has a decent-sized cloak we can catch her in it
Shava looks at the building to see where the skybridge goes
Breora Lif’illian winces a bit as she notices the scene. She looks around for anything that could be used as a tarp.
Rhakesh follows suit
Beryl turns around to the people nearby. “I said, TARP. NOW.”
Shava: IF we could get above her, we could lower a rope to her
Rhakesh: Aye, and the roof is the safest place on a burning building
Rhakesh: the fire goes there last
Laurya: Then we could all be trapped on the roof. Brillant plan.
Oberon walks under the window as if to catch the woman.
Rhakesh: Not necessarily the case, as long as we have another roof or passage to jump down to
Shava: there’s a skybridge… we can cross back to another building to safety
You see where the skybridge heads and find you can access the buildings roof from it, although the roof is on fire.
The woman begins to edge closer and closer to falling.
Shava: Quickly, tarp or rope?
Rhakesh: Rhakesh walks over alongside Oberon
Rhakesh barks orders to the passerby
Rhakesh: How’s that tarp coming along?!
The passersby just look on, in the chaos and confusion nobody hears you
Beryl: Whatever. Shava, help me find a tarp.
Shava scans manage the crowd for a large cloak or blanket or something
You to find a blanket in a nearby house.

Beryl: Dibs!
That’s luckily, not on fire
Beryl yoinks it and heads back to the others.

Shava begins to grab bigger people from the crowd to hold on to the blanket, giving them very specific orders
Breora Lif’illian focuses her mind on the woman and telepathically sends a message.

Breora Lif’illian (telepathically): jump onto the tarp, quickly!
Rhakesh grabs a hold of part of the blanket
Beryl: Careful! I think it’s an antique!
The woman screams at the noise in her head, and in the confusion.. Slips and falls!
Breora Lif’illian curses in elven as she grabs an edge and starts to ready for the catch
Rhakesh: Hold it high to give her room to fall into it
Oberon grabs the blanket and holds it at everyone elses hight.

The woman falls and lands in the blanket, but the strength is too much for you and she falls to her demise.
Beryl drops the blanket, shrugs and steps over the body.
Oberon closes his eyes and says a prayer for the dead.
Laurya takes out her holy symbol and speaks a few words as a rite of passage and welcome from the Mistress.
Beryl thinks a bit, then returns.

Oberon is speaking : (Dwarven)
Rhakesh looks with horror at himself and what had happened
Beryl: Did she have anything on her person? She had to have had something.
Rhakesh: This… isn’t me
Torrent says a prayer for the dead.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Laurya gently wraps the blanket over the woman and steps back, looking at the others, “We cannot keep being delayed like this.”
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Rhakesh is speaking : (Draconic)

Beryl: Eh. Such is war. Moving on.
Rhakesh: In the name of Tiamat, the Queen of Dragons and the Goddess of Righteous Vengeance, be at ease.
Shava: We must move on, perhaps it is for the best. She will not have to face occupation under the Ragesians.
Breora Lif’illian moves on and tries to push the woman’s fate in to the back of her mind.
Torrent: Yes as unfortunate as this is we must push forward.
Rhakesh: Aye, agreed wholeheartedly.
Beryl: Yeesh. Try not to shed a tear when I go. Drama ain’t me.
Rhakesh: No tears, merely chants
Shava heading toward the district gate, she breaths a prayer for the souls of the fallen under her breath, trying not to let the others see the tear in the corner of her eye
Oberon walks onward as whisps of electricity stream behind his eyes.

Only a block away looms the gate that leads to the next district, and your destination, the depository. The press of people is considerable as they flee eastward, and the passage is too narrow to allow easy exit from the western ward.
As you push on, screams begin to erupt from the north. At first, they are far away, but slowly, like a wave rolling onto the shore, the panic grows and moves southward. A soldier patrolling the gate wall suddenly jumps with a curdling scream into the crowd and disappears from your view.
You think you still hear his screams go on a moment and then stop, but you can’t be sure; his plight is quickly eclipsed when less than a dozen feet from you, men, women and children begin to wail.

Shava looks around for something to climb onto to see what’s going on.
Suddenly all of you (Except Rhakesh) is hit by an irrational panic, running through the crowd uncontrollably.
Beryl: RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Breora Lif’illian (panicing): Fire…death….no hope…NO HOPE!
Rhakesh starts making his way through the mob but before he does, grabs Shava’s hand and tries to snap her out of the hypnosis
Beryl: WOOOOOO Look at that!
Rhakesh: Ignore the illusions! Keep moving ahead!
Oberon is still in a panic, having flashbacks to his people’s last hours.
Rhakesh: Well that’s a relief
Shava: Quick we need to gather the others.
Shava: What was that thing?
Rhakesh: Oberon is still afflicted by whatever foul sorcery this is
Shava points up
Rhakesh: For whatever reason, it never touched me
Rhakesh: I felt it grasp for my mind… but then it slipped away
Beryl: Sorcery nothin’! A huge bat thing was all like “I’ma gonna eat you!”
Beryl: And everyone was all like, “No, don’t eat me!”
Shava: It was like an overpowering fear had gripped my mind and all I could think was run away!
Beryl: It was awesome! You shoulda seen your face!
Shava: Rahkesh get Oberon, try to get him to the gate
Rhakesh grabs Oberon and shakes him
Rhakesh: Snap out of it, and keep moving forward
Beryl: Say…. where’s the others?
Shava picks her way through the crowd toward the gate
Beryl counts on her fingers… “Shava… Rhakesh…Elf girl A…Torrent…”
Beryl: I’m…. missing two. You see Obi and the moody elf?
Shava: Obi, still running, Rahkesh is trying to bring him down
Shava: Moody Elf… oh the one with the frosty sword? No, haven’t seen her yet either
Oberon starts foaming at the mouth.
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Beryl: Like… ‘Moody, Faithy, and Shorty’.
Beryl: Although, to be fair….
Beryl looks ‘UP’ at Shava.
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Torrent meets up with the others and waits for everyone to gather at the same place.
Laurya finds herself in the middle of the crowd, cowering in fear, babbling incoherently to the raven skull clasp at her neck. Standing up abruptly, she looks to the sky to see a large winged creature sowing terror among the townsfolk. Tightening her grip on her spear, she pushes through the fleeing townsfolk and moves back to the others. “Did we… all get hit by that…” she motions vaguely off into the sky.
Rhakesh: I… felt it go for me, but somehow it did not affect me.
Beryl: Tellin’ yah. Giant bat thing. Looked scary to me.
Rhakesh: Whatever force that was, it tried to ensnare me, but could not, Shava, you are one skilled in this sort of thing, might you have any idea why that happened?
Oberon growls.
Shava: I am wondering if it had something to do with your heritage?
Oberon: It smells like blood magic.
Beryl: …No, that’s just you. You get in a fight or something?
Beryl: You look horrid.
Beryl: Why didn’t you tell me?
Oberon stares at Beryl, not comprehending her quip.
Breora Lif’illian (composing): I…I would assume some…pet beast of the Ragesians…to spread even more chaos…not that it….couldn’t be done without it.
Torrent: Perhaps we should rest
Torrent: For a few minutes, before continuing on.
Oberon: Gratitude, friend.
Shava: I’m not certain what it was, but it was as big as a house with bat-like wings. Must have been nasty, to affect us fey folk as well
Laurya: I could use a moment to catch my breath.
Beryl: Or you just lost your head and got scared.
Beryl: Could be that.
Rhakesh: It affected all of you, I saw it happen
Rhakesh: I was the only one
Beryl: Anyways, let’s see if we can find it! Maybe we can ride it outta here!
Beryl: …No, gnome first. Gnome first.
Shava: shall we get through the gate before they decide to close it
Torrent: Yes, let us hurry, we have enjoyed our break but now is the time to move.
Oberon: Let us be off then.
Oberon moves to follow Torrent.
Beryl: Onward!

Finally passing through the gate, the depository is in sight. Eighty feet tall, it flickers with oranges and reds from the fires beneath. Long, garishly colored banners hang from the roof to the topmost balcony. They drift lazily in the thermal currents, displaying the latest merchant advertisements. To your left, you hear a well-dressed man calling out in a plaintive voice, “Kiki, please come out, it’s fine now! Please, Kiki!”
Rhakesh: Off we go
Shava: The tower… almost there
Beryl: Nope… Kiki sounds like a thing to play with.
The voice sounds forlorn and devastated
Shava seems to be struggling to keep up
Beryl heads over to the well-dressed guy. “Who’s Kiki?”
Rhakesh slows down a little to accommodate for Shava

Oberon looks at Shava.
Oberon: Would you like to ride on my back?
The man turns, his eyes brimming, and runs towards you, crying “Please, will you help me find my baby?”
Beryl: Uh… sure? How old is the little whelp?
Shava: Thank you… I’ll be fine… we’re almost there.
Oberon nods.
Shava stares at the man uncomprehending.
Breora Lif’illian stays with the group and is trying hard to put the terrible experience behind her.

Shava: How did you let your child get away? Elvs do not let their children run loose like that until they are at least 20
Beryl: ….20? You guys take that long to get outta diapers?
Corian: Please… My name is Corian, I am a merchant, a walthy merchant, Kiki is my pet dire weasel. My house was struck by a bomb, and though the stone building did not burn, the sound of the thunderstone spooked my poor Kiki, causing her to flee. She’s usually friendly, but I am so worried she may injure someone if not recaptured. Please help me find her!
Beryl: ….A …dire…. weasel?
Rhakesh: That doesn’t sound like a very safe pet
Shava: Dire… weasel?
Beryl: Sounds like a FUN pet to me.
Beryl: Sure! Let’s find her!
Torrent: It’s a waste of time, if you are going to find this pet I shall have no part in it.
Shava: If only to keep it from biting some child
Oberon: How large is this pet?
_ Beryl looks around for tracks of a big weasely thing.
Breora Lif’illian stares blankly and starts walkiaway, “I agree with Torrent”_
Rhakesh: Aye, we haven’t much time on our hands as it is, this strikes me as a frivolous aside
Shava looks around for some evidence there might be a creature hiding nearby
Beryl: Whatever. You just don’t wanna fight a big weasel.
Beryl begins looking randomly for tracks, and manages to find some leading to a an empty temple.
Beryl: Baby.
Shava: Found something?
Beryl: Maybe…. Lemme poke around a bit more.
Shava: This shouldn’t take longm and it is kinda on our way
Corian: Oh please! Help me find my Kiki!
Laurya: Just point him in the direction of his beast.
Shava: I’m just worried that the critter will get scared and attack some child
Breora Lif’illian is speaking : (Elven)
Beryl: Hm hm hm….
Beryl tinkers about at the temple entrance.
Beryl tracks the weasel to a nearby empty temple and attempts to pick the lock, failing, but some mysterious force guides her hand and she unlocks the door.
Beryl: Here, weasel weasel weasel…. I mean… Kiki. Yeah.
Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Shava follows Beryl into the temple, as quietly as possible
Rhakesh does the same not too long after
Beryl: stops suddenly.
Laurya follows Breora and Torrent.
Beryl carefully slinks up to the critter.

Beryl pulls out some food and tries to offer it to the weasel.
Shava slips to within a dozen feet of the creature, carefully pulling a small amount of dried food from her pack on the way.
Shava and Beryl sneak up on the weasel but the weasel stops chewing and rushes off through a narrow hole in the wall.

Beryl: Aw, dammit.
Shava: Aw Crap!
Beryl looks at the wall. Narrow hole, eh?
Shava checks to see if she can fit through the hole
Rhakesh: Probably going to want me to go in last
Beryl: Hold it, sis. You’re probably gonna get bit.
Laurya is speaking : (Elven)
Shava waits for Beryl
Beryl crawls through the narrow hole, and spots the weasel, unfortunately the weasel heads into an alley with a sewer drain.

Shava is speaking : (Elven)
Beryl: Aw man… Hm…..
Beryl: Where does this drain go, Shava?
Shava attempts to follow Beryl
Shava gets stuck
Oberon will try to pull Shava out.
Shava: Push… push me thorugh
Beryl tries to chase the weasel before it stays outta sight.
You spot the weasel just inside the drain, chewing on something.

Beryl: Hm….
Beryl: What to do….
Shava tries to keep an eye on Beryl while trying to wriggle through
Beryl unlocks the gate, although the weasel is still just too far out of reach.
Beryl: Hm….
Shava still trying to wriggle through
Beryl: Here, Kiki. Come to Mama….
The weasel notices you and looks quite vicious. You must calm it down before you can capture it.
Beryl: Look! Food.
Beryl temps the weasel with food and it calms down.
Oberon tries to head around the building to join the Beryl and Shava.
Beryl manages to catch the weasel as it eats the food
Beryl: YES
Shava moves to join Beryl
Shava: Congrats, you caught it!.
Beryl: Hey, there’s something else in there.
Beryl: Shava, mind getting that?
Shava notices a small box half-buried in the muck in the drain
Shava leans in to see what Beryl saw
Shava pulls the box out of the mud

Beryl pets the weasel. “Who’s a good malicious dire weasel? You are! Yes you are.”
Shava sets the box down and begins coughing
When you retrieve the box, it is obvious that it has been there for a long time.

Shava hands the box to Oberon…
Rhakesh: What’s in that thing anyway?
Beryl: I’ma keep it and call her Mittens.
Shava: Sorry I need a moment, the smoke and activity is getting to me.
Corian runs up to you
Beryl: You like dat name? Mittens? Huh?
Corian: Oh you found her! Thank you, thank you so much!
Beryl: ….Oh… Right. Yeah.
Beryl: Um… no, this is some other dire weasel we found. Yeah.
Corian: I would recognise my Kiki anywhere!
Beryl: …..Okay…. fine….
Beryl hands off the weasel.
Oberon takes it.
Corian takes the weasel
Corian: Thank you, I shall take her back to the shelter.
Corian begins walking off.
Beryl: I want a dire weasel now.
Beryl: SHAVA, find me a dire weasel.
Shava: We’ll do our best to find you one
Torrent walks over to you
Torrent: Are you done now?
Beryl: I guess. Least I got a cool box outta the whole deal.
Beryl picks up the box, and tries to open it.
Shava (panting): What’s in… the box?
The box opens to reveal…
A dagger, a gold ring with an amethyst, a potion, and 30GP.
Beryl: DIBS. All of it.
Shava: You can’t have ALL of it
Beryl: But I traded my dire weasel for it!
Rhakesh: You can have it when I’m dead and not a moment sooner
Rhakesh: But seeing as I’m right here that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon
Beryl: …Fine. At least the dagger. Looks sharper than mine.
Shava: You can have 1 thing from the box
Oberon: I’ll take the ring, I may be able to enchant it later.
Beryl yoinks the dagger.
Beryl: And you said the weasel was a waste of time. Look who’s got a fresh soul-stabber!
Shava: Alright, let’s get to the tower
Laurya: Good on you, then. And you can say you’ve rescued a weasel.
Torrent: Ok then, onward to the depository

TO BE CONTINUED

View
Meeting with Torrent
At the Poison Apple Pub

It’s a little before midnight on New Year’s Eve on the cold streets of Gate Pass. You have all been told, in one way or another, to meet somebody named Torrent at the Poison Apple pub at this time. You have been told to enter through the side ally door. The pub ha been closed since its owner was arrested, but the owner’s wife has allowed use of the building for the evening. With fears of invasion high, the streets are fairly deserted and normal festivities are muted, letting you all travel unmolested.

The pub is about a mile from the western city wall in a poorer district filled with slushcovered cobblestone streets and gloomy, snow-filled alleyways. The night is dark and claustrophobic, and the buildings of the city loom over the shadowy streets. There are no lights in most windows

The pub is a two-story building attached by a rooftop bridge to an abandoned house on the right. A stable is to the buildings left. The front door and windows are boarded up, and the curtains are drawn.
You all meet up, outside this pub.

Beryl: ….You’re SURE this is the place?
Breora Lif’illian finished her work and proceeded to the pub in her face mask and hood.
Shava: I… think so….

Beryl looks around, pausing in certain places. “Seems… right.”
Laurya walked purposefully from the elven ghetto to the vicinity of the Pub, noting the complete lack of people celebrating on this night. Scowling at the ill-lit place, she leans heavily on her spear, trying to determine where the side door was, and who else might be in wait.

Shava: It seems so…. dark
Beryl: Welp. In we go.
Shava: Are you sure it’s safe?
Shava looks around. Wait, who’s that?
Shava indicating the much taller figure with the spear
Laurya: A small army of people are intent on traipsing in this place, it seems.
Shava: So it would seem. Well we might as well go in
Beryl: Here we are.
Breora Lif’illian (pauses as she notices other people around, she mutters in elven): Crowds to come for all things here…even quiet meetings.
Beryl slowly knocks on the door.
Laurya: I assume none of you are named Torrent?
On the door, you notice a notice.
Shava looks up and down the street
“Trehan Finner, owner of the Poison Apple Pub, has been taken into temporary custody under the protection of the city guard, until such time that he can be questioned by representatives of the Ragesian Empire and found innocent of hostile collusion. The Poison Apple Pub is hereby closed until further notice.”
Beryl: Hello….? Anyone home…? Perferably someone named Torrent?
Shava: Nope, not Torrent. I was hoping you would be her
Breora Lif’illian (reads the note and comments in elven): Translation…do not expect to see him again anytime soon.
Laurya: (elven) Not a horrible thing to be in the crowd on a night like this, ma’am.
Shava smiles wanly
Beryl pushes open the door slowly as she looks about cautiously.
Shava: (elven) True
The door is locked, although you hear movement inside.
Breora Lif’illian moves over to the side door and knocks lightly on it.
Shava waits nervously

Beryl: I’m having doubts here, Shava…
Beryl: And… Oh, hey, people.
Rhakesh had his eyes open into total darkness. It was pitch black and he could see nothing, but he felt something damp and heavy all around him. It weighed down upon him, but not enough to crush his frame. He took a lump of what surrounded him in his hand, and it crumbled away like dry sand. He felt roots and little stones. It was dirt. Rhakesh pushed a hand through the layer of loose, dry soil and felt it go out into the crisp evening air. Soon, the rest of his form followed as well as he heaved himself up and out of where he was. He remembered pain, distinct, sharp pain, but he was so out of his senses. He looked upon himself and saw that he was still in his prison clothes made of sack cloth. His body tingled with numbness, feelings of what he remembered but did not fully understand. Rhakesh stood up and out of the ditch he had been buried in, he felt alive and yet… not, as if the life he had was not fully his own. He looked around and tried to get a sense of where he might’ve been.
Shava: There’re people everywhere
Laurya: The note said to enter through the side door, not that it would be opened.
Beryl: ….Right…. WELL, if you all don’t mind, I’ll get this door open in a second.
Shava: Still, I wonder where this Torrent is. I thought we were supposed to meet her here?
Shava: None of you is Torrent right?
Laurya: Not in this lifetime, at least.
Breora Lif’illian: (Elven) It sounds like a human name.
A moment later, the door cracks open, just as Beryl is beginning to begin work. A tall well-tanned woman with short white hair peeks out into the alleyway and looks both ways.
Shava: (Elven) I thought perhaps it was an assumed name
Beryl stows her things quickly. “HI. Just here for the meeting!”
Shava sighs faintly
Laurya: (Elven) Sounds like a name of a childs hero
Shava: Are you Torrent?
Woman: Come in, quickly.
Woman: Yes
Shava: (Elven) I agree
Beryl slips inside, eager to get out of the alley.
Shava: Thank you
Shava steps inside
Breora Lif’illian nods as she enters
Laurya moves inside with the others, but is wary of the woman’s jerky movements.
Rhakesh: “My gear…” murmurs Rhakesh as he sees the familiar outline of the Poisoned Apple Pub and starts limping his way towards it, brushing off dirt and soot as he goes until he reaches the door, trying his best to stay out of the light.
Torrent glances to you and ushers you to hurry.
The door closes behind you as you all enter.
The darkened pub appears empty, its many tables and chairs pushed to one wall and covered with sheets. A single table with enough chairs for all of you sits in the middle of the room. A small oil lamp and a keg sit on top of it, along with several mugs. Unless the shadows beyond hide more, your group and the woman are the only people in the room.
Shava looks around the room taking in as much as she can.

Laurya scowls, “So….”
Rhakesh tries his best to stay within the shadows as he asks in a rather dry, raspy voice:
Rhakesh: Water, need water, and my gear…
Shava: Rhakesh, you made it… what’s wrong?

You notice a staircase that leads upstairs, located in the corner of the common room and beside the bar. The windows and door facing the street are closed and boarded up from the outside. On the wall behind the bar hangs a bronze bust of the former emperor of Ragesia, Drakus Coaltongue, a regal, aged half-orc with a scar cuting diagonally across his face.
Beryl: Hold on, I’ll see if there’s anything around.
Torrent looks at Rhakesh curiously.
Breora Lif’illian (sypathetically): My apologizes about the true owner. I would not wish that on-
Breora Lif’illian pauses as she looks at the dragonborn
Beryl skirts around the bar, looking for a glass and something to drink.
Torrent waits for you all to settle down.

Rhakesh: Rhakesh coughs a little, talking pains him but he doesn’t know why. “I woke up in a ditch with a layer of dirt on top of me less than five minutes ago, and my memory before waking up well… I don’t think I should be here.”
Breora Lif’illian sits at the table and waits patiently.
Laurya turns her scowl to the hulking figure that followed them inside., though she says nothing.
Rhakesh looks to Torrent and inquires about getting some water or ale
Shava timidly takes a mug and pours a mug full from the keg
Rhakesh takes it and drinks deeply
While you are settling down, the woman picks up a mug of beer and speaks.

“Good evening, all. My name is Torrent. Thanks for coming,” She gestures towards the keg and mugs, and with a wan smile says, “Have a drink. Just because we’re about to go to war doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the New Year.” She then takes a pull of her mug and sits down. For a few minutes, through small talk and friendly banter, the New Year is celebrated.

Beryl: Hurrah. New Year, same as the old, more or less. Breora Lif’illian (nods and for the first time this evening tilts her mask up so she can take a drink): to the New Year.

Rhakesh idly raises his glass to the toast
Shava takes another mug and raises it in a toast before taking a sip
Laurya refrains from drinking, nods to the toasts, but only watches at this point.
Shava: The New Year has arrived.
Shava listening to the bells ringing in the distance
Torrent grimaces, straightens in her chair and bitterly sighs.

Torrent: That’s one year gone.
She shakes her head a little, then looks over the table towards you.
Torrent: I guess it’s time to get down to business.
Torrent: The city’s in trouble. The Ragesian army is marching on us, and will most likely be here tomorrow. Before then, we have a mission.
Torrent: I used to study at a magic academy to the south, called Lyceum. They’re good people. So when word reached them about Ragesia’s ‘Scourge,’ they sent out messages calling for anyone fleeing Ragesia to come to them. They want to stand against the Ragesians, and the resistance wants their help. We just need to get a message to them.
Torrent: Normally we would have sent something by teleporting courier, but something strange is going on with planar magic. The last courier who teleported into Gate Pass, well, rumor is that he showed up burnt to a crisp. Not that I have that sort of magic anyway, but if we’re going to talk to Lyceum, we’re going to have to go overland. And that’s a problem, because the city’s walls are sealed.
Laurya: Laurya’s scowl deepens.
Torrent: Ever since their emperor died, the Ragesians have been trying to show that they’re not weak, and they’re marching an army in our direction because the mountain pass we’re in is apparently ‘strategically valuable.’ Either way, a few idiots on the city council want to negotiate with the Ragesians, and rumor is they’re going to invite a group of Inquisitors into the city to look for ‘magic-users who are hostile to the empire.’ They’ve sealed the gates of the city so no one can escape, to make sure they look like they’re cooperating, and only military personnel can get in or out.
Torrent: We’re going to have to get out of the city, and I’m open to suggestions on how. Once we’re out, I can get us safely to Lyceum, but before we get ahead of ourselves, we have a mission tonight.
Shava: (whispers) They’re going to invite them in?
Torrent: It’s possible.
Rhakesh: They must be looking for their deserter, I hope they find him.
Torrent: The short version is that we’ve got to meet a contact — a gnome named Rivereye Badgerface — in about an hour at a guarded depository about a half-mile from here. He’s carrying a case of vital military intelligence which he stole from the Ragesian palace, and the heads of the resistance think that it needs to reach Lyceum. We’ve got to get that case, get out of the city, and get far away from here before the idiot city council lets the Ragesian Inquisitors in. Once that happens, the odds of us escaping are —
Breora Lif’illian (elven): idiots the lot of them
She finishes off her mug of beer in one long guzzle.
Torrent: — slim.
Beryl: Fun.
Torrent: I know I’d love to stay here and fight against the Ragesians, but I’m no soldier, and this mission might be more important. Worst case, you get away from the Ragesians and we can part ways a few days down the road. Best case, you can come with me to Lyceum, and we come back with an army of our own to drive off the Ragesians. But we’ve got to act fast either way.
Torrent: Are you ready for this?
Shava: I’ve always wanted to go to Lyceum, I need access totheir library anyway.
Rhakesh: Give me some time to get my gear and get back in the swing of things and I’m as ready as ready can be.
Laurya: So we need to break this gnome out of a guarded area first?
Breora Lif’illian: The inquisitors methods sicken me to my core. It is a pleasure to give them a black eye.
Rhakesh: A man recovers from a black eye, a man don’t recover from a missing head
Laurya rolls her eyes
Beryl: You’ll be surprised.
Shava: So we want to chop off someone’s head?
Torrent: we don’t have time for detours, we need to get to the depository in an hour.
Shava: Where did you leave your stuff?
Torrent: But first, we should use this time to plan. How should we handle this? We need to find a way to get this case, get out of Gate Pass and get to Lyceum.
Shava: But that aside, how are we going to get out of town once we get to this gnome friend of yours?
Rhakesh: Here, it’s in an armoire upstairs, the thing looks like it’s been through a war, can’t miss it.
Laurya: Right. so gates are sealed. Whats the chance of slipping through them with a well placed bribe. Im often called out of the city to conduct final rites.
Torrent: Then hurry up and fetch it, I don’t know why your gear would be in there though.
Beryl: A bribe? Where you gonna get the gold for that?
Rhakesh heads upstairs and comes back down a few moments later dressed in old hide armor from the Ragesian Army and bearing an axe forged in the Ragesian manner.
Shava: Use your seeing powers to find some?
Laurya slips a few golden coins from her belt pouch. “Where else?”
Torrent looks at Rhakesh with a dark stare.

Torrent: A ragesian?
Rhakesh: Formerly, deserted.
Rhakesh: If they find me they’ll hang me.
Shava: That explains much
Rhakesh: But hopefully I’ll get a few of them
Torrent: I see, then you have a reason to get out of this city as well.
Rhakesh: Precisely
Rhakesh grimaces at Shava
Rhakesh: I didn’t join by any choice of my own
Shava: I’m not sure we can come up with enough gold to get us all out of town
Rhakesh: But when a fellow shows up with a conscription order and several armed guards, and you’ve got nothing else to look forward to in the village well, it’s not as if the choice is difficult.
Beryl: Well, what about magic? Just illusion us as a guard going out or something like that?
Laurya: If the gates are sealed, are the guards even leaving?
Shava: Might work, but I’m not that powerful in magic yet that I can cloak so many in an illusion. I don’t know about the rest of you
Torrent: I suppose you could convince the mages at Gabels school to help.
Shava: Perhaps patrols?
Beryl: Prisoners have to leave somehow. Like that note on the wall said.
Shava: Yes, I might be able to. IF any are still there. THey’ve locked the gates
Torrent: There may be a few, I am unsure.
Torrent: Although I would recommend finding somebody with political power and befriending them, that may be our best way out.
Beryl: Oh right. The bigwigs…
Shava: Well then let’s go to Gabal’s I’m sure I can convince someone there to help, perhaps some sort of spell or scroll or something to help
Breora Lif’illian: Maybe we are thinking about this the wrong way. Perhaps a bit of symathy could go the right way if we were to find the right guards but…no that would require watching them change shifts to find the most…simple minded of them
Laurya: I thought you just said the politicians were all ‘idiots’
Rhakesh: Well, perhaps we could also find a sympathetic individual from within the city guard and obtain some uniforms
Torrent: Yes, the council are idiots for wanting to let the inquisitors in, but I am sure there are a few who are against it.
Beryl: I can think of a few off the top of my head…
Laurya: I dont follow politics much. Who’s on the council that would be most likely?
Shava: Really, you know politicians?
Beryl: More like…. people I’ve run across…
Shava: Or did you dream them up like your ‘visions?
Beryl grins
Shava nods

Shava: Any that stood out for being possible Resistance Sympathizers? or More loyal to Gate Pass than the rest?
Laurya: I’d assume most of the clergy are against bringing in the Inquisitors. We’re likely to find some help there.

Beryl: Well… There’s one.

Shava grins
Beryl: Erdan Menash. He’s not fond of our invaders, if I recall.
Shava tries to recall the name Erdan Menash
Breora Lif’illian (nods slowly): I…can be of some service there. I have ties with The Mercinum but how much help they can provide is…questionable.
Torrent: Erdan Menash? I have never met him, but I certainly know where he lives, his house is impossible to miss.
Rhakesh attempts the same
Beryl: He’s…. eccentric, to be sure….
Shava: Name rings a bell…
Beryl: But yeah. It’s worth a look. He’s got some influence that’s rather… useful.
Laurya: Thats oddly vague…
Rhakesh: Ah yes, ol’ Bashin’ Menash, he’s the one who used to try and get all the merc companies to wear his gear. He certainly had a… questionable sense of taste. And having a glimmering green cloak in the middle of a battle is a great way to die fast.
Beryl: It’s part of my job. Somewhat helpful yet consistently vague.
Rhakesh: He’s a bit odd but I’m sure he would look upon us favorably if we convinced him he could be made the hero of the city if he helped us
Shava: Good thinking
Beryl: That covers the escape. Where’s the gnome… the Depository?
Laurya shakes her head slightly, and taps the raven’s skull broach that holds her cloak around her neck, cocking her head as if to listen to it.
Rhakesh looks over curiously at that gesture

Torrent: A few things I should tell you about him, he was once a spy from Lyceum, acting as a servent in the imperial palace for Kreven, second-in-command of the inquisitors, Apparently, Rivereye is very ugly and blitherly unaware of it.
Beryl: …Should be easy to spot then.
Laurya shrugs and leans back in her chair.
Shava: so not something to be brought up?
Torrent: His normal contact is Peppin Tallman, a human wizard from Lyceum, he occasionally passed information to the resistance, but was found dead a week ago.
Shava: That’s not good
Laurya: Dead? How?
Beryl: …I’m guessin…… fire.
Torrent: We are not sure, but a speak with dead ritual that was used on Tallman revealed an upcoming meeting with Rivereye, but not the killer’s identity.
Torrent: Tallman’s code-phrase and signet ring were also recovered and given to me. I’m worried though that someone else is after the case, and that Rivereye might spook when he sees Peppin is not there.
Shava: So we don’t know what is in the case then?
Torrent: Only that it contains ragesian intelligence.
Breora Lif’illian: It is possible. The killer would logically go after the wayward gnome next.
Torrent: What that intelligence is, we do not know.
Shava: And you accepted that those two words belonged in the same sentence?
Laurya: Or the killer is the gnome.
Rhakesh: That’ll be the day
Beryl: Well, let’s just take you along. You know this Rivereye, right? Shouldn’t be a problem.
Shava: Not if they were each other’s contact
Laurya: People are easily bought… ugly gnomes included
Shava: So we best hurry then. The Depository isn’t that far away, but it pays not to be late
Rhakesh: Aye, that’s true, but I didn’t know you could kill a man by stabbing his feet
Beryl: You’ll be surprised.
Rhakesh: I’ve had enough surprises tonight.
Shava glares at the MUCH taller Dragonborn
Beryl takes another drink.

Breora Lif’illian (archs a brow): You have…“interesting” life experiences.
Laurya says dryly, “Then you are going to hate what she put in your drink.”
Torrent: Yes, but first I must tell you, once we get out of the city, our route to lyceum, there is only one real way we can go to avoid possible persuit by the Ragesian army. A route that avoids impassable roads and well-patrolled paths; a little-travelled road south from the city to the border of the innenotdar Fire Forest, thirty miles away.
Shava: We’re going to THE forest?
Beryl: The what now?
Shava she looks elated and terrified at the same time
Torrent: Yes, decades ago, the Elf Road ran through the fire forest to Dassen, where Lyceum is, but some catastrophe happened during the last war. The forest was set on fire, and it has not stopped burning since.
Shava: (whispers) But I haven’t finished my research yet
Beryl: So…. our plan is ultimately go to a forest that’s…. ON FIRE.
Shava unconsciously places a hand on her left side
Torrent: It is the only way to escape the Ragesians, I doubt they are as prepard as I. I have potions tha will let us survive the intense heat, I doubt any pursuers will have similar magic to follow us.
Laurya: Thats one place that will likely prevent pursuit, but any real bright idea on HOW we plan on doing that?
Rhakesh: Small chance of success by fleeing certain death into the heart of danger, I like the way this is going.
Shava looks curiously at Torrent.
Beryl: I’m…. still a little skeptical.
Torrent: I have enough to last us all 3 days, and it should take us about that long to traverse through the forest.
Laurya: Why wouldnt our pursuers, who we will apparently have, possess that sort of magic?
Beryl: Well… beats dying now.
Beryl: Dunno bout you, but I like living, even if it’s only for a few days.
Shava: its not about possessing the magic, it’s about being prepared for three days of travel through the forest
Laurya: This whole thing seems like a setup.
Shava: I’m sure they HAVE the magic, but it will delay them to gather enough protection to last three days.
Beryl: Like… for a whole army and such.
Torrent: There is no doubt, once we have the case and the ragesians find out, they will try and pursue us.
Rhakesh: We should make duplicates of the case
Shava: Every day of travel we can steal on them would be a day closer to protection of Lyceum
Rhakesh: maybe even put a few out randomly to send a false trail
Torrent: I doubt we have the time for that, as good an idea as it is.
Rhakesh: Aye, but how will they know what the case will look like?
Rhakesh: Who’s to say we aren’t smart, clever folk who disguise it in an ordinary shipping crate, for example?
Torrent: It is a ragesian case of intelligence, it came from them.
Shava: Maybe they have other ways to track it?
Rhakesh: True, that’s my concern more than anything else
Beryl: Eh. They wouldn’t have lost it so easily if they did.
Shava: Maybe the Gnome can run fast?
Beryl: Could always scry it or something when we get it.
Rhakesh: Aye, and they also presumably wouldn’t know if someone opened it and put the contents somewhere else
Rhakesh: I for one, know I would ditch the case itself as soon as I possibly could
Shava: Or maybe it’s his fault the teleportation courier thingy went down in the first place?
Torrent: We have yet to get our hands on the case
Laurya: First things first. We meet this gnome. We can deal with the forest of fire when we get to it.
Torrent: So it is most likely still in its original case
Rhakesh: Well yes, but the Ragesians don’t know this
Shava: Then we need to get the contents out of the case.
Beryl: Right. Works for me. We got a solid plan.
Laurya: So, we need to get the case, then figure out how to get this Mense fellow to smuggle us out of the city? Then tackle a thirty mile hike through a flaming forest.
Torrent: But first, we must get the case.
Beryl: Sounds fun. Let’s get to it.
Beryl stands up and take one last drink.

Shava: Ok so the plan is: Get the case, get to Gabal’s or Menash’s and get help, Get out of the city, through the fire forest and off to Lyceum.?

Rhakesh: Sounds like it to me
Shava: What could possibly go wrong?
Rhakesh: We all die horribly at the hands of Inquisitors but at least take a few with us before that?
Shava raises her mug in a toast, looking at each of the others.
Breora Lif’illian: I would sooner die than go quietly with them.
Rhakesh: I like this one
Shava: I’m in
Rhakesh: And who said I’m going quietly?
Shava: I’ll go quietly, I just plan to take a lot of them screaming with me
Beryl: Eh. Whatever floats your boat.
Rhakesh: Hah! In another life you’d have been a fine shield maiden
Rhakesh: Stand your ground and let ‘em come, that’s the way to go
Shava: Are we all in?
The bells of the city’s celebration suddenly go silent in the span of a few seconds.
Beryl: Yeah yeah. Lemme get my glass
Beryl: A toast! To freedom!
Rhakesh: And to more drinks
Shava: Death to the Ragesians
Beryl: ….Eh…..
Laurya refreshes her scowl
Beryl: Did you hear that….?
Shava: No what?
Breora Lif’illian (nods): my name is Breora and you have my blade._
Shava glances around nervously
Breora Lif’illian pauses as she looks up._
Rhakesh: No bells on New Year’s Eve… this makes my nose twitch
Laurya: Now what?
Beryl leaps over the counter, drawing her handcrossbow.
Breora Lif’illian: Ready your weapons…I think we have uninvited company
Rhakesh already had his axe in hand
Beryl: We got someone upstairs. Careful._
Shava pulls her wand and crouches by the table
Breora Lif’illian grips the broadsword on her hip by its hilt and seems ready to draw it at a moment’s notice_
Rhakesh: “Fight well Brerora.”
Laurya slips the wooden shield from her shoulder sling and chokes up on her spear.
Laurya slides over to watch the side door.

At the end of the first “Round” distant muted thumps fill the air, like the sound of ripe fruit landing on the roof of a house.
Beryl: ….That’s… not footsteps…
Shava: What was that?
Torrent: It seems a ragesian assault, may have begun.

TO BE CONTINUED.

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