The Too Long; Didn’t Read Version
A couple of hours after the exciting escape from guards, we return to Avin, Baylen and Charlotte being holed up at Phoenix Risen. Everyone is either drunk or twitchy nervous.
Ursula arrives to the inn, offering her help and two new helpers, Sarah and Maryann.
After bantering and plotting, our group heads towards the bell tower, avoiding all guard groups searching for them.
At the tower, they set Baylen’s spies ready to do a distraction if needed, and set a plot to get inside the tower: Sarah and Maryann go to the tower and sweet talk their way to get guards do what they want while the rest of the gang tries to peek through a window and see what’s inside. (Baylen is lifted up by Charlotte and Ser runs up them both to give his two helping eyes to the cause). Baylen spots 4 guards inside.
Sarah and Maryann lure one outside and towards the rest of the group. The guard is surprised and very bewildered by Sarah’s try to muffle his possible cries for help. Maryann manages to fool the guard to look another way and whacks him on the head with her axe, coup de gracing him. After this the group.. well, regroups and weapons up, heading inside the tower.
While this has been happening, Ianthe has been doing her goody two shoes thing and healing and saving people at the scene of the explosions at docks. Saving some, losing some… but alltogether, managing to get some attachment from the folks at the scene – the guards tried to come in to arrest her for being associated with Avin and the Avingers. The mob disagreed with that idea and shooed the guards away.
Nearer dawn, there’s nothing else she can do so she heads out towards the Needy Lemure – realizing that the guards are keeping an eye on her, she does not want to lead them to the Phoenix Risen. On her way, the guards manage to surround her with no way of escaping so she surrenders and is chained up and escorted to the castle to wait for the king to wake up and cast judgement on her. She ends up waiting for a long time in heavy chains.
When she finally is escorted to the throne room, it’s filled with folks staring at her and guards that are glaring at her.
When the king enters the room, he looks embarrassed – maybe the fact that our fair elven lady, Halion is attached and clinging on his arm, looking all chipper and happy.
Want to know more? Then tune in next time for… EPISODE 20!
The Complete Saga:
We now return to our heroes and continue where we left off –
Ianthe is fulfilling her healer destiny (and possibly her way too goody two shoes tendencies) and stayed behind at the scene of the explosions, trying to save as many lives as she can.
Halion disappeared after the scene of explosions at the docks, and has been doing mysterious things to find Shelen and possibly some bonus fun with the king!
Avin, Baylen and Charlotte have made their way to The Phoenix Risen. We return to our glorious heroes after a couple of hours after the daring escape from the clutches of city guards – not to mention Ser’s try to save his master by the destructive means of cat urine.
At Phoenix Risen
A picture paints in front of a discreet, embodied viewer: Charlotte, as per usual is sitting by the bar, sipping down on her good old friend ale, her loyal companion Disco Inferno lying on the bar table next to her. Avin is slumped down on a table in the inn and is against his habits sipping down on alcohol to try and calm his badly shaken nerves. Baylen is nervously playing with the handle of his pistol and keeping a watchful eye on the street. Ser is hiding in the shadows outside the inn, also spying up on anyone coming close to the Phoenix Risen.
Suddenly, a loud knock is heard from the door. The group inside tenses up, reading their weapons. Avin moves cautiously towards the door, glancing at Baylen.
Baylen sees 3 hooded figures outside, one of them being a lot shorter compared to the companions and shows off his observations to Avin via hand signlals.
Avin opens the door, and one of the figures drops back her cloak, revealing Ursula. She eyes nervously the road, trying to see if she was spotted.
“I am so glad you are alright. They came to the Needy Lemure. What happened? They were saying you were conspiring against the kingdom….”
Avin sighs and replies: " I was kidnapped by a group, some sort of poison knocked me out. When I came to I was in a room holding a dagger with Ianthe over me, a body near my feet.
To make matters worse, notes that are apparently signed by me talking about necromancy and kidnappings…"
Ursula nods at Avin: “It didnt sound right to me. Nobody at the lemure believes you had anything to do with such things!”
Baylen hurries the group outside: " Have this talk inside, maybe."
Avin Catson: “All I can assume is that we’ve gotten too close for the necromancer’s comfort.”
Ursula: “I understand, thats why i thought you may need some extra help..” and motions the hooded tiny figure to enter.
Ursula and taller one of the hooded creatures enter the inn and Baylen quickly closes the door behind them.
A soft tutting emminates from the depths of the hood, followed by the faint show of bright white teeth.
“Necromancers? Nasty business, truly.” She says in a rather thick Jovaskan accent before she smiles again, sliding her hood back.
Baylen Cartwright narrows his eyes as he hears the familiar accent. Our heroes now can lay eyes on a beautiful, blonde half elf with a self confident smile playing on her lips.
The woman casts a casual glance around from behind her glasses before she looks to Ursula: “My good woman, if this is what you had in mind for my proving faith, dear. . . I can surely think of some more interesting ways to do so.”
Ursula smiles softly to herself “I figured you could use the help of someone not associated with you.”
Sarah Kettar, our mysterious new Jovaskan friend, glances to the door just briefly and smiles a knowing grin to herself.
“Ah yes, the proverbial one night stand is it? Well, this should be quite the show— " She looks back to the others “Who brought the drinks?!”
Ursula: “I assure you, if you get my friends here out of this I will personally see to it that you are rewar-”
Ursula is cut off as one of Baylen’s head spy runs in, all out of breath. “Sir! Sir! We have news!” He stops talking as he notices the new people in the tavern.
“Is it safe for me to talk?” As Baylen nods his permission, the spy spews out a hurried explanation that there is something shady going on at the clock tower – including lots of guards and the shady female character Baylen told people to keep an eye on, and that was last seen on a boat near the explosions…
Baylen Cartwright nods as he listens.
Baylen Cartwright: “Guards… Damn it. That’d explain the quick response.” He glances over to Avin knowingly.
“You get a good look at any of them?” Baylen asks from his spy. The spy shakes his head: all they could recognise was the female fitting the description given to the spy network.
Baylen Cartwright curses, and sighs. He looks back over to Avin. “I’m thinking we should take a look.”
Sarah appraises the situation with a thoughtful expression, glancing from person to person with a flick of her gaze. A subtle smirk pulls at her lips:
“Mmm… " and says quietly to Ursula: " My, my, what interesting company you keep, my dear."
Ursula smiles. “Yes they do seem to be in the center of things more often than not. But theres nothing bad in them, i assure you. And if you help my friends here get out of this problem, I will do everything in my power to make sure you are rewarded for it”
“Clearly not, for surely they would not be associated with an angel such as yourself if they were of devilish intent.” Sarah smiles wryly.
Ursula stares at Sarah with a look that speaks “I’m too old for this shit”.
Avin Catson finishes his drink and stands up straighter than before, more focused as the initial shock of ’we’re going to be mauled by guards’ has diminished slightly. nods and looks at Ursula before nodding his head slightly at Sarah: “Is she evil?”
Ursula: “No, just very…friendly”
Sarah smiles to Avin, slightly amused: “Quite so!” and then turns to Ursula, feigning innocence with a firmly held smile: ""Dear, I’d ask for no reward other than perhaps an evening in your company to wipe that exhaustion from your eyes."
Avin Catson looks at Sarah, then at Baylen.
Avin Catson: “I think she’s evil.”
Baylen Cartwright: “She’s Jovaskan. Considering the circumstances, it might not be bad to have one on our side.”
Ursula: “Oh wait. I just remembered.. I met another potential helper… where did she go…?”
We now hear another, quite loud and impatient bang at the door.
Baylen Cartwright sighs at the door. “First thing we do, we hire a doorman. Assuming we’re not chased out of town.” He then moves to open it.
A female dwarf was behind the door, thumping it quite impatiently. She is surprised by Baylen suddenly opening the door and ends up banging him on the chest.
Baylen Cartwright looks down at the dwarf, and back to Ursula, then at Avin and steps back from the doorway.
Ursula: “Ah, there you are Maraynn. Where did you go?”
Maraynn replies grumbling: ""Nobody answered, I thought nobody was here."
Ursula motions to Maraynn “This is the other volunteer i met recently. She said she was willing to help you out as well. Maybe for the more heavier lifting?” Maraynn nods slowly in agreement, pushing her way past Baylen.
Baylen Cartwright shrugs a bit, letting Avin deal with it, and returning his attention to his second-in-command: “Get some eyes watching the area around the clocktower. Same as usual; Anyone entering or leaving, I want to know about it.” The head spy stands to attention: “Aye aye sir! Anything else?” Baylen thinks for a bit: “Couple of people watching the Risen, as well, just in case. Don’t want to end up coming back to an inn full of guards.”
Avin Catson greets the newcomer before checking with Ursula:
“You did tell them that we’re about to be set upon by half the city unless we get this sorted out, didn’t you?”
Ursula nods gravely “They were informed. More were willing to help, but not directly and definately not when i explained that to them”
Avin Catson smirks slightly “Well, they’re quite clearly at least partially insane, so they should fit in quite well”
Sarah Kettar, tutting softly: “What good is a party if no one’s willing to oil their hands, hm?”
Baylen Cartwright shuts and bolts the door as the spy leaves. “No kidding… Speaking of which, where’d the elf go?”
Avin Catson: “She vanished a while ago, last I saw her was at the docks.”
Sarah Kettar: "So, perhaps I’m putting the cart before the horse here but you do have a plan to deal with this situation, do you not? " She glances from face to face with a slow, intent look as if trying to decide who’s leading the group. Maraynn frowns slightly, and looks from one person to another as she follows the conversation.
Baylen Cartwright: “Well, it’s obvious that this goes deeper than any necromancer. So we’re going to need more information.”
Sarah Kettar: “Quite so! And while I am an avid fan of going deep, this does seem a bit overwhelming— ah, now we’re talking.”
Avin Catson: “Well, I’m fairly fond of the inn here and I’d rather not leave the townspeople to be kidnapped and experimented on, so ‘run away and change my name’ isn’t really an option.”
Baylen Cartwright: “We’ll save that as a plan B.”
Baylen Cartwright: “In the meanwhile… Information is goal number one. We need to figure out who’s behind this. Someone in power, obviously. So we follow this train of thought into. . .”
Avin Catson: “setting fire to the guard”
Sarah Kettar: “Posh! Where’s the fun in that— and the smell. . . But, perhaps we can incorporate that! Good call, my good man?” She looks to Baylen.
Maraynn: “Don’t know what you’re talking about, but that doesn’t seem like a bad idea.”
Baylen Cartwright: “Depends on what we find out, I guess.”
Ursula pulls her cloak on tight “Whatever you do, know that you have friends in the docks district..but if you are deemed outlaws then there’s not much any of us can do..”
Sarah inclines her head to Ursula politely. "I wish you the best, dear— try to keep to the light. Riots break out in circumstances like these and it would be a shame to darken those beautiful eyes any more.
Ursula nods and smiles at Sarah then speaks up to the rest of you “Good luck friends. I pray this will all be resolved soon” She then hurries out
Baylen Cartwright steps out of the way, letting her pass. Sarah Kettar watches her go with a thinly veiled smile.
Avin Catson offers everyone a drink, since it looks like we’re going to be planning for at least a little while
Baylen Cartwright: “So. We need to find out what’s going on at the clocktower. That’s our only real lead. ‘Hates the Empire’ isn’t really a unique trait, and the emissaries were quite visible around the palace the past couple of days. So… One lead.”
Sarah Kettar: "mmm… And you think that the necromancer might be related to these emisaries in some way? " looks at Baylen and Avin, her brow furrowings slightly: “I must have fallen into the company of lower nobles if you’re being hunted in such a way.”
Baylen Cartwright: “Seems likely. There’s not much call to pin the necromancy on Avin if he’s not involved.”
Sarah Kettar: takes her glasses off, removing a silk rag from an inner coat pocket. She begins wiping her glasses as she speaks: “What resources do you have available to you, hm?”
Baylen Cartwright: “Gold, some minor influence in the docks – apparently – and a couple of dozen eyes on the streets. So, I say we investigate the clocktower, see if we can find some information. We need to know who benefits the most from putting the suspicion on Avin,
as well as who has influence with the guards.” almost as an afterthought, Baylen adds: “Anyone who might benefit from conflict with Jovask, as well.”
Avin tenses up as Ser sends him psychic message, warning that the guards have finally arrived at the street and are investigating every house. Avin hurriedly warns everyone about guards coming in here in the next 10 minutes.
Sarah Kettar: "Mmm That is the question is it not. I know whom I would benefit from contact from, but! Such is not the issue, so let’s get you lot out of here.
Avin: “I’d agree, I’d also weigh in but I do feel like I’ve been kidnapped, thrown on a cart and woke up in a stranger’s house in a mess with no memory of the time inbetween.”
Baylen Cartwright: “That’s because it happened in the last couple of hours. Did you get a look at the ones who kidnapped you, by the way?”
Sarah Kettar: “Some of the best times you can have involve just such a scenerio, my good man.” She adds, quietly murmuring “Fewer regrets that way, too. hm.”
Avin Catson glances at sarah.
Sarah Kettar Smiles.
Sarah Kettar: "So! The question becomesss. .. " she strolls through the middle of the room as though she owned the place, looking this way and that “You have a back door, do you not?”
Baylen Cartwright: “Yes. Funnily enough, that’s the door in the back. Right. We should get moving, before those guards show up.”
Maraynn shuffles impatiently, and nods at Baylen “Shouldn’t we be leaving?”
Baylen Cartwright: "I’m thinking “I’d rather not have to leave the town I just bought property in so quickly.” more than anything else."
Baylen Cartwright opens the backdoor a crack, peering out into the back alley. “It’s clear. Let’s get moving.”
Sarah Kettar: “No sense of clandestine entertainment”, she smiles to herself "Quick to use the back door, though— " Sarah looks to Charlotte “Maiden of the Cup, will you be joining us?”
Avin Catson glances at Charlotte and reminds her that if she stays here she could end up in prison and unable to drink ale for a very long time.
Charlotte downs her drink and follows Avin, glaring at the new people.
Sarah Kettar perks a brow: “Oh no, that simply won’t do. . . Come! We must liberate her from a lifetime of sobriety.”
The party quickly head out as there are muffled sounds from doors being knocked on and even kicked in, and the protesting shouts from the occupants.
Baylen Cartwright: “Keep to the alleys.” He leads the way through the alleys, towards the belltower in the middle of the town. Ser Pouncalot jumps on Avin’s shoulder. Sarah Kettar takes a rimmed hat from under her coat and slips it on, strolling casually after the group.
At the Belltower
Luckily for our Fearsome Five, the back alleys seem to have been left without any guardly attention and the heroes are able to travel towards the bell tower without guards’ attention.
Baylen’s spies join our companions as they reach the tower. It looks like there’s been some serious unloading and packing going on here. Baylen Cartwright: “Anything to report?”
After hearing the report from his underlings, he continues to asset the situation:
“Right… So we need a way in. Can Ser take a look around?”
Avin Catson: “He can give it a try at least.” Avin Catson asks Ser to scope out the area for a way in and to be careful and stealthy.
Baylen Cartwright: “Out of all of us, the /cat/ is most likely to go unnoticed. Unless we can find a guard’s uniform.”
Sarah Kettar Takes a look around the grounds for any obvious windows or perhaps ways to slip under the building. She looks at Baylen oddly, and points to the window* “Anyone feel like crawling through the dirt?”
Baylen Cartwright: “Not especially. But I’m pretty sure we want to get in there.”
Sarah Kettar: “Yes, I gathered that—”
Avin Catson: “Any chance we can have your men cause a distraction if it looks like we need one, Baylen?”
Baylen Cartwright: “Good call.”
Sarah Kettar: “Ah! Capital idea.”
Baylen Cartwright signals for one of his men to approach. “Probably along the other side of the tower, hm?” he then addresses the spy. “I want you to have a couple of men ready to make a distraction, if we need it. Something to draw attention away from this side of the tower.”
Baylen Cartwright: “Signal will be two short whistles, I suppose. I can’t do bird calls, and regardless we’re in a city.”
Baylen Cartwright: “Right. We need to get up to that window, hm?”
Sarah Kettar: “That we do! If I may suggest something?”
Baylen Cartwright: “Go ahead.”
Sarah Kettar rubs her chin with a glove: "Perhaps the Maiden here pushes yourself up, crawl up on the overhang there and have us a peek? If the Lady agrees, of course. " Sarah smiles as though she already knew the answer.
Baylen Cartwright: “That would work, yeah. Charlotte?”
Sarah Kettar: "Charlotte. . . " she rolls the name across her tongue like fine wine. “How wonderfully fitting.”
After abandoning the half serious banter about Avin casting invisibility spell on everyone (which he can’t actually do), Sarah brings up a plan: “You’ve considered that I could just walk up to the front door and give a knock, surely?” She smiles to herself thoughtfully.
Baylen Cartwright: “. . . We could do that.”
Sarah Kettar: Why don’t I do that with the good lady dwarf—"
Avin Catson: ‘That could work, and if not, they’ll be too distracted murdering you to notice us."
Sarah arches a brow: “You severely underestimate what my tongue is capable off, dear boy.
Not that you’d be the first, but I shall surely not let it stop me.”
Baylen Cartwright: “Hmm. Right, here’s the plan. Charlotte gets me up onto the roof. When I’m up there, Sarah and the dwarf knock on the door.”
Maraynn shrugs “Easier than climbing through a window.”
Sarah Kettar: "Precisely, my dear. Now, first things first. . . " She takes out parchment and an inkwell, scribbling on the parchment, deep in thought. "One moment… "her voice trailing off.
“There!” Sarah Kettar looks quite smug and satisfied with herself, eyeing the finished product.
Baylen Cartwright: “Right. Ready?”
Sarah Kettar folds the parchment and stands up. “Quite right— miss. . . dwarven maiden, forgive me but I’ve lost sight of my manners. What was your name?”
Sarah Kettar: "Capital! " She saunters off towards the front door, winking at Baylen “Right this way, dear.” Maraynn sighs and follows slowly.
Avin Catson: “Good luck, if you see a lot of fire, stay away from it.”
As our new pair of friends disappear behind the corner, Baylen beckons Charlotte to help him climb up for the window. With almost inaudible mutters about Baylen needing serious dieting, Charlotte helps Baylen to climb up.
As the mutters and grunts are going on behind the corner, Sarah and Maraynn reach the door. Sarah removes her gloves and tucks them away and knocks on the door.
Avin realizes the window looks quite hazardous, and urgently whispers that Baylen should wait for a moment for Ser to climb up there and check the window for them.
Maraynn doesn’t think Sarah did nearly a good enough job, when nothing happens immediately. She brushes past the half-elf, and knocks as well, much more firmly and much louder. She smirks at Sarah, content to her effectiveness when someone opens the hatch on the door, glaring at the pair and grumpily asks “Now what do YOU want?!”
Sarah Kettar flashes her best winning smile, eyeing the man over her glasses. When she speaks its with confidence and as much regality as she can manage: “Hello, there, you must be the guard, Lord Byron sent to watch over the property. I am here to assay the grounds and make sure it’s right for my needs!” Maraynn nods enthusiastically.
Baylen, now with Ser Pouncalot on his shoulders examines the window to see if he could open it. It is rusted shut. He frowns, and points at the rusted hinges… And then realizes he’s trying to wordlessly explain the concept of rust to a cat. Ser Pouncalot nods and rubs his head with his paw. Baylen Cartwright tries to pick out how many sillhouettes he sees inside the tower. Baylen then tries to open the window carefully and manages to maneuver it open for about an inch before it stops, refusing to budge. He can now hear the discussions inside the tower.
The man inside tells Sarah and Maraynn to bugger off. Sarah Kettar arches a brow: “My good man. . . The Lord and I have an agreement, it would be most unbecoming of a lower noble to turn his back on our arangement.” She smiles faintly, producing her document.
The man shuts the thingie on the door, there’s muffled discussion inside for a bit… and in the end, the door is opened, with the man pretty much groveling at the feet
of Sarah. The guard, being all eager to please her, invites Sarah and her companion inside.
Baylen Cartwright attempts to put a bit of force on the window, trying to open it… And trying to remain quiet while he does so.
Baylen Cartwright ducks his head.
The window opens up a loud screech, and Baylen ducks his head down, trying to stay as still as possible. Someone comes to the window and drags a box below it, climbing on it and trying to peer outside. Luckily for Baylen and Ser, it’s still pre-dawn outside and a lot darker than inside the tower and the observer does not spot the pair.
Sarah Kettar takes a step back, hooking her thumbs in her belt: "Oh, no, it’s quite fine! I wished to start with a tour of the grounds. Perhaps you would indulge a fair Lady in a quick circuit? ", she says smiling faintly at the guard. “My associate here is quite eager, as am I, to see the grounds the good Lord has prepared for us!” The guard at the door looks annoyed at Sarah " Madam, why did you demand to get inside when all you wanted to see is the grounds?!"
Sarah Kettar: “Madam?” She looks at the guard sternly. “Good man, I am a priest of the Engineer and, further to that a dignitary from a foreign land— I expect better from the city’s finest! You’re doing a fantastic job guarding the grounds, now be a dear and show us around, hm? Then we can take a look inside with you. . .” Sarah peeks quickly inside “and your friends.”
The man sighs frustrated “Oh fine! If that’ll shut you up for one second!”
Sarah Kettar “Excellent!” She motions languidly towards the corner she had come from. “Maraynn, be a dear and lead us around the corner… Make sure the rats are gone, would you?”
Maraynn nods firmly and leads the way. Sarah: “Maraynn! The other corner, dear.”
Maryann smiles embarrassed and changes her path towards the correct corner. Sarah follows, sighing theatrically for the guard, muttering about the quality of help these days.
The guard decidedly ignores Sarah, just wanting to get the business over with and to get rid of the annoying ladies.
As they walk around the corner, the guard is stupified for a moment as he notices Charlotte supporting Baylen who is trying to peek into the window. Sarah Kettar tries to grab his mouth to keep him from calling out, fervently wishing she had some chloroform. Of course, she doesn’t really know what she’s doing so she ends up just flailing like crazy near the guards head. Maraynn blinks at the guard, and thinks for a long moment, the points off behind him “oh, a giant rat! Have to get it!” The guard is taken by surprise and just manages to blink and mutter “What? Rat? Where?!”
Sarah Kettar points to Avin and the back at the guard when the guard isn’t looking.
Maraynn keeps pointing “No, it’s back there, behind the tree!” The guard leans to look, too suprised to think clearly. She shuffles around until she is directly behind the guard standing on tippy-toes… and then whacks him over the back of his head with her axe, spins and grins at the group proudly. The guard slumps down to the ground, dead.
Avin stands watching the events unfold in disbelief.
Sarah, this time with quite serious, down to business voice: “Maryann! Please get this mess sorted. Get him round the corner!”
Baylen Cartwright draws his pistol, making sure it’s loaded properly.
Sarah Kettar says quietly “Maraynn. .. Get that out of here.”
Maraynn jumps slightly, startled “Oh, right, sorry!”, grabs the body and starts dragging it away.
Avin moves to the corner and readies a magic missile spell.
Baylen Cartwright looks down at the group, beckoning a bit for their attention. As he gets the group’s attention, holds up 4 fingers, and points at the window.
Sarah Kettar: "We have an in. Let’s get moving, shall we? "
At the Docks
Ianthe has worked all night through, trying to save people. Some she has managed, some she has not. All in all, it has been a rough night.
At one point, a group of guards stormed the docks, trying to arrest her. The common folk she has been helping are not too happy about that, and force the guards to back down. They still hang around, keeping an eye on the situation and a chance to arrest Ianthe.
Eventually, the situation seems to calm down at the docks. Ianthe knows the guards are keeping an eye on her, so she decides – maybe as a desperate measure – decides to head to The Needy Lemure to maybe get Ursula’s help in relaying a message to rest of the group.
As she walks down on an empty street, her way is blocked by 2 guards with readied weapons. “You’re coming with us, lady.” Frantically she looks around, only to find that all her ways are blocked by more guards appearing. Sighing, she realises she has no way of escaping and surrenders herself. The guards demand her to give up her staff. As she does, the guards relax but still chain her up and partly drag her to the castle.
She is made to wait in a room until the king gets up, still chained up… Eventually being dragged to the throne room, full of guards, nobles and common folk with loud discussions going on. Near the throne, we can spot the court wizard and something in the shadows…
And then, the king enters the room, with Halion hanging on his side.